Do Havanese Bark a Lot?

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Do Havanese Bark a Lot?When selecting which dog breed is right for you, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. This includes size, temperament, volume, and the amount of attention the dog will need.

Havanese are an excellent choice for people looking for small companion dogs that show a lot of affection and love. But they aren’t simple lap dogs. They can be boisterous and energetic, making them a great blend of cuddly but also fun. That said, oftentimes, small, excitable dogs can also be quite loud and yappy.

Is that true of the Havanese as well?

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Do Havanese Bark a Lot?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Generally, Havanese are actually known for being surprisingly quiet for both their size and personalities. They’re so attached to their owners that they’re even referred to as “Velcro dogs.”

A stereotypically clingy breed like that would generally be expected to be quite vocal and protective, not to mention the fact that they’re also excitable. Small energetic dogs can often be loud and yappy. Havanese, however, are generally ranked in the middle in terms of mouthiness.

With that said, it also depends on the specific dog and its circumstances.

For example, a Havanese that spends most of its time in a backyard chasing squirrels would probably be more vocal than one who’s indoors in an apartment most of the day. And there are circumstances that might lead to a more bark-prone Havanese.

4 Most Common Reasons Havanese Bark

Let’s explore why Havanese typically bark.

1. Separation from You (Even Momentary)

As mentioned, Havanese are extremely affectionate with and attached to their owners, and that comes with a downside. Namely, they can be clingy to the point that they will want to be with you all of the time. They will follow you around and be by your side whenever you’re home.

Whenever they aren’t able to be with you or you perhaps even go into another room and close the door, they can get started with excessive barking and whining until you’re back. Even if you put them outside in the yard, their impulse will be to want you to be out there with them. And if you can’t be, they might start making a fuss.

2. Thinking They’re Guard Dogs

Related to their attachment to their owners, Havanese can also be extremely protective over the people they love. That means they can view strangers or new people as a potential threat to them. And this means, you guessed it, barking.

Havanese may even like perching themselves by a window in order to bark at passersby, just to make sure their people are safe and aware of the possible threat of unfamiliar people. It’s one of the reasons why Havanese is a good dog to get.

3. Getting Excited

I’ve also already pointed out how boisterous Havanese are. They’re extremely playful and need a lot of attention as well as exercise.

Needless to say, dogs who are that energetic can let their excitement get the better of them. This can mean a lot of happy barking when they’re particularly stimulated. This isn’t always to excess, but again, if you’re looking for a sedate dog, Havanese definitely isn’t the way to go.

4. They’re Still Young

Generally, when all dogs go through their adolescent stage, they can seem to suddenly become hyperactive, fearful (sometimes without a clear reason), and can even be disobedient. They’re dealing with a lot of changing hormones as they transition from puppyhood to adulthood. All of this can lead to a period of more barking than you’re used to from them.

It’s good to be aware that this stage is temporary, particularly when dealing with a less vocal breed such as Havanese.

For Havanese, it tends to start around the 5-month-old period and last for approximately 10 months from there. This can certainly feel like a long time as you’re going through it, but in the grand scheme of things, is just part of the process of growing up.

Should You Take Your Havanese to a Vet If It Barks Excessively?

The answer to this question comes down to personal preference. There are a number of training methods to help curtail your Havanese’s barking that can be done without professional medical help, so you could try those to see if they help first. This may make sense if your dog has always barked excessively.

With that said, if your dog suddenly starts barking more than usual, particularly for a reason other than one of the ones previously listed, it may be a good idea to have a vet check them out. Since dogs can’t speak, barking can be a catch-all way for them to convey that something is wrong, even if they don’t understand the source. A vet can help identify it.

In short, a vet can give you peace of mind or even provide advice that you hadn’t previously considered. And it is possible that there is a medical cause for the barking, so sometimes being cautious is the best method to keep your Havanese healthy and happy.

How to Stop a Havanese from Barking Excessively

Below are a few tips on how you can try to manage the situation if your Havanese barks too much.

1. Don’t Accidentally Encourage Negative Behavior

Dogs crave attention and Havanese even more so than many other breeds. And the thing is that dogs won’t necessarily distinguish between positive and negative attention.

Many owners will yell at their dogs when they want them to be quiet, not realizing that all this is doing is effectively encouraging them to continue the unwanted behavior. This is especially true if you’re ignoring your Havanese other than when scolding them, which can be an easy habit to accidentally fall into.

Also, not all barking is bad. For example, if nature is calling for your Havanese, you want them to let you know! So what you have to do is distinguish between useful and non-useful barking and only encourage the former with attention.

In short, when your Havanese is behaving appropriately, heap them with praise. When they’re misbehaving, simply ignore them, which can feel counterintuitive but does really work in the long run, if you can be patient. When your Havanese realizes that they regularly get nothing out of making a fuss but get all the attention in the world for being calm, they’ll stop making noise.

2. The Tire-Them-Out Method

This is one of a number of variations on how to quickly establish a good pattern for your Havanese. All you have to do is have some treats on hand and wait for your Havanese to start barking for attention. Watch them but don’t respond. As soon as they’ve tired themselves out, however, give them treats and praise.

Do that until they begin to associate quiet with praise.

Once they get used to that, add a command word such as “Quiet!” As soon as they quiet down, say the word, and then immediately give praise, love, and treats. Once they get used to that, you can start saying a firm “Quiet!” while they’re still barking until they learn that the word means that if they stop, they’ll get their treat immediately.

Then once that’s learned, try gradually stretching out the time between them being quiet and them being rewarded for it until it becomes normal for them to remain chill.

3. The Ignoration Method

Another variation on this is to take your dog to a place that usually gets them excitedly barking. As soon as they start, ignore them completely, no matter how much they try to get your attention. Once they stop, turn back to them and heap them with attention and praise.

Again, it’s about creating a habit of them associating silence with provoking positive attention from you.

4. Have Them Spend Time with Your Friends

Given that Havanese are so attached to their humans and tend to bark at new people, it can be a good idea to introduce them to your friends, particularly ones who might be willing to watch them when you’re away.

This will both help curtail a barking frenzy whenever they visit and also mean they’re comfortable with them if you ever go on vacation.

What Should You Do if Your Havanese Doesn’t Bark At All?

If your Havanese regularly barks but suddenly stops, this may be cause for concern.

It’s recommended that you take them to a vet who can help you discover if there’s a physical or psychological reason. Sometimes it can be something as unconcerning as simple vocal strain from over-barking, but it’s best to be sure.


Havanese are a very affectionate, boisterous breed who forge extremely strong bonds with their owners. While they don’t tend to bark excessively, they have certain breed traits that can lead to this happening more than you’d like.

But with a bit of TLC and patience, it shouldn’t be too difficult to break them off the habit in a way that makes them and you happy.

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