Training

2 minutes reading time (478 words)

What you need to know about Havanese training

All dogs, even your dog, needs basic obedience training. This means your dog should know his or her name, come when called, sit and stay on command, know how to walk on a lead, know not to jump up on people and generally be a good Canine Ambassador. Havanese love to please their people and are considered highly trainable. You can channel their energy into obeying you for rewards.

You don't have to go through trying to train your Havanese alone. You can always invest in good dog training books (and follow their advice), enroll in dog obedience classes (now available at big chain pet stores) and watch dog training DVDs. But the best thing you can do is work with your dog in short sessions of only a few minutes a few times a day. Make sure your Havanese has had exercise in order to not be too easily distracted.

Observe your Havanese furry kid and see what really excites him or her. Is it a particular food treat? Is it going outside for a romp? It is a particular toy? Be patient in discovering what would be the ultimate reward for your Havanese in training.

It will be the use of this treat, activity or toy that will be your secret weapon in Havanese obedience training. You will save this treat, activity or toy ONLY for when your Havanese does what you want him or her to do.

Use simple, one word commands and gestures. Reward immediately for any attempt to get it right, and reward with a jackpot for getting it spot on! You can also use shaping, which is rewarding for each step the dog has to go through in order to follow your command. Never hit your dog and try not to yell to the point where the dog shakes. Take deep breaths and remember the dog does not know your language.

And that's basically how you keep going with Havanese obedience training. Use positive reinforcement ? just ignore bad behavior or say "No". You don't want the dog to ever be scared of being near you. Keep the sessions short, and be patient. All dogs learn in their own time, just like with kids. If this is your first dog, then enrolling in basic obedience classes will help you almost as much as they will help the dog.

One of the best things you can do is buy a good dog training book. You can ask your dog trainer, dog owning friends, your puppy's breeder or your vet for a good dog training book.

You can always go back to the book when you encounter a new question at all hours of the day and night ? something you can't do with a dog trainer. You will find that Havanese training will be rewarding not only for your Havanese, but for yourself as well.

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