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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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New puppy owner has questions

Hi everyone! My husband & I brought home our first havanese and first puppy almost 3 weeks ago. I just wanted to introduce myself to the forum because I have a feeling I'll be using it a lot for all of my questions and minor freak-outs. Our puppy's name is Lola, she's a black & white parti adorable little 13-1/2 week old girl. These first few weeks have been tough, but its getting better each day. Our previous dog was a rescue who was older when we adopted her....so this puppy business is all new to us.

My biggest issue right now is leaving her alone. I'm home most of the day and made the mistake of not really leaving the house the first week or so. Now when I leave, I confine her in the kitchen with paper on the floor and a baby gate. She barks, cries and whines like she's being tortured and my heart breaks each time. I'm trying to be strong and let her "work it out". Please tell me that after time & the repetition of me leaving she will eventually get used to being alone for short periods of time. The longest I've left so far is an hour. I try to give her a kong with peanut butter but she's not interested [she loves her kong when she's not confined]. The past few times I've come home she's been quiet, which is big progress from when I first started leaving her and she'd still be howling after a half hour.

We tried the crate thing, but she was peeing in it.....that's another story though! Now we only use her crate for sleeping at night and she's no longer peeing in there.

She was extremely shy when we first got her, but I've been working on socializing her with people and other doggies and she has made tremendous progress in that department. She still does not love to be pet by strangers....but will take treats from them now and is curious of people. I read a tip on here to have people scratch under her chin and not reach over her to pat her head and that's helped a lot. Are hav pups typically shy at first?

Other than that and some feet/sock/pant leg biting issues.....things are going well. We start puppy kindergarten on Sunday, so hopefully I'll learn some training tips to get her to stop biting at my feet when we walk on leash.

Thanks for reading my long post!

Best,
Susie
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 11:24 AM
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Susie - welcome to the Forum and I'll be the first one to say that you will get great advice but we need PICTURES of Lola!!!

You are having the normal experience of a very human-focused puppy, like many of the breed. Stick to your plan and be sure to get her used to you leaving. She is having a little early separation anxiety - as evidenced by her ignoring the Kong when you leave her. Some dogs (like my Lola) eliminate from fear when they are left alone - hence her nickname of "Princess Pee and Poop"! She is 2+ years old and I have been training and medicating around this issue for months. I work from home and was so focused on potty training that I spoiled her for my presence. She is like velcro - follows me from room to room. So, any training and socializing you can do to have her focused on people and places other than right next to you are good stop measures.

Most Havs I read about here, basically sit by the door for hours waiting for their parents to return home. Try turning on music or TV so that she doesn't hear every little sound which would create more hope that you are home or fear that you are not. Maybe leave a t-shirt with your smell on it in her expen. Things that are comforting.

Look for threads on here under separation anxiety and you can read about how people trained their dogs at early ages.

Good luck, welcome and PICTURES!!!

---Little Lola a.k.a. Princess Pee and Poop and her humom Anne

"Happiness is a warm puppy" Charles Schultz

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a picture of Lola. I'll post more soon
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 12:00 PM
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Congratulations on your puppy! I work all day, so avoiding separation anxiety in my dogs is something I've really read up on and focussed on over the years.

Three important things are (1) helping her understand that you will be coming back, (2) having her associate your leaving with something good, and (3) making your coming/going a normal, boring routine for her.

This is what's been very successful for me, based on what a trainer suggested. Start out by putting her where you'll have her stay when you're leaving the house but simply walk out of that area -- still within her view -- and then walk back in; start with a few seconds that you're "gone" and then build up to a minute or so. Then do the same thing but walk out of her view and then back, again gradually increasing the time -- it helps if you're talking the first few times you go out of her view so she can hear you even though she can't see you. Each time you walk back into the kitchen, resist the urge to cuddle/comfort her if she's yelping -- instead, be very matter-of-fact and talk normally to her. Do this multiple times a day. She's learning that you'll come back and it's not a big deal when you're not right there with her.

Each time you leave the house, give her a special yummy treat that she only gets when you leave and follow the same routine each time you're leaving the house; again, make sure you're very matter of fact so she knows it isn't a big deal that you're leaving. For example, I give each of my guys a stuffed Kong ball, walk them over to their beds, turn on the radio in the kitchen and then say "I have to go to work now" and walk out.

Sounds like you're already on the right track, though. Best of luck! Jane
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 12:01 PM
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She's such a cutie! Did you say she's a rescue?

Beth, Pixie Puff and MiG too
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 12:02 PM
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We cross-posted -- she's absolute adorable!!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice and compliments Lola sure is a cutie! She's not a rescue, I got her from a breeder in Riverside, CA. My previous dog, Sasha was a rescue [she was a mixed breed, not a havanese].
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 01:19 PM
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Oh My God, what a beautiful Puppy!

Zury

Peluito's King Bumi (Bumi)

Across the Rainbow Bridge - Starborn Mi Pequeño Tesoro (Toby) - Miss you my sweet boy.

Peluito's Phoenix King (Nix)
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 01:27 PM
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The first day I had to go back to work, my then 12-wk old Kauai apparently screamed nonstop and finally gave up at a six-hour mark (my dog walker spied on her from outside the apartment window and texted me). Trust me - I was getting all sorts of calls that day from the building management, neighbors, etc. On Day 2, she cried half an hour before stopping and by day 3, her crying was reduced to 5-10 minutes. Now, she doesn't even wimper when I leave in the morning - though she dosen't look too happy.

She also did the jumping up and biting the pant leg thing in the begining and I just gave her a sharp "No!" and she learned not to do it after 3-4 times. I know they are adorable but don't be afraid to discipline when needed - nothing is worse than a small dog suffering SDS (small dog syndrome).

Just wait... There will be new issues. One week, Kauai refued to walk outside. Another week, she went on a hunger strike for three days. Etc. Etc.

But it's been almost four months with Kauai and it's amazing how quickly things become a routine. My life is so much easier than it used to be and Kauai seems much happier.

Good luck! Your pup is adorable - Kauai is irish-pied like yours :-)
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 01:42 PM
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Susie, Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new puppy!!

Ryan

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