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Havanese Bichon

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Havanese Bichon: Your New Pet

The Havanese Bichon is a dog whose origins date back to the Western Mediterranean. Their ancestors grew up in coastal zones, specifically on the coasts of Spain and Italy.  This explains their relationship with the other breeds of Bichons, considered as lap dogs.

These dogs arrived at Cuba from several European vessels during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their appearance quickly seized the hearts of the residents, especially those of the aristocratic class. However, at that time, their fur was completely white, and they were known as «blanquitos of Havana».

However, in the 19th century, they crossed with other breeds, which ended in the current color that characterizes them.

The greatest challenge for this breed was the early 20th century, when, for numerous historical reasons, the breed was on the verge of extinction. However, they experienced a surprising recovery thanks to the contribution of several Cuban breeders who immigrated to the United States with their dogs (which the government considered contraband).

These dogs are small but extremely energetic. This breed usually grows up to 21cm and 29cm. This height is somewhat less than its average length. They are not too heavy either as their weight is between 8 and 15 pounds. Their back has a line that is completely straight (although not as horizontal).

Perhaps the best-known feature of these dogs is their beautiful fur. Their color can range from pure white to different shades of a lioness, finally reaching the appreciated Havana (similar to tobacco, brown-reddish). It is also possible for them to have white fur decorated with colorful spots.

The Havanese beautiful fur stands out for its great softness. They have very long and silky hairs, pleasant to the touch. Nonetheless, they demand their master’s considerable effort, as to always keep it flawless. A popular feature of this type of hair is its hypoallergenic quality.

Their walk can be entertaining for people, even hypnotizing, for they usually move with agile movements. Their walk is light, thanks to the straight movements of their front and rear legs.

Havanese Bichons are dogs very dear to their owners. These dogs are playful and full of energy, so you can easily grow fond of them. Their joy makes you feel full of desire to live. This makes them perfect as companions of elderly people who enjoy pleasant moments by their side.

Their appearance is beautiful, but they are not decorative dogs. They are meant to play with their owners. Therefore, they demand great attention, and children have a lot of fun by their side thanks to such characteristics.

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They are affectionate with people. In general, it is unlikely that they develop aggressive behavior without being silly dogs. They mistrust strangers quite a lot, even finding themselves feeling uneasy when they met one. Under such circumstances, they usually behave shyly.

With other pets, they are usually tolerant. Yet, they must receive adequate socialization from an early age to avoid any future inconveniences.

They are attentive dogs, and their behavior is favorable for training. This way, it is easy to train them as alarm dogs. However, this is not the only job they can perform. Havanese Bichons have been termite detectors, guide dogs for the visually impaired, and even therapy dogs.

They are long-lived dogs, living between 13 to 15 years. This time is more than enough for you to live countless experiences with them. However, this life expectancy is only possible if they receive appropriate care.

Generally, they do not need a lot of physical activity, and an occasional walk is perfect for them. Nevertheless, this does not apply to their gaming sessions that should be frequent. You should never isolate them, contact with people is extremely important for them. Therefore, if you are a busy person with no time to spare, it is better to go for another breed.

You must choose the food carefully. We recommend commercial foods (dry feed) for small breeds as it will guarantee the coverage of all their needs.

Their small ears usually accumulate dirt due to their shape. You must clean them by removing excess earwax and dust and dirt. Likewise, you have to cut the excess hair that can grow around. You should carry out this cleaning at least once a week to ensure the integrity of the pinna.

The nails of this breed usually grow more than they should, so you must ensure that they measure approximately 1 cm. For this, you have to cut them periodically (every 3 or 4 weeks). Professionals should carry out these cutting sessions until the owner learns the correct way to perform this task without hurting the animal. This care should start from puppies, or they could feel unsafe when you do it for the first time.

Hair is another important aspect of their care. You should brush them at least every two days, as it will help eliminate fallen fur and prevent the formation of knots. For health reasons, haircuts should only be around the eyes and the legs. Various dog federations consider other cuts as aesthetically incorrect.

