Havanese Puppies Available from Havanese Breeder Serving Washington and Oregon, USA and Vancouver, and Langley, BC
Socialization of Your Havanese
A well bred and well socialized Havanese has a beautiful temperament - not fearful, very approachable and love everyone and everything. They are said to be one of the best dogs for multi animal households.
To have the correct temperament of the breed the Havanese does has to be socialized, just like any animal needs to be. This requires an effort on both the breeder and the owners part. The breeder must introduce early socialization to the puppy. Starting right from birth the puppies need to be handled by humans and experience small stresses combined with safe security. We follow the the practice of introducing small amounts of stress to our puppies so that they build coping skills and confidence. We introduce them to noise, pots, pans, music, children, banging, door bells, traffic. We introduce them to being in the submissive position by holding them on their backs for very brief periods of time as babies, we handle them. We introduce them to traffic noise, we walk them and we drive them in the car. We also make sure the puppies are comfortable away from mom for periods of time, and crate train our puppies before they go to their new homes.
Puppies have a fear stage around 8 weeks and this is the time where I really want to build confidence in the puppy and trust. For this reason I don't release puppies until 9 or 10 weeks.
At about 12 weeks the second critical stage of socialization kicks in and this is where the owner must socialize their puppy. You also have to be careful as your puppy will have only had it's second shot. Your puppy can be introduced to other 'safe' dogs. That means dogs that have all their shots, puppy classes from a clean reputable dog trainer is by far the best and easiest way to socialize you puppy in this critical 12 week stage. Definitely introduce your puppy to children and make sure you supervise this introduction so it productive and positive for both the children and the puppy.
Your goal is to have a Havanese that is not afraid of people or animals - you must do the socialation, training and confidence building to ensure this happens. Not all puppies are born equal, there is a pecking order - alpha dogs will generally be very social, submissive dogs may need more exposure and encouragement. If you need to invite people over and give them pockets full of doggie treats to get your puppy to approach them with a wagging tale then do it and do it early. I can't recommend puppy training enough. After 20+ years in dogs I'm pretty sure I can train my own dogs, I still take my puppies to puppy class, it's not for obedience it's for bonding and socialization. Please don't skip this important step it could make a difference in you having the Havanese you always wanted, or having to work really hard to correct some issues due to lack of 12 week socialization.
A common mistake first time puppy owners often make is distinguishing between normal alpha dog puppy dog behavior and aggressive behavior. Don't assume your alpha dog is aggressive he may just be an extremely social puppy and if he is super confident and alpha he will be stubborn, and assertive in his play. Not bad, not aggressive just overly confident, short puppy attention span and stubborn. You need to teach him what is acceptable to you, but you do not need to punish him or treat him for aggressive behavior, Consistent training is the key, and NO attention for behaviour you want to discourage. Be Really Really consistent - the smart alpha puppy will figure it out if you slip up once, if it is OK to hand bite sometimes, or to chew up that slipper you didn't really care about he will figure it's worth a shot to just keep trying the next time to. Children need help sometimes with the alpha puppy they are lower in the pack and the puppy will not listen to them and will bully them. Work with your children to send the right messages in the right way. You want to build that important bond, so you don't want them frustrated with the puppy, but they need to establish some control. They need to use a deeper 'training' voice when training their puppy and they need to learn to only say commands once. Work with your trainer and your children with your puppy.