Havanese Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,
I wanted to ask your opinions. Is a shy Havanese OK? Still a good dog? Can they outgrow it?

I am looking for an older female, at an affordable price, and I am talking to a breeder who says this 9 month old girl is super sweet but shy. She need to come to you.

Oscar is so outgoing will go up to anyone and lick them and jump up (we are working on this). Can she out grow this?

Thanks
 

·
Mom to Dusty and Indie
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I'll give my opinion. We've observed some shyness with Dusty that we didn't even pick up on when we visited her before deciding to bring her home (age 7 months). She will approach people, but will not allow them to pet her right away, especially on the head(dominance thing??). This is worse and lasts longer with men, and is better with children. We were concerned at first because we had wanted a dog that would like our friends. As it has turned out, she loves a party! She may be slow to let people pet her, but she loves the crowd. The shyness confuses people who are used to dogs coming right up for attention (especially on walks and at the dog park), but it keeps Dusty from being annoying to people as well. We've had some repairmen around lately, and she generally follows them around sniffing at their feet. She doesn't hide under a chair. She will jump away if they reach for her. We do have a fair amount of company (usually the same people) and she has gotten more and more enthusiastically friendly with the people she has already met. She is also not afraid to be petted if she is being held, and can be handed to a stranger without any problem. It's been interesting. Our last dog had to be dragged away from anyone that came in the door. We've found the little bit of shyness to be easier to deal with than that!
We start training classes next week, so we'll see how that goes. They are supposed to cover shyness stuff in the class.

If I were you, I'd ask more questions to find out how this dog's shyness manifests itself, figure it can be improved somewhat, and think about whether this dog will fit into your lifestyle or not.

On a side note, when we were visiting Dusty, the breeder had two other dogs that she said had been very shy since birth. Of the several havanese we met that day, they were the slowest to approach(others were in our laps right away), but they did, and one of them was accepting lots of love from our nine-year old before the visit was done. I'll try and post a picture...
 

·
Oreo's Mom
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
In our case Oreo is shy with other dogs, but LOVES people. I sincerely hope he does grow out of it. There are so many dogs in our community but he loves to bark and growl at them.... sigh :(
 

·
Mom to Ricky and Sammy
Joined
·
10,319 Posts
Hello Carla, nice to 'meet' you. :)

I didn't want a shy dog either, but I like Dusty's mom's comments and think that some shyness can actually be a good thing! lol I agree that you might want to ask the breeder what he/she constitues as shyness, is it geared towards other animals, children, only men, anyone at all? and why? Was it one bad experience, or was she always like that?

Of course 'shy' dogs are still 'good' dogs! It really depends on your lifestyle which character suits you best. We are quite social and are 5 in the house here. We also want to bring our dog to lots of places, so shyness wasn't a good trait in my opinion, BUT I didn't want TOO Alpha a dog. The first one we looked at at the breeders' was very strong-minded and a barker. That one would require a little more handling, more patience and training. I choose another, our Ricky.

Often barking and/or growling is a sign of fear, so maybe Oreo is trying to sound tough by doing this when he spots other dogs. I would totally make light of it and try to keep him trained on you during the time other dogs are around. Treat him, reward him for being quiet and focused on you, his leader. If you ever show tension, fear or console him too much when he growls/barks at others, it will only reinforce that behavior.
 

·
Bugsy's Mom
Joined
·
4,362 Posts
Hi Carla,

Are you going to be able to visit this puppy? If so, it would be a great idea. You might also want to bring Oscar along. Most breeders will let you bring your dog as well as other family memebers. I am not sure if she will be able to completely outgrow her shyness, but socialization - meeting as many other dogs and people would be a good way to work on this problem.

Good luck,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,619 Posts
I just think Havs are so sensitive. Kodi is a little on the shy side. He approaches most people with no problem, bouncing and jumping. He is also vocal with people he especially likes, and gives out these funny little barks. But with others he will just hold back a little. Shelby loves everyone.

Kodi is the same way with dogs. He doesn't like dogs to run up to him first. When we go to the dog park, he will usually hang back and size everyone up first and then pick out who he wants to play with. Shelby had her first experience at the park today and did very well.