History and Origin of the Havanese Bichon

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The Havanese Bichon is known to be the only native breed of Cuba. They are small dogs much appreciated for their behavior at home. Their ancestors went along many influential people, but they were also companions of navigators and merchants. Their history also houses dark moments, including episodes in which the breed was almost extinct.

If we want to find the origin of the Havanese Bichon, like that of many similar lapdogs, we must go back until more than 2000 years ago. Our trip begins in a Sicilian city called Melita, from which come some of the oldest records that tell the existence of small dog breeds. They emphasized their beauty and exported them all over the world to please the wealthy.

Specialists do not agree with the origin of these dogs, the ancestors of the Havanese Bichon. Some think they originated in Sicily, others place them in Malta, and a few consider that their true origin is in the Adriatic island of Meleda.

However, regardless of its origin, it is known that the Bichon family originated there. The first one to appear was the Maltese Bichon, which was responsible for fighting the mice and rats that infested the ships. Their characteristics made them very appreciated by sailors, who were responsible for spreading the breed through their journeys.

The entire western world fell in love with these dogs very quickly, and they even buried some pharaohs next to them. The upper classes of Greece and Rome did everything to possess them since they eliminated the rats.

The Havanese Bichon in Europe

Later, the Maltese were evolving in the different countries in which they arrived. The numerous crosses made their hair more abundant and soft, but they never lost the distinctive characteristics that they preserve until today.

In that context, the Barbet appears in France, a Bichon dog with curly hair. The word Bichon originated in France during the Renaissance, and it is an abbreviated form of Barbichon (woolly dog).

In Spain, some descendants of the legendary Barbet arrived in the 14th century. The Canary Islands originated the Bichon of Tenerife, a direct ancestor of the Havanese Bichon.

The Bichon of Tenerife expanded along the Mediterranean coast, and artists portrayed them in numerous paintings during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The Havanese Bichon in Cuba

When the Spanish colonization of Cuba began, from the 15th century, many sailors began arriving on the island with their beloved dogs. The most common partner breeds at the time were the Maltese, the Barbet, and the Bichon of Tenerife. They quickly gained a place in the heart of the islanders, especially of the wealthiest families.

These dogs had a refined appearance, and owning one was synonymous with high status. Therefore, the families of the colony would have made considerable efforts to adopt a puppy.

It is in the 19th century where the distinctive characteristics of the Havanese Bichon settled. At this time, new breeds arrived in Cuba, including the Poodle. The crossing with these breeds made the blanquitos of Havana grow larger and change color. However, they kept their splendid character.

The Havanese was the favorite dog of the upper class until the beginning of the 20th century when other dogs like the Chihuahua replaced them. Nonetheless, they would then move on to live with the more traditional Cuban families and, hence, their number increased.

The Havanese Bichon Today

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With the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, dog breeding became frowned upon. It related to the bourgeois culture the new political system hated.

These political changes made the Bichon almost completely disappear. However, some Cubans escaped the island and took their dogs with them as contraband. Thanks to their contribution, the breed restored with their upbringing in the United States and the whole world.

They even got the approval of the breed standard by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1963.

However, the FCI standard is freely interpreted in certain aspects, which caused the breed to deviate somewhat from its original characteristics. Thus, in 1987, the Cynological Federation of Cuba was created, which brought together the lovers of the breed to find the specimens of the country. In 1991, the Cuban Club of the Havanese Bichon was founded, which performs tasks of selection and improvement of the breed.

Nowadays, the Havanese is one of the most popular domestic dogs in the world. Their great adaptability to all types of families makes them versatile dogs that can succeed in almost any environment. It is not surprising that there are so many families eager to find a puppy of this breed to integrate as a member of the family.

Breed Characteristics

With a unique walk, a very colorful fur, and an elegant structure, they are dogs with ideal characteristics to be a household pet.

SIZE AND PROPORTION: The ideal height ranges between 9 to 10 inches and a half, with an acceptable variation of 1 inch or so. Nevertheless, variations greater than this are immediate disqualification, unless they are dogs under 11 months of age. The length is slightly greater than the height. The Havanese possesses an appropriate bone structure and is not fragile.

HEAD: Their head is wide and rounded, and their expression shows great intelligence, but also a certain fascination with mischief.

