Havanese Forum banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

Registered
Joined
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear all,

We are planning to get a Bichon Havanese (we were considering poodle but we fall in love with Havaneses)

However, as a working couple, we have concerns about leaving the puppy alone.
Our plan is to take turns staying at home so that the puppy is never left alone.
Despite this, we would appreciate any recommendations on how to train the puppy to stay alone for short periods of time.
We do not plan on leaving the puppy alone for extended periods, but it is possible that we may need to be away for a few hours at times.

How do you manage similar situations?

I would greatly appreciate your guidance on how to deal with separation anxiety.

Thank you 馃檹馃徑馃檹馃徑
 

Metrowest, MA
Joined
33,080 Posts
Dear all,

We are planning to get a Bichon Havanese (we were considering poodle but we fall in love with Havaneses)

However, as a working couple, we have concerns about leaving the puppy alone.
Our plan is to take turns staying at home so that the puppy is never left alone.
Despite this, we would appreciate any recommendations on how to train the puppy to stay alone for short periods of time.
We do not plan on leaving the puppy alone for extended periods, but it is possible that we may need to be away for a few hours at times.

How do you manage similar situations?

I would greatly appreciate your guidance on how to deal with separation anxiety.

Thank you 馃檹馃徑馃檹馃徑
All dogs should get used to being alone for short periods of time. We all need to go out shopping, to the movies or out to dinner!

You start, when the puppy is quite young, leaving the puppy for just a couple of minutes, while you leave the house to get the mail. Then slightly longer, then again, the short time to get the mail. Keep "ping-ponging" the time, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. Don't continuously make it longer each time, or you will discourage the pup! Make sure that when you leave and return, you do it in a calm, neutral way. Do not make a fuss about your coming or going. Just a quick, quiet pat on the head, and "we'll be back soon!". When you return, put down your keys, put your coat away, and then when the puppy is quiet, greet him QUIETLY. DO NOT get him over excited with your greeting!

Make sure you leave your puppy in a safe place where he can't get into trouble. I think your flag is Denmark? I know some European countries do not allow crating. In the US, many people "crate train" their dogs and leave them in a crate when they are out of the house. I prefer an exercise pen, which gives the puppy a bit more room, and can include a potty, if you are indoor potty training, as well as a water dish and a few toys. Other people gate the puppy in a small room, like a bathroom, where there is not much for the puppy to get in trouble with. But be aware that small bored puppies can chew on woodwork! This is the pen that has served us through three Havanese puppies!!!

Interior design Flooring Wood Floor Carnivore
 

Registered
Joined
2 Posts
Hi Monti! I am a new dog mom. Randall and I have been together for 11 weeks (he's now 5 months old). My advice: start small. I would put Randall in his crate and leave the room (or go outside your home) for 2 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 7 minutes, gradually increasing the time. About 5 days after he came home, I had to go to the grocery store. He managed perfectly well for about 40 minutes. Last week, I had to go into the office (I work from home) and he was just fine for about 5 hours in his crate. He actually looked a little annoyed that I disturbed his nap when I walked into the house :) .
Good luck!
 

Owned by a Havallon
Joined
3,995 Posts
Dear @krandall @Laura L.

Thank you for your valuable comments. I appreciate them very much.
Regarding separation anxiety, would having two dogs or a cat instead of one potentially help alleviate it?
Separation anxiety is related to dog being separated from its owner. A second dog is not the answer. In fact, that can backfire and you may wind up with two anxious dogs. There are many good reasons to get a second dog but curing separation anxiety is not one of them.


In addition to the great advice given by @krandall, it is my opinion that there are limits to how long a dog bred to be a companion can be left alone without some sort of psychological suffering. Whether this turns into true separation anxiety may differ depending on the dog. I never leave mine longer than 4 hours and that is not very often. This is my personal comfort level which may be different for others. You might consider a dog sitter should you need to leave them for longer periods.
 

Premium Member
Joined
3,844 Posts
From ShamaPapa:

Also, while training being alone, vary your departure routine so the puppy cannot learn that specific behaviors indicate you are about to leave. For example, when you leave the first time put your shoes on, then get your keys, then jacket, then plunk the puppy in their pen, then leave. The next time get your keys, plunk the puppy, put on your shoes, grab your jacket then leave, The next time change the order again. They are very smart and will quickly learn your habits. This helped us train Her Royal Highness, and now at age 7, she heads to her pen the moment she even thinks we might be leaving (even if I am just picking up a jacket to hang it in the closet!).

It can also help to vary your return home routine as well. Shama, at first, would howl for attention when I would get home. I started varying my routine and after just a couple of weeks she learned that if she was just patient Papa would come and greet her, take her out, and play.
 

