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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi lovely forum!
We are focused on introducing JoJo to as many new stimuli as possible, and in as positive a way as possible. We’ve been letting her build her confidence at home today, and that’s the plan for tomorrow as well. It was a beautiful afternoon so I decided to take her for a little walk down the block in her sling (which we’d tried around the house, and she loves). We live in a residential neighborhood with some traffic, but no one going too fast. She was alert but happy when we walked onto the side walk, but the first time a car passed, she got very nervous. I wasn’t sure what triggered her at first, but then another car passed and same reaction. So I went back to our stoop and just sat with her for a while so she could get used to them passing from a safer distance and gave her some snacks. We stayed out there for a little while and she was totally settled and happy again by the time we went back inside.

I was thinking that we’d be spending a lot of our socialization time the next few weeks in parking lots, but later she reacted when Rob started playing his guitar, and again when someone was at the door. The only common denominator seems to be noise. Of course loud noises are one of the only things we haven’t had to worry about with Charlie— no sensitivity to fire works or thunder or anything. So does anyone have any good tips for the best ways to work through this with him? She’s ten weeks today so I know we’re in the prime window for setting her up to be comfortable with whatever life throws at her.


Thank you!


Edited to add:
One important detail that I’ll add….. she seems like quite a brave and curious pup in MANY ways. Put down a strange object? No problem, she checks it out excitedly! She immediately figured out the ramp system for the couch and back steps and loves them. Took to us pretty quickly. Totally happy with being handled. She overall seems much more adaptable than I remember Charlie being about novel stimuli generally, which is part of why I was so surprised!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi lovely forum!
We are focused on introducing JoJo to as many new stimuli as possible, and in as positive a way as possible. We’ve been letting her build her confidence at home today, and that’s the plan for tomorrow as well. It was a beautiful afternoon so I decided to take her for a little walk down the block in her sling (which we’d tried around the house, and she loves). We live in a residential neighborhood with some traffic, but no one going too fast. She was alert but happy when we walked onto the side walk, but the first time a car passed, she got very nervous. I wasn’t sure what triggered her at first, but then another car passed and same reaction. So I went back to our stoop and just sat with her for a while so she could get used to them passing from a safer distance and gave her some snacks. We stayed out there for a little while and she was totally settled and happy again by the time we went back inside.

I was thinking that we’d be spending a lot of our socialization time the next few weeks in parking lots, but later she reacted when Rob started playing his guitar, and again when someone was at the door. The only common denominator seems to be noise. Of course loud noises are one of the only things we haven’t had to worry about with Charlie— no sensitivity to fire works or thunder or anything. So does anyone have any good tips for the best ways to work through this with him? She’s ten weeks today so I know we’re in the prime window for setting her up to be comfortable with whatever life throws at her.


Thank you!
One important detail that I’ll add….. she seems like quite a brave and curious pup in MANY ways. Put down a strange object? No problem, she checks it out excitedly! She immediately figured out the ramp system for the couch and back steps and loves them. Took to us pretty quickly. Totally happy with being handled. She overall seems much more adaptable than I remember Charlie being about novel stimuli generally, which is part of why I was so surprised!
 

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This breed, in general, is more sound sensitive than many. I would say that of the Havanese puppies I’ve temperament tested, MORE have had trouble with the sound sensitivity test than any other. I’ve learned to be EXTRA careful doing that specific test with this breed. THAT SAID, you can ABSOLUTELY help them through this. Knowing this about the breed, I went out of my way to introduce Pand’s litter to exceptionally startling, noisy things before they were old enough for true fear, and then I continued to expose them to everything I could think of. As they approached fear periods, I would back off, then re-introduce again later. I had one puppy, my girl, who was more sound sensitive than the rest, and I took her out of the littter separately, and worked with her even more, but very gently, doing EXACTLY the kind of thing you did. Letting her stay in her comfort zone, and reinforcing her there, moving a little closer over time as she acclimated.