EYES: They are large and round, dark in color, although it is possible to find certain shades of brown, the eyebrows and eyelashes are very marked, with dark colors. Eyes with poor colors are a factor for disqualification in competitions.

EARS: They are wide but floppy. They have a high insertion in their skull, superior to the zygomatic arches. If the dog is on alert, then the ears will rise slightly, without being erect at any time.

SNOUT: has a length that is less than the skull, it also has a broad base and a rectangular shape, ending in a black nose.

MOUTH: The lips are black, although small-depigmented areas are acceptable. The bite must present a perfect complementarity between both jaws.

NECK AND BODY: The neck has a slight curvature, its length is moderate, and it combines gently with the shoulders, thanks to which it balances the height and length of the dog. The chest is well developed, and the elbows reach it.

The spine is generally straight but with a slight inclination between the front and the back. This length starts from the rib cage, which has some prominence, the tail is short and muscular, and it is erect and curved towards the back. However, while the dog is standing, it is acceptable that the tail is dropping.

FRONT EXTREMITIES: The scapulae lie on the sides of the body, thus allowing the neck to join with the rest of the body smoothly. Moderate shoulders are necessary to achieve a high neck.

The upper arm is not very long, the elbows stick to the body, and the legs are straight from all angles. Likewise, the length from the feet to the elbows is equal from the elbow to the shoulder. The feet have a slight arch with nails that you can trim, and the pads and nails can be of any color.

REAR EXTREMITIES: The hind legs have a thick layer of muscles, with moderate angulation. They should be parallel to each other, and the pelvic waist is slightly higher than the shoulder girdle. The feet have an arch and point forward slightly. Nails and pads can be of any color.

FUR: Their fur is silky to the touch, extremely soft and light. This texture is maintained both in its outer and inner fur. The hairs are long, abundant, and curly. It makes the body look larger than it is . Nonetheless, the fur moves fluidly, and the natural lines are visible.

If the fur does not have two layers, if it is too smooth or too curly, it will receive penalization. Meanwhile, a fur that is too rough will be enough to disqualify them from a contest, reflecting the great importance of the fur for the standard of this breed.

COLOR: There are no strict rules regarding the coloration of the fur or the skin, all patterns or marks with equal merit are allowed according to the standards set by the AKC.

WALKS: The Havaneses have a light march. They have a characteristic walk thanks to their front legs that are shorter than the rear. While running, the pads of their legs become visible. The head remains very firm and upright with a slight upper slope above the spine while it is in motion.

PERSONALITY: The Havanese dog must always be friendly and playful. These features combine perfectly with very alert intelligence. Yet, certain levels of aggressiveness and shyness are traits considered as normal.

PRESENTATION: The Havanese should attend exhibits quite naturally, after having gone through a proper brushing. The fur must be clean and can hang on each side of the dog, and the eyebrows extend outside the edges to give a prominent impression. You may trim the hair between the legs. Other types of haircuts are not allowed. This way, a more natural look accompanies their characteristic walk.

Behavior with Other Dogs

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The Havanese Bichon has been bred for generations as a housedog, especially to live as a pet of high society. Such a lifestyle demanded a very submissive behavior in any situation that also applies to the behavior with other dogs.

Generally, the Havanese Bichon seeks to get along with other house dogs. The times when they actively seek to fight are few, and they usually end up simply barking. Besides that, is more likely that the relationship between the two dogs is friendly and that the Havanese Bichon enjoys playing actively with their dog partner.

Nevertheless, a small Havanese Bichon may feel intimidated living next to other dogs, especially if they are larger or more aggressive. Such coexistence may fill them with stress and may affect their calm behavior. Fear and anxiety could trigger inappropriate behaviors. For instance, they could be loud or start biting furniture.

Your Havanese Bichon must coexist with other dogs from an early age so that they always remain calm in their presence.

It is also important that you train the other dogs to live harmoniously. Always avoid contact between our Havanese Bichon and aggressive dogs, especially if both are male.

