How to Train a Havanese Puppy:  Tips and Techniques for Success is reader supported. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission at no cost to you.

Training a Havanese puppy can be a delightfully enriching experience for both the puppy and its caregiver. These furry creatures are known for their endearing and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for individuals and families alike. Nonetheless, like any other breed of dog, Havanese puppies require proper training to ensure that they grow up to be well-behaved and obedient dogs.

To train a Havanese puppy effectively, several essential factors must be considered. Firstly, it is crucial to establish a structured routine and adhere to it strictly. This includes a schedule for meals, playtime, and training sessions. Consistency is paramount in puppy training as it assists them in comprehending what is anticipated of them and which actions are acceptable.

In addition to establishing a structured routine, positive reinforcement is a critical component of Havanese puppy training. Positive reinforcement entails rewarding desirable behavior with treats, praise, and affection instead of punishing undesirable conduct. Positive reinforcement aids in building a robust bond between the puppy and its owner and encourages the puppy to continue to exhibit desirable behavior in the future.

Understanding the Havanese Breed

Havanese is a small dog breed that originated from Cuba. These canines are renowned for their amicable and loving temperament, making them a perfect addition to any household. Let’s take a closer look at some of the defining features of the Havanese breed:

  • Havanese are highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train.
  • They are also very social animals and thrive on human interaction. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
  • Havanese have a lot of energy and require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy walks, playtime, and other physical activities.
  • They have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. This can be time-consuming, so potential owners should be prepared for the commitment.
  • Havanese are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, and heart problems. Regular vet check-ups are important to catch any potential health problems early.

In general, the Havanese breed is an excellent option for families seeking a small amiable, and lively dog that is relatively simple to train. Nevertheless, prospective owners should brace themselves for the grooming needs and be prepared to offer abundant socialization and physical activity to ensure the happiness and well-being of their Havanese.

Preparing for Training

Before starting to train your Havanese puppy, it is important to prepare yourself and your home for the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Set realistic expectations: Puppies, like humans, have their own personalities and learning styles. While some may pick up on training quickly, others may take a bit more time. Be patient and don’t expect your puppy to be perfectly trained overnight.
  • Establish a routine: Puppies thrive on routine and consistency. Set a regular feeding schedule and designate specific times for training sessions. This will help your puppy understand what is expected of them and when.
  • Choose a training method: There are many different training methods out there, from positive reinforcement to clicker training. Do some research and choose a method that aligns with your values and fits your puppy’s personality.
  • Get the right supplies: Make sure you have all the necessary supplies before starting training. This may include a crate, leash, treats, and toys.
  • Make your home puppy-proof: Puppies are curious and love to explore. Make sure your home is safe for your puppy by removing any potential hazards, such as toxic plants, electrical cords, and small objects that could be swallowed.

By taking the time to prepare for training, you can set your Havanese puppy up for success and make the process as smooth as possible.

Basic Commands

Training a Havanese puppy requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Basic commands are the foundation of any training program, and it’s important to start with these before moving on to more advanced commands.

Here are some basic commands that every Havanese puppy should learn:

  • Sit: Hold a treat above the puppy’s nose and move it back towards its ears. As the puppy lifts its head to follow the treat, its bottom will naturally lower to the ground. Say “sit” as soon as its bottom touches the ground and give the treat.
  • Stay: Have your puppy sit, then hold your hand up in front of its face and say “stay.” Take a step back and wait a few seconds. If the puppy stays put, say “good stay” and give a treat. Gradually increase the distance and duration of the stay.
  • Come: Start by calling your puppy’s name and saying “come” in a happy tone of voice. When the puppy comes to you, give a treat and lots of praise. Gradually increase the distance between you and your puppy.
  • Down: Start with your puppy in a sitting position, then hold a treat in front of its nose and slowly lower it to the ground. Say “down” as soon as its elbows touch the ground and give the treat.
  • Leave it: Hold a treat in one hand and say “leave it.” When your puppy tries to get the treat, close your hand and say “no.” When your puppy stops trying to get the treat, say “good leave it” and give a different treat.

