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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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temperament

I would appreciated some input from more experienced Havanese people about temperament in Havs. A significant part of our interest in Havanese is that they are supposed to be affectionate, playfrul, amiable…This is all very important to us as we are looking for a family companion and we have three children.

I've read through some of the forum and have seen a number of comments/questions from people saying their pups/dogs have been growling or snapping. And I'm wondering now much is normal puppy behaviour and when does it become a problem behaviour?

How much of temperament comes from parents? How protective should we expect bitches to be if we go to see a litter? I realize this is why we went to meet the parent (s). We have been to several Golden Retriever breeders’ homes when they’ve had puppies and typically our experience has been that the mothers have been relaxed, fine with us handling puppies and wanted their own pets. On the other hand, I have also been to a breeder's home (a different breed) who gave the indication that the mom might be protective of her puppies and she wasn't sure about having the mom out with us while we were playing with puppies. So I’m wondering where the Havanese would fit in? And how much should we factor this in when considering the type of pup we would like for our family? I hope this makes sense.

How do breeders’ assess temperament in their breeding dogs? And the dogs they produce? What tells you that a dog’s temperament isn’t suitable for breeding? How are puppies’ temperaments assessed? I know of the Volhard (?) Puppy test and was wondering if breeders use this or something else or observe?

Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 08:54 PM
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I don't know the answers to your technical questions but I will say our Abby loves our two and four year old grandchildren and has never even been the least bit aggressive with them - even when they might have deserved it! She is sweet, gentle, playful and isn't a barker. What more could you ask for in a dog?!

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:01 PM
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I don't have all the answers, but I think a lot has to do with how the breeder socializes the pups. I don't think it's normal for this breed to bite or growl. I have 3 and they are all pretty calm. They love to sit on my lap and follow me around. They walk off leash, because they won't leave my side. I don't think all of the hav's are like this, but most of them are. Some have more energy then other, but most are happy, playful, affectionate dogs. My 3 would never bite, even if someone was hurting them. My freddie will growl if you nudge him when he is resting. It's not directed at you, it's more a grumpy growl. He growls and then storms off. He is the grumpiest dog when he is resting and wants to be left alone. Other that that, he is the sweetest little guy. I was very concerned about temperament with my 3rd. I told the breeder he needed to be passive to get along with the other 2. Scudder is the most easy going, sweet, affectionate, playful, laid back dog. I'm sure others will be able to answer some of you other questions.





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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:02 PM
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You'll get a good answer from someone more knowledgable! My Max also adores children. He gets so excited when he sees one, yet approaches with such ease. He seems to know when to be very gentle and when he can play more.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:09 PM
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Temperament is the most heritable trait of a puppy, which is why it is so highly important that people do not breed aggressive nor fearful dogs. The possibility of passing that down is over 70% likely.

Growling and talking isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some dogs are just more vocal -when happy or otherwise. Nipping is common among puppies of all breeds, but is something that is learned to suppress by their mothers and littermates. Snapping is something different and should never be common nor allowed.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:14 PM
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I don't know much about how protective moms get with their puppies, I have never had a litter so I will leave that to the breeders.

I will tell you with my experience with Dash- I was able to meet many of his family members when I visited his breeder and I think that was priceless. What I loved about his mother is she was in your face and demanding you to pet her. His father pawed my legs as well. They both thought I was there to see them and why would I waste my time with puppies! His half brother was exactly what I think every Havanese should be- outgoing, friendly, playful, crazy retriever, and full of himself. Guess what I got- a boy who beyond loves me and does the same exact things. He is in your face, loving, demanding, and a speaker (you sometimes get all the qualities!). While I know a lot comes from socialization and what you do with your puppy after you leave the breeder's home, I see many behaviors in Dash that I saw in his relatives. So I do think a lot comes genetically as well. When I was there, I thought all those qualities I saw would make a great pet, a good performance dog, and a great therapy dog. Dash has been all those already and he hasn't even been in my home for a year!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:17 PM
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Visit the breeders with your children. The right match is most important. Temperament is indeed inherited but can be easily damaged beyond that.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:18 PM
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We have a male havanese who is now 1 1/2 years. We also have two boys 6 and 10. Our dog could not be a better pet for our family. Tugger is sturdy enough to play rough and tumble with our boys and has enough energry and love of life to enjoy spending his time playing tag, chase, tug or war or "explore the woods". He hangs out with the kids outside and loves everyone he meets including other dogs. He has never growled or snapped at me or the boys, not even once, and they play tug of war with him, pillow fights and pretend wrestling. of course the boys know to play gentle with the dog but Tugger will easily match their intensity without ever biting or hurting them. My boys can take a bone from his mouth without a growl.