Nature of the Havanese Bichon with Other Animals

The Havanese Bichon is usually friendly to all animals, even being common to see a Havanese Bichon sleeping next to cats. The owners of Havanese Bichon are aware that it is easier for the feline to hurt the dog. Of course, this does not mean that the Bichons will not defend themselves. On the other hand, even if it does, it will usually end in simple threats since the Havanese are supreme pacifists.

If the Bichon and the other animal have lived together for a long time, they are likely to get along with each other and we can expect few problems. However, if the dog did not go through an adequate socialization, it is better to avoid joining it with small animals, such as guinea pigs, since they could awake its predatory instincts. Nonetheless, this is less likely than other dogs such as the terrier.

If we live in a rural environment, the Havanese Bichon will usually get used to cattle and will avoid causing problems, but could be a victim of predators.

Consequently, if animals like wolves or big cats live near our residence, then we must be careful with our little pet. Other very dangerous creatures are eagles, which can confuse a small dog with its usual prey (rodents such as rabbits).

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Difference in the female and male’s behavior

THE MALE: He is a very energetic dog, and he likes to play with his owner. It is not common that he causes problems, but the presence of another male may disturb him. However, this is not usually a serious problem if he has undergone adequate early socialization.

Another important problem is that the dog may want to mark his territory constantly. We must educate him responsibly to avoid such unwanted behavior.

On the other hand, if you live with a female, the behavior of the male dog may be unstable while the female is in her reproductive period. Some symptoms that could announce this are whining, barking, and howling. It is also possible that the male dog tries to ride the female, and, if she does not want it, then she could become aggressive.

To avoid this, you can separate both dogs during that period. Additionally, if we do not want our male dog to be a stallion, then we can choose castration. This process will not only solve most problems that may arise with other dogs, but it will also allow you to prevent several dangerous diseases.

THE FEMALE: Her behavior, in general, is calmer, perhaps less playful than the male, but she is still very cheerful and peaceful with all the creatures around her.

During the reproductive periods, the female can become somewhat anxious, and she could even attack some male dogs if they try to ride her. Once the pregnancy ends, and she is taking care of her puppies, she could become somewhat unstable if other animals approach them. Usually, she will only make warnings as long as no one hurts her puppies.

If the female lives with male dogs and these are very large, it is advisable to move them away during the reproductive periods to avoid being hurt.

Crossing the Havanese Bichon with Other Breeds

Many owners want to take advantage of the ideal characteristics of the Havanese Bichon to cross them with other breeds. Commonly, it is not recommended to cross purebred dogs with others, since the characteristics of the offspring may not be favorable. Furthermore, puppies will not qualify for the records as a Havanese Bichon.

Nevertheless, there are successful crosses with small dog breeds, which have resulted in specimens of favorable characteristics. The crossings recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) are numerous, including other Bichon dogs, poodles, terriers, and the Pekingese. Even so, expert breeders should make such crosses.

Diet and Nutrition

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The feeding of the Havanese Bichon is important both to maintain the optimal health of our little friend, as well as to ensure that no problem develops in their growth. The food will also allow their fur to grow quickly and be radiant, so you should keep in mind all the advice we will later give you.

The feeding of the Havanese Bichon, as well as that of any other dog, begins with breastfeeding. This stage is vital for their life since breast milk contains a large number of antibodies and nutrients. It will make the newborn puppies grow and stay healthy until the day they receive their first vaccine.

After two and a half months, it is advisable to try hard foods, as well as toys that allow the direct stimulation of their gums. Their teeth will start to show up, and they can start eating croquettes softened with water without a problem.

You will know that the time has come to feed your Havanese Bichon this way when their teeth have started to appear. You just have to take the croquettes for small puppies and moisten them until they are a little soft.

When the Bichon teeth have grown, you must dry them so that they begin to strengthen and get used to hard food.

Diet of an Adult Havanese Bichon

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The Havanese Bichon needs a diet rich in protein since it is an active breed. This food should be homemade and in croquette presentation throughout their life since it is not a good idea to feed them with only one type of food. Moreover, it will bore them, and they will completely abandon their diet complete at some point, preferring not to eat than to continue eating the same.

