BISCUIT'S OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOR~HELP! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
Biscuit's mom
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We are having 2 problems with Biscuit in relation to Heath:

ONE: Biscuit wants to play-fight and takes Heath's toys away much of the time. He will not RLH with him or play normally. They do lie down together and chew things after they get worn out from all that biting.

If I send them out in the yard to play on a gorgeous day like today, Biscuit will just keep wrestling with Heath on the steps and not even venture out into the yard to play in the grass . I throw them balls and Biscuit cannot be distracted even to chase them! And Biscuit growls the entire time he is doing this, which is so annoying. He does this when he plays at the dogsitter's too.

This does not allow Heath to play normally and explore (as we saw him do at Tahoe when we had him alone). Heath is such a happy puppy, always entertaining himself and trying to learn. I feel like this is stunting his development. And it is a real drag to keep separating them. We are saying NO to Biscuit too much, which is making him sad.

And all this chewing and biting has caused Biscuit to get major eye and muzzle staining, ugh, from that area being damp. How do we stop or diminish this behavior??

TWO: When I walk Biscuit and Heath, Biscuit now snarls,growls, and lunges at every dog that comes along ! I guess he now feels he has to protect Heath as well as me. Of course, Heath is imitating him! They are both out of control when another dog passes and it is so embarassing.
HELP~~how do I stop this? (Biscuit is fine off-leash with my husband or dog-sitter, but I don't let him off-leash. I have bad knees and am not fast enough to catch him if I needed to.)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

and HEATH-Y, TOO !

Last edited by Amy R.; 01-13-2009 at 10:19 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 10:46 PM
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It is hard at first...I remember we were always correcting Casper when he would play too rough with Missy. He didn't seem to get sad over getting corrected all the time. He has always been dominate over Missy, she has learned to just back off.

Can you take Heath some place for some alone play time? Missy always loved our get away alone time when it was just me and her going to a dog show. Or we would love to go to dog training just her and me.

Learning to walk two was really hard for me. I still like it better when my DH walks one and I walk the other. You really have to take control...Heath is so young, I might just walk them separate until Heath learns to walk good with just you.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 10:47 PM
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No advice from me, but I'll be watching to see what the experienced ones have to offer.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
Learning to walk two was really hard for me. I still like it better when my DH walks one and I walk the other. You really have to take control...Heath is so young, I might just walk them separate until Heath learns to walk good with just you.
Lynn, I agree. It's easiest to have two people walking two dogs, if you can swing it. Otherwise, I have my two, but on different kinds of leashes (Lincoln on a fixed - he will stop when I stop; Scout on a flexi so he doesn't kill himself). If I have a lot of time, I'll walk one, then the other.

Amy, I know it is difficult to separate them, but it sounds like for awhile, that might be better for both Heath and Biscuit. As Heath grows and settles down, the dynamic will change too.

I think it is wise to put limits on behavior that you don't want to see. We thought Lincoln and Scout would "work it out" more on their own, but now, I regret not intervening more, and earlier. We finally did later on, and I'm glad.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Sheri, for your support, and to Lynn and Jane, for your excellent suggestions.

I guess I will intervene more to stop these bad behaviors, and so that Heath can have some alone time with us. I guess I am so frustrated that I need to separate them, I just never imagined that that could be an issue when I got the puppy. We got him as company FOR Biscuit. Jeez. I really want to point this out to those of you who are contemplating a 2nd Hav. I don't regret it, we just adore Heath, but it's much more complicated than I anticipated.

(And I must say I have gotten nothing done since I got Heath~~it's already so time-consuming caring for two dogs.)

The interesting thing about the play-fighting-biting, is that Heath loves it and I feel it's teaching him a bad thing, right off the bat. He's a little pup, but he can hold his own. They seem equally dominant, and well-matched in that respect. But Heath is more easy-going, while Biscuit is more sensitive and soulful.

Re the walks, they actually walk very well together and I kind of enjoy walking two. It's like this little team of horses, so cute! Heath is very athletic and walks at a faster clip than B ! It is just when other dogs pass that B now suddenly freaks out and H follows suit. DH does take Biscuit out separately several times a week, which is good for him.

I guess in a few months things will be much better, but in the meantime I'll just have to step in more! Thanks again!

and HEATH-Y, TOO !

Last edited by Amy R.; 01-14-2009 at 02:06 AM.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 06:51 AM
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Oh, Amy, I'm sorry to hear you're having to re-train Biscuit as well. My guess would be he's asserting his alpha status, but what do I know? I haven't done this. My instinct would be to separate them if the playfighting gets too rough or too much, but I see your dilemma of that being counterproductive to why you got Heath in the first place! lol

Hopefully, it is a phase and it'll pass.

