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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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temperament question

How did you choose what kind of temperament you'd prefer?

We want a dog that will go places with us, but on the other hand, we spend a lot of time at home too, especially on school nights. I'd say we 'go' about half the time and 'stay home' about half the time.

Would you choose a super feisty spitfire of a dog or a super laid back one? I'm tending towards a spitfire one, because the desire to go places with us is real important to me. Am I off base here?

Do the spitfire ones ever mellow out some after getting to their furever homes where they are the only pet and there aren't any other puppies to be rough and tumble with?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 09:22 PM
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hmmmmmm... this is a good question, I hope you will get a LOT of responses!!
I think it is great that you are very concerned with how the pup will fit into your lifestyle.
I think a 'spitfire' pup is going to be a LOT more difficult to raise, as they have thier own minds and can be harder to train. BUT, if you get a high energy dog and put that energy to use in training of some sort they can calm down at other times when you are just around the house.

Hopefully you'll get a lot of responses!!

Tammy and Tillie
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 09:50 PM
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I would go for the laid-back one.

I had a super-charged Aussie. Whenever we took him places, he was so excited that we never relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. Kit was a doll but I would have loved for him just to sit calmly. He would bounce up and down with his mouth open and panting. That amount of doggie excitement is scary to kids. He loved kids but his exuberance kept them away.

Calmer is easier in crowd situations. We would take Nessie to parades but leave Kit at home. Too stressful for him and us. Nessie loves people and exposes belly to anybody. She isn't super-feisty but is more than able to keep up.

Jack is calmer than Kit was but I do similar things with him. Jack is thrilled to see people but I can sit him and let the kids at the bus stop approach. I would sit Kit but he was always quivering in excitement. Major wigglebutt.

Just my opinion.

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Last edited by morriscsps; 02-27-2012 at 09:53 PM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 09:54 PM
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There are many layers between the extremes. You want one that will stay with you regardless of the situation, but not intimidated with strange environments. There are many like that between the extremes. Get to know your breeder, and let the breeder get to know you. Planning well in advance is the best path. After you get past all the requirements, the match to the family is most important.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom King View Post
There are many layers between the extremes. You want one that will stay with you regardless of the situation, but not intimidated with strange environments. There are many like that between the extremes. Get to know your breeder, and let the breeder get to know you. Planning well in advance is the best path. After you get past all the requirements, the match to the family is most important.
So true.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 10:29 PM
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I agree with Tom, but would like to add that my calm Finnegan is always raring to go when he sees me grab the car keys! He jumps all around and is ready to hit the ground running. He loves going places with me and is lots of fun. But he is not highly charged and very easy to live with. He is an HRI rescue, and I knew from the foster that he was a sweet and gentle dog.
Our other two are also sort of calm, and that is what I requested from the breeders. Trust your breeder to make a good match for your family and the dog!

Nan
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 05:29 AM
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My little Kip was very shy when we rescued him from the shelter. From reading extensively on the forum I knew that socialization was a big key for puppies and took him almost everywhere that I went for about 4 months straight (it was soccer season at that time so he got to be around a ton of adults/children and other dogs). Now he LOVES to go places (except his vet) and I swear thinks that when someone comes over they are there to only see him. My sister chose a very domininant puppy when she got her Hav becuase she also has a Westie, her puppy basically rules the roost and is freindly but very aggressive. Part I think was breeder (at puppy school he was there with his sister and she was very aggressive as well- so much so that the other owner was complaining about it) and part was the fact that she didn't socialize him as well as she could have. Your breeder can advise which puppy would best fit your lifestyle. Good luck with your search and I can't wait for the introduction of your new baby.

Shelly Mom to Iliana, Michael and furbabies: Kipper (Hav), Sadie and Cleo
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 05:59 AM
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Spitfire or Curious George?

We selected a Havanese puppy (coming home a week from today) on account of his curious and playful temperament. Out of a litter of three adorable babies, Lucky stole our hearts by doing his version of RLH at 5 weeks (flopping on his face because let's face it he didn't know really to run) and finding everything around him of such interest. His sisters were more docile and enjoyed my lap to the max, but when I saw how much fun my husband was having watching that outsized little guy discover the world, I knew he was the one. The comments here make me worry that what we read as bright and lively might be spitfire and difficult. We're retired and have time for this little guy (and grand-dogs that are big and playful though not always around) but I was counting on seeing him sometimes under my chair or on my lap as I work a lot at my computer. His liveliness attracted us and the breeder (who is wonderful) seemed thrilled that we had fallen in love. Clearly he's part stuffed animal. Any advice/input appreciated.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 07:04 AM
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I think a "spitefire" among Havanese is probably still pretty mellow compared to the "average" Jack Russell or Border Collie... Or even Aussie, from the dogs I've met of each breed.

Kodi was a pretty out-going puppy, and had plenty of energy, but he was not near the "handful" as other breed puppies in his puppy classes... In fact, as with many of the puppies we hear about on the forum, he tended to be "the star" in puppy classes.

As he mautured, he also mellowd out even more. He has ALWAYS been up for a good romp, but is not demanding about it, for the most part. He does consistently want "play time" in the late afternoon, early evening, but throwing a ball or toy for him for half an hour is enough to settle him back down for the evening. He also either goes on about an hour walk, or does an hour class most days. (sometimes both). But if it's bad weather, or I'm not feeling well, he's perfectly content to just hang out for the day.

Last summer we traveled to Canada with him, and we were often in the truck, with him confined to his seat with his harness for six or more hours. He did fine! Obviously, we stopped for potty breaks and to stretch our legs from time to time, and I often took him for a walk while Dave set up the RV when we arrived at our destination. But he couldn't have been a better traveler! I know that one of Kodi's litter mates lives on a boat for much of the year, so he must be a good traveler too!

I think that a very mellow puppy would adapt to TRAVELING fine... But it would depend what you want to do when you get there. If your idea of vacation is a lot of sitting around in deck chairs, that very mellow pup would probably be a good choice. If, like us, you want a dog who enjoys going off on hikes in the woods or running on the beach when you arrive at your destination, a pup with a little more energy might be a better bet.

More than energy level, if you want a dog who loves to go places with you, I think you want to avoid a shy puppy, and even with an out-going one, as other people have said, socialize, socialize, socialize when they are little. Also, make sure they are in the car, riding with you, OFTEN to get over any possible car sickness issues. These trips can be very short in the beginning, but make sure they get used to the motion of the vehicle.

Finally, IMO, it is IMPERATIVE that a dog who is going to travel with you extensively be crate trained and trained to some sort of indoor potty system. There will be times that you stay at a hotel, and need to leave tour pup in the room while ou go to dinner or whatever. Many hotels require that the dog be crated when left alone in the room, and they don't tolerate a barking dog. So your dog should be able to wait quietly and happily in his crate until you return. An indoor potty option is WAY easier when the dog needs to pee first thing in the morning and you are on the 12th floor of a hotel!.

These are things that can be taught to any puppy with time and patience, but it will be easier with a confident, non-anxious type puppy. This, to me, is more important than energy level. You can have a high energy, very anxious, shy dog (probably the worst combination in any breed), or a high energy, supremely confident dog. The same is true with low energy dogs.


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Last edited by krandall; 02-28-2012 at 07:28 AM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 07:09 AM
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Karen, you said it perfectly...

TTFN,
Pam

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