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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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New Here but need help

Hi, I am new here but need some desparate help please.

We had a yorkie for 13 years who recently passed away. We had her before we had children and she was not socialized properly. We did not get her until she was 12 weeks of age and when our children came along, she would nip at them etc. Plus she didn't like strangers and we could never answer the door without hiding her in another room.

So after she passed we searched for the perfect breed of dog for our family, that would be good with strangers and and our children. That is why we chose a havanese.

So we set out to find a good breeder and one where we could get a new puppy as soon as possible. Well, found one but there were red flags. First she did not offer any kind of health guarantee. Second red flag is that you were not able to even touch the puppies until they were 8 weeks old; however, I put that aside thinking the socialization period for dogs is between 4 to 12 weeks of age so thought that would give us plenty of time.

Brought our new pup home, Jazzy. She has been a biter from the get go. I realize pups like to bite but it is constant. No matter what we do, she does not listen or stop and my younger kids are scared of her because of this, and mainly this also stems from the yorkie we had.

We have put her on her back to show who is the "alpha" male so to speak as per the breeder.

She started to growl at one of my kids, and today she growled at me when I went to pet her while she was falling asleep on my lap, so I turned her over on her back and she growled more and then tried to bite me. *sigh*

I am devestated and I have three kids to worry about. Plus since the day we have had her she has had the diarrhea off and on. She tested positive for a parasite, isospora, and was treated for it but still has the diahrea off and on and now the vet is going to be treating her for campylobacter, because her litter mates tested positive for this.

She has cost me a fortune in vet bills. As much as we have become attached to her and love her, I did request from the breeder for a full refund and to return her. I just can't have another aggressive dog with three children in the house. The breeder has refused to return her.

I am so sad. Just wondering if anyone has any kind of advice?

I just don't understand that this breed was supposed to have a good temperment and that is not what we got. I am sure there are exceptions but just at a loss for what to do.

Oh and she is 13 weeks old now and we got her when she was 8 weeks old.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 08:24 PM
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Hi and Welcome. First get the medical issues settled. And at the same time book a trainer. You need help fast. You've got some wrong ideas . Putting puppies on their backs like you're describing is a no no. If you really want to keep this pup, time is of the essensce. Keep the children away for now. If you want help finding a trainer , email me privately. There's no such thing as a perfect breed of dog. Any dog can end up like this.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 09:34 PM
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Please consider what Dave has said. Our McGee just gnawed at my hands and arms continually the first month or two with me saying "no bite" and pulling him away. Most of it is just "puppy" behavior so I wouldn't worry too much but you don't want to let it go, either. BTW, McGee is a perfect little angel (most of the time) now! I absolutely understand your worry with children to consider. We got this breed mainly because we had very young grandchildren at the time. Both of our dogs love the kids!

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hi and Welcome. First get the medical issues settled. And at the same time book a trainer. You need help fast. You've got some wrong ideas . Putting puppies on their backs like you're describing is a no no. If you really want to keep this pup, time is of the essensce. Keep the children away for now. If you want help finding a trainer , email me privately. There's no such thing as a perfect breed of dog. Any dog can end up like this.
Why is putting them on their backs a "no, no"? That is what the breeder told us to do to teach her that we are the alpha male?
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 11:42 PM
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Why is putting them on their backs a "no, no"? That is what the breeder told us to do to teach her that we are the alpha male?
I was told to do this by a family member who has had at least 5 dogs, but I looked it up and it said that this is a no no because, in the wild, the only reason that they will hold eachother on there backs is if they where going to kill, I was told it would be an equil to holding a gun to sombodys head. Plus, it damages your relationship with the puppy. Have you tryed clicker training? google it and try it. I get my clickers from petsmart, there by the training aera and sell for about 1.99.

here are a few videos--


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks miller123. That is so very helpful and I am feeling now like we created this aggressive puppy. Makes me so upset that the breeder told us to do this. I hope this can be corrected. I am going to enroll in some puppy training classes as well.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 12:38 AM
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Get the health issues sorted out first. My Hav is a love - never met a stranger personality. But when he was sick (diarrhea/rxn to flea meds), he turned into a grumpy, growling, snarling little guy. It was a complete 180 from his normal self. One he was better, he was back to giving everyone kisses.

Also, training classes! A lot has changed theory-wise in the last decade on how to raise and socialize a pup. Those classes are mostly about teaching you and your family how to respond to your pup to reinforce good behaviors and stop unwanted behaviors. Havanese are great family dogs - but proper socialization is paramount. At this young age, behavior issues are likely due to your lack of communication with your pup (or that he's not feeling well) and not anything inherently 'wrong' with your puppy.

Are you crate-training your pup? For the example where you said your pup growled as she was trying to go to sleep - she could just be worn out from overstimulation. It's important your pup has a safe place to sleep/hide/relax from your 3 kids. My first few weeks with my Hav were very regimented. Limited playtime (30min-1 hr at a time, multiple times a day), lots of nap time or quiet time with teething toys - usually in his crate (many folks use an expen), long walks, distinct potty times and of course, puppy classes + puppy play sessions. The first two weeks for me were not all 'yaypuppyfuntimes' but establishing clear routines and communications.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 09:03 AM
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Biting and nipping is fairly normal puppy behavior, and it can seem like that period lasts forever and they just don't "get it." I'm not sure about Havs, since my Hav never really did this, but I know with my lab my bf would be bleeding just from playing with him. He would always, always be nippy and bitey. It is how they play. The only thing that worked with him was holding his mouth shut and saying "no bite," but different dogs respond to different things. Then one day it just ended, and wasn't a problem anymore.

As for the growling, that would worry me. It could be related to the health issue and not feeling well, so get that sorted. But I echo getting a trainer in. Puppy classes might be a good thing, too.

So sorry you are going through this!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jazzy'smom View Post
Why is putting them on their backs a "no, no"? That is what the breeder told us to do to teach her that we are the alpha male?
Yikes! I did this with Fred. I wonder if that's why he has so many issues..... I feel bad now. I think I killed his spirit...sigh

Good luck with your pup. I hope Dave can give you some good advice. I've gotten a lot of good tips and info from him!





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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 10:18 AM
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You also should never punish growling, thats your best warning sign that she is going to bite. puppy classes will also do wonders in getting her used to other dogs
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