No doubt in my mind that this is far more work than we hear about on the forum! I learned that lesson when I dog-sat a few times. Egads. lol

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:00 AM
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Amy, I wish I had advice, but I only have one. I hope you get some great advice and that things get easier for you.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:39 AM
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Amy, I think a lot of it is getting used to watching the way dogs play with one another. The growling, biting, wrestling is all part of it. Lucy and Rico have wrestled since the day she arrived. They chase each other around the house, jumping and biting all the way. They LOVE IT!! Every now and then the older one gets aggravated and let's his displeasure be known, but Lucy hangs in there. Once I realized that Rico could recognize Lucy's size and held back on his play, I backed off and let them settle it themselves. If Rico wants my help, he jumps on my lap or begs me to pick him up. That's very rare. They have been together now for 3 months and all is well. She used to want to lay down next to him and sleep with him, but that's where he draws the line.

Give them a little freedom to be dogs. They have a lot of fur to protect them from the teeth. If they are hurt, they'll yip and let you know. Just let it happen. If they keep going back for more, it must be good. Biscuit will settle down as he gets older.

Regarding the walking: When a dog is on leash they feel very vulnerable. That's what makes them growl at other dogs...they feel they have no escape so they have to try their best to scare off any threats. I went through this with Lucy at training classes. It took her the full 6 weeks to get used to being on a leash around other dogs. Start an obedience class with Biscuit to get him used to being around other dogs. Walk them seperately until you are able to control him on the leash. I still have problems walkinig my two together. We go to the dog park just to walk on a leash and get used to it. Lucy still does not like other dogs coming up to her. She probably never will. But that's OK.

Rory aka Rico & Lucy's mom
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:57 AM
Jackie, Sophie's Mom
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Play fighting is normal. My Sophie loves it when my friend's bichipoo comes over. Even though Lucy is taller and heavier, and Sophie usually ends up on the bottom looking up, she loves it and goes back for more. My husband used to hate it when we would take care of Lucy because he got all nervous and upset when they would play fight. Try to remain calm and take your cues from Heath. If he is sick of the play and truly is trying to end the game and wants to be left alone, give him a place to go where he feels safe. You could leave his crate open or maybe his dog bed. These places would be out-of-bounds for Biscuit. If Biscuit tries to follow into Heath's crate or bed, a firm but calm "hey!" or "uh-uh" along with some body blocking should do the trick.

If Heath is like Sophie (a little instigator) and just keeps coming back for more, let them go. If one dog is too rough, the other dog will usually give a high pitched cry or bark to let them know. The offender will usually back off or try to make ammends (Sophie gives lickies). If the level of both dogs growling just keeps escalating, and the growls are sounding different then normal play growling, a loud noise (sharp voice sound or banging a pot, etc.) should distract them and you can separate them. Sometimes, it does go on too long and you just want some peace and quiet, so distracting them with sound and then getting them to focus on you through a toy or a treat will give you a breather.

As for walking with two... When we dogsit for Lucy, and I take the both of them for a walk, I first let them sniff and poop/pee as we go past our first three houses. If they haven't done it by then, I then prepare to get them into the "zone". I shorten both leashes, have one dog on either side and say "lets go". If they pull too much I say "uh-uh" and stop, make them sit and focus on me, then say "lets go" and start again. Sometimes it takes a block or block and a half for them to get into a good pace without too much pull. If they are doing really well together I will let the leash out so they can walk ahead of me beside eachother. However, Sophie (the instigator) will usually mess this up first, so then I go back to shortening the leash and putting them on either side of me.

Please remind me how old Heath is. Have either of them been to obedience training? My friend and I took Sophie and Lucy to the local Petsmart puppy/beginner classes. It's a great place to teach them leash manners along with how to walk by and greet other dogs.

Just remember to stay calm but be assertive and try not to get frustrated or nervous. Dogs will pick up on that, see it as weak energy and do their own thing (my husband tends to do this with Sophie). Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 08:13 AM
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The play fighting, biting is a normal part of their interaction. In the very beginning I worried constantly about Bailey getting hurt since he was so much smaller than Milo. Part of their routine at that time was the RLH, during which Milo would either sail over Bailey or occasionally land terrifyingly close to him. I feared an injury all the time.

To this day they play fight but I hardly even notice it any more. They're just being puppies and doing what they love to do.

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