The dogs listed in this section are in, or waiting for, foster care and are not yet available. If you're willing to wait, or to foster, you may still complete an adoption application to be considered as a candidate.
Helping a Dog Become Comfortable Being Handled - Part I
Most of us who live with dogs are accustomed to dogs that love attention and being petted. It can be disconcerting and confusing if your new foster dog from a puppy mill doesn't like to be handled. There are a number of things you can do to help your foster dog become more comfortable with being picked up, petted and even having his teeth or ears examined.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race First, take it slow, quite literally. Fast movements trigger alarm for most dogs. Even my couch potatoes bark if I get up from my chair and run across the room. They're on alert. Moving slowly, using a calm voice and pausing so your foster dog has time to prepare himself for your approach is important.
Leashes and Harnesses = Safety & Comfort All new foster dogs in your home, whether from a puppy mill, a shelter or an owner surrender, should wear a harness and a leash when they first arrive. The leash comes off whenever you are not there to monitor the dog. (You never want to leave a leash on a dog that is placed in a crate or x-pen. It could wrap around their neck and choke them. You can leave the harness on but unhook the leash when you're not there to supervise the dog.)
The leash means it's possible to stop a dog that is running and about to escape without having to grab hold of the dog directly. It keeps both you and the dog safe.
Cue Me In and Pick Up Lines Begin immediately using cue words to let the dog know when you're going to pick him up or touch him. Find something that makes sense to you that can be used by everyone. For example, before picking a dog up, you can cue by saying, "Up..." Pause long enough to give the dog time to prepare to be handled and then pick him up. Very quickly the dog learns what "up" means. You can cue going into the crate by labeling it each time. Soon the dog can learn to go to their crate when you tell them it's time to do so. (If you feed in their crate, they may well learn this particularly quickly. You can also leave a treat in the crate for the dog to find, thus teaching the dog to associate the crate with the treat.) By giving the dog cues, their environment becomes less scary and more predictable.
Not Everything Should Be Approached "Head-On" As humans, we typically greet each other face to face. Eye contact varies according to culture. For dogs though, face to face contact is confrontational. Watch a well socialized dog greet another dog and you'll see they don't travel in direct lines and we ALL know the famous greetings our dogs give each other.
Keeping dog manners in mind, it's much better to approach your dog from the side and also give a cue that you're coming so as not to startle the dog. A pet under the chin or the neck is less threatening than reaching out over a dog and patting him on the head. An ear rub can be less threatening when the dog is in your arms. More on the "pick up" later.
Practice Makes Perfect Practicing a skill is helpful for dogs just as it is for humans. You and your foster dog from a mill will likely need to practice the pick up line and the pick up itself many times for your foster dog to be comfortable. First, cue your dog as mentioned earlier. After you say, "Up!" you may see that your dog stands still or postures in a way for you to take hold of them. Another may go to an area where they feel comfortable and safe. It might be under a table or a kitchen chair or some place rather "den like". Maybe the dog will run into his crate. Watch to see the pattern. It may not mean a dog is trying to escape when they leave the immediate area. It can be a way they're signaling they're ready now to be picked up. Learn to read your dog's signals. Communication goes both ways!
Catch and Release It's a tough call for a foster parent - picking up your foster dog stresses her out. Should you pick her up often or hold off and hope that it will be less stressful when she's more accustomed to you?
Ask yourself a different question: What do you want her to practice? If you pick your foster dog up often but briefly, using the cue words, and mark her release with a cue word such as, "all done" you give your foster dog many opportunities for something that's new to her. She learns that even though you pick her up, you always let her go.
What's more, most of the time that she's picked up, it's for a very brief period of time and it's not too demanding. You're not trying to pill her, work on a mat, or give her eye drops or ear meds. This is simply an opportunity to be held for a minute, spoken to softly and then released. Being picked up becomes less stressful in a shorter period of time because of the opportunity to practice this new skill.
You Looking at Me? It's not uncommon for people to report that dogs from puppy mills are very uncomfortable with eye contact. Keep in mind that in the past, their interactions with humans may have been frightening and even painful. Being seen meant being hurt or being scared. It takes time to change that mind set.
Speak softly and calmly and avoid trying to look in the eyes of your foster dog from a mill. Try using a sideways glance, when necessary, or attempt to look a bit past or over the dog. Nonverbal cues such as yawning or looking briefly and then looking away and looking at the ground in between glances at the dog can help as well. Those are the same signals your well mannered dog uses in interacting with other dogs. Watch and you'll see!
-- The Puppy Mill Committee
Havanese Rescue, Inc.
NewsLetter Oct 07
Havanese Rescue, Inc. Newsletter
Changing Lives...One Havanese At A Time
Words From The President
The leaves are beginning to fall and the wondrous
colors of autumn are everywhere. I would guess that
most of us are finally enjoying the cooler
temperatures; my Havies seem to be revitalized by
Soon it will be Halloween and the Hav-O-Lanterns
may want to be part of the fun and festivities, but
please remember to keep them safe. Candy tastes
yummy and can be irresistible, but chocolate can be
toxic to dogs and foil wrappers indigestible. If your pet
feels comfortable wearing a costume that can be fun,
but please make certain that his vision isn't obstructed
(something especially important in our long-haired
breed). Since the front door will be opened more often
than usual, take care that your dog doesn't dart out
when the opportunity presents itself. On Halloween
night make sure that your dog's ID tag is on in case
the unthinkable happens. With its scary sounds and
presence of strangers, Halloween can be stressful for
some dogs. Sometimes putting your Havie in another
room with the door closed, surrounded by familiar
sounds and smells can be comforting.
