Hard Mouth - Does Your Hav Have One? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Hard Mouth - Does Your Hav Have One?

I'm a little upset... I took Darley to a trainer while we went on vacation. The trainer said that she has a "hard mouth" and that if she was a rottweiler she would suggest I take her back. I've not thought that it was anything but puppy behavior and we do work with her about biting. She said that she has a Terrier tempermant and a strong prey drive. She said that I should take all toys away that have fur on them and that when she attacks them and shakes her head she is trying to kill it.... don't all puppies do that? She plays with our Siberian who is mellow and usually lets her get away with anything. I just don't know what to do! She said that my puppy should never be around children! Can anyone tell me more... this is my first Hav.

She is energetic and plays hard with the big dog and really doesn't cuddle until she's tired... is that normal? Everyone talks about cuddling so much... maybe I should let her play so much with the other dog?

New Havalovin Momma
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:26 PM
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Not sure what a hard mouth is??... BUT.. my Beamer loves shaking the crap out of his toys and throwing them up in the air.. what else is he saposed to do with them? lol

Ryan

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:29 PM
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Cute name, Darley. Addrian, I don't know what to say. Maybe some hav owners here have an answer for you. That is scary for you to hear that your hav shouldn't be around children. I hope you get some answers. And, welcome to the forum.

Carole
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:34 PM
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I have never heard the expression hard mouth and to be honest, I would suggest another opinion as it makes your hav sound scary! And if the trainer is that concerned maybe that training is out of his/her level. I will say between my 3 dogs (2 havs, 1 malt) they have different personalities. I would say how I can/should play with one is different than another. Isabelle is very stubborn and will take the alpha role and boss anyone around (people included!) if they let her. I do stick to my guns more with her- make her go all the way to a down, listen, stop and wait, etc. Surprising her prey drive isn't as strong as my havanese Dora who I play tug of war with. Dora generally listens, if there are animals to chase, she is harder to pull of them but as soon as she trees them, she comes back. She shakes the heck out of toys all day long too! Dasher just wants to make everyone happy. I love to watch him interact with the girls. He knows Belle and Dora and treats them differently. If you throw a toy and Dora goes after it he goes faster and harder to try and beat her, she usually wins. If Belle goes after it, he generally hangs back and lets her get it but she loses interest and he takes it slowly and then runs as fast as he can. He is definitely the easy going boy of the group! As to not fit around kids- Belle & Dora both are certified therapy dogs so while they have high prey drive, that doesnt make them crazy

Good luck, keep us posted and welcome!

Amanda

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:34 PM
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How old is your Hav? Puppies need to learn bite inhibition from other dogs - they get it through lots of socialization play. They gradually move from biting to mouthing. Lola is 11 months and has been super social since I brought her home. About the only thing that she is perfect on is when I say, "no biting" she immediately stops bitting and begins licking the same spot. That said, we play tug with the large flossie toy - and she growls and is very terrier-like in that moment. To no detriment.

The cuddling surely doesn't happen when she wants to play! We went to a baby shower on Sunday and Lola played like crazy with another Hav and a Visila for about 2 hours and then spent the last hour cuddled in my lap, dozing off and kissing. A great payoff for hard play!

---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 #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Darley is 13 weeks. My husband is so upset, he almost cried yesterday. We love her, she is so good, she sleeps through the night, potties outside, does her sits and downs... for a 13 week old we're impressed! I've had several puppies and while I can't remember how long it took them to not mouth it's no different from them, she hardly ever touches my hands but apparently touched the trainers ALOT.

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:50 PM
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Maybe the trainer deserved it!?

She is young and it would be quite remarkable for her to have a soft mouth already. Can you take her to puppy classes or puppy social hours at a training center? They are great ways to have her around dogs that are screened for health and behavior.

---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 #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:52 PM
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Addrian, if I remember, your puppy is very young (how old is she again?) Your trainer may not understand the Havanese and how to train them . . . they are very different from many bigger dogs. You might want to find another trainer and get another opinion or wait a couple of months until she is a little older. I think all small dogs "attack" their furry toys which makes me question the experience of the trainer with toy breeds . . . I have been around many that do the same thing. Jackson attacks his opposum and can be quite wild. He nips at our ankles when we play and I have to stop and tell him firmly NO. I do think it is a herding instinct, but they can be trained to not do it, and part of it is just wanting to play and needing to taught the bounderies. And you might want to try and acclimate Darley around some smaller children just to see how she reacts - maybe in a park, pool, etc. With supervised exposure, I think most Havs are wonderful around children.

Kathy and Jackson Jackson
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:53 PM
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I am guessing that what the trainer means by hard mouth is that she bites hard. For example, a lab usually has a soft mouth because it is a hunting dog. When it retrieves a duck it needs to hold it gently in it's mouth to preserve the duck intact for the hunter. A hard mouth lab would destroy a duck before it got it back.
I'm not sure that most puppies wouldn't be hard mouthed when it was learning to play. You should get another opinion.

Carole
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:59 PM
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I would second getting another opinion. The only references I have seen to hard mouth are for hunting dogs -- how hard they squeeze the prey. For hunting dogs, soft mouthed is preferred.

Diane
Mom to Scout (Havanese) and Roxy (Golden Retriever), three kids, and assorted other animals
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