It’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise when your puppy follows a command correctly. Consistency is crucial for effective training, so make sure to practice these commands regularly and in various settings to reinforce the behavior.

Potty Training

Potty training a Havanese puppy can be a challenging task, but with consistency and patience, it can be accomplished successfully. Below are a few tips to help with potty training your Havanese puppy:

  • Create a Potty Area Indoors: If your puppy is very young, potty training will likely start off indoors. Create a designated area with puppy pads or newspaper to encourage your puppy to go potty in that spot.
  • Crate Train Your Puppy: Crate training can be a useful tool for potty training your Havanese puppy. Most dogs do not like to go to the bathroom, sleep, and eat in the same place. By crate training them, they will be less likely to have accidents.
  • Establish a Routine: Take your puppy out to potty at regular intervals, such as after meals, naps, and playtime. This will help your puppy learn when it’s time to go potty.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise and reward your puppy when they go potty in the designated area. This will encourage them to continue going potty in that spot.
  • Be Patient: Potty training takes time and patience. Don’t punish your puppy for accidents, as this can cause anxiety and make potty training more difficult.

The following table lists tips from the American Kennel Club for potty training your puppy:

1.Establish a routine for taking your puppy outside to go potty.
2.Use a consistent command or cue to indicate to your puppy that it’s time to go potty.
3.Choose a designated potty spot outside and always take your puppy there to go potty.
4.Reward your puppy with praise or a treat immediately after they go potty outside.
5.Supervise your puppy closely indoors and watch for signs that they need to go potty, such as sniffing or circling.
6.Take your puppy outside to the designated potty spot immediately after they wake up, after eating or drinking, and after playtime.
7.Use a crate or confinement area when you can’t supervise your puppy to prevent accidents.
8.Clean up accidents inside promptly and thoroughly to remove the scent and discourage repeat accidents.
9.Be patient and consistent with your training, as every puppy learns at their own pace.
Source: American Kennel Club

By following these tips and being consistent, you can successfully potty train your Havanese puppy. Remember to be patient and positive, and your puppy will eventually learn where to go potty.

Crate Training

Crate training is an effective way to house train your Havanese puppy. It provides a safe and comfortable space for your puppy to rest, and it also helps prevent destructive behavior when you are not around.

Here are some tips to help you crate train your Havanese puppy:

  • Choose the right size crate. The crate should be big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it should not be so big that your puppy can create a bathroom area in one corner.
  • Make the crate comfortable. Add a soft blanket or bed and a few toys to make the crate a cozy and inviting space for your puppy.
  • Introduce the crate gradually. Start by placing treats and toys inside the crate and encouraging your puppy to explore it. Gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate, and always reward good behavior.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Never use the crate as a form of punishment. Instead, reward your puppy for going into the crate and for staying quiet while inside.
  • Be patient. Crate training takes time and patience, so don’t expect your puppy to be fully trained overnight. Stick to a consistent routine and be patient with your puppy’s progress.

Remember, crate training is not only a way to house train your Havanese puppy, but it also provides a safe and comfortable space for your puppy to rest and relax. With patience and consistency, your puppy will learn to love his crate and see it as his own personal space.

Socialization Training

Socialization is an essential part of a Havanese puppy’s training. It is the process of exposing your puppy to various people, places, and experiences to help them become well-adjusted, confident, and friendly adult dogs. Socialization training should begin as early as possible, ideally between 8 and 12 weeks of age. During this critical period, puppies are more open to new experiences and less likely to develop fear or anxiety towards them. Therefore, it is crucial to expose your puppy to as many new experiences as possible during this time. Some ways to socialize your Havanese puppy include:

  • Introducing them to new people, including children, seniors, and people with different appearances and personalities.
  • Exposing them to different environments, such as parks, beaches, stores, and other public places.
  • Introducing them to other animals, including dogs, cats, and other small animals.
  • Teaching them to tolerate different sounds, such as traffic, fireworks, and thunderstorms.

It is essential to supervise your puppy during socialization training and to ensure that the experiences are positive and not overwhelming. Praise and reward your puppy for good behavior, and never force them into a situation that makes them uncomfortable or scared. By socializing your Havanese puppy, you can help them develop into a well-rounded, confident, and friendly adult dog. Socialization training is an ongoing process that should continue throughout your dog’s life to maintain their social skills and prevent behavioral issues.

Advanced Training Techniques

Once your Havanese puppy has mastered the basic commands, you can move on to advanced training techniques. These techniques will help you further develop your puppy’s skills and obedience.

Target Training: This technique involves teaching your puppy to touch a specific object with their nose or paw. Start by holding the object (such as a stick or target stick) and rewarding your puppy when they touch it. Gradually move the object farther away and reward your puppy when they move towards it and touch it. This technique can be useful for teaching your puppy to perform tricks or navigate obstacles.

Clicker Training: Clicker training involves using a clicker to mark desired behavior and then rewarding your puppy. Start by clicking the clicker and giving your puppy a treat. Repeat this several times until your puppy associates the click with the treat. Then, use the clicker to mark desired behavior (such as sitting or staying) and reward your puppy with a treat. This technique can be useful for teaching your puppy more complex behaviors and tricks.

Off-Leash Training: Once your puppy has mastered basic commands on a leash, you can start off-leash training. Start in a secure, enclosed area and gradually increase the distance between you and your puppy. Use verbal commands and hand signals to communicate with your puppy. Reward your puppy for staying close and following commands. This technique can be useful for improving your puppy’s recall and obedience.

Trick Training: Trick training can be a fun way to bond with your puppy and improve their obedience. Start with simple tricks (such as roll over or shake) and gradually increase the difficulty. Use positive reinforcement and rewards to encourage your puppy to perform the tricks. This technique can also help improve your puppy’s focus and attention.

Troubleshooting Common Training Issues

Training a Havanese puppy can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. Here are some common training issues that owners may encounter and how to troubleshoot them:

Housebreaking problems: Havanese puppies can be difficult to housebreak, and accidents are bound to happen. To prevent accidents, owners should establish a routine and take their puppy outside frequently, especially after meals and naps. If accidents do occur, owners should clean them up thoroughly to remove any lingering scent that may attract the puppy to the same spot. Crate training can also be helpful in preventing accidents and teaching the puppy to hold its bladder.

Barking: Havanese puppies are known to be vocal, and excessive barking can be a problem. To address this issue, owners should teach their puppy the “quiet” command and reward it when it stops barking. It’s also important to identify the triggers that cause the puppy to bark and address them. For example, if the puppy barks at people passing by the window, owners can close the curtains or train the puppy to ignore them.

Chewing: Havanese puppies, like all puppies, love to chew. To prevent destructive chewing, owners should provide their puppy with appropriate chew toys and supervise them when they are playing. If the puppy chews on something it shouldn’t, owners should redirect its attention to an appropriate chew toy and praise it when it chews on it instead.

Pulling on the leash: Havanese puppies can be stubborn and may pull on the leash during walks. To prevent this, owners should use a harness instead of a collar, as it is more comfortable for the puppy and gives the owner more control. Owners should also teach their puppy to walk on a loose leash by stopping and changing direction when the puppy pulls and rewarding it when it walks calmly by their side.

Jumping: Havanese puppies are friendly and love attention, but jumping can be a problem. To prevent jumping, owners should teach their puppy the “off” command and reward it when it keeps all four paws on the ground. Owners should also avoid encouraging jumping by not rewarding the puppy with attention when it jumps.


Training a Havanese puppy requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. It is important to establish yourself as the pack leader and create a safe and nurturing environment for your puppy to learn and grow.

Start with basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, verbal praise, and affection to reward good behavior. Avoid using harsh punishments as this can cause fear and anxiety in your puppy.

Potty training can be challenging for Havanese puppies due to their small bladders, but with patience and consistency, they can learn to go in the right place. Crate training can also be helpful in teaching your puppy to hold their bladder and avoid accidents indoors.

Socialization is key in raising a well-adjusted Havanese puppy. Introduce them to new people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner. This will help them develop confidence, reduce anxiety, and prevent behavioral issues in the future.

Remember to always be patient, consistent, and loving in your training efforts. With time and effort, your Havanese puppy can become a well-behaved and happy member of your family.

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