This last scenario occurs when the Havanese Bichons have already tried a bite of homemade food. It can be stolen either from the garbage, or from you, but the truth is that at some point they will try it. If the only thing they have eaten in their life is croquettes, they will become obsessed with this new flavor and texture. They will force you to alternate their diet with homemade food, as it should have been a long time ago.

The croquettes that they should eat in their adult stage should be for small dogs, which correspond to their age. For example, when they are only puppies, you should buy croquettes for small puppies. While for the adult Havanese Bichon, it will be better to get croquettes for small adult dogs.

The difference between croquettes for small dogs and adult dogs is the protein and vitamin content, with the ones for puppies being a major source of them.

You may wonder then, why not always feed a Havanese bichon with puppy croquettes if they have more vitamins? The reason is simple. These croquettes can saturate your dog with vitamins and proteins, complicating their health in the end. Adults do not need so many nutrients in their diet, especially if they are small pet dogs.

As for a diet with homemade food, you can naturally implement it, as long as it meets some points that you should always keep in mind:

Leftovers do not count

Leftovers from your food should not go to your Havanese plate. Your meal contains salt levels and condiments that can be irritating to your little friend. Unless you eat with a tiny amount of salt and without spicing up your food, you should prepare their meal completely apart from human food.

Some food is poisonous

Some foods and ingredients can be poisonous to your Havanese Bichon. Such is the case of raisins, avocado, grapes, the heart of the apple, cassava, nuts, chocolate in large quantities, beer, half-raw potatoes, condiments, salty foods, among others that you should check.

The healthiest thing is to investigate the complete list of dangerous foods for dogs or investigate each ingredient you want to give them to know if it is healthy.

The health of the teeth may be compromised

The teeth are constantly cleaned with the croquettes since they have the hardness for it. Nonetheless, with soft foods, there is a greater probability that the teeth have tartar and decay. So, you should give them long-lasting edible toys to entertain biting them and, at the same time, cleaning their teeth.

Behavior with Humans

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The Havanese Bichon is a dog that takes the role of a home pet very seriously. While adopting one of them, you can have a model pet dog. They have cheerful behavior, can illuminate your family life, and are faithful. They will always be following your steps and will never question your orders. Above all, they are friendly with other members of the family, if they are respectful of them.

They are dogs as active as playful, so they will be a cheerful company for children, youth, and adults. The behavior of the Havanese Bichon is somewhat funny since they will always want to please and be adorable for their master. So, they act in an amusing way to win their favor.

They will feel identified with the children since the Havanese Bichon overflows energy. Although you should always be careful for they are small dogs and any sudden physical activity and/or accident can seriously injure them.

Specialists recommend that parents talk to children about how to treat a dog as small and delicate as the Havanese Bichon so that no accident occurs due to abrupt games.

It is not recommended to put the Havanese Bichon in high places where they can have an accident if they fall. Small dogs are fragile and can easily break their bones.

Children that know this will be prepared to interact with such a noble pet. You can also take advantage of this so they can begin to have a sense of responsibility. Reserve a day or two of the week in which they will have to feed the Havanese Bichon and change their water. This way, children will know that having a pet is a responsibility.

Never let children own a pet, especially if they are small. You may have given your daughter a pet, but you will have to take care of it most of the time. A pet is a great responsibility, which a child cannot completely take.

Havanese Bichons love walks, so it would be an excellent idea to take them to one for several days a week. Even better if they are in the company of your child.

Behavior problems in the Havanese bichon

The Havanese Bichon can develop behavioral problems if you do not worry about their education. Yes, a dog should receive an education as a puppy as if it were a child to ensure that it is a well-behaved dog in adulthood. However, we will not teach our dear Havanese history, mathematics or geography, but basic and advanced notions of behavior, some tricks, and how to communicate correctly.

The Havanese Bichon will not present behavioral problems if you train, socialize, and educate them. These three pillars of a dog’s education will make them completely docile and, in this case, friendly, amusing, and loyal.

If you do not know how to train a Havanese Bichon, you should not worry, since we will teach you how to do it.

Havanese Bichon Personality

Going beyond the personality of the Havanese Bichon, we can find that they are dogs that are faithful to the people they know that spoil them and share time with them. They can also be distrustful dogs with strangers, perhaps in equal measure, as they are trustful with their family.

