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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello dear Havanese people!

I am now one of you :)
We got our havanese pup 5 days ago. She is a beautiful 4,5 months old girl named Anna. My husband had to work and I spent a little more time with her in the first few days. That was enough for her to get very clingy with me.

She follows me everywhere and is unfortunately really shy with my husband. I think it was day 2 when she was already attached to me.

After realizing we made the decision that my husband is the only one who feeds him and gives him water. Brings her treats after coming home. Takes him out to potty more than me. Talks to her gently and tries to play with her really gently. But our puppy is still clinging to me. She prefers ME to do EVERYTHING.

She listens to me when we I say “lets go out!” out or when I call her “come here!”. But she does not listen to my husband. She really wants to play with me, but when he joins, she gets a little scared and shy and tries to hide behind me.

We started to teach her the command “Sit” and she listens to me quite well, yet when my husband tries the same thing, she appears to be uninterested. I am starting to get a little worried.

I read somewhere that it is possible to unknowingly encourage this behavior so I started ignoring her totally exept when she does something right. There have been some moments when it seems that she forgets that she is a bit scared of him, that is promising, right?

I am wondering if I can do anything else? I am not happy that she is so clingy, I haven’t been really able to do anything last few days. I want her to be more OUR dog. I don’t want her to cry when I go to the toilet and my husband stays with her in the livingroom.

Maybe she hasn’t met men so much in her short lifetime? My partner is quite heavy and tall (yet quiet and gentle by nature) maybe his size is a bit frightening? I am pretty sure he hasn’t done anything scary or too sudden, exept for maybe coughing.

Another thing is that I work from home. Although my partner also mostly works from home, I have had the chance to spend more time with Anna alone. Maybe I should leave the house for a day and let them settle their relationship on their own?

Or maybe just continue everything we do now and give it more time?

Since we are novice dog owners we really appreciate any kind of advice! :)))



All the best

mom of Anna Haava
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Anna is only a very young puppy, has just left the only family she has ever known, and thrust into a completely new life. I would NOT suggest that you ignore her at this point! She needs comforting! At the same time, it is a GREAT idea for your husband to continue to feed her and take care of her as much as possible. And the idea of you leaving the house for a few hours here and there and giving them some “alone time is not a bad idea either, though I wouldn’t rush that.

I loved the photo of your husband lying on the floor with her nearby. If his size is worrying, him JUST doing that, and pretty much ignoring her… just letting HER make the “first moves” is PERFECT!

Another thing he can do is have yummy treats in his pocket. He should NOT try to coax or “train” her. But any time she is near him, the treats should just “miraculously” fall out of his pockets near him on the floor. He should not say ANYTHING when he does this. What you you are doing is building a “conditioned emotional response” or CER. This is NOT “training” in the traditional sense. This is rewiring the brain so that the mere presence of your husband causes her brain to fire “pleasure”. It’s like a dog getting excited when they hear the refrigerator door open, or see someone pick up a beloved ball. Eventually that “feeling” will happen, whether there is food involved or not!

But mostly, what you are seeing right now, is a little lost soul, who has lost her entire family, and has glommed onto YOU as her life preserver. She needs to feel safe before she can start experimenting with swimming!

All that said, do NOT be surprised if she does have a ”favorite” eventually. …and it might not be you in the long run! You can’t tell yet! Havanese tend to love and get along with all family members, but it is also very common for them to have a “favorite”. In our household, Kodi tends to “use” my husband and me pretty equally for what he wants. LOL! I don’t think he has a strong favorite, though maybe SLIGHTLY me, because we have trained together so much.

Pixel, is the “Daddy dog” and is ON him, from the moment he walks in the house. She ADORES him!!! I am DEFINITELY “second string”… OK for providing for her needs, Good for a cuddle if he’s not home, but ALWAYS second choice.

Panda is TOTALLY “my girl”. She sleeps by my feet all day while I work on the computer, sleeps against my side at night, and we raised puppies together! We are bonded in a VERY special way!

Ducky is still a puppy. He loves EVERYBODY!!! I think he’s too young to have developed a strong favorite, but I also think that boys DO tend to be a little more “equal opportunity lovers”. LOL!
 