Metrowest, MA
Joined
33,080 Posts
Separation anxiety is related to dog being separated from its owner. A second dog is not the answer. In fact, that can backfire and you may wind up with two anxious dogs. There are many good reasons to get a second dog but curing separation anxiety is not one of them.


In addition to the great advice given by @krandall, it is my opinion that there are limits to how long a dog bred to be a companion can be left alone without some sort of psychological suffering. Whether this turns into true separation anxiety may differ depending on the dog. I never leave mine longer than 4 hours and that is not very often. This is my personal comfort level which may be different for others. You might consider a dog sitter should you need to leave them for longer periods.

Good stuff in this post. I agree completely that two dogs is not the answer. I also think that assuming that your dog "might" have separation anxiety is a mistake. separation anxiety, while real, is not common. It is a DISORDER. Proper training (such as I laid out) prevents it. A dog who is going to have the DISORDER, is going to have it one way or another, and proper training OR another dog probably is not going to solve the problem, though the training might help, where another dog will not.

I also agree that there are limits on how long a companion dog should be left alone. I would not put a hard and fast limit of 4 hours on it, BUT there are some caveats on that. First, my dogs are litter box trained. So they have an appropriate place to potty in the house. Second, I leave them for longer periods of time EXTREMELY infrequently, and usually only in an emergency. BUT, they have survived quite nicely when it has been necessary, with access to water, their potty box, and a few toys, for up to 10-12 hours. (when my husband was in the hospital with a heart attack) As MPM suggested, if I need to be out of the house for longer than 4 hours, and I know about it ahead of time, I will arrange for someone to come in and let them out and visit with them once or twice during the day, depending on how long I will be gone.
 

Registered
Joined
346 Posts
One thing that I want to note too is that i often see online (not this forum) that people will not leave if their new dog makes any sort of bark or protest. Like they think they must have silence then chain together 5, 10 , 20 seconds of silence and if their dog makes a peep they must rush back.

If i did that, i鈥檇 probably have been a prisoner in my home for months. Puppy Piper would bark when i left but stop within minutes and lay down to nap. The internet would say that is separation anxiety, but i viewed as more of a tantrum/protest. I had a pet cam and by the time the elevator got down to the lobby and i exited my building i would check the cam and she would have already given up and be snoozing.

If she had carried on for hours, then that would be a real separation issue. If youve ever seen videos of dogs with this disorder they are panting, pacing, barking/yowling for hours on end, peeing/defecating, being destructive, chewing up walls! It is a serious thing.

My puppy barking her heart out for 2-3 minutes then flopping over in her bed to sleep was NOT that. So what I mean to say is dont get discouraged or put off by some protest noise. The pet cam assured me that my pup quickly would calm down and self-settle as she was getting used to me leaving sometimes. If your dog has an actual issue, they are unable to self-soothe.
 

Metrowest, MA
Joined
33,080 Posts
One thing that I want to note too is that i often see online (not this forum) that people will not leave if their new dog makes any sort of bark or protest. Like they think they must have silence then chain together 5, 10 , 20 seconds of silence and if their dog makes a peep they must rush back.

If i did that, i鈥檇 probably have been a prisoner in my home for months. Puppy Piper would bark when i left but stop within minutes and lay down to nap. The internet would say that is separation anxiety, but i viewed as more of a tantrum/protest. I had a pet cam and by the time the elevator got down to the lobby and i exited my building i would check the cam and she would have already given up and be snoozing.

If she had carried on for hours, then that would be a real separation issue. If youve ever seen videos of dogs with this disorder they are panting, pacing, barking/yowling for hours on end, peeing/defecating, being destructive, chewing up walls! It is a serious thing.

My puppy barking her heart out for 2-3 minutes then flopping over in her bed to sleep was NOT that. So what I mean to say is dont get discouraged or put off by some protest noise. The pet cam assured me that my pup quickly would calm down and self-settle as she was getting used to me leaving sometimes. If your dog has an actual issue, they are unable to self-soothe.
REALLY excellent point!!! 鉂
 

Registered
Joined
176 Posts
One thing that I want to note too is that i often see online (not this forum) that people will not leave if their new dog makes any sort of bark or protest. Like they think they must have silence then chain together 5, 10 , 20 seconds of silence and if their dog makes a peep they must rush back.

If i did that, i鈥檇 probably have been a prisoner in my home for months. Puppy Piper would bark when i left but stop within minutes and lay down to nap. The internet would say that is separation anxiety, but i viewed as more of a tantrum/protest. I had a pet cam and by the time the elevator got down to the lobby and i exited my building i would check the cam and she would have already given up and be snoozing.

If she had carried on for hours, then that would be a real separation issue. If youve ever seen videos of dogs with this disorder they are panting, pacing, barking/yowling for hours on end, peeing/defecating, being destructive, chewing up walls! It is a serious thing.

