More Than One
There are very few sights as nice as seeing two happy, contented Havanese snuggling up together in devoted bliss or playing 'run like hell' like banshees through your home or in the yard. When presented with these experiences, we often think how nice it would be to add another - and it is - it can be done, but it must be done right.
A Havanese should never be selected with colour as the #1 priority but especially when adding an addition. What you need to ask and know is the personality traits of your existing Havanese and what traits will mix with yours and indeed complement each other. Traits that complement each other are easier to deal with than those that create challenges but even then, the Havanese can usually learn how to co-exist, enjoy and appreciate the company of another.
What do you do when you bring that little fluff ball home and your existing Havanese balks? There are ways to integrate a dog.
Tips to Help Integrate Your New One:
1. Introduce your potential addition at the breeders/owners home. Invest time in watching but also understand that this zone is comfortable for the potential addition and may not be for yours. Although you will get an idea, you won't get the entire picture. If things go well with step one, go to step 2.
2. Introduce your dog again outside in a neutral place. If it is feasible, invest time in a walk with both of them before going home.
3. On arriving home, do yet another introduction in your yard. Do not bring them in the home yet but play with each, giving your existing dog the most attention if hesitancy or fear is not a part of the equation. This way your dog does not feel as if it is being displaced and that they still count. If your existing dog shows signs of being afraid or hesitant, ignore your dog and pay attention to the new one showing your existing dog that there is nothing to fear. As time goes on, they will figure out pack position and you can equalize attention.
4. Play games (nothing like a game to promote bonding) Havanese, if caught early enough, really enjoy the game of retrieve.
5. Do basic training (also a bonding factor) and do it reward based as it will promote who is in charge in a positive way. Always stay upbeat even if you find yourself getting frustrated as it's not going as easy as you thought. The more frustrated you get, the more difficult the dog will become. Use your head and stay focused on the goal.
6. If, what you get when you get home is a dog with bad behaviour, treat an unruly dog (even your dog that came before the addition) as if it's a puppy and doesn't know any better. Get it in your head that this is the case and your emotions will be in a better place. Reward, reward, reward for positive strides. There is always an adjustment period and it will come out in many ways. Don't react - reward the good behavior.
7. Invest solid time. Get some serious training in. What obediece training does is set the stage of who is alpha (you), creates a bond and allows you to get to know the new addition on a different level. It also starts you on the road to achieving that fabulously behaved dog especially if YOU do the follow through (practice).
8. Is your new dog a runner or do you know? Block the door with a gate. We have a gate across our front door so the dogs do not rush the door. I do not think any visitor needs that and it protects them from running out. Every dog owner, IMHO, should have one that lives in the city. Also, be sure to check your fence line for gaps especially if your addition is a young pup.
9. Walk, walk, walk. We use walks in a big way to help a dog relax. Hopefully your dog is balanced and if it is not, then you need to walk this new one ALONE. If it is balanced, the new dog will feed off the balanced dog and act accordingly. We can walk an unbalanced dog with a balanced dog in our pack and the dog calms down and relaxes. There is NOTHING like a pack member to help another dog but if your dog is timid, shy etc., you need to work on your existing dog separate too or you will have a terrible time of it.
10. Laugh - and laugh and laugh. What I mean is, find moments to enjoy even when it seems overwhelming. Your dogs will react and feed off of that and you will be better off.
11. Usually a very needy or unruly dog is looking for something – such as using rules and boundaries in a positive and balanced way. If you can do that for your dog, nothing is more rewarding. Concentrate on the end result and the goals - it will slowly come together as there is no quick fix.
12. Get the right mindset! Look at it as a challenge and look for solutions with emotions set aside. Get all family members onside and practice consistency.
There is nothing and I mean nothing like more than one Havanese. As an owner of seven, well, it is far better than TV. Each has their jobs, pack position and unique personality that they bring to the pack. An effective pack (more than 1) will compliment, help and yes even need and want 'one on one' time from you. If you can offer that, you are in for an exciting and fun-filled life.
© Content published on this page has been a collaborative effort and provided by, and copyrighted by Darlah Potechin and Nathan Potechin (talemakerhavanese.com). No unauthorized reproduction or re-publication in any medium whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission.