Shaping is a training method best used alongside clicker training to teach a dog a trick in steps.
Dogs pull because they want to move in the direction they are pulling. If you give in and allow them to walk in the direction they’re interested in going, then they learn that pulling gets them what they want. Therefore, the simplest way to teach your Havanese loose leash walking is to simply teach them that pulling does not get them what they want. If they pull, then you should come to a complete stop. Wait for the leash to become slack and your dog to return to your side. Reward your dog for returning to you and then proceed with your walk. Repeat this process if your dog pulls again. Otherwise, reward them intermittently for walking nicely at your side.
Patience is key! Don’t rush things. Let your Havanese decide the pace.
Keep training sessions short; approximately 15 minutes each. If your Havanese seems to be getting bored before the 15 minutes are up, then shorten sessions even more! It’s important you have your dog’s full attention during training sessions.
Although Havanese are a naturally friendly and sociable breed, good socialization is still important to help your puppy grow into a well-rounded adult dog! Your Havanese breeder will start this socialization process when your puppy is only a few days old, but it’s up to you to continue it once your puppy has come home!
While the Havanese is a gentle breed, as puppies they can be just as nippy and mouthy as any other breed! Absent their mother and littermates, any puppy will quickly fall back into a pattern of nipping. You want to stop this behavior young before your Havanese grows and their teeth become larger!
You should not introduce your new puppy in surroundings where your current dog may be territorial or possessive. While introducing two dogs to each other for the first time, a neutral area outside of the home is ideal, but puppies cannot be on the ground in public places until their vaccinations at 16 weeks old. A friend’s home or your front yard can work as safe substitutes, but if those aren’t possible then choose somewhere indoors that your current dog doesn’t frequent.
Havanese are a gentle breed and can be prone to anxiety or fearful behavior if under-socialized or exposed to negative experiences. They do best with positive reinforcement and do not respond well to punishment such as yelling or hitting. While Havanese already require a gentle hand, it is even more important to be mindful of your emotions or actions with a fearful Havanese. Negative behavior on your part could exacerbate their fearful response.
Dogs pull on the leash to get to something they find interesting, and by giving into it and allowing them to pull you toward their spot or object of interest, they learn that pulling gets them what they want. So to fix leash pulling, you have to teach your Havanese that pulling won’t get them what they want!
Havanese generally do not bark without cause and make great alert dogs for this reason. This is natural behavior for them and easily curbed by simply blocking their view of whatever causes them to bark. If your Havanese is barking excessively, then this is likely due to human error. But the good news is that training it out is a simple matter!