I made sure that the family I sold her to knew that she was a little sound sensitive, and that this was something they needed to continue to work on with her, especially taking her home in mid-June, with 4th of July approaching! They have done a GREAT job with hersupporting her ENOUGH, not coddling her, but at the same time not pushing her To the point where she gets truly scared. From being the one puppy in the litter that I worried about slightly in this regard, they have turned her into the puppy that their neighborhood kids call the “Ninja Puppy”, because she is so fearless, and ready to take on the world!

I am sure that because you are aware that she is a bit sensitive in this area, and seem to be handling it absolutely appropriately, she will get through it and be just fine!❤
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This breed, in general, is more sound sensitive than many. I would say that of the Havanese puppies I’ve temperament tested, MORE have had trouble with the sound sensitivity test than any other. I’ve learned to be EXTRA careful doing that specific test with this breed. THAT SAID, you can ABSOLUTELY help them through this. Knowing this about the breed, I went out of my way to introduce Pand’s litter to exceptionally startling, noisy things before they were old enough for true fear, and then I continued to expose them to everything I could think of. As they approached fear periods, I would back off, then re-introduce again later. I had one puppy, my girl, who was more sound sensitive than the rest, and I took her out of the littter separately, and worked with her even more, but very gently, doing EXACTLY the kind of thing you did. Letting her stay in her comfort zone, and reinforcing her there, moving a little closer over time as she acclimated.

I made sure that the family I sold her to knew that she was a little sound sensitive, and that this was something they needed to continue to work on with her, especially taking her home in mid-June, with 4th of July approaching! They have done a GREAT job with hersupporting her ENOUGH, not coddling her, but at the same time not pushing her To the point where she gets truly scared. From being the one puppy in the litter that I worried about slightly in this regard, they have turned her into the puppy that their neighborhood kids call the “Ninja Puppy”, because she is so fearless, and ready to take on the world!

I am sure that because you are aware that she is a bit sensitive in this area, and seem to be handling it absolutely appropriately, she will get through it and be just fine!❤
This is really great to hear! I have a feeling JoJo has a little “ninja puppy” in there as well— just needs a little help getting there! I’ll keep exposing her to noises little by little… I’ve seen a few things about playing recordings of noises or fireworks or thunder (quietly at first)— did you try that? I’m thinking that starting to desensitize her more in the house, where she is now VERY comfortable, may be easier than out in the world where so much is new and different!
 

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This is really great to hear! I have a feeling JoJo has a little “ninja puppy” in there as well— just needs a little help getting there! I’ll keep exposing her to noises little by little… I’ve seen a few things about playing recordings of noises or fireworks or thunder (quietly at first)— did you try that? I’m thinking that starting to desensitize her more in the house, where she is now VERY comfortable, may be easier than out in the world where so much is new and different!
Yes, I played agility trial videos ALL.THE.TIME (there stuff too! ;) ) for the whole litter! LOL! You do have to start with it REALLY quiet. So quiet that they don't even notice it. And start it while they are eating a meal. Also, how old is she? If she is under 10 weeks, I'd be VERY careful. "technically" the "big" fear period is at 8 weeks, which is why most Havanese breeders don't want them to go home that week. But it's very individual. If she is developing a little later, she could BE in a fear period, in which case, the answer is... Just wait. Don't push it. At all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I played agility trial videos ALL.THE.TIME (there stuff too! ;) ) for the whole litter! LOL! You do have to start with it REALLY quiet. So quiet that they don't even notice it. And start it while they are eating a meal. Also, how old is she? If she is under 10 weeks, I'd be VERY careful. "technically" the "big" fear period is at 8 weeks, which is why most Havanese breeders don't want them to go home that week. But it's very individual. If she is developing a little later, she could BE in a fear period, in which case, the answer is... Just wait. Don't push it. At all.
She’s 10 weeks yesterday (so we brought her home a day shy of 10 weeks)…. Is it possible for her to be in a fear period this late? She seems pretty fearless about pretty much everything else I’ve put in front of her! I’ll try very quiet crowd background noise for next meal, see how she does, and go from there. I have a feeling that will help, as the traffic noise from within the house doesn’t seem to bother her in the slightest. So will just build up slowly.
 

