my first dog spoiled me - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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my first dog spoiled me

As I have stated before I will be getting a HAV in the summer. I had a dog who passed away at age 15 about a year ago and I'm ready for a new one. The problem is my dog of 15 years was such a good dog. He never growled, nipped, barked (other than when door rang till I opened it). He loved everybody and went up to kids, men, women other dogs without hesitation to be petted or play. He wasn't at the top in obedience class because sometimes his mind wandered and he would get up from a sit stay but the instructor mentioned how friendly and respectful he was. When I had a serious surgery he layed by my side day and night while i recouperated and met all my visitors with a sit stay waiting to be petted.

I could go on but your probably tired of reading this. Its not that I did the "right things" raising him. I did socialize him and took him to a couple obedience classes. He was the only dog I had ever had as when I was a child I was attacked by a large dog (won't say breed but its known for its guarding nature) so I had a bit of irrational fear of dogs for a long time. In all the forums and websites I visit now (of all breeds) I read so much about dogs biting, growling etc. it makes me a bit apprehensive about getting a dog. Not that I want a perfect dog but any form of aggression would be upsetting to me since I'm not used to it.

That's why I've decided to take some reasonable chances and carefully socialize my puppy every day starting the day I go home with him. Carrying him in unsafe areas. I would rather take a small chance of parvo or some other illness than to have my puppy have problems with fear or aggression as he grows up. I want him to have a full life doing agility, visiting sick, kids etc for the next 15 years.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 11:11 AM
Henry 2006-2018/ Kordelia
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I know what you mean.
Henry is my first dog, and I did all the same things. Personal trainers, trainers to train me, and I socialized as well as I could.
I had a pet-sitter for him. An older neighborhood gentleman "Fred" who was practically Henry's nanny.

Whenever Fred would be over, he could see how I would be in a discussion BUT always had an eye on Henry. He said "your good care now will benefit so much later".

Well, now that Henry is 2 1/2, I am wondering if it is anything I did? Or, are these havs just WONDERFUL pretty much straight from the womb?

I look forward to see you find the right pup at the right time. Have you posted a pic of your last dog? in the rainbow bridge thread or otherwise/
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 11:37 AM
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Mike, I think the first step is to find a great breeder who breeds for the right Hav temperament among other important things. It sounds like you completed that part already. Next step will be for the breeder to match you with the puppy that has the best potential to become the dog you want. Then, it will be up to you to 'mold' your pup. For instance, I didn't want Pablo to be a barker and once he started becoming vocal (around 5 months I think) I quickly reacted and curbed his 'voice'. He now only barks once when someone knocks, when I leave and once in a blue moon if he sees something out the window. But it's never more than 3 barks, which is enough for me, LOL.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 11:38 AM
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It seems that you have a great plan set up for your future puppy. I also believe in socializing the dogs from day one and never had a problem with them getting sick.
You've got plenty of time to get ready for your new puppy, shopping is so much fun!!!!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 11:47 AM
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Mike, I think that what we hear on the Forum is a lot of problems being asked about, not necessarily the "normal" things like what good, everyday dogs we have. I've had several dogs, different breeds, and worked conscientiously with each of them on learning manners and being socialized. Not one of them has been a biter. None of these breeds had the breeding to be aggressive to start with, but still. If you are starting with an educated purchase of a dog, (I think of any breed) and good training, I doubt very much you'll have any trouble.

As a pup, every dog has to learn to mind his manners. Hmmm, just got to thinking, one of my dogs was a Norwegian Elkhound. My husband got mad at her once when she was a puppy, (for being a puppy! grrr!) and cornered her in the back yard. She did defend herself then, with snarling and showing of teeth; I must say I don't blame her for that, and it was certainly understandable that she protect herself. It did get my husband's attention, he backed off. And, she never showed this behavior again, (and my husband never again cornered her in threat!) She was great with other animals, kids, men, women, etc.

You'll have the same wonderful results with your Hav as you did with your last, wonderful dog. Very different dog, of course, but a wonderful dog, none the less.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 12:51 PM
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I don't have my Hav yet - like you I'm waiting impatiently, though she has already been born. I am also "replacing" my one and only dog, a yorkie I had for 15 years, so I don't have a big basis for comparison. I knew when I met some Havanese and started reading about them that it was the breed for me, I was in love, and it was all over, I couldn't even consider another breed. In fact it surprised me to hear that some people were having issues with aggression and biting, but my hunch is that across the board, those problems are either misunderstood, or generally related to either poor breeding or insufficient socialization and training. My feeling after researching this breed for the past year is that it's hard to get a Hav with a temperament problem if you buy from a good breeder and follow up diligently on the socialization and training they have already started with the puppy. But it sounds like you already plan to do that.

When I got my yorkie, I was a little weirded out at first with her puppy biting because I too had a bit of a fear of biting dogs due to some childhood experiences, but quickly realized what her mouthiness was about and it wasn't long before we were able to re-direct that, and just being in tune with her and having the confidence to take the dominant position of gentle pack leader cemented the relationship, and I never saw her show aggression toward any other human or animal. She may have been more submissive by nature, but she never knew anything but love and kindness from humans (thought she might disagree about her groomer and vet visits!), and I tried not to get too coddling and protective with her around other dogs - I would remove her if I thought there was a threat, but I allowed her to have sniffs with larger, friendly dogs, etc., and I think all that helped. She was not real playful with them, though, and in retrospect I wish I had taken her to puppy classes and play dates with dogs her own size.

It's good that you are doing your homework - I feel much more prepared for our puppy's homecoming since I have spent a lot of time reading on this forum as well as training books. I plan to also socialize my puppy as much as possible from the day we bring her home, within reason, of course.

The waiting is hard, isn't it? I hope you find your match soon.
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