My puppy barking her heart out for 2-3 minutes then flopping over in her bed to sleep was NOT that. So what I mean to say is dont get discouraged or put off by some protest noise. The pet cam assured me that my pup quickly would calm down and self-settle as she was getting used to me leaving sometimes. If your dog has an actual issue, they are unable to self-soothe.
I鈥檇 like to add setting up a 鈥減uppy cam鈥 is as simple as buying one (or more) cameras that simply plug in. We use the Amazon Blink Mini, and they are very reasonably priced at around $35/camera. Put the app on your phone and you鈥檙e good to go. https://a.co/d/5xMvjLE
 

Premium Member
Joined
124 Posts
Dear all,

We are planning to get a Bichon Havanese (we were considering poodle but we fall in love with Havaneses)

However, as a working couple, we have concerns about leaving the puppy alone.
Our plan is to take turns staying at home so that the puppy is never left alone.
Despite this, we would appreciate any recommendations on how to train the puppy to stay alone for short periods of time.
We do not plan on leaving the puppy alone for extended periods, but it is possible that we may need to be away for a few hours at times.

How do you manage similar situations?

I would greatly appreciate your guidance on how to deal with separation anxiety.

Thank you 馃檹馃徑馃檹馃徑

I am pretty much always home but have crated and left our now 11 year old Havanese for 3 to 5 hours at a time. I think it is a good idea to crate train your Havanese and occasionally leave them for up to 3 hours. Life happens. Sometimes your medicals run longer then you anticipate or you are going some where your dog is not allowed.
 

Registered
Joined
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for your helpful messages. 馃檹馃檹馃檹

From what I understand, separation anxiety may not be a significant problem for all Havanese dogs, but it could be an issue for some.
However, with proper training, it is possible to address and fix this behavior. I am relieved to hear this.

I have already purchased a camera and plan to use an exercise pen or crate. As a first-time owner, I am feeling a bit anxious, but I hope that we can manage it well. :)
 

Owned by a Havallon
Joined
3,995 Posts
Thank you all for your helpful messages. 馃檹馃檹馃檹

From what I understand, separation anxiety may not be a significant problem for all Havanese dogs, but it could be an issue for some.
However, with proper training, it is possible to address and fix this behavior. I am relieved to hear this.

I have already purchased a camera and plan to use an exercise pen or crate. As a first-time owner, I am feeling a bit anxious, but I hope that we can manage it well. :)
I would definitely recommend indoor potty training. I didn't and it is one of my big regrets (along with an entire laundry list). I was a first time dog owner and never heard of indoor potty training! It would not change how long I leave them, however I could leave them longer in an emergency and have peace of mind. There are other things like horrid weather where it would be nice. Although I have to say mine are troopers and have pottied outside in every type of horrid weather you can imagine. I think mom hated it more than they did!
 

Metrowest, MA
Joined
33,080 Posts
Thank you all for your helpful messages. 馃檹馃檹馃檹

From what I understand, separation anxiety may not be a significant problem for all Havanese dogs, but it could be an issue for some.
However, with proper training, it is possible to address and fix this behavior. I am relieved to hear this.

I have already purchased a camera and plan to use an exercise pen or crate. As a first-time owner, I am feeling a bit anxious, but I hope that we can manage it well. :)
I think it is more accurate to say that most "separation anxiety" problems in Havanese are caused by poor management of the owners, and is not part of the breed at all! ;) Raise them correctly, and there will not be anything to fix!

The BEST thing you can do is to take deep breaths and try NOT to be anxious, because your anxiety, can definitely rub off on your dog.
 

Metrowest, MA
Joined
33,080 Posts
I would definitely recommend indoor potty training. I didn't and it is one of my big regrets (along with an entire laundry list). I was a first time dog owner and never heard of indoor potty training! It would not change how long I leave them, however I could leave them longer in an emergency and have peace of mind. There are other things like horrid weather where it would be nice. Although I have to say mine are troopers and have pottied outside in every type of horrid weather you can imagine. I think mom hated it more than they did!
I agree. Mine potty outside most of the time. But when the deck is covered with snow over their heads, I can tell them "go use your box!" until we get it shoveled off in the morning!!!
 

Registered
Joined
39 Posts
Thank you all for your helpful messages. 馃檹馃檹馃檹

From what I understand, separation anxiety may not be a significant problem for all Havanese dogs, but it could be an issue for some.
However, with proper training, it is possible to address and fix this behavior. I am relieved to hear this.

