Join Date: May 2014
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Fearful of Strangers!
Albert has been doing great overall! Potty training is coming along, feeding routine is getting more consistent, and he has mastered "sit" in just the first week with us! We live in an apartment in an urban area so he sees people every time we go downstairs to pee, either outside or on the stairs. It's unavoidable. When a stranger walks by he always perks up and is curious and interested. He does best when they ignore him. But when anyone makes eye contact or talks to him, he growls and hides under my feet. A few times people have reached out to try to touch him and he has snapped at them. No bueno. I understand that he is way out of his comfort zone with this and until we are able to increase his confidence in a controlled safe environment, it is my job to protect him from potentially negative experiences with other people.
I am hoping to get a friend to come into the apartment to do some desensitizing and counter-conditioning with him, but in the meantime how do I best protect him when he has to go out to potty - up to 10 times a day? I generally tell people that he is very shy, but they can't help but look at him. I'd like to make outside time a positive experience, even with all the people out and about. I don't want to continually reinforce a scary time with strangers.
Has anyone else experienced this? Is it common in Havanese? At what point do I consider consulting a behaviorist? He's only been with us for less than a week, am I being a neurotic first time puppy parent? Could it potentially resolve itself?
Are there any specific fearful puppy protocols that you have used successfully with your Havanese?
Karta and Albert, 10 weeks old! Been with us for one week.