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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My name is Kari and we have had our first Havanese puppy since the day before Thanksgiving. He is almost 17 weeks old and his name is Murphy. We love him dearly. He is a rather mellow dog but has some shyness issues we are trying to work out. Taking him to a puppy class with bigger dogs seems to have made things worse for him. We are going to try a small dog play group and see how things go.

Anyway, I wanted to say hello. :)
 

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Thanks! I've been trying to figure out how to upload a photo of my little guy so it appears to the left like everyone elses. What am I doing wrong? :confused:
 

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Welcome! I'm new, too. My little guy is only 9 weeks old, and has alot of the same colorings as yours. Good luck on the shyness issue. Maybe it's just his personality?
 

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Wow - he looks so much like my Lexi. I love the black & white ones. How are you all doing on potty training?? My almost 11 week old is pretty bad. He pees 3x per hour. So taking him out is great, till 20 minutes later.
 

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Welcome aboard Kari. Murphy is beautiful!!!!!!! You came to a great place with lots of information.

Best wishes.
 

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Thanks for the welcomes!

Potty training? We are using a bell now on the door. He uses it mostly to tell us he wants to play outside! He'll be 17 weeks tomorrow and we are doing pretty good but it's really because we take him out a lot.
 

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Goldie and Stogie
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Hi Kari welcome to the forum!
Murphy is very cute! The shyness could be his personality as mentioned above.

My Stogie is the same way. He wont go up to people, and with men its worse. But he is still sweet.

Glad you posted your photo, he is adorable.
 

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Amanda
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Welcome to the group! Puppy classes are a great way to help with shyness and socialize. With the shyness issues especially in puppy classes just make sure your dog has only good experiences with bigger dogs. My havanese is extremely social with other dogs, with people-we always have to work on that! I have a 4lb maltese and her first class they decided to let all the dogs offleash and trust them to socialize.. it doesnt work and it makes a little dog more fearful. Only let the dog be around other big dogs that are well socialized. I learned this before we added the havanese! Remember you are your puppy's advocate and if it doesn't feel right, say no!

Amanda
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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Hi Kari,

I believe we 'met' in the yahoo havanese list, but it's nice to see a pic of your Murphy. I also just joined here so hope to get to know more of you and your pets. :)

The puppy class we went to did too many things I didn't like so we only attended 3 out of 6 them. Stupid place... anyway, they also threw all the pups together in the middle of the room and we were told not to interfere, that they would settle things amongst themselves. The theory was that the 'weaker', smaller ones would always remain fearful if we scooped them up to "safety". Well, Ricky was no fool... he found me sitting on a chair and hid behind it looking out at all the fuss in the middle of the room! He didn't budge! LOL Man, there was a boxer there, 2 labs and a mixed Germ. Shepherd that were way too big for my Hav and 2 other wee pups there. I dunno..... didn't seem like a good idea at the time, but at least Ricky wasn't traumatized.

I try to get him out to see friends/family that have dogs so he can get used to them. The only one his size is a Jack Russell with whom he had a blast on Xmas day!! What a hoot to see them play - Davey is 2 and our Ricky was 5 mths. at the time. Others we know have huge dogs - Burmese Mtn., Choc. Lab and an English Setter, but Ricky actually enjoyed playing with the Eng. Setter on New Year's Day when we saw him, so that has also worked out nicely.

Good luck - great idea to get your pup used to all sizes and types of dogs, though it's hard if it's winter where you live. I know! :)
 

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Hi, Kari
Welcome to the group. You will find it very helpful. When I got Kodi, he was not sure what another dog was, which was strange coming from a litter of 8. So when he was old enough, I enrolled him in puppy classes to socialize him. It worked - by week 5 he was playing with all the puppies, big and small. He is not afraid of big dogs. Kodi is very mellow and he lkes other dogs that have the same temperment. If the other dog is overly friendly, he will shy away until he gets used to it.
 

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Puppy Classes

Well, now my guilty conscience is rearing its ugly head. Short history: we had 2 bichon frises for over 16 years. Our first bichon, a male, was very shy and we didn't do things right by him. We coddled and basically didn't expose him to things. So, we get our Havanese pup and I'm determined not to let this happen again. I'd like him to be a therapy dog!

