Little dogs definitely have a reputation as barkers. If you are looking into getting a Havanese or wondering if your dog is normal then you are trying to see if they bark a lot.
Havanese dogs definitely do bark, however, so do all dogs. This little dog is not known for being a barker, but there are situations that the dog will bark in. Specifically when the doorbell rings, sometimes when people walk by the front window and if the neighbourhood cat jumps into the yard.
Our little Havanese Nessie will bark at all of these situations. We have also trained her to bark at the back door when she wants to go outside, so she knows that being vocal is part of the deal.
You can easily train your Havanese not to bark or be as vocal.
Are Havanese Dogs Yappy?
It is interesting when people talk about being yappy as opposed to barking. I would say that Havanese can and do bark, but yappy wouldn’t be a word that I would use to describe these dogs.
I’m not sure what you think yappy is but for me it typically means annoying and uncontrollable. Now I will say that sometimes these dogs can be a little yappy. Our Nessie will bark at things outside, and sometimes when people come over.
In general, Havanese dogs are not considered a yappy breed. It doesn’t mean that they will not bark or make noise at all, just that they are not like other yappy breeds. Havanese can actually be great watchdogs, and will definitely bark at people coming onto your property.
Usually when you acknowledge them during the barking they will stop. Sometimes Nessie struggles with stopping when a person comes to the door. We have been working on that with her and trying to get her to use her “inside” voice or to stop after the first few initial barks. It is a process but we are making progress.
Temperament and Vocality
Havanese are very chilled out and relaxed, and so they only bark to welcome guests or to ward off whoever comes knocking on your front door. This is pretty generic of all dogs, however, and is hardly something you can avoid with any breed. The best part about Havanese is that once the person is inside the house and welcomed, the barking is over.
Interestingly enough, the bark from a Havanese dog is very deep, much more so than other dogs of the same size. When a Havanese barks from inside your house, it sounds as though you have an attack dog hidden behind the front door. People are often surprised when they get inside and see the little Havanese sitting and waiting to be petted, confused about how such a deep, imposing sound came from such a small and adorable furball. This is one of the reasons Havanese make fantastic watchdogs. They will alert you of any intruder and, hopefully, scare the intruder away with their exaggerated barks.
Training is Required
If you leave your dog alone too much, especially outside for long periods of time, barking can become a problem. If your Havanese dog is a little more vocal, then you will need to manage this behaviour regularly. Teaching them to stop on command will be a work in progress, but something that will be of great benefit.
It’s a delicate balance. You definitely want them to sound the alarm, but you don’t want them to continue on and on. There are multiple training methods that you can employ, ad we will discuss some below. It is important however to remember that you need to work with your dog and make sure that they know what you are trying to get them to do.
Which is Better Male or Female Havanese?
When it comes to barking there really isn’t any difference between males and females. This is especially true if you got your dog fixed early in the process. Hormones in all dogs can alter behaviour.
It has been said that female Havanese are little more territorial, but also a little more demanding when it comes to affection. I can certainly vouch for the fact that female Havanese definitely want attention. Our little Nessie will come and cuddle often and loves when we pet her. When you stop petting her she will find your hand and try to convince you to continue.
If you are trying to choose between the two types, there are a couple of things to consider like the cost of fixing them and the attitude of a male dog vs a female dog. usually, males are less expensive to fix.
What Can I do To manage the Barking?
Ok so if you are here because you already have a Havanese and you want to adjust it’s barking behaviour, or you are getting a Havanese and you want to start early let’s look at some training.
- After a few barks distract the dog. Call them away from what they are doing and tell them to stop. This distraction usually works. Often the dog is trying to warn you of something, and when you acknowledge them they stop because that is what they are after.
- Some people have found that a shaker can be useful to create another sound in the space. This will take them from their barking to thinking about the shaker.
- Indoor ultrasonic correction devices can work to deliver a warning sound. They do not completely prevent barking as they usually don’t initiate till after the first 2-3 barks. Here is an example of one on Amazon.
- Sometimes it is helpful if the outdoor view is controlled. If you dog barks at everything outside then you may need to limit their ability to see outside. You can do this with blinds and semi-transparent films on parts of the window they can see out of.
- Bark Collar. Obviously you need to be careful with which type you get, and you may need to try a few different kinds to see how it goes. Here is an example of one that doesn’t shock the dog at all, but uses sounds and vibration to help you train your dog. If you need something stronger make sure you consult your vet on what is safe and what isn’t.