There are various objectives of dog training. A dog can be trained to obey commands, perform tricks, compete in agility, assist physically handicapped, rescue victims of disaster or hunt, track and herd animals. But in the case of Havanese, they are not expected neither have to learn all those things. Although it’s not totally impossible, you cannot expect a Havanese to rescue trapped travelers in the snow like Saint Bernards do. Havanese training usually includes housebreaking, obedience training and training tricks – be it simple or tricks for circus acts.
Before training a Havanese to fetch ball or to play dead, socialization should take place first. This period starts at around three weeks of age and may end at around 12 weeks of age, although some believe that socialization is a lifetime process. During this period, puppies are encouraged to use their natural curiosity to investigate and to playfight with the litter mates and the mother. They must be exposed to people and other puppies and animals as well. This is very important in helping them develop social relationships and prevent behavior related problems later.
Puppies should not be taken away from their mothers until eight weeks of age. They should be taken to their permanent homes in around eight to ten weeks for they can adapt to new environment during this period. Basic tricks and commands training can also start at eight weeks of age.
When puppies are placed in their permanent homes, Havanese training should start as soon as possible. Introduction to family members particularly to other pets if there is any should be done properly to prevent dominance issues and other behavior related problems. Housebreaking should also begin as soon as possible. Puppies have limited control of their bladder and bowel thus close supervision is necessary to prevent accident in the house. They must be taken out to potty after waking up in the morning, after eating or drinking, after exercise or play, when happy or nervous and before going to bed. This should be done until they are able to control their bladder/bowel and develop proper potty habit.
Successful Havanese training cannot be achieved in just a couple of days – some may even take weeks. But with patience, consistency and determination, you will soon reap the fruits of your hard work.