When the ghosts and goblins are gone for another
year, take a moment to relax and enjoy the outdoor
beauty and wonderful smells that abound. Soon you
will need to grab your rake and begin the clean-up of
leaves. And, we know about the indoor clean-up -
removing all the leaves that our Havanese carry in with
them on their coats. However, being able to steal
some kisses and hugs during the process makes it
worth the effort!
Happy Fall, everyone! What a glorious time of year!
arrived on a jet plane that was delayed 11
scary way to arrive and meet my new family. I
them hissing and snarling, and never really
up to them. Their vet advised them to "put me
because I was so vicious at such a young age and
would only get worse. The family wanted to
give me a
chance and kept me locked up a lot in a room,
wouldn't be over stimulated(?).That didn't
contacted a local Animal Shelter for help,
who in turn,
called Mommy Karen.
She came over right away, with yummy treats
right down on the kitchen floor to visit. I
hissed at her,
too, in that house, and she stayed for two
saw that I didn't let anyone touch me! Guess
ferocious enough for Mommy Karen, because she
took me home to her house.
She had her own trainers, RubyBleu and Dimey,
bigger than my 3.7 lbs, but VERY gentle
with some manners. Mommy Karen's house was
wide open to me, her family made me feel like
be part of someone's family.
I let them know how happy I was to visit with
first day, jumping around them, doing the
Ballet, taking treats, and playing with their
slept next to Mom's bed and if she said "Up"
to me, it
meant she was going to pick me up. It was ok!
only way I'd get off the big deck to go potty.
I was just supposed to stay until my behavior
better, but once I started cuddling on the
Mommy Karen, snuggling up and under Jesse's
and Dad brought home a ramp so I could fly
the deck, I knew I was a keeper!!! Christa
had to fly
home from college to give her approval, and
and Ruby have grown VERY attached to me.
PS If you have any unwanted computer charging
cords, send them asap, I've already chewed
Auction Time Again!
It's that time again! The 7th annual online
run Saturday 11/3 through Saturday 11/10, with
proceeds to benefit Havanese Rescue Inc. The
auction has raised nearly $39,000.00 to support
Havanese health and Havanese rescue efforts.
The majority of items at the auction are new.
gently used items are welcomed. To make your
donation go twice as far, you might consider
one of the
following: Order something from Havanese Rescue
Inc's store at Cafe Press and HRI will
once from your purchase at Cafe Press and
the money your item raises at the auction:
press.com/hrinc . Or if you are not in a
donate or bid on items this year, we can
still use your
help in spreading the word to family and
other lists you may be on.
The Havanese Club of America supports rescue
month by encouraging our strong and
compassionate community to work together for
Havanese in need. The Havanese Club of
America Placement & Rescue Services Group
(HCA PRS) is currently being restructured. In
the interim, Havanese Rescue Inc (HRI) is
assisting with ongoing rescue activities.
Please support rescue by visiting
don't forget the upcoming auction:
Changing Lives: Michelle Burke
If you have ever gone to our website, read this
newsletter in its archived format, admired an
HRI ad in
one of the Havanese magazines or applied to
volunteer, you have sampled just some of the
Michelle Burke shares with HRI.
Michelle designed the logo for HRI, the Havanese
Rescue Quilt project and the rescue banner
announcing October as rescue month for the HCA.
She has also designed many of our ads for
newsletters and catalogs and has created our
shirts at our CafePress store.
Though she finds her passion in graphic arts,
Michelle spends countless hours working on the
programming that allows our online forms to
She has designed and improved our website and is
there to answer our questions for those of us
on her computer skills.
In addition to all of the above, each of the
rescue quilts has at least one block made by
Michelle. She has also fostered dogs and
updates she still gets from the adoptive
Michelle's commitment to the Havanese breed and
rescue have benefited more dogs than can
counted. Thank you, Michelle, for all you
Have you seen the Havanese faces in Havanese Rescue Inc?
Charming, engaging and just delightful.
from head to toe.
Desi came into HRI at 8 months of age. Full
and mischief, he's developed fans with
met. That includes quite a few people, too,
had numerous visits with everyone from
at veterinary clinics to the veterinary
of Wisconsin. Within minutes, everyone in the
room and behind the reception desk has given
boy an ear scratch and smiled at his antics.
Though he's healthy, Desi has a congenital
of his left foot. Because of the degree of
he hasn't used his left leg very much which
to atrophy. HRI is working with specialists to
strengthen the rest of Desi's body so he can
more easily. We're also learning about
support Desi in using his left leg more.
Desi LOVES playing with toys, especially
like pipsqueakers and talking toys. He loves
sisters, the Wyland girls, and chases and
them inside the house and out. (See the youtube
videos to see him in action!) He thinks ear
are so delightful he has to fall down in
coat is soft and petting him could probably be
patented as a stress reliever. He wags,
entertains daily. Anybody who adopts Desi
ready to surrender their heart.
The right adoptive family for Desi will have
access to the appropriate veterinary support.
at this website
http://www.holisticvetlist.com/ will tell
you the location of holistic veterinary care
in your state.
Chiropractics has been most effective for Desi.
Before Desi goes home, he will have more work to
determine the best plan for physical therapy.
come a long way in just a few months in
You can see his progress by visiting the Desi