Having said that, we have raised him just like we raised our German Shepherds before him, with certain expectations and household rules. He knows his place in the pack order.

Tugger and I think most Havanese are watchful and will give a warning bark when they sense danger. I like this part of the dog as they do almost sound like a big dog when they are barking and it makes me feel safer being alone at night!

Hope you find a good match for your family.


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Originally Posted by norac View Post
I would appreciated some input from more experienced Havanese people about temperament in Havs. A significant part of our interest in Havanese is that they are supposed to be affectionate, playfrul, amiable…This is all very important to us as we are looking for a family companion and we have three children.

I've read through some of the forum and have seen a number of comments/questions from people saying their pups/dogs have been growling or snapping. And I'm wondering now much is normal puppy behaviour and when does it become a problem behaviour?

How much of temperament comes from parents? How protective should we expect bitches to be if we go to see a litter? I realize this is why we went to meet the parent (s). We have been to several Golden Retriever breeders’ homes when they’ve had puppies and typically our experience has been that the mothers have been relaxed, fine with us handling puppies and wanted their own pets. On the other hand, I have also been to a breeder's home (a different breed) who gave the indication that the mom might be protective of her puppies and she wasn't sure about having the mom out with us while we were playing with puppies. So I’m wondering where the Havanese would fit in? And how much should we factor this in when considering the type of pup we would like for our family? I hope this makes sense.

How do breeders’ assess temperament in their breeding dogs? And the dogs they produce? What tells you that a dog’s temperament isn’t suitable for breeding? How are puppies’ temperaments assessed? I know of the Volhard (?) Puppy test and was wondering if breeders use this or something else or observe?

Thanks everyone!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:43 PM
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My Murphy is a doll and has never met a child he didn't like. He wants to greet all of our customers but when a child is in the store Murphy is just besides himself with joy. He adores my two grandsons Elias who is almost 3 and Owen who will be 2 in Septrember.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 07:00 AM
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We wanted very much to find an older puppy so that we could be assured a good fit for our kids. They were a bit timid around jumpy hyper dogs, so it was important that we found a dog with the right temperment for our family. We had searched petfinder for months, and met countless dogs who the kids wouldn't even bend down to pet because they were too scared. The moment we ment Baxter my husband and I looked at eachother and said....yep-- this is the one. Baxter didn't jump up on them, and let them come right over to pet them. He licked their hands, let them pick him up and hold him, played with them but in a non agressive way (no nipping even.) He barks very rarely... only if he hears a noise at night when it's quiet---and even then he quiets as soon as I tell him "Thanks Baxter. It's ok." We had to train him with the bell system for potty because he didn't bark to be let out.... now he rings the bells to go outside. People comment all the time that he is so calm when they come to the door. He never barks when someone knocks at the door.... although he will bark when he hears the mailman (but again, will quiet when I acknowledge him.) He is a very good watch dog in that sense... he can sense who is a welcome (expected) visiter and who is coming up to the house in another sense.
As gentle and calm as he is, he is also very playful and LOVES to be outside. He likes to play fetch, chase a toy on a pole, and loves, loves, loves to be walked. On the same token, if it's raining and we skip a day of walking he doesn't have extra pent up energy and misbehave because of it. We like to exercise him, and I personally think it's part of the reason he is such a well behaved dog, BUT Hav's don't NEED tons of exercise like other breeds who you'd need to walk daily rain or shine.

He likes to cuddle and loves to please---which makes any training so easy. He has gone through short adolecent phases where he will test limits (went through a very brief 'mouthing' phase with my youngest, but responded quickly---less than a week to reprimands and has not done it since.) He isn't a huge chewer...does not ruin furniture and such, but will definitely grab the kids toys if left out. He responds well to the "drop it" command though after repeated training. He is not crate trained, but has his little spots where he likes to den (on his dog bed by the window....sometimes he goes behind the curtain.... very cute) and he sleeps in a dog bed at the foot of our bed.

He's the only hav I know, so I can only answer questions with my experience from him. I will say I met a hav at the vet yesterday who was very snappish (her owner suggested I pick up my dog before they brought her out because she doesn't get along with other dogs or children.) So you never know... but generally from what I've read Baxter fits all of the common hav traits. Good luck in your search!
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