Raising and Training can be a joyful bonding experience for both you and your Havanese
BABY STEPS Have you ever made a foolhardy New Year’s resolution? Like swearing off chocolate even though you work in a chocolate factory? Or signing up for a fitness club membership even though you despise exercise? Or perhaps planning to socialize your dog to one hundred different people, one hundred different dogs and one hundred different situations each month?
A Havanese puppy with his boundless energy and tiny size can get into unexpected and unseen mischief and needs strict vigilance to keep him out of trouble. Havanese puppies are small which means they can get to seemingly impossible places, like underneath or behind low and wall hugging furniture, and even under closed doors if the bottom is raised more than an inch or two.
YOU CAN CATCH MORE FLIES WITH HONEY This old adage is probably one which you heard your Grandma spout when you were set on revenge against an old boyfriend or a bullying classmate. For many years, traditional dog trainers have ignored the wisdom of this saying and have advocated harsh training methods for dogs. There is a place in dog training, definitely, for corrections with a choke or training collar or a pinch or prong collar. But these corrections should be reserved for wayward, powerful dogs or for dogs who resolutely choose to disobey. Clicker training is a positive-based training method.
Your Puppy ATE WHAT!
Coprophagia (stool eating) is disgusting and revolting to humans, but really quite common in dogs. This topic came up recently on our Havanese e-list, as it often does when people get a new Havanese puppy.
Why is it when a Great Dane Puppy grabs your husbands work boot to chew on, a reprimand rises swiftly to your lips, but when it’s a tiny Havanese puppy who grabs the same boot, wrestles it as he drags it across the living room to settle for a chew under the coffee table, that the reaction is amusement and laughter. Both puppies are doing the same thing. So why is it okay for one and not the other?
So Many Choices
A balanced diet is important whether feeding a commercial dog food or home prepared meals. Read labels carefully and get as much information as possible to make an informed decision. There is not one single right way to feed your Havanese.
Perhaps you have always wanted to get involved in some sort of canine sport. Maybe you already are and are looking to try something new. Maybe you are looking to exercise your Havanese’s body and mind. Well March is here!! HOORAY!
PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE I’m a big fan of preventative medicine. I’m a proponent of vitamins, for instance, in the hope of warding off the common cold rather than stocking up my shelves with cold and flu remedies once the sniffles emerge. This applies equally well to dog care. Rather than solving a problem once it has occurred, I’m an advocate of preventing that occurrence in the first place. The holiday season is approaching and we need to safeguard our beloved Havanese from many of the pitfalls.
Housebreaking Your Havanese
Havanese, like many toy breeds, may tend to be a bit slower to housebreak. This does not mean difficult or impossible, just that the process may take more time. Consistency is the key. Most are reliable by 6-7 months of age. Bell training is a popular method among Havanese owners.
Havanese are exceptionally bright dogs. They are easy to train and respond best to positive reinforcement training as opposed to the old “jerk and pull” methods.
What the heck is a clicker?!
A clicker is a small, mechanical noise maker. It is used to mark or “highlight” desired behaviour.
“I’m Gonna Getcha!!” Most of us, after much research and consideration, chose the Havanese because of their cheerful, biddable temperaments. As a result, we are particularly appalled when Ruff morphs into a raving lunatic when he glimpses another dog. We breathe a silent sigh of relief when we are informed by experts that Ruff is engaging in perfectly normal canine behavior. Normal, but not desirable.
Let's face it, some dogs and some breeds are predisposed to over barking. A yappy dog not only barks at motivators, he also barks at shadows, sounds and movements, for attention or simply for the sake of barking.
Agility is a fun sport for many dogs. Havanese are well suited to this activity as they are fast and agile. When you have a new Havanese puppy, you see a bundle of energy who races around the house like a banshee and who fearlessly jumps on and off furniture on a whim and immediately think of a future in agility.
RX For Canines- Would you like to know the secret to a well-behaved and healthy dog? There IS a relatively simple solution but it’s one which sometimes seems too obvious, and too much work to be true … adequate exercise.
Havanese are extremely sociable and form very strong attachments to their families. This trait can be very endearing and is one of the reasons that many of us selected the Havanese as our chosen breed; however this strong attachment and high need for attention and companionship may also come hand in hand with other less welcome issues.