Havanese dogs are very trainable, smart and of a cooperative nature. They are not, however, known for being particularly easy to housetrain, and many owners opt to crate train their young Havanese pups to help in the potty training phase, which helps prevent accidents. Another reason to crate train your Havanese is to provide them with a safe, comfortable place to rest when owners are unable to supervise them, such as at night, or when owners are away from home.
Having your dog crate trained means that he is not able to get into trouble while you are not available, such as chewing on objects that could harm him, knocking over items that could injure him, and falling off furniture or down stairs. Most dogs take well to create training, as dogs are den animals, and if yours make his crate into a “den”, he will happily curl up there, recognizing the crate as his own little home.
Steps to make the crate comfortable and introducing time spent in the crate in a positive way will make crate training successful and the crate can be a useful tool as your dog grows. A crate trained dog is easier to transport and the crate can be used as a comfortable retreat in certain situations, such as when company is over, renovations are being conducted in your home, or when any unusual activity occurs in your home, to avoid your dog becoming stressed or overwhelmed.
Crate training can start as soon as your puppy is weaned and brought home, usually around 8 weeks of age. A general guideline is that a puppy can stay in a crate for as many hours as they are months old, that means that an 8-week-old puppy should not be left in a crate longer than 2 hours. Because most dogs will not soil their beds if they can help it, crates are commonly used for house training, but they have many other functions, including providing a quiet retreat for your Havanese and keeping him safe when traveling or when activity is occurring.
Your Havanese's crate should be just like his den. Putting a comfy blanket or cushion in the crate, along with toys, and creating a positive environment will make it more “homey” and allow your dog to adapt better to time spent there. Sometimes puppies or dogs whine or cry when contained in their crates. There are several steps you can take to reduce this behavior by avoiding reinforcing vocalizations and keeping your dog's crate in a warm, comfortable place where he can see you.
It is very important that the crate you use be the correct size for your Havanese. Most Havanese dogs require a small to medium-sized crate. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up in, turn around, and lie down in. If a crate is too big it will not feel safe and comfy to your dog--dogs like a secure den that is just the right size for them. Also, if you are using a crate for house training purposes, you do not want it large enough to give your trainees the opportunity to go to the bathroom in a corner. Most dogs will avoid soiling their beds so you want the crate just big enough for your dog to lie down comfortably, without the opportunity for a bathroom spot. If you are buying a crate for a puppy, try to purchase one that will be the appropriate size for him when he grows up, and use a divider to make it smaller when he is a pup. Plastic sided crates provide a cozy feeling for your Havanese, but if you want to use a more durable, wire crate, drape a blanket over it to give it that cozy secure feeling and prevent drafts.
She whines and cries all night. She doesn’t have to go potty because I let her out right before I put her in her crate. How do I get her to stop crying?
Hello Ellie Grace, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow one or more of those methods during the day to help her get used to the crate. Doing those things should help her feel more comfortable in a crate, but crate training typically takes about two weeks. An eight week old puppy simply needs time in the crate to figure it out. Make the experience as pleasant as you can by dropping treats in there when she is quiet during the day and giving her a food stuffed Kongs and chew-toys whenever you put her in there during the day, and by putting a regular chew-toy, without food in it, in there with her at night, and then give her a couple of weeks to get to used to the crate. Stay consistent and don't let her out until she is quiet for a second, unless you know that she needs to go potty. You can correct the barking in a crate in an older dog, but an eight-week old puppy typically just needs time to adjust, rewards for being quiet, and something pleasant to do in the crate, like chewing on food stuffed chew toys. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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It’s snowing out so I took her outside near the house where it’s relatively dry. She has made poo, but hasn’t peed yet. I checked her crate and its dry, and I’ve kept her confined to one area of the house. I just got her yesterday, but I’ve taken her to the same spot to do her business every two hours, but so far she hasn’t peed
Hello Josie, Keep trying every hour. Your doing well. See if you can find some grass, dirt, or other outdoor material that's warmer and dry still and put it on top of the spot she pooped on earlier to make the spot less cold for her. Tell her to "Go Potty" when you take her, and as much as you can on that small spot, encourage her to walk and sniff around for five minutes. If she goes potty, give her five small treats, one treat at a time, and praise her enthusiastically, so that she will be more willing to pee outside the next time. You can give her treats in general during potty training after she goes, to speed up her potty training and help her to want to go potty outside. In general, a dog coat to keep her warmer or a disposable real grass pad that you can put on top of snow outside and take her to for a dry area to pee on might be a good idea for cold and snowy days this winter. After she goes potty on the grass pad and you take her back inside, you could put the grass pad in your garage or somewhere else that's dry and out of her sight and smell so that it will stay warmer and not covered in snow, then you would have a dry spot to place outside for her when you take her potty during bad weather. By doing this, you would still be teaching her to go potty on grass and outside, so that she will learn to pee on the grass when the snow melts too and not get confused by puppy pads or peeing inside. Real grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Potty-Real-Grass/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=asc_df_B00EQJ7I7Y/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309806233193&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5636195418552774026&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-572651300532&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We just got him 3 days ago, and I took him for a walk before putting him in the crate and he peed and poo. I am taking him out every 3 hours at night to go outside and I just went to take him outside and he had pood in his crate and I have made it very small with the divider and he pood anyway. Help!