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When we first brought 10-week-old Piper home and sat in her ex-pen with her, she crawled into my lap and was nervous to approach my SO. I was the one who sat with her the 8 hour ride home in the back and tended to her, and he was the strange 6ft deep voiced guy who drove the car who she didn't even see lol.

Two days later:



That reminded me of the picture of your husband laying on the floor. I think getting down on her level and playing with her is great. Just lay there and let her approach =)

I don't think it's unusual to have a "favorite" but your baby just needs adjustment time. It's great that your husband is taking on feeding and other duties - that should help! Maybe once in awhile he should give her a small treat too for no reason in particular.

My puppy is now 9 months old and has a great relationship with both me and my SO. She is more attached to me, there's no denying that. I am the one she will follow room-to-room. When I leave the house she will whimper a bit before relaxing. When my SO leaves she barely raises her head. When we get home from a movie she happily runs back and forth between us but after two seconds jumps in my lap and showers me with kisses and stays put there.

He's a good sport about it and they have their own thing anyway. When his alarm goes off in the morning she TEARS her way to the bedroom and goes nuts until he gets on the ground so she can jump all over him and kiss him. We call it their "Morning Ritual" lol. She only wants to play tug with him and reserves her ridiculous tug of war play growl for when they play. When she's unsure of something she'll run to either one of us. When we play hide and seek and I say "wait - where's-" she does twirls and jumps around and gets so excited and before i can even finish and saying "wheres daddy?!" she's off sprinting around the house and checking the "usual" hiding spots to find him.

So overall I'm the one she velcros to, she's most definitely most attached to her mommy, but we BOTH have developed our own special dynamics with her over time. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anna is only a very young puppy, has just left the only family she has ever known, and thrust into a completely new life. I would NOT suggest that you ignore her at this point! She needs comforting! At the same time, it is a GREAT idea for your husband to continue to feed her and take care of her as much as possible. And the idea of you leaving the house for a few hours here and there and giving them some “alone time is not a bad idea either, though I wouldn’t rush that.

I loved the photo of your husband lying on the floor with her nearby. If his size is worrying, him JUST doing that, and pretty much ignoring her… just letting HER make the “first moves” is PERFECT!

Another thing he can do is have yummy treats in his pocket. He should NOT try to coax or “train” her. But any time she is near him, the treats should just “miraculously” fall out of his pockets near him on the floor. He should not say ANYTHING when he does this. What you you are doing is building a “conditioned emotional response” or CER. This is NOT “training” in the traditional sense. This is rewiring the brain so that the mere presence of your husband causes her brain to fire “pleasure”. It’s like a dog getting excited when they hear the refrigerator door open, or see someone pick up a beloved ball. Eventually that “feeling” will happen, whether there is food involved or not!

But mostly, what you are seeing right now, is a little lost soul, who has lost her entire family, and has glommed onto YOU as her life preserver. She needs to feel safe before she can start experimenting with swimming!

All that said, do NOT be surprised if she does have a ”favorite” eventually. …and it might not be you in the long run! You can’t tell yet! Havanese tend to love and get along with all family members, but it is also very common for them to have a “favorite”. In our household, Kodi tends to “use” my husband and me pretty equally for what he wants. LOL! I don’t think he has a strong favorite, though maybe SLIGHTLY me, because we have trained together so much.

Pixel, is the “Daddy dog” and is ON him, from the moment he walks in the house. She ADORES him!!! I am DEFINITELY “second string”… OK for providing for her needs, Good for a cuddle if he’s not home, but ALWAYS second choice.

Panda is TOTALLY “my girl”. She sleeps by my feet all day while I work on the computer, sleeps against my side at night, and we raised puppies together! We are bonded in a VERY special way!

Ducky is still a puppy. He loves EVERYBODY!!! I think he’s too young to have developed a strong favorite, but I also think that boys DO tend to be a little more “equal opportunity lovers”. LOL!


Thank you so much for your thorough response!

I feel so supported now 🥰 Your words really broadened my perspective. Doing it first time can be a little confusing, even though Havanese is considered an easy breed and I have read a bunch of stuff about them, we still have more questions than answers every day 🙂 Hope we’ll get better at it as we go.

