When you bring your puppy home, they will still be young and needing to go the the bathroom frequently. I use artificial grass matts (found online or at Walmart) to start the puppies off while they are only two weeks old. Although grass matts or other potty pads work if you have to leave them for long periods of time, but I don’t recommend relying on them too much if you have the choice. It’s best to get them in the habit of going outside right away, as it will cause less confusion in the long run.
Take your puppy outside to pee when it wakes up, after a play, and after a meal. I like to take them outside at least once every 60 minutes at first. Signs they need to go include sniffing, circling or approaching the door. The effort you put in in the beginning will pay off.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is letting their puppy have too much freedom too early on. DO NOT let your Havanese have full run of the house until they are 100% housebroken (some may be there by 5-6 months but others may take closer to a year). If your puppy starts peeing in a spot in the home, it can be VERY hard to break this habit. The best thing to do is prevent that from happening in the first place. You will need a crate or an ex-pen (small, portable fenced enclosure) to keep your puppy in when you can’t watch them. If you need to leave your puppy home for an extended amount of time, you can leave a potty pad in an ex-pen with them. You can also gate off a carpet-free area of your home, such as the kitchen. If your puppy does have an accident indoors, clean it up well and use an urine odour remover to eliminate the scent.
When your puppy goes potty outdoors, praise them like crazy and give them a high value treat. I also like to add a verbal cue. You can use “go potty” or “hurry up” or whatever you feel comfortable with.
If you see your puppy go potty indoors, a gentle but stern “no” is enough (don’t yell, hit or scare your puppy), then bring them outdoors and show them where to go. NEVER physically punish your puppy for going indoors, this will just make them afraid to go potty in front of you indoors or out.
Your puppy may also need to go potty at night when you first bring them home. Sometimes they sleep through the night from day one and other times it will take a couple of weeks. If you do take your puppy out at night, make sure it’s JUST to go pee, then put them right back into their crate. Havanese are smart and if you start to give them snuggles, playtime or food at night, they will decide that’s a great thing and will train you to do it more often.