Clicker training is a form of operant conditioning, which itself is a type of learning process where behaviors are reinforced or discouraged through punishment or reinforcement. An example of operant conditioning would be a child touching a hot stove. The pain inflicted by the heat discourages them from performing the behavior again. Likewise, giving a child an allowance for doing chores encourages them to do their chores unasked next time.
Crates, also known as “kennels,” act as a den for your dog, hearkening back to their wolf ancestors. They’re a safe space for them to sleep or relax, away from the hustle and bustle of the household. Crates also give you a safe place to put your dog when you leave the house. Even the best trained dog can get into things they shouldn’t, and as the saying goes, always better safe than sorry!
Recall is an oft overlooked but very important skill for any dog to learn, including a Havanese! Whether you’re just calling your dog from across the house or you’re calling them off chasing a car down the street, recall is a vital skill for your Havanese to know for both their safety as well as your sanity.
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.
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!
Housetraining is one of the first things you’ll want to start on with your new Havanese puppy. Crates can be an excellent tool while housetraining, and if you plan on leaving your puppy alone for hours at a time while you work or run errands, then they are nearly a necessity! Please read our page on Crate Training for more information.
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.
You should restrict your Havanese’s movement until they are reliably urinating and defecating outside again. An exercise pen is a good way to do this without fully crating them. Dogs will potty where they have pottied in the past, so you should make sure to clean up any past spots very thoroughly. If you have carpets, there are specially made cleaners to accomplish this.
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!