Yummy treats in his pocket is a nice one. Will try this one out! And I am happy to hear that there is no need for me to ignore her, she is soooo darn cute, it was quite difficult for me. 🐶 Definately will take your advice. Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When we first brought 10-week-old Piper home and sat in her ex-pen with her, she crawled into my lap and was nervous to approach my SO. I was the one who sat with her the 8 hour ride home in the back and tended to her, and he was the strange 6ft deep voiced guy who drove the car who she didn't even see lol.

Two days later:



That reminded me of the picture of your husband laying on the floor. I think getting down on her level and playing with her is great. Just lay there and let her approach =)

I don't think it's unusual to have a "favorite" but your baby just needs adjustment time. It's great that your husband is taking on feeding and other duties - that should help! Maybe once in awhile he should give her a small treat too for no reason in particular.

My puppy is now 9 months old and has a great relationship with both me and my SO. She is more attached to me, there's no denying that. I am the one she will follow room-to-room. When I leave the house she will whimper a bit before relaxing. When my SO leaves she barely raises her head. When we get home from a movie she happily runs back and forth between us but after two seconds jumps in my lap and showers me with kisses and stays put there.

He's a good sport about it and they have their own thing anyway. When his alarm goes off in the morning she TEARS her way to the bedroom and goes nuts until he gets on the ground so she can jump all over him and kiss him. We call it their "Morning Ritual" lol. She only wants to play tug with him and reserves her ridiculous tug of war play growl for when they play. When she's unsure of something she'll run to either one of us. When we play hide and seek and I say "wait - where's-" she does twirls and jumps around and gets so excited and before i can even finish and saying "wheres daddy?!" she's off sprinting around the house and checking the "usual" hiding spots to find him.

So overall I'm the one she velcros to, she's most definitely most attached to her mommy, but we BOTH have developed our own special dynamics with her over time. =)



Piper is soo cuuute! 😍 Such a beautiful color. Watching this video makes you want to be in his skin and getting all this puppy kisses from Piper.

Thank you so much for sharing! This is very encouraging to read and we know now better what to expect.
 

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Great advice:) Hope she’s settling in a little more. Even though I knew I’d be the one taking care of our puppy, we really bought him for our son, and never would have considered a dog at all if he hadn’t asked every single day for YEARS! At first he was disappointed that our puppy naturally bonded with me first because I was home with him all of the time and taking care of him. We made a point to encourage the relationship between DS and Sundance. They did training together, DS fed him, etc. All of this helped, but they also have their own personalities and ideas. You can encourage and grow relationships with other people, but not by reducing the relationship with you. Set her up for success by creating those opportunities with your husband, but it’s also okay for their relationship to be slightly different, she’s still “shared.” We joke that Sundance became “mine,” but really he has a special relationship with each family member. Everyone has their own “thing” that they have with Sundance, such as playtime with DH, walks with DD, and lots of snacks and treats with DS. At the end of the day he is happiest when we’re all in the same room together!

If you’re working from home, definitely make sure you prioritize leaving her alone periodically and taking time away from the house while your husband is home. Taking a day for your husband to spend with her is great, but there’s a point where there’s less return on the time investment, because the difference between a few of hours and the whole day doesn’t make a huge difference. Frequency does make a difference, though, more than length of time. If there is some way you can carve out some time for yourself as part of your routine, every day or every other day, it will work better to help her practice staying home alone. As far as time alone with your husband, a couple of evenings a week will be more effective than an entire day. Go for a run or to the gym, go out for coffee, run errands, whatever works for you and makes you happy :)
 

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Also, I don’t know if the age is typical for puppies where you are, but 4 1/2 months seems a little bit older to bring home a puppy. It makes sense she might need a little time to settle in, depending on her life before, and how settled she was. She’s still young enough to benefit from all of your efforts.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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At the end of the day he is happiest when we’re all in the same room together!
I think this is a VERY common "Havanese thing" They LOVE having their family "all together". I think ours are happiest when we ALL snuggle in the bed for a while at night before it's time to go to sleep!!! 💕
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Also, I don’t know if the age is typical for puppies where you are, but 4 1/2 months seems a little bit older to bring home a puppy. It makes sense she might need a little time to settle in, depending on her life before, and how settled she was. She’s still young enough to benefit from all of your efforts.
That's true. I didn't catch the age, but she IS a little older than most puppies are when they go to their new homes, and this can make the transition wee bit harder in some cases too.
 
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