If you’re considering getting a Havanese, you’ll certainly want to know how easy or hard they are to train and what you should expect. This article will run through the most frequently asked questions about training Havanese as well as important things to be aware of.
Are Havanese Easy or Hard to Train?
As far as learning basic commands like sit, stay, wait, and come, Havanese are considered easy to train and generally very receptive, especially when treats are incorporated into training.
Other aspects of training, however, like crate training, potty training, and obedience while out on walks, can be a little harder to achieve. But this will come with time.
Most lapdogs like Havanese can be trained to a surprisingly high level with consistent daily training.
What Makes Havanese “Easy” To Train?
Havanese, being lapdogs, are naturally attentive and very reactive to their owner’s actions and commands. It’s part of their instincts to appease their owners, and this is an excellent trait to have which really helps with training!
Due to being so eager to please their owners, it makes them responsive and willing to learn what you are teaching.
⭐But remember, this won’t come without general hiccups and challenges along the way, and like with any dog they will test your patience eventually!
The Best Style of Training For a Havanese
There are a range of different training techniques, but the ONLY one you should take interest in is Positive Reinforcement Training.
For those that haven’t heard of it, Positive Reinforcement Training isn’t a specific training exercise, it’s a way of training that can be applied to ALL different training lessons/exercises.
It’s proven that dogs learn the best through building positive associations and with constant repetition of training.
For example, you command your Havanese to “sit”… she sits, and then she gets praised and rewarded for doing that. This is positive reinforcement training at it’s simplest. She learns that she needs to sit when you say sit, and if she does, something good happens…
⭐ Dog’s respond much better to this style of training over anything else because it’s the positive associations that they actually remember. That’s key to understand.
Punitive training, or getting shouted at when they get something wrong, simply instills fear and anxiety into them, and no positive lesson is learned from it. Fearful dogs have less trust in their owner and are more inclined to disobey them, creating an endless loop of disobedience, punishment, and distrust.
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Tips on Teaching Your Havanese Basic Commands
Basic commands are the foundation of overall obedience, and mastering simple exercises like “sit, stay, down, paw, and come here” pave the way for an intelligent and obedient Havanese in all areas.
⭐ The basic outline of command training is as follows:
- Give a single new command
- If it’s her first time hearing the command, you’ll need to physically aid her so she knows what it means
- Repeat the command
- Reward her with praise and a treat once she assumes the position
- Repeat many times
And that’s it! Give the command, wait for her to do it, reward her immediately for getting it correct. This applies to all basic commands.
⭐ Very important tips for getting the most out of each training exercise!:
- Set your Havanese up to win, don’t make it too hard! She only learns once she’s rewarded
- Carry out training with no other distractions around (to begin with)
- Carry out training after she has had her daily exercise and has eaten
- Never get frustrated when she doesn’t get it right, she’ll sense your negative emotions
- Stick to one single word/command and don’t change it. Changes cause confusion
- Be consistent with daily command training every. single. day!!
- Once she masters one command, make it harder (introducing distractions)
- Continue basic command training every day even if she already knows the commands!
By following the basic command training outline, and applying the tips given above, your Havanese will be an obedient little fluff ball in no time at all.
Tips For House Training Your Havanese
House training like potty training and crate training is technically no harder than any other training, it just takes longer for her to learn and understand.
Positive reinforcement is still very much at the heart of the training, and whenever you can build a positive association, grab at the opportunity.
Tips for potty training ⭐
If we take potty training, for example, the best way to prevent her from peeing in the house is to constantly take her to her potty spot outside. Show her where she should be eliminating, and once she does it there, reward her heavily.
You simply have to repeat this as many times as you possibly can. Try to anticipate and capture every single pee and poop and bring her to the spot before she needs to go, this is setting her up to win! You can’t expect her to get it right on her own for a while. And every single pee and poop done on her potty spot is one step closer to being potty trained.
P.S your Havanese is likely to pee or poop after napping, sleeping, eating, drinking, playing, getting excited. Use this to your advantage! Every lesson counts.
Tips for crate training ⭐
With crate training, the focus shifts even more on to building positive associations.
Many owners make the mistake of pressuring or forcing the crate onto their puppies without first establishing it as a positive place they want to be.
The goal is to encourage your puppy Havanese to decide for herself that the crate is fun, safe, and secure. Of course, she isn’t going to make this decision entirely on her own, so it’s up to you to facilitate and create good associations.
To build these positive associations you play with her near the crate… throw her toys in and let her fetch them, give her treats while she’s inside the crate (with the door open). Feed her inside the crate, frequently interact with her near the crate. If she never has a bad experience with the crate, she will never associate it with anything bad…
Of course, if you try containing her before she even knows what the crate is, it’s no surprise if she freaks out. In order for her to really love her crate, she must FIRST associate it with many positive things and experiences.
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Consistency Is Key When Training Havanese
To gain overall obedience from your Havanese, training doesn’t have to be of military standard, but it does need to be consistent.
Consistency really is the key to success.
The goal should be to dedicate 30-45 minutes every day to some form of focused training. If you can do this, you’ll have no issues with your Havanese’s obedience and general behavior.
One of the main complaints from owners is how they “started” training, but soon “gave up” for whatever reason. Try your best to remain consistent, and with time, your Havanese will have perfect behavior.
No one said it would be a smooth ride, but you’ll soon see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Not to mention, a dog that is well trained is known to be a much happier dog anyway. If you want to give your Havanese the best life, then she’ll appreciate having clear boundaries, routines and knowing what she is and isn’t allowed to do.
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When Can You Start Training Your Havanese?
There’s no reason why training shouldn’t start from day one. Especially potty training.
The fact is, that setting good habits from the start is MUCH easier than trying to rectify bad habits learned. Which will happen if training isn’t started early enough.
You can start showing your Havanese where she should be going for potty breaks from day one. And if you want to try some basic “sit” commands, you can do that too.
At the end of the day, training is designed to be fun, engaging, and rewarding, not something scary or harsh, therefore, there is no good reason not to start it as soon as possible.
Your Havanese will understandably need some time to suss out her new environment, so even though training can commence, keep it short and sweet until she settles.
I think that Havanese make excellent family dogs, and with consistent training will be extremely well behaved and obedient.
Havanese are considered much easier to train than many other dog breeds out there, so I think you will manage just fine!
What do you think? Are you ready for a Havanese? If you have any more concerns please let me know what they are!
⭐ Thank you for reading!
⭐ Check out our other Havanese articles here on The Puppy Mag