Need some advice on balancing life with a new pup - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Need some advice on balancing life with a new pup

We have a 21 week old Havanese named Lexi. She's a great little dog. She's potty trained and knows basic commands already - sit, down, etc.

The problem is that my husband (who loves her and helps out with the training too), is extremely busy with work, and we have a few out of town weddings coming up. It's getting to be a headache figuring out what to do with her... for instance we have an out of town wedding this coming Thursday through Sunday. Lexi was just spayed the day before yesterday, so we don't know what to do with her - it seems like to much trouble to hand her over to a friend for 4 days when she is still needing extra post-op attention (plus all of my friends work and wouldn't be home with her to feed/let out). I should also mention that she has separation anxiety that we are working on, but it's a long road to getting better. The hotel allows pets, but then one of us would need to stay in the room or get a dog sitter if we leave her. So, that would be 4 days in a hotel room. Basically I'm hoping others have gone through this puppy phase and have some advice... like it gets better/easier as they get older.

I guess I'm frustrating my husband because he has never had a dog and didn't realize they would be so much work. He loves spending time with her, but thinks I'm letting the world revolve around her. We have busy lives (as you all do too I'm sure). Any tips on how you have found a balance?

~Gianna

"All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is contained in the dog."- Kafka
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 12:11 PM
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yes, these guys are velcro dogs

These dogs are more attached than most, they are a companion breed.

I know this doesn't help you at this moment, but after working with an at-home trainer on separation, she finally told me...Linda, dogs are pack animals. They do better in groups...and a group is at least two.

I have two dogs, they are 10 months apart. They love and adore each other...ask Joe on this list. Riki and Daisy are okay when I am gone for a few hours at a time.

Hopefully you can find someone in your area who also has a havanese or loves them as much as you do. My dogs would not do well in a kennel, they are too sensitive to the noise. They poop in their crates at the groomers which is why I do it at home.

My husband and I have taken separate vacations a couple of times. We also have a friend who has a havanese and takes them. She is the only one who knows how to groom them properly and spends enough time with them. There is a Havananny in Southern California, and she specializes in the breed.

Daisy was very grouchy after her spay for only a day. Then the trick was keeping her from jumping around much. I sent Riki to my friend Kellys for the week to keep them from playing and her getting hurt.

They are sort of like my little kids. I have had to make some changes in my life for them, but I was warned ahead of time that they don't do too well alone. Is there anyone on the forum who knows of good at-home doggy sitters in your area? These usually work out better.

Good luck. And remember, they give back a million times more than what they require...

I didn't just get havanese, I got a lifestyle!
Linda
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 12:11 PM
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Lexi's mom

Havananny is in Orange County. Please PM me and I'll give you her information. I think your situation is solved.

I didn't just get havanese, I got a lifestyle!
Linda
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 12:21 PM
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Unfortunately having a dog does require somewhat a change in lifestyle. If you frequently have to go out of town for more than a night, then you really have no choice but to get a friend involved or a kennel. Dogs are not cats, especially Havanese. They do require attention. I have mixed feelings on getting a second dog. The reaosn being if you go out of town, then it's that much harder to find someone to take 2 dogs as opposed to one. Yes they keep each other company throughout the day, but it still doesn't mean you can leave them alone for long periods of time frequently. I have two and trust me when I come home from work, they are extremely excited and definitely want my attention and to play with me. Actually I have't really found it any different having two instead of one when it comes to demanding my time.

Chances are if your parents never had kids...you won't either...
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 12:29 PM
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two dogs

Ah yes you are right about two requiring as much attention. That is why hubbie and I take separate vacations. In some ways though I win as I don't have to visit relatives...lol!

I have two for each other...for the hours I am away so they don't suffer anxiety of being alone. I do know that they probably sleep the whole time I am gone. What is really funny is that they don't even come out of the bedroom when my husband comes home when I am not at home, unless he calls them. They only come rushing the door when I come home. So they are sort of true velcro dogs.

Now when I am home, they run excitedly to the door when Perry or Alana comes home, or anyone else for that matter. They feel better with their alpha near them.