Anyway, I bring him in to the vet for his first vet check once he is with us, and they strongly encourage us to get him into a class--before 14 weeks is really crucial they tell me. Looking around, we find one that fits our schedule and Murphy is the smallest and youngest one there. There is a 5 month old lab, for example. He's petrified and I didn't like having him play with all the dogs at the end of class. I just don't feel it's right but he recovers toward the end and with my past history, I am lead to believe that this is good for him, etc. I don't sleep at all that night because I can't get it out of my head how he responded to the big dogs, which were watched and stopped if they tried anything.

(Because of a time conflict with my youngest daughter's dance class, we can't all go to class.) My husband and oldest daughter take him the next few weeks. The trainer tries different things like not putting him down with the big dogs and staying after class to let him play with the lhasa which is the closest in size to him, but she can be aggressive. He's really not improving much week to week.

In the middle of all of this, we go on a vacation that we rarely do but it was planned months before we get our pup. He goes back to the breeder for the week and he learns to play with some littermates she's keeping. He's learned to play with dogs. Yeah! But, we bring him to class again after this and it's the same.

Long story short, he's gone 4 times to class and there are 2 left. I just brought him in to the vet for his last shots on Friday and discuss this with her. She happens to have Papillons and has 2 6 mos. pups with her at the clinic. She brings in one at a time to see how Murph responds. She observes him and while it took him some time, she said he displays good puppy behavior. Her suggestion is that I don't let him be in a situation with big dogs where he feels overwhelmed. I need to find smaller dogs for him to play with. She even offers her pups again if there is an open room at the clinic.

I knew this didn't feel right but my hubby said I was coddling him and that it will be OK. He wasn't improving much from week to week and this concerned me. Hubby is out of town this week and my daughters and I have decided not to bring him to class this week. I've found some small dog play group options I will pursue.

I feel really guilty about this. The vet assures me it isn't too late and I haven't traumatized him but I just don't know. He is a bit leery of people too. I had been holding back really exposing him to places until he was up to date on his shots. I want to hear that this isn't the end of the world and with dedication we can get things rolling in a positive way again. :(
 

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Yes, I'm sure Murphy is a more mellow dog in general than his littermates. We are surprised that he is as happy as can be munching on a flossie at night on our bed as we watch the news. When he's tired he crawls into his crate and sleeps all night.
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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Havlover, please try not to feel too guilty about this.

I know.... easier said than done! ;)

I had a bad experience with the puppy classes we took too, which is why we quit after 3 of them. Lost the money, but small price to pay for eliminating a huge stress in our lives! Poor Ricky even threw up on the way home from the last class as he was so tired and stressed!

I think that perhaps Murphy is sensing your fears, worries and guilt. They know when we aren't completely comfortable in a situation and if you aren't sure of being in a certain place, aren't comfy with him playing with bigger dogs, then he will no doubt sense that.You are right though, coddling and comforting only makes things worse!

Why are you thinking it's a bad idea for him to play with your vet's Papillons?

I think you are doing the right things and have the right attitude. I don't think it is too late for Murph to get used to other dogs. I feel guilty about not having a class or group to bring Ricky to and with winter here, we can't get out as much - it's not like the park is full of dogs in the middle of January! So, like you, I try my best and hope it's enough. Do you have friends or family that own dogs? I invited myself a couple of times to our friends' place just so Ricky could be in contact with her two beasts - a Burmese Mtn. and a Choc. Lab ! lol Of course, my friend is a huge dog lover and will do anything to help me with Ricky getting accustomed to dogs. :)

You know what we need? More small dog groups, play groups where we could meet and let the dogs play around! I also think it's important for our pups to meet bigger dogs and learn that they aren't all monsters just because of their size, but maybe with some pups, like Murphy, you just need to do it a little more gradually.