This trait shows by insistent barking through the fence, to warn their master about the presence of a possible intruder. They can even become aggressive with strangers by bites if they cross the boundaries of their home.

These behaviors are typical of a dog that receives little to nothing socialization. Normally, a Havanese Bichon will not be aggressive with guests, but distant and distrustful.

Despite having the name «Havanese», this dog does not come from Havana. This name is nothing less than French. The origin comes from the words «lapdog» (the meaning of Bichon) and «Havana color» (since its color is white) so that its full name would become “Havana colored lapdog”. How about that?

You may want a dog that is always aware of what you do and admits that it needs you to feel comfortable and safe. Then, the Havanese Bichon will be a perfect adoption for your home, and you will not regret such a playful, faithful, and friendly dog.

Health and General Care

The care of a Havanese Bichon is necessary to guarantee them a good lifestyle so they can live for many years with intact health. Offering us great moments of happiness and even security, this dog will always be alert to the presence of any stranger near home.

Like every dog, the care of the Havanese starts as a puppy. Later, take some extra considerations in their adulthood and then try to make their old age as bearable as possible. We will enlighten you about the care they should have in each of the stages of their life.

Cares of the puppy Havanese Bichon

The puppy Havanese Bichon will be tiny, so one of the first cares you should keep in mind is to prevent their mother from choking them by crushing. You will only have to verify the area where the mother created her delivery box and that all the puppies are in place. It will not be a difficult task since seeing the Havanese Bichon puppies will be your new hobby.

After this, make sure that all puppies drink their mother’s breast milk so that everyone can grow healthy and take the milk’s antibodies, to avoid infections and diseases before vaccination.

Vaccination is the most important point regarding the care of every dog. Dogs have a good chance of dying before their four months of life if they do not receive vaccinations. The vaccines will be in several doses that will usually happen between 6 months to a year, between vaccine and reinforcements.

After vaccination, there is only deworming. Remember to go with a qualified veterinarian for both activities, as they are the only ones with enough knowledge to medicate your Havanese puppy. They will vaccinate them and establish treatments in case any setback affects the puppy’s health.

It is also necessary to feed them optimally so that they can have perfect health in their adulthood. Alternate balanced homemade food, using ingredients suitable for dogs, with croquettes of the best quality you can afford.

The last advice during this stage is to check their body for ticks or fleas, which can suck their blood and put their life at risk. To do this, you can brush them and verify their presence. In case you find any of these annoying insects, you need to ask your veterinarian how to eliminate them since not all methods are safe with Havanese puppies.

Cares of the adult Havanese Bichon

The well-groomed adult Havanese Bichon will have good health, except for a few minor considerations that you must keep in mind so that their health is always ideal. One of these is the large number of wax that can appear in their ears, which, if not cleaned, can cause infections. Similarly, the fur grows close to the ear and can irritate it if you do not cut the hairs that reach it.

The examination of the Havanese Bichon ears should be a weekly activity to eliminate any insect, hair, or wax that could infect this area. It is also necessary to deeply review of their nails to prevent them from growing a lot and hurt them when walking. Furthermore, check between their fingers to rule out the presence of ticks, since these annoying insects love this area to feed.

Brushing the Havanese hair brushing should be an important task in their care since it can create tangles and knots that are difficult to handle. Consequently, they could end up being cut, affecting the image of your furry friend. Therefore, you should brush them every two days, which will also remove dead hair that causes allergies.

The Havanese Bichon will need baths if they get dirty, which usually happens a month and a half after the last bath. Accordingly, baths can be more frequent if they usually play in areas with a lot of sand and mud.

Finally, we must clarify that even if it is a small breed, they still need frequent walks to release all the energy they have. Alternate the walks with exercise and activities at home, such as playing with them daily.

How to train or educate a Havanese Bichon

The Havanese Bichon is a beautiful dog that looks like a stuffed animal. However, this is further from the truth. It is a strong and refined dog, so you cannot treat it as if it was a toy.

Dogs must carry, regardless of their appearance or size, intensive training during the first months of life. Accordingly, they will not have any problems with other dogs as adults. Neither with their owner’s family, with their owner, or with the surrounding environment.