I have emailed you Havananny's information on private message...hope you can work things out with her. She is amazing.

I didn't just get havanese, I got a lifestyle!
Linda
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice and Havananny info. I know there need to be adjustments made - I actually work from home and spend lots of time with her... which may add to the separation anxiety when I do have to leave. We don't go out of town a ton, but especially with her previously not having all of her shots, and now just having been spayed it's been tough to figure out what to do - I'd rather postpone the trip, but it's a wedding, so the date is out of my control!

Thanks though for tips and advice, they really do help! I'm prepared to give her the love an attention that she needs, but want to make sure that I'm reasonably able to handle the rest of my obligations/life

~Gianna

"All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is contained in the dog."- Kafka
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 02:00 PM
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life happens!

When I started acting more alpha, the dogs also were less anxious.

I ignore them when I first get home. Then once I am settled in, I acknowledge them. We eat first, then they eat. Once I was established as alpha, and not Riki, he worried less. If he is alpha and I am gone, he as pack leader worries.

I am pack leader, it is okay to go "off" hunting food! LOL

I am firm but very loving. I especially have to do this now with our new big dog behind us who barks all the time. Riki cannot go out there and bark. We just "talked" about that. He was down there barking...and Riki and I were up on the patio looking at him but calm.

I hope you can come to the October 18 fun day for SCHC and we can all meet. Your dog is adorable. I know you are a wonderful owner and will enjoy the many benefits of these dear dogs as I have. Lexie is so adorable!

Puppyhood goes by so fast! We didn't have Daisy altered until she was seven months. I had no idea she would have her first cycle so incredibly young. Now the boy dogs leave her alone...something she hated when she was little. We used to go to a class of all havanese, and some of the boys were not altered. She didn't like the attention at all!

I didn't just get havanese, I got a lifestyle!
Linda
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the "more alpha" advice for the SA. We've actually been working on "demoting" Lexi - no sitting on the couch with us, no toys without sitting or downing, she has to sit down before going outside, etc... basically just establishing myself as the alpha.

But according to our trainer there are some dogs who become "shadows" to the alpha dog, and he thinks that is our problem. She pretty much follows me around and waits for me to plan her day, what she plays with and when, and doesn't know how to function when I am not there to tell her what to do. He said that she has such an eager-to-please personality that her life begins when I get home and gets put on hold when I leave until I get back. We're working on putting her in her safe room (bathroom with a baby gate where she stays if we leave the house for work/errands) while we are home and throwing the occassional treat in... she isn't even interested in the treats, she just wants to be out of the room. It doesn't matter if it is 5 minutes or 1 hour, she cries, whines, throws herself against the gate and tries to chew her way out. It's not the room either, because she will go in and out freely during the day when we are home. I know it's a matter of time and discipline but it's a long road!

Thanks again for any and all advice!

~Gianna

"All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is contained in the dog."- Kafka
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LexisMom View Post
We're working on putting her in her safe room (bathroom with a baby gate where she stays if we leave the house for work/errands) while we are home and throwing the occassional treat in... she isn't even interested in the treats, she just wants to be out of the room. It doesn't matter if it is 5 minutes or 1 hour, she cries, whines, throws herself against the gate and tries to chew her way out. It's not the room either, because she will go in and out freely during the day when we are home. I know it's a matter of time and discipline but it's a long road!

Thanks again for any and all advice!
We tried that too, we have 3 gates for sale! Scooter just doesn't like to be without us. He seems to do better if he's in his crate when someone isn't around, I guess he feels safe in there. We tried putting him in the laundry room and he learned to jump even the highest gate we have. I wish you good luck with training, it's heartbreaking when they're whining for you and you can't go to them.

Ann-Scooter, Murphy, & Gracie's Mom
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 02:45 PM
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MacGyver's like Scooter - his crate is fine for sleeping or when we go out, but no good if anyone's home and about -- he has to be with us(or at least know he can). We take him to day care regularly to play with other dogs, which he loves, and which gives us a chance to get out, run errands, etc. He boards at the same place, so he plays all day with his buddies, then spends the night. He's always excited when he gets there, and the staff is wonderful.

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