Hello Mary, Is there anything absorbent in the crate like a soft bed? If so that could be the problem. Take anything soft like a bed or towel out and instead use something like www.primopad.com that's not absorbent. If the poop was diarrhea and not solid he likely has GI upset and I suggest speaking with your vet. The diarrhea/stomach issues need to be addressed because he probably can't help the accidents while sick. If there is not anything absorbent in the crate and the poops were solid he may have been kept in an environment where he was forced to poop in a confined space and lost his natural desire to hold it in a small space. If this is the case I suggest using the Tethering method from the article linked below to potty train him when you are home. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When you are gone, set up an exercise pen in an area where your pup will not be spending a lot of time later in life and put a disposable real grass pad on one end for him to go potty there. Follow the "Exercise Pen" method from the article linked below: Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable real grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07K3WS97D/ref=sspa_mw_detail_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExUEJaRENBQk5VVE1GJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDIzOTQ4M1JRQUNGMkZaNTlORyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzk4NzQxU1FKQUdJR1dLRFlCJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfcGhvbmVfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Dog barks, whines and digs at the door of his crate when he goes in at night for 30 minutes.
We are on night 5. He gets taken out to pee after 3.5 hours. No accidents.
Night 1 - I tried the bedroom, but he was too loud and barked whenever I moved. I simply can't handle him in my room.
Night 2 - I moved him to a small, warm bathroom. He only barked for 5-10 minutes.
Night 3 - another person put him to bed but forgot to take off the collar, so while he was barking still, he opened the crate to take the collar off and put him back in. He barked even louder and seems worse now.
Night 4 - we thought maybe that small bathroom was mean since it has a toilet in it, so we moved him to a playroom. Thinking we had to start over anyway since the collar incident. He was his worst yet. Barked for 30 minutes, crazed, digging. That day though, I had worked on getting him to enter the crate himself during the day with rewards, and have some naps in there in a high traffic area. He responded quickly to training on how to wait to exit the crate. But he seems really mad to go in at night. And overly excited/stimulated when he gets out.
The household goes to bed at midnight. Before that, he's asleep near the humans in the living room, or on a human. Then is up to play for 10 minutes, go to the bathroom, then to his crate for the night when everyone goes to bed. This is where he gets upset.
While we go to work, he is in a pen in the living room, with a little teepee cushion and wee pad, and toys. He seems to accept that better. Enters himself with treat support. The Vet said not to treat into the crate at night because it will make him have to go to the bathroom. I can't crate during the day because I can't always get back to the house within 3 hours since we all work. But can get there at least for lunch for play, feed, outside time for an hour.
I don't know where to put him at night. Stick it out crate training or pen? I feel its best he be ok with the crate in the long run. I also wonder if the warm small bathroom was better than the big airy playroom. Bathroom also helps us sleep better since the sound is muffled.
Advice? Losing my sleep deprived mind. I know we have been inconsistent but I have no idea where to put him.
