How to Train a Havanese to Not Bark

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

While no one can really claim that the Havanese is a "yappy" breed, at the same time, no one can call them a particularly quiet breed. If you have been blessed with one of the more vocal members of this breed, it can become overwhelming if you don't take the steps needed to train your furball to be quiet. One thing's for sure, your neighbors are certainly going to appreciate when your pup finally learns to stop barking all the time.

As part of your training program, you need to decide on a cue or command word. Among the most commonly used are "quiet" and "that's enough" It really doesn’t matter what you use as long as you stick to using the same one all the time. This helps your pup to associate a single command with a very specific behavior. 

Defining Tasks

Your task, provided you make the decision to partake in it, is to teach your fuzzball that he does not need to bark constantly and that while there are a few times when it is okay, most of the time he needs to be quiet. Sounds easy enough, right? If you are willing to put in the time and effort needed to work with your pup on mastering this very important skill, chances are good that he will pick up what is expected of him and be all too ready to please you by doing his best to be quiet.

One thing you should work on teaching your pup before you start training him to be quiet, is to 'speak' on command. Also, use positive reinforcement methods of training, they will always work if you stick with them. Using punishment or yelling at your pooch will do more harm than good. 

Getting Started

Unlike many other tricks or behaviors you will teach your pup over the course of time, this one does not need much in the way of supplies. In all reality, all you need is a healthy supply of the following: your pup's favorite treats, time, and patience. Your Havanese is very intelligent and ready to learn. Take advantage of this and teach your pup to be quiet, along with several other important behaviors. 

The I Don't Know You Method

Effective
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Step
1
Treats 'R Us
Stuff your pocket full of your pup's favorite treats you can use to reward your pup for good behavior.
Step
2
Hang out together
Take a little time out of your busy day and spend it hanging out with your fuzzball. Take him to one of the areas that tend to send him off on a barking fit.
Step
3
Who is this noisy creature?
Once he starts barking, turn away from him and pretend that you have no idea who he is. Do this every time he starts barking. This will help him associate barking with being ignored.
Step
4
Who, me?
When your dog finally stops barking and looks at you with a slightly guilty look on his face, praise him and give him a nice treat.
Step
5
Putting it all together
For the next few weeks keep working on this training, slowly increasing the time between his stopping barking and when he gets his treats. In time, the urge to bark will slowly fade away and your pup will reserve it for when there is a very good reason for him to raise a ruckus.
Recommend training method?

The Too Tired to Bark Method

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Step
1
Pocket some treats
Fill your pocket with a handful of your pup's favorite treats.
Step
2
Did you say something to me?
When your pup gets it into his head to start barking, pay him no heed, just keep a close eye on him.
Step
3
Too tired
At some point your pup is going to become too tired to keep up the noise. When he stops making all that noise, praise him and give him a treat. This will help him connect getting something good with not barking.
Step
4
Time to use your words
Now that he has the idea he gets treats when he stops barking, it's time to add in the cue word. Each time he stops barking, give him the command "Quiet" and then praise him and give him a treat.
Step
5
Move up the cue
When your pooch has made the association between your 'quiet' cue and the sound of silence, start giving the cue while he's still actively barking.
Step
6
The long and winding road
The rest is all about spending as much time as you can working with your pup on stretching out the time between stopping and being rewarded. In time, he will simply not bark unless there is a very good reason.
Recommend training method?

The Talk to Me Method

Effective
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Step
1
'Speak' first
For this method, it's helpful if you've already taught your pooch to bark on cue.
Step
2
To me
Choose a spot to work in, one where your pup tends to bark a lot if he hasn't mastered barking on command, and call your pup over.
Step
3
Talk to me
Give your pup the 'speak' command and let him have a few seconds in which to voice his opinion. Then give him the 'quiet' command.
Step
4
Wait for it
It might take a few minutes at first for your pup to stop barking, but when he does, be sure to immediately praise him and give him a tasty treat.
Step
5
More time, if you please
Now that your pup understands he gets an immediate reward for not barking, it's time to start adding time in small increments between when he stops barking and when you give him the treat.
Step
6
Make it work
The rest is all about spending as much time as you can working with your pup until he finally comes to understand that the only time he gets praise or treats is when he is being quiet. Before long, he will figure it out and you should have no more crazy barking furry frenzy.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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