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She’s 10 weeks yesterday (so we brought her home a day shy of 10 weeks)…. Is it possible for her to be in a fear period this late? She seems pretty fearless about pretty much everything else I’ve put in front of her! I’ll try very quiet crowd background noise for next meal, see how she does, and go from there. I have a feeling that will help, as the traffic noise from within the house doesn’t seem to bother her in the slightest. So will just build up slowly.
At 10 weeks, it's really unlikely it is fear period related. It's much more likely this is "just her". So work with what you've got. That's actually better. You don't have to be QUITE as careful.
 
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I have a whole list of sounds that I didn’t even consider with Sundance to expose my next puppy to. I’ll try to do every one, but the good news is that if I do forget a few, it’s okay. It’s the time spent exposing them to lots of different sounds (and all kinds of sensory experiences) that makes a difference when they do encounter a sound that is new and unexpected later, not necessarily checking the sounds off the list. Sundance did have a lot of exposure to sound as a puppy. He was jumpy about sound, so I made a point of not tiptoeing and I tried to make sure he had exposure, which wasn’t hard since our house is loud! I don’t think I did it as well as I could have, because I didn’t know much about it. I should have paid more attention to when he was relaxed and how I introduced the sound. I still believe it made a difference. Sundance believes all sound from the tv is real and sometimes actively listens to it, but he only reacts to dog sounds and doorbells. He is a light sleeper and alerts to sirens I can’t hear and jumps at loud noises, but it’s enormously better from how he was as a puppy. Also, i startle easily and jump at loud noises, so my expectation has to be fair :)
 

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I have a whole list of sounds that I didn’t even consider with Sundance to expose my next puppy to. I’ll try to do every one, but the good news is that if I do forget a few, it’s okay. It’s the time spent exposing them to lots of different sounds (and all kinds of sensory experiences) that makes a difference when they do encounter a sound that is new and unexpected later, not necessarily checking the sounds off the list. Sundance did have a lot of exposure to sound as a puppy. He was jumpy about sound, so I made a point of not tiptoeing and I tried to make sure he had exposure, which wasn’t hard since our house is loud! I don’t think I did it as well as I could have, because I didn’t know much about it. I should have paid more attention to when he was relaxed and how I introduced the sound. I still believe it made a difference. Sundance believes all sound from the tv is real and sometimes actively listens to it, but he only reacts to dog sounds and doorbells. He is a light sleeper and alerts to sirens I can’t hear and jumps at loud noises, but it’s enormously better from how he was as a puppy. Also, i startle easily and jump at loud noises, so my expectation has to be fair :)
This is also something where breeders can make a HUGE difference in the puppies if they care to do the work and know how/when to introduce the sounds. But, unfortunately, it can be hard, with all the other things people are trying to determine about a breeder, if they are doing this kind of work. I know the Kings are great about exposing their puppies to startling noises early, and a breeder who REALLY follows Puppy Culture will know when to do this, even if they are less experienced. But I also know that a lot of breeders now pay lip service to "using Puppy Culture" and follow very little of the program. (the Kings could have WRITTEN the program ;) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is also something where breeders can make a HUGE difference in the puppies if they care to do the work and know how/when to introduce the sounds. But, unfortunately, it can be hard, with all the other things people are trying to determine about a breeder, if they are doing this kind of work. I know the Kings are great about exposing their puppies to startling noises early, and a breeder who REALLY follows Puppy Culture will know when to do this, even if they are less experienced. But I also know that a lot of breeders now pay lip service to "using Puppy Culture" and follow very little of the program. (the Kings could have WRITTEN the program ;) )
I let her breeder know about, and she listed off a whole variety of sounds that she'd been exposed to, both in the house and out in the stroller (I told her about it it in a very nice way, wasn't at all accusatory more just information something I need to work on w. JoJo). BUT she did say it was always with her littermates...so I'm thinking maybe she is one of those pups who got a lot of courage from being around others, and now needs to generalize that for her own. Or, maybe it was harder to pick up on stress cues of one individual pup out of a litter of 9 (and a half-sibling litter of 5 the same age)? Either way, we're working on it. This morning we hung out in the back yard at rush hour (our back yard is tiny) and stood by the gate, where traffic noise is easiest to hear, as it's right up against the side walk. We listened and she ate. She was definitely aware but no shaking or shrinking back. Today is her vet visit and I've got all the chicken and cheese ready to make it a positive experience!
 