Hello Jackie, I suggest putting him back in the bathroom since he may feel safer in the smaller space. With time he should adjust to either the bathroom or play room as long as you are consistent though. Him learning to sleep in a room away from you can help prepare him for traveling, boarding, and other locations later so there are some benefits to that and you shouldn't feel bad about not wanting him in the bedroom at night. It takes the average puppy about two weeks to adjust in the crate so a bit of crying when you first put him in is actually normal, just be sure to stay consistent and not let him out when he cries and you know he does not need anything like a potty break. Check out the article that I have linked below. I suggest practicing the "Surprise" method for thirty minutes to an hour every day when you are home during the day or early evening simply to help him adjust to being calm in the crate and like it better. Just be sure to also practice other training and exercise him so that he gets out his energy before bed too. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Self-soothing is a skill that puppies have to learn just like other commands and lessons, so he needs practice. Your vet is correct that you should normally not give treats at night, which is why I suggest practicing for a little while when you are home in the evenings or weekends. The time does not have to be super long, thirty minutes to an hour should even help, just make sure he is quiet for at least a couple of seconds before you let him out. When you let him out of the crate, check out the video linked below and practice letting him out this way when you know he does not have to pee super bad - avoiding accidents is most important. https://youtu.be/mn5HTiryZN8 Also, you should be fine to use an exercise pen during the day at the same time. You can even connect a crate to the side of the pen as a den for him to go into if he wishes, to help him get even more comfortable with it - as long as he does not pee in the crate when it is like this. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I live in a small apartment but I thought crates were kind of barbaric so I wanted to train her in a playpen instead, where she could have a pee pad if needed. I had to set the playpen to the smallest available setting so it was basically like a big crate without a top. This has been the last two nights (and I’ve tried keeping her in there while I shower and try to clean). She did not ever enter willingly, even with treats. So I would have to put her inside. The first night she fell asleep in my bed and I put her in. She whined a little and then went to sleep but woke up twice during the middle of the night crying, screaming, barking, trying to jump out. Last night I put her in and she screamed for an hour and a half, eventually settled down and left for the night. I have an actual crate for her now and am going to try to use it tonight. She entered willingly earlier because she wanted to chew at the soft bottom I put in so I gave her treats. I closed the door so I could go take the trash down and heard her screaming from the basement. I’m afraid my neighbors are going to murder me, I don’t know how to get her to be quiet and calm in a confined space and it is extremely overwhelming. Also, with the crate, she can only hold her bladder 6 hours which means if she pees right before bed (which is a big if because she doesn’t always go when she needs to) that means I can put her in at midnight to wake up at 6. But if she’s going to scream for nearly 2 hours at midnight I don’t know what I’ll do.
Hello Christina, The main difference between the crate and exercise pen is the size. Only a small size will encourage a dog to hold their bladder, once past potty training exercise pens are great for giving a safe play space during the day. Check out the article linked below and follow the Surprise method. Ideally you want to practice crate training during the day too so that the crying happens when people aren't sleeping and so that you can reward with treats when quiet to speed things up - you don't want to give food at night. If she can handle the crate during the day, then nights are typically easier because they are more tired then. Stay consistent about not letting her out when she cries!!! If you let her out it might mean the difference between three hard nights and two weeks or more of hard nights. Each pup is a bit different, but the more consistent you are about not letting her out unless quiet and rewarding when quiet during the day, the quicker this tends to go. It might be worth putting a note under your neighbors door explaining that you apologize for the barking, are working on the barking and it should stop soon. You can use a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized air sprayed briefly at her side to interrupt the barking if needed - I generally only recommend this for older dogs and for those who cannot let the barking continue because of where they live. If you have issues with complaints, I suggest using that, combined with rewards during the day from the Surprise method linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate When she barks at midnight you will have to take her potty at this age, but take her on a leash, don't give food, don't play with her, talk excitedly, or do anything to make it fun. As soon as she finishes going potty, put her back into the crate and close the door. She will probably bark at this time, use the Pet Convincer (small canister of unscented pressurized air) if you have to because of neighbors. If you don't let her out she should soon learn to simply go back to sleep in the future, and since you kept trips outside boring, she should start to sleep through that time as her bladder control increases. The crate and letting her cry may sound cruel, but they actually prevent a number of behavior issues that can get a dog killed, surrendered to shelters, and make the dog untrustworthy as an adult...crating during the first year (in a humane way) allows the dog to have more freedom for the rest of it's adult life because it didn't learn bad habits, like house soiling, destructive chewing, separation anxiety, and barking out the window as a puppy. Crating can actually help prevent separation anxiety when done correctly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We are getting a Havanese puppy this week. We will be doing crate training with her. I feel fine about what to do during the day- but am unsure how to handle nights. Our last Havanese cried all night in his crate for 3 weeks and I got up 3 times a night to let him out and he still peed in there every night. I'd like to do better this time. Can you tell me how to handle nights? How often should I get up to let her out? What do I do if she pees in her crate? Is it okay to keep her in another room s the crying won't keep us up all night? Any advice on handling night training is appreciated. ThX!
