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Do Havanese Bark A Lot? (4 Things That Make Them Bark)

Whether you already own a Havanese or are considering getting one, how much they bark or yap is a very common question. This article will explain everything about Havanese and their potential barking habits.

Do Havanese Dogs Bark A Lot?

Havanese are typically very quiet and rarely bark. Of course, if something spooks your Havanese, they are likely to bark. They will also bark if they are trying to gain your attention.

Having said that, a Havanese will still bark when they want to express themselves or alert their owner.

Additionally, excessive barking could develop if bad habits are established from the beginning or when the owner accidentally reinforces barking with the wrong kind of reaction to it.

This is more common than many realize and is something I will cover later.

4 Reasons a Havanese Might Bark

It’s only fair to cover a few legitimate reasons why a Havanese might start barking and causing a stir.

1. Havanese are natural watchdogs

Havanese make excellent watchdogs, and part of being a watchdog is being vocal. Your Havanese will attentively gaze out of the window ready for the next unfamiliar face to come close to your property, before barking and letting you know.

The good news is that this is very controllable, and simply stopping your Havanese from gazing out the windows will suppress the watchdog tendencies.

Not only that, but due to this being a behavioral trait, it can be trained against altogether if it’s something you really aren’t fond of.

2. Havanese are considered velcro dogs

Havanese have earned themselves the nickname of “velcro dog”. This is due to their lap dog tendencies and desire to be with their owner at all times possible. Whether you’re sitting on the couch, or walking to another room, a Havanese will want to be there.

This is fine. But barking and yapping can start happening if they are left alone. These little fluff balls develop such a close relationship with their owner that they find it hard to spend any amount of time away from them.

For some, this leads to excessive yapping, barking, and whining. This behavior is best curtailed right from the moment you see it developing.

3. Havanese have a prey drive

Prey instincts aren’t reserved for large hunting dogs. Oh no… Surprisingly enough, Havanese have quite a strong prey drive and you can certainly expect a high-speed chase for the birds, cats, and squirrels. And this won’t be a quiet ordeal!

Barking is an instinctual response to any small animal that your Havanese decides is worth chasing.

In this kind of situation, barking is usually interpreted as an aggressive deterrent and to flex some authoritativeness.

4. Havanese are dogs, after all!

Aside from the reasons above, a Havanese might bark at any time they feel they need to let you know something. This is normal for all dogs, and although it doesn’t happen excessively, it can still happen…

From wanting to play, needing to be let out, or you’ve accidentally gone past their dinner time. A quick bark or yap is perfectly fine and to be expected in these kinds of situations.

Are Havanese Loud Barkers?

You would be surprised that when a Havanese does want to bark, it can be deeper and louder than you would expect!

Small dogs are often described as “yappy” and this is due to their higher-pitched barking. This isn’t the case with Havanese, despite being a small dog.

Again, it’s important to say that Havanese are more often described as a fairly quiet breed and shouldn’t be viewed as a “small yappy breed”.

Just know that when they want to bark, they will certainly be heard.

Interesting Read: Do Havanese puppies change coat color? Surprising answer

How To Stop a Havanese From Barking In The First Place

Although most Havanese are not considered perpetual barkers, this won’t be the case for all.

Some Havanese will start showing signs of excessive barking, and it’s crucial to nip this behavior in the bud before it develops into a habit.

Avoiding a bad habit

Breaking a bad habit is a much harder task than preventing one in the first place.

Excessive barking is a classic example of behavior that likely starts for a valid reason, but then quickly becomes nothing more than a bad habit if it isn’t dealt with correctly.

If your Havanese barks because she needs to be let out for a pee or poop, that’s a good thing, and that’s actually something you want.

So when this happens, go ahead, reward her and open the door for her. This will positively reinforce that barking got your attention and you responded in the way that was intended…

This, however, can accidentally work against you if you aren’t careful…

Don’t accidentally reinforce barking you don’t want

One of the biggest issues that owners find hard to deal with, is how to react to barking you don’t want.

This becomes even harder if the barking is simply a cry for attention, because even if you respond negatively and tell your Havanese “no!” you’re still giving your Havanese what she wanted… attention. And for her, she’s succeeded.

Rewarding only the calm behavior

Positive reinforcement is a powerful technique that involves only rewarding the behaviors that you do want, as opposed to punishing behaviors that you don’t want.

This can be rewarding your Havanese after successfully following a command, or in this case, rewarding your Havanese only for her calm and quiet moments without punishing her for her noisy moments.

The more you can get across your praise and attention when she’s quiet and calm, and NOT when she’s loud and barking, she’ll soon realize that the barking doesn’t get her treats, your attention, or your praise.

The trouble is that it’s easy to completely ignore your dog when well-behaved and minding their own business, but then suddenly show a burst of attention when they misbehave. Which is the exact opposite of what should happen.

Any moment you can capitalize on quiet and calm behavior, especially quiet and calm reactions (to anything) be sure to take advantage and go over the top with your rewarding and praise. While showing her nothing when she barks.

Trending Article: Why your Havanese is limping and what to do

FAQ Section

Do Havanese Bark a Lot?

Havanese are usually quiet dogs and don’t bark much at all. Of course, there are various things that will cause them to bark, like being spooked, gaining your attention, or when playing.

Do All Havanese Bark?

Some Havanese will bark more than others, but most are generally quiet. Of course, behavioral issues can happen to any dog, so if barking behavior isn’t correct early on then it’ll likely be a problem later on

Do Havanese Bark Loudly?

Havanese being small dogs do not produce a very loud bark, but it can be fairly high pitch. This may cause it to sound more like a yap, which can be particularly noisy.

Do Havanese Bark at Strangers?

This depends on their level of socialization. Havanese that have been sufficiently socialized with strangers and new dogs will rarely bark at someone, even if they’ve never seen them before. Unsocialized dogs are always apprehensive and will therefore bark.

Can I Stop My Havanese From Barking?

You can prevent excessive barking by correcting the behavior early on, and being careful not to accidentally reinforce the behavior. Make a point of rewarding your Havanese for being quiet, rather than giving her attention when she’s barking.

Thank you for reading! More Havanese Articles


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.