The Havanese Bichon is a docile dog by nature. From generation to generation, they have been pet dogs. They spectacularly perform this role since they will be the souls of the party at home, thanks to their character and amusing appearance.

Nevertheless, for this to be a reality, you must keep in mind the three pillars of canine training. The first one is training so that their behavior is that of a fully educated dog. Secondly, socialization, to avoid fighting with children and other dogs of the family. Lastly, training, to teach them tricks and for them to be happy to spend time with their master and learn new things from humans.

These three pillars are important to educate your Bichon in the best way possible. This dog is intelligent as well as sensitive, not resisting an offense, threat, or mistreatment without getting depressed and trying to escape. Therefore, traditional training is out of the question, leaving positive training as the only option.

Positive training for the Havanese Bichon

Positive training is nothing more than congratulating your dog when they do something right. This acknowledgment can come in different formats, from a verbal greeting to a tasty and healthy treat, such as a meat sandwich prepared by yourself.

Now that you know how to congratulate your Bichon, we will get into context with the training.

Havanese Bichon Socialization

Socialization consists of spending time with your dog. It begins from the first days of life in a pack, with their newborn family, with whom they will learn several details of canine behavior. That is why we completely discourage the adoption of a dog under three months of age.

When you already have the Havanese Bichon in your hands, you must continue socialization until adulthood. You can achieve this by introducing them to other non-aggressive or dominant dogs, to your neighbors, friends, and your family. This way, the Bichon will think that new people means good times and that they do not represent threats that they must neutralize. Granting that, they will always be distant with strangers at first.

Havanese Bichon Training

The training includes teaching tricks to the Havanese Bichon. First, we will talk about teaching behavior patterns. These patterns consist simply of congratulating your Havanese when they do something right and reprimanding them when their behavior is wrong.

For instance, when you see your Havanese Bichon defecating in a newspaper you should congratulate them. Better yet, apply the positive training technique with a tasty treat. This treat will follow the last action they achieved, so they will tend to repeat it.

If they do something bad instead, you should not roll up a newspaper as some trainers with obsolete techniques usually advise. All you have to do is say a firm “no” or an “shhh” as some famous canine trainers do.

This way, you will get the Havanese Bichon to know that you did not like their behavior, so they will not repeat it. Even less, they will know that if they behave they will get a reward.

You mustn’t be the only one to train them at home. If another member of the family sees them doing their needs in any place, they should reprimand them. Additionally, never congratulate them if they behave incorrectly, which can be to pet them, talk to them in an affectionate tone, or just ignore them.

Finally, training to perform tricks will be easy to teach since they are eager to learn. Follow the techniques of the simplest tricks, such as sitting, kicking, lying down, following, and staying still so that they can later learn the complicated ones such as playing dead or even dancing. You will see how your Bichon will be pleased to please you, as long as there are a few treats in between.

Best Environment

A fenced and defined space

Your house needs to have a fence high enough and well defined to prevent your Havanese Bichon from going for a walk by their means. Another person can steal or adopt them without wanting if they mistake them for a stray dog.

Besides recommending that your Havaneses have a necklace with your phone number, we also recommend you to take a deep look at your fence. It will allow you to repair any hole through which they can escape. This step is necessary even if your Bichon will live inside the house.

Objects they can bite, eat, or break

The Bichon could present behavioral problems when they feel that they do not get the attention they want or if they have not been out for a long time.  They can start biting objects in their environment. If they have shoes, remotes, phones, or furniture around them, they can start biting them to release stress and frustration.

Therefore, you must make sure you take them out for a walk and pay close attention to them. Nonetheless, remove objects from their surroundings that may be dangerous or poisonous if they eat it. For example, cockroach or rats poisons, and other objects that they can swallow while playing.

A nice space to be

At home, your Bichon needs an intimate space in which they can go when they want to rest or hide from some kind of noise at home. This space can be in the patio or inside the house, but they mustn’t be far from the area with the most activity at home. They love to hear that their loved ones are close, without being disturbed.

With this, your Havanese Bichon will feel at home, since they will have a space not only safe but also comfortable in which to be.