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I let her breeder know about, and she listed off a whole variety of sounds that she'd been exposed to, both in the house and out in the stroller (I told her about it it in a very nice way, wasn't at all accusatory more just information something I need to work on w. JoJo). BUT she did say it was always with her littermates...so I'm thinking maybe she is one of those pups who got a lot of courage from being around others, and now needs to generalize that for her own. Or, maybe it was harder to pick up on stress cues of one individual pup out of a litter of 9 (and a half-sibling litter of 5 the same age)? Either way, we're working on it. This morning we hung out in the back yard at rush hour (our back yard is tiny) and stood by the gate, where traffic noise is easiest to hear, as it's right up against the side walk. We listened and she ate. She was definitely aware but no shaking or shrinking back. Today is her vet visit and I've got all the chicken and cheese ready to make it a positive experience!
They are all different, and they all develop differently. Mine were (obviously) exposed to the same things. I worked EXTRA with the little girl who showed herself to be more sound sensitive than the others, but I also only had 5 puppies to deal with, not the HOARD your breeder was raising at once!!! LOL! And even with that, she was STILL the most sound sensitive when i sent her home. So I just made sure that her new family was aware of it. She wasn't TERRIBLE... It was just something I wanted them to be aware of, and work on improving, rather than take a chance that they'd make it worse. And the've done a great job with her, just like it sounds like you will with Jolene!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just wanted to update this thread since I know there are a lot of new puppy owners on the forum right now, and this advice was SO helpful. There is currently jack-hammering 10feet outside our front door, and Jo is curious, but totally not phased. She was fine with the fireworks this summer too… So this is definitely something that’s possible to overcome!!
 

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I just wanted to update this thread since I know there are a lot of new puppy owners on the forum right now, and this advice was SO helpful. There is currently jack-hammering 10feet outside our front door, and Jo is curious, but totally not phased. She was fine with the fireworks this summer too… So this is definitely something that’s possible to overcome!!
Absolutely! Just like my little Luna and her family! In fact, I think she and Jolene sound similar, temperamentally! She is now “The boss of everyone” when they play! Very sweet, but always “in charge”! LOL!
 
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Absolutely! Just like my little Luna and her family! In fact, I think she and Jolene sound similar, temperamentally! She is now “The boss of everyone” when they play! Very sweet, but always “in charge”! LOL!
That certainly sounds like my girl… she’s a feisty little thing! (But thankfully also VERY respectful of Charlie… if he growls at her she goes into full submissive mode trying to appease him)
 

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That certainly sounds like my girl… she’s a feisty little thing! (But thankfully also VERY respectful of Charlie… if he growls at her she goes into full submissive mode trying to appease him)
I can't say that Luna was the LEAST bit submissive to Ducky when she stayed here! LOL! She weaseled him to the ground every chance she got! All in good fun, and he enjoyed it too, but she took FULL advantage of her larger size!

And because she had Ducky to play with, she pretty much ignored the older dogs.
 
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I would love to see Ducky wrestling! He's too pretty for rough and tumble playing.
LOL! He can wrassle with the best of 'em!
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Those two younguns are having so much fun. Looks like his sister was winning. Great pictures, thanks for posting..
How do those 2 compare sizewise? Hard to tell since Ducky has so much hair and he is pasted to the floor mostly.
Ducky must have gotten a big brushing after that.
 

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Those two younguns are having so much fun. Looks like his sister was winning. Great pictures, thanks for posting..
How do those 2 compare sizewise? Hard to tell since Ducky has so much hair and he is pasted to the floor mostly.
Ducky must have gotten a big brushing after that.
She is about 14 lbs and he is 11. He is funny. He and Pixel have both learned that as the ”little ones”, they are going to get wrestled to the ground anyway, so BOTH have adopted the strategy of STARTING any wrestling session from that position. Then they can be all teeth and nails and feet up at the other dog! Like little cats! LOL!
 
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