Havana Silk Dogs are a spirited breed who pack a lot of personality into a tiny body. They enjoy being the center of attention, but they don't demand it like other toy breeds. Havana Silk Dogs will instead do their best to charm and entertain a person in order to get a reaction. They are good with children and can even be trusted around toddlers. Havana Silk Dogs thrive on human companionship and hate to be left alone for long periods of time. They were bred in Cuba to be companion animals and are just as well-suited for empty nesters and retirees as they are large families. Havana Silk Dogs simply need a loving home to call their own in order to thrive.
Havana Silk Dogs are energetic, but they don't need a lot of vigorous activity to maintain health and happiness. A couple of daily walks and time to play, either indoors or outdoors is good enough. This is not an outdoor dog – Havana Silk Dogs are inside dogs and you may have to pick them up to get them to go outdoors. Their size and low activity requirements make them ideal apartment dogs and they are better suited for cushy city life than rugged country living.
Silk Dogs are highly trainable dog who will do anything for attention, and when training is conducted with positive reinforcement and treats, they catch on rather quickly. Harsh discipline will get you nowhere – a Havana Silk dog will shut down completely if his trainer yells or pushes.
Early and frequent socialization is important. Though Silk Dogs like attention and are generally good around new people, they can sometimes be overly protective and wary of strangers. Teaching them early on that new friends are good can save a lot of eardrums from a yappy Silk Dog bark.
This breed is difficult to house train and requires up to a year of crate training. Some Havana Silk Dogs never quite catch on, so if possible, a doggy door may be required.
Barking is a common complaint of Havana Silk Dog owners. Many report their dog's favorite spot to be a perch where they can look out the window and announce what is happening outside. Early training is important so that your dog obeys commands to cease barking.
Separation Anxiety is another common problem with Silk Dogs. They are true companion dogs who are highly dependent upon the people they love. People who are not home very often would be doing this breed a disservice. They are best suited for retirees or families with a stay at home parent.