I don't think a little shyness is a bad thing. If it is being caused by fear, then you have to be more cautious. Just introduce the dog to new things slowly. Puppy classes are great for this. Also, just take the puppy to as many different places as possible to expose it to everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Murphy is on the shy side and we had hopes for him to be a therapy dog. It's been hard in the winter months to get him outside and be around all the sounds of life in a neighborhood. He is really a rather mellow puppy and doesn't bark too much. We are hoping with his training he will build up confidence, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Cosmo was shy and he could be a little aloof .A lot of it is fear based I think . Since his buddy Ahnold arrived he is better - Cosmo does remember people and he is now more friendly towards them .
I socialized him a lot w2when he was a little guy and exposed him to a lot of different situations and this was hard as he would get so carsick . I exposed him to other dogs as well . Cats he does not know at all . I sometimes wondered if the socialization worked but now I see he is better and now he likes to go out for an outing .. He still does not like the car but the carsickness is improving we still drool and get a litttle upset but he he is better with his buddy right beside him
Ahnold is not as shy - he will come right up to you - no problem he loves to be on your lap and to have a nice snuggle . He likes to go out on walks as well . He does bark at other dogs which Cosmo does not do - if the dog is too big he just avoids it or he sits down and he will not move ..
It is still a work in progress ...
 

·
Bessie & Max's Parents
Joined
·
693 Posts
Max is anything but shy. Be it other dogs, friends, or strangers....he's ready and eager to get attention....He only is leary of big strange objects....like a big box on the sidewalk, or a real estate board...but other than that he's like a greeter at Wal-Mart.
 

·
Bugsy's Mom
Joined
·
4,362 Posts
Max is anything but shy. Be it other dogs, friends, or strangers....he's ready and eager to get attention....He only is leary of big strange objects....like a big box on the sidewalk, or a real estate board...but other than that he's like a greeter at Wal-Mart.
Rick - I could have written your post. Are you sure out puppies aren't related. We call Bugsy the embassador of good will.
 

·
Mom to Ricky and Sammy
Joined
·
10,319 Posts
Rick, that's just too cute!! lol
 

·
Oreo's Mom
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
Well, I figured I would continue this thread by mentioning to you all that our Oreo is very much on the shy side. I am doing all I can to remain calm, and not take anything personal by not getting angry, frustrated or annoyed but he really is leaving me with a huge case of bewilderment. I don't know what to do to build his confidence. Does anyone have any suggestions? As I mentioned on another thread, Oreo is signed up for a puppy intro to agility class. He was given an age exception because of his size and also the need for confidence boosting. When we go out for walks, he follows along really nice - every now and then he tries to "sprint" - but, when he sees other dogs he growls and barks loudly. As they begin to approach, say about 8-10 feet away, he starts to bolt as far as the leash can stretch - I don't use a retractable leash either. He ends up jerking himself at the end of the 6' leash, only to try to run in another direction. When he realizes that I am not moving he tries to hide from eyeview of the other dog. If the dog sniffs him, he shrieks and tries to bolt again. There is a cute little lab pup, that is say 12 weeks old - he is scared to death of him. Mind you Oreo was scared of a small, tiny 3 lb pomeranian pup in his puppy class :( I am wondering how to help him get over his timidity. I really don't want to provoke him to develop fear aggression in any way, so I really am open to your experiences with extreme cases of shyness. The trainer told me that she feels he will not develop aggression, but he just needs help to make him feel more confident. In this house, I don't baby him, and I make sure to resist the temptation to carry him around.... sigh... I am not sure how to handle this. :(
 

·
Bugsy's Mom
Joined
·
4,362 Posts
Hi Whitbmom,

I am sorry you and Oreo are having such a tough time. Do you guys belong to a playgroup or have a nearby dog park where you can take him regularly? How often is he socialized with other dogs?
 

·
Oreo's Mom
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
Unfortunately, we moved to this city the end of last summer, so we have not had the opportunity to meet other people with dogs. We got Oreo in January when the weather was bitterly cold, so we could not take him out much. Now that we are strickly taking him potty outside he is very shy. We took him to his puppy classes, he learned everything quickly and is eager to please me, but he just wants to run in the other direction when he sees other dogs. On another list, I belong too, I was happy to have gotten together with a couple who owns 4 havs and 2 goldens - very nice calm pack too :) Oreo was so shy and would shriek, but by the end he was nice and calm. He would keep his distance though. They live about an hour away from us, so I will have to make plans to take Oreo over there again. As for our area, I see alot of dogs simply try to control their owners and at times they are yappy too :( I sincerely hope that this next class will help him out a bit more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,619 Posts
WhitBMom, don't despair. Kodi was the same way, so I got him in puppy class. It was an 8 week class and by week 4, he was playing with all the other puppies. However, he still shys away from some dogs. When we go to the dog park, if a dog runs up to him, he will put his tail between his legs and back away. He likes to stay back and observe the other dogs, then go and play. He will also pick out his favorite one to be friends with.