Hopefully those here that have way more experience than I do, will offer some sugg'ns. Good luck ! :)
 

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Amanda
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Don't feel guilty, you are his mommy and protector-that is your job! What others are trying to say is to socilaize the puppy. If you never expose your dog to certain situations they will be come shy of those. However if you expose them to bad situations- like a hyper lab jumping and hurting them, they will become fearful or reactive. Take the puppy to situations where you have control- the pet store, we have a mall that allows dogs, etc. Slowly! Find a good small dog play group.

It can be difficult to find good puppy classes. You may want to look for an AKC backed all breed training club. The club I am a member of tries to break down their classes by size. Although depending on the time that might not be exactly your dog size. Isabelle is 4lbs so it isn't very often that the dogs are her size-even standing next to my 10lb havanese, she is very small. Our instructors make sure to spend time with the dogs, read body languages, etc. before encouraging people to let their dogs play together, especially puppies!

Now that I have a lot of dog friend's from the club. Dora did grow up with a Bernese that she plays with just fine. Tempo/Flash are also therapy dogs that read with children-they are aware of their size and know appropriate behaviors with small dogs too. But I wouldn't allow Dora to play with a 6 month old lab puppy- no way! She also doesn't get to play with many of the herding breeds since they do their job when they are playing!

Amanda
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for your responses. In my rambling I must have given the wrong impression, Marj. :) I think it's wonderful our vet is offering to let Murphy play with her dogs and will take advantage of that. I'm bringing him to a small dog play group on Tuesday. I'll let you all know how that goes.
 

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Thanks for your responses. In my rambling I must have given the wrong impression, Marj. :) I think it's wonderful our vet is offering to let Murphy play with her dogs and will take advantage of that. I'm bringing him to a small dog play group on Tuesday. I'll let you all know how that goes.
Oh, o.k.! lol I was wondering ..... no problem! lol I'm anxious to hear how tomorrow goes!

Yup, I was so angry at the instructor at the classes we were going to, that I realized I was the one that didn't want Ricky there, maybe more than HE didn't want to be there!! Either way... good enough reason to quit going, we thought. I also asked hubby to go with me, so we could switch at the break halfway through class... but he wasn't comfortable there either.

I was SO keen on getting signed up somewhere else after the holidays, planned on calling a couple of other places, but my back gave out on me on the 3rd and I'm in no shape to even drive much, nor walk... let alone go to puppy classes!! :( Frustrating as all heck, because now I'm feeling a tad guilty too about this 'missed' opportunity for Ricky!! :rolleyes:

Why do we moms put all this on ourselves!?! :confused: :rolleyes:
 

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Hi EVeryone
Your puppies are adorable .. So cute
I had Cosmo in a puppy class and he did fine but it was because of the instructor . She kept the dogs seperate and let the small play with small dogs then introduce the big dogs slowly . I do not know where you live but Cosmo went to the Sirius classes . They are very conscientious and helpful .
One class we went to with Asta he just hid under the chair and the instructor did absolutely nothing so I know what you are saying ..

This time I asked specifically if there were any small dogs and one class did not have any so I waited for another class to start ..
I also asked about a refund if it did not work out .. Fortunately he graduated and he had a ball .
Now that he is older so are the other dogs and they are just too big and here we go again ..
Cosmo has the same problems - he is shy and tenative and then he gets a bit of courage and tries to make contact and then retreats and it continues on like that .
I have spent hours socializing him and it improves a little and then something happens to him and he has a set back . He got very sick over Thanksgiving vacation and he had to be hospitalized overnight . We do not know what he got - it was not dietary something but maybe someone he was exposed to . Too many what a cute puppy pets I guess . The vet said he had never seen so many sick dogs this Thanksgiving vacation ..
I must admit I am getting gun shy too .. I am reluctant to expose him as people are walking around with all these terrible viruses and bugs .
I now figure hemight end up a bubble dog until I can get him a companion dog ..
We go out every day and meet people but they think he is an odd duck because of the advance and retreat scenario and they do not want to have anything to do with him .
I am thinking of seeing a behaviourist because I have read everything I can and went to puppy class but there is something I am missing or maybe he needs exposure to someone who is an authority figure besides just my husband and I .
We have had people to the house and he is improving with that meet and greet but we have a long way to go .
Any helpful comments would be appreciated ..
 
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