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See, I guess I feel differently about it. From my point of view, NO dog HAS to put up with being patted by strangers. They HAVE to tolerate being handled by trained veterinary or grooming personnel, but those people know how to approach and handle dogs competently. That's so different from John Q. Public. I am quite cavalier about allowing people, even small children pat Kodi and Panda, because they love everyone. If I think a child can't be trusted, I will guide the interaction, or if a child seems very worried about the dog, I will offer to hold the dog's head so they can feel how soft they are. (even though I know the dog won't hurt them) But Both Kodi and Panda never met a human they didn't love. Ducky will be the same, but he's puppy, and I still need to manage all interactions for him.

But Pixel is a different sort of dog. She DOES make friends, but it takes her a bit of time to warm up and get to know someones. MUCH more than just allowing a stranger to pat her in a store. She almost NEVER will allow that, though she will usually go over and greet a friendly stranger by touching her nose to their fingers with a wagging tail these days. But I don't think we ever would have gotten THERE if I'd forced her to allow strangers to pat her. ...And every once in a while, she finds a stranger that she just loves. And she will jump in their lap and ASK for patting. But that is EXCEEDINGLY rare.

She was the MOST useful of my dogs in sorting out puppy buyers though. As I said, Kodi and Panda (before the puppies were born) loved EVERYONE who came to visit. Pixel checked people out. If the people LISTENED to me and gave her space, she quickly warmed up and made friends. I think it was Chase's family where I nearly fell down because I turned around and the dad was HOLDING her!!! She has never allowed ANYONE outside the family to pick her up!!! They got a puppy! LOL! There was one individual that Pixel refused to get near. She did not get a puppy. And one family whose young child would NOT take direction on how to approach (or NOT approach) Pixel, and insisted in chasing her around the back yard. They didn't get a puppy either. :)

I have no use for dog who are dangerous to humans. But on the other hand, I ALSO don't think that every dog needs to be "friends" with everyone, or even needs to accept handling for strangers. It's the same thing as people wanting their dogs to "want" dog friends. Not all dogs want that either... and that's OK.
All very good points. I need to stop wanting to be "nice" to people.
 

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All very good points. I need to stop wanting to be "nice" to people.
It's a failing lots of us have. Believe me, in cases that don't bring out the "mama bear" in me (my dogs and my kids) I fall into it all too often! ;)
 

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It's a failing lots of us have. Believe me, in cases that don't bring out the "mama bear" in me (my dogs and my kids) I fall into it all too often! ;)
Really interesting points that you make! So when it comes to puppy socialization, would you say that it’s just the puppy being exposed to a bunch of different people, but that most of those people can’t actually touch them? I know there’s so much about ‘introducing’ your puppy to every different kind of person, and the definition of ‘introduce’ seems to differ quite a bit— it’s very different to be comfortable in the presence of people than to be comfortable with them approaching/touching. It sounds like you really just are thinking the former (except of course with people that NEED to handle the dog, like the vet or groomer)?
 

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Really interesting points that you make! So when it comes to puppy socialization, would you say that it’s just the puppy being exposed to a bunch of different people, but that most of those people can’t actually touch them? I know there’s so much about ‘introducing’ your puppy to every different kind of person, and the definition of ‘introduce’ seems to differ quite a bit— it’s very different to be comfortable in the presence of people than to be comfortable with them approaching/touching. It sounds like you really just are thinking the former (except of course with people that NEED to handle the dog, like the vet or groomer)?
I think it REALLY depends on the dog, and you can only change the innate personality of the dog so much. I guess having raised a kid on the spectrum (and another who is a TOTAL extrovert!) I learned that with my kids. FORCING your puppy to tolerate being patted and handled, by holding them and allowing strangers to touch them is NOT going to make them “like” being handled. At very best, you will get a form of learned helplessness in those situations, where the dog shuts down and submits. At worst, you get a dog who learns to start defending itself by growling or even snapping at people who approach it while it is being held. (How often do we see this in small breed dogs, and it is inadvertentlytrained into them by their owners!)

SOME puppies go though a period where they are shy about strangers but come around. Some simply need more exposure to different KINDS of people, done slowly and (MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!) WITHOUT FORCE, letting the dog approach the people. Some are ALWAYS going to prefer their own family, and the BEST you are going to get is tolerance of strangers around them, and teaching them cooperative care with professionals.

The majority of Havanese are more toward the social side, and with gentle, non-forceful exposure, they will start to enjoy their interactions with people. But for those that remain shy, forcing them will only make it worse, and for those who might have gotten over it, you can either set them back or completely turn them off on people by forcing them.

Ian Dunbar’s “Pass the puppy” routine has been debunked for YEARS… I don’t think even he recommends it anymore. This is something that should be done while puppies are still with their litters. It is NOT appropriate for puppies once they are 8-12 weeks old. What I HAVE seen helps puppy K age puppies is if you can get the humans in the class to sit on the floor. I know some people have mobility issues that prevent this. But it is intimidating for puppies, especially small breed puppies, to approach towering humans. I find that when I sit on the floor in a puppy K class, and keep my hands neutral, puppies that avoid the other humans in the room, start coming over to check me out. Then I can talk to them. When they make eye contact, I wait for them to respond in a positive way, wiggles, tail wags, etc, then offer a lowered, open palm. THEN they will often come to it and allow me to stroke their chest gently. (I never reach for their head or collar) after that, they are often “mine”… in my lap and “friends for life“! :LOL:

If you can GET people to work with a shy dog or puppy that way, it is PERFECT! Pixel does get used to strangers who come in the house anyway. But the ones who get her IMMEDIATE attention and become fast friends are the ones who instinctively know this trick (or have been taught it). When the Dogfather visited me, he barely said “hi” to me, before he slid onto the floor. All the dogs said “hi”, he continued to talk to me, and PIXEL, you could see the wheels turning, thought, “this guy gets dogs”, and immediately jumped into his lap and adopted him. She saw immediately that he had no intention of trying to force himself on her, and she liked that!
 

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"I AM the Brute Squad"
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I find that when I sit on the floor in a puppy K class, and keep my hands neutral, puppies that avoid the other humans in the room, start coming over to check me out.
Then you get run over by puppies as they zoom around you. Karen was a witness to this last Sunday. LOL
 

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I find that when I sit on the floor in a puppy K class, and keep my hands neutral, puppies that avoid the other humans in the room, start coming over to check me out. Then I can talk to them. When they make eye contact, I wait for them to respond in a positive way, wiggles, tail wags, etc, then offer a lowered, open palm. THEN they will often come to it and allow me to stroke their chest gently. (I never reach for their head or collar) after that, they are often “mine”… in my lap and “friends for life“! :LOL:
Well, I now have my plan for our first puppy class on Saturday!! 😊
 
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