I think everything will work out fine. He just needs to be exposed to other dogs. You will be amazed at the changes.
 

·
Amanda
Joined
·
9,576 Posts
Agility is known to be a very big confidence booster and I think it was wise of your instructor to suggest this route. A lot of people will take their shy/timid dog they want to work in obedience thru agility first. Make sure you keep it positive the entire time. If the dog goes through the tunnel the wrong end, oh well! You can work on precision later. The dog will build confidence in themselves.

Dora is shy with humans, but not dogs. We worked on this by carrying around treat bags and having people give her a treat. Maybe you can work on it in this sort of fashion. Have someone with a controlled dog approach you and your dog, if Oreo ignores him or just passes by... praise treat, eventually build up to Oreo sniffing. If he shrieks. Just ignore it and act in control. I wouldn't say No or make a big deal out of it because this can just build the anxiety even more. However on the leash, I wouldnt let Oreo react. I would distract him. Like walk by the dog, dont slow down and keep walking, don't give him time to react and you need to make sure your anxiety doesnt cause him anxiety. Dogs read us way better than we realize. Walk confident!

My maltese is less social with other dogs especially strangers, she puts on her big dog front as a protective act. I make sure to let her know, I am the protector of the family. When she gets out of hand, I have my sound for her "uggggh" <my kind of dog whisper sound!> She will back down from challenging dogs when I do this. She especially goes crazy in agility with the herding shelties.

Also when doing puppy play, maybe take Oreo's favorite toy. Or you play with the other puppy while someone holds Oreo's leash. Show him how exciting to play with other dogs truly is. This may help him to think wow Mom is having fun... maybe I should join.

Good luck and let us know how p-agility goes
Amanda
 

·
Bugsy's Mom
Joined
·
4,362 Posts
Whitbmom,

You've got some great suggestions. Don't worry, the more Oreo is exposed to other dogs, the more comfortable he will becomes. We have different playgroups post on Craigslist and in doggie newspapers (available in our local pet food stores) about their upcoming events. Have you tried that route?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Yes - The treat thing works . I did that as well . Cosmo did not like men in the beginning . He would start to bark as soon as they approached him .
I just kept doing what Ian Dunbar suggested - get him out there . There were times I would just carry him around and people would come up to him and want to pet him . Sometimes he was fine sometimes not .
I would take him everywhere - shopping malls - just sit on a bench and give him a treat now and again . I would just talk to him about all the things going by so he would hear my voice . I started just for 5 minutes and then we would extend the time . I would take him to parks and playgrounds - sit on a bench with a bag of treats and when he got upset I give him a treat .
It was a work in progress . It was much easier with my first Havanese - he was much more social .
Cosmo is much better now he has Ahnold by his side . Sometimes Ahnold barks so now we have to find out what is setting him off ..
It is a work in progress . Be patient - it takes time ...
 

·
Oreo's Mom
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
Irnfit, Amanda, Julia and Cosmosmom, THANKYOU all for your support and your advice. I will try it all out and I will be more patient with him. The playgroup sounds really interesting, I will check out Craigslist.:) I just have to let him experience more contact with stable dogs - not always easy to find. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Murphy HATED puppy class. He didn't like being passed around to the different people nor did he like the play time. All the other pups were large so that didn't help. We switched training schools and were helped immeasurably by a trainer when my hubby brought our pup to explore one night before classes started the next week.

She observed his shyness and said we needed to take control of our dog. (In the past all the play groups we attended and the puppy class told us we needed to ignore him. Step away and let him work it out. This wasn't improving anything over the 6 weeks of class or the 4 times I brought him to various play groups.) In other words, it wasn't coddling to work with him in these situations. We didn't pick him up and pamper him, but better yet we fed him treats when he was in an uncomfortable situation (a dog barking, a door slamming, etc.) or we explained to him in a calm, conversational voice what was going on. We should keep him on a short leash and if needed, do some training with him, like tell him to sit, etc. and tell him he's a good boy whenever he shows good puppy behavior (like showing interest in another dog). Try to make it between him and us, not the other thing that's scaring him. My husband tried it that night after she left and saw immediate improvements. All the scary stuff sort of fell away for him.

We are still working on this but he has improved 75%. His confidence is growing by leaps and bounds and he even took treats from the trainer last night which he would never do this before. He still doesn't like to be taken by the trainer as the example pup when they are showing us something but I imagine that will come. He's only had positive experiences at the school so he enjoys it.

I would highly recommend getting a book called Help for Your Fearful Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Your Dog Conquer His Fears by Nicole Wilde. It has been very helpful and worth the price.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top