I have already purchased a camera and plan to use an exercise pen or crate. As a first-time owner, I am feeling a bit anxious, but I hope that we can manage it well. :)
We are 鈥渘ew鈥 Havanese parents. Had a Scottie before. Have had Beny for 22 days. Our breeder trained the litter to use pads in the pen and also took them outside. Coincidentally that is how we trained our Scottie. He was never crated, but like Karen we used the pen to keep him safe until he was old enough to have the run of the house.

Beny has been really easy. He consistently has used the pad inside the pen and now has begun to alert us when he needs to go out. I keep water in the pen at all times and feed him there as well.

From the first night we brought him home Beny has slept in his pen and has not disturbed our sleep at all. He is very polite and waits until daybreak to make any noise. The pen is in the family room where we spend a lot of time. The first week my husband and I took turns each night sleeping on the couch so that he could sense we were nearby. We stopped doing that when it became obvious that he did not need us by his side.

We use 2 plastic pens put together. So he has a relatively large area. When he is awake, we do spend a lot of time playing and running with him in our fenced yard, several times a day. He has an abundance of energy and NEVER tires of running. I bought a flirt pole, something I had not heard about before discovering it on Amazon. He LOVES it and I even use it indoors when it looks like he needs to play. He reminds me of my son when he was little and would tell me he couldn鈥檛 go to sleep because he had to play!

Throughout the day, we disappear from his sight and spend good chunks of time in other parts of the house. At times he will whimper a little if neither one of us is within sight, but quickly settles down. He has not been left alone in the house yet, but I do not believe that he will be terribly stressed out when both of us have to be gone.

i am sharing our routine, because like you, I had read about the separation anxiety and was a little apprehensive. However, thus far we have not experienced any hints of it. His breeder socialized the pups well and gave them a lot of love. I am sure her handling went a long way in helping him turn into a well adjusted puppy.

I am a firm believer that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners and it is possible to turn around badly treated dogs by giving them love and respect. So get ready for a wonderful bonding experience with a great breed. We are loving every minute of our lives with Beny.
 

Registered
Joined
179 Posts
I agree with all that was said, but I also want to mention that when you have a puppy remember to manage your expectations! Enzo was unhappy being left alone and would cry the entire time when he was little, though we follwoed the above steps, and it felt a bit frustrating for a while. I did my best to be with him as often as possible but included short breaks during the day. It wasnt perfect and I definitely made mistakes, but I can safely say now that Enzo hss not developed separation anxiety! With due diligence and allowance for Enzo to mature and age, he's gotten much more comfortable being left alone at home and is happy to just chill in his crate or free roam (in a puppy proof area), so long as he has been exercised and let out to potty.
 

Metrowest, MA
Joined
33,080 Posts
I agree with all that was said, but I also want to mention that when you have a puppy remember to manage your expectations! Enzo was unhappy being left alone and would cry the entire time when he was little, though we follwoed the above steps, and it felt a bit frustrating for a while. I did my best to be with him as often as possible but included short breaks during the day. It wasnt perfect and I definitely made mistakes, but I can safely say now that Enzo hss not developed separation anxiety! With due diligence and allowance for Enzo to mature and age, he's gotten much more comfortable being left alone at home and is happy to just chill in his crate or free roam (in a puppy proof area), so long as he has been exercised and let out to potty.
Good points that both you and Notamuggle made! That not every puppy is totally quiet and compliant about being left alone at first. That does NOT mean that they have "Separation Anxiety". It means that you may need to go a little slower than with a puppy that is taking it completely in their stride, but it doesn't mean you should give in. Just keep on keeping on as long as the puppy is just vocalizing and does not seem REALLY upset. Things will improve with age and practice!
 

Registered
Joined
191 Posts
This forum introduced me to the use of an x-pen instead of a crate and I'm so happy with that set-up! I did it with my first Havanese puppy and set it up in the living room. I could put him in there with his bed, water, potty pad and a few toys and let him get used to it while I was home. He quickly learned that I was just going about my business (household chores, cooking etc) and he was just fine in the pen. If he whined and wanted to get out, I did not go to rescue him. I always stayed calm and tried to give him the idea that this was just normal everyday life and no worries. If I disappeared into another room or went out to get the mail it was random and for varying times and he quickly learned I would be back at some point to take him out. He's now 14 months old and doesn't really need it anymore but he likes his "room" so I keep it with the gate open. I recently got another new addition of an older puppy (7 months) and added a 2nd x-pen for him and it's been very helpful. I really don't need two pens set up though and will eventually take one down.
 

Owned by a Havallon
Joined
3,995 Posts
I think the x pen setup is a great idea, however I also feel it is important for dogs to learn to like being in a crate. You never know when they may need to be crated...either at the vet or if they are injured and must be confined. Anyway, I just want to throw this out there because I feel this is important and is NOT punishment for a dog. My dogs love their crates and lounge there happily on their own free will.
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top