Hello Kelly, First, working on crate training during the day should help her adjust at night soon, you will probably still have a few nights of crying though so be prepared for that. You can crate her in another room, just set up an audio baby monitor and turn the sound back on once she is asleep so that you will wake up when she wakes up and cries to be let out - essentially you can ignore cries when you know she just went out to pee but need to be able to hear her when she wakes to pee again. I would only take her outside when she asks to pee unless she has an accident in the crate. Most puppies will cry when you first crate them - fall asleep eventually, wake needing to pee a few hours later and cry to be let out, then cry when you put them back into the crate until they fall asleep, then wake later and cry to pee, then cry when you put them back in until they fall sleep, then wake up for the morning...Sometimes they only wake once needing to pee at that age. The times that she cries after going potty and being put into the crate you can ignore so she learns to settle down and go to sleep when she doesn't have to pee; the times when she cries to pee, respond to her and take her potty on a leash, but keep the trips outside super boring - no play, no excitement, no food, then put her back into the crate to go back to sleep. As she gets older and can hold it for longer, done the way I described above, most pups will start to sleep through those wakings and learn to only wake when they actually have to pee, and not wake because they want fun or food. If she has an accident in her crate because you didn't wake up or she didn't cry to be let out, you will need to do things differently though. If that happens, you can set two alarms to take her potty, about 4-6 hours after she last peed before bed - depending on how well she stays asleep - she will be able to hold it for longer if she stays asleep well and goes to sleep with less crying beforehand, or you can put her crate by your bed so you will be more likely to hear her when she wakes up at night. Be sure to stop all food and water at least 2 hours before bed and take her potty right before putting her in the crate - not 30 minutes or 1 hour beforehand - to increase how long she can hold it for at night. The important thing is to work on crate training during the day, keep pee trips boring, and not let her out of the crate unless she actually has to pee so that she will learn to only cry in there for that reason. Surprise method for crate introductions during the day - don't give food at night - ignore crying at night unless she has to pee: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We have a 3 year old havanese boy. For the first year 1/2 he was not fully crate trained. He was left with pee mats and allowed to rain freely — he would use his pee pad to do his business. From time to time he would potty in his crate - but not often. We have been trying (unsuccessfully) to crate train our dog. He will pee and poo in his crate ... daily and sometimes a few times a day. This can happen after he has been out to potty... let to roam the house then put in his crate. How can we get our dog to NOT pee and poo in his crate. It happens in the daytime and after bed. I’m having to wash him almost daily. :( any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hello Monica, Unfortunately, once a dog losses their desire to hold their bladder in a confined space, you can't use a crate for potty training in most cases (sometimes switching to a different type of crate like a varikennel can work - but not consistently for many)...What you can do is use the Tethering method from the article linked below while you are home, and set up an exercise pen in a room he isn't normally able to access (so you can phase needing that out later without him still going into that room to pee), and use a disposable real grass pad in the exercise pen so that it more closely resembles outside (do NOT use pee pads). Tethering method for outside potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable real-grass pad brands: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com The above brands can also be bought off Amazon. Since your end goal is outside potty training I recommend not phasing out the exercise pen like the article mentions - instead when he will consistently keep the rest of the house clean, you will just block off entrance into the exercise pen room so that he simply hold it while inside and is taken outside to go potty, and no longer has access to an indoor potty. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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