Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
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To me, Havanese are very easy to train. I can have an eleven week old pottying on command. But we start them as soon as they can toddle--around 3 weeks or so they will leave their bed to go to the potty area, whether paper, or litter, or piddle pads. As they age their area gets larger. They don't want to mess up their bed if they have somewhere else to go. Puppies raised on grates or raised floors, as is typical in puppy mills and pet stores, have no reason to not just let it fly anywhere.
But potty training and house training are separate issues. A lot of people think that when a puppy is so good at going in a potty area in an expen, that they are house trained. Problems arise when even such a potty trained puppy is allowed free range in the house not under constant supervision. The next step for us after an enclosed expen, is to open one side and see if the pup will go back in to find the box. But then you need to constantly watch and be in tune to any signals that the pup needs to "go". If it looks like the pup is going to have an accident, it is IMMEDIATELY picked up and placed in the box. It's much better in the long run to not allow such accidents to happen. Boys usually start to circle before they poop and will sniff around for a place to pee. You might only have 3 seconds of warning but that's why they have to have constant supervision when loose until they are housetrained. When there is a problem you have to go backwards on the size of the area allowed.
The answer to house training problems is ALWAYS--too much freedom.
Havanese are a lot like Arab horses. Both are very intelligent but creatures of habit. Once they learn how to do something one way that's the way they want to continue to do it. I guess "harder" is not necessarily the right word but it takes MUCH longer to retrain one than to correctly train one to start with.
We're baby sitting for a couple that just bought a puppy from us a few weeks ago. They had one of the first Havanese from Goodale and this is their second one. The pup is now 12 weeks old. They have been training her to go outside. She's very consistant. As soon as she wakes up or well into a play session, we take her out. She stays in an expen in the living room (except when she's out playing)with a litter box, which she was trained to before she left here but she prefers to hold it and go outside.