How to Train a Havanese to do Tricks

Easy
2-12 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

With their spirited and lively gait, gorgeous flowing coats, and sweet almond-shaped eyes, Havanese are appealing little dogs that make you feel happy to watch. The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba and, although a toy breed, is sturdy and athletic. Havanese are happy, playful, and good-natured. They are deeply loyal to their family and do not do well being left alone. Because of their strong loyalty and powerful bond to their family, Havanese are highly trainable. You are more likely to be looking for new things to teach your Havanese than struggling with training something.

Defining Tasks

Trick training should be fun and playful, and your Havanese will engage joyfully in trick training when done in a positive manner. While toys and treats help motivate and mark good behavior, many Havanese are more than happy to learn tricks just for fun and because it pleases their family. Use your natural connection to your Havanese to choose times when she is looking for engagement and entertainment and use these opportunities to teach tricks. Choose tricks that are fun and fit your Havanese's personality. If your dog loves throwing herself around and being crazy, go with active tricks. If your Havanese is more watchful and reserved, teach tricks that rely on cleverness and watchfulness.

Getting Started

Choose times when your Havanese is attentive and interested for training. Do not rouse her from sleep or ask her to calm down when she feels like running around like crazy. Use as little treat motivation as possible, since tricks should be fun for your Havanese to learn. If you do use treats, use as small and low calorie treats as possible to motivate her, since she is a small dog who can gain weight easily. Be careful when planning tricks not to put too much stress on your Havanese's neck or back, as this is a slightly long back breed who could suffer back damage from doing a flip or other stressful trick.

The Clicks for Tricks Method

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Step
1
Sounds means treats
Make a unique sound, either using your mouth or a noise maker like a clicker or a beeper. Every time you do, give your Havanese a trick, a toy, or your affection and attention. When she is looking at you every time you click move onto the next step.
Step
2
Elicit behavior
Draw out the behavior that will form the trick you are teaching. You can lure your Havanese with a toy or treat or move her body with your hands if she doesn't mind.
Step
3
Mark behavior
As soon as the behavior you want is accomplished, make the unique sound and reward your dog.
Step
4
Repeat
Repeat the lure, mark, and reward until your Havanese is comfortable with and anticipating the activity.
Step
5
Ask for behavior
Ask for the trick without luring or helping, then reward enthusiastically when your Havanese accomplishes the activity.
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The Mirror Me Method

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Step
1
Furry shadow
If your Havanese is your furry shadow, always by your side, you can teach her fun tricks by teaching her to do what you do.
Step
2
Perform simple activity
Perform a simple activity like backing up or jumping once. Keep doing the activity, looking at your Havanese, and saying a command for the trick.
Step
3
Reward trying
If your Havanese watches you and seems to be trying to figure out what you are doing, reward her so she knows your activity can involve her.
Step
4
Reward doing
As soon as your dog does what you are doing, reward her enthusiastically and name the activity.
Step
5
Ask for trick
Once your Havanese is comfortable with mirroring you as you perform a trick, say the command word without doing the trick yourself. If your Havanese does the trick, reward her well. If not, go back to doing it with her.
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The Tricks are a Game Method

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Step
1
Tricks are fun
Choose tricks that your Havanese will enjoy doing, like jumping through a hoop or jumping up on her hind legs.
Step
2
Play with your dog
Play with your Havanese using her favorite toys, then introduce a trick by drawing it out with a toy.
Step
3
Name and play
As soon as your Havanese performs the trick, name it and reward your Havanese by continuing to play.
Step
4
Mix it up
To keep it fun for your Havanese, keep teaching new tricks and variations on the old tricks as she learns. Make sure to make the training play-centered so that it doesn't become work.
Step
5
Practice outside of play
Ask for tricks when your Havanese isn't playing, then reward with play.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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