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Havanese Breed Information

Red Havanese dog with white markings on paws and chin

The Havanese are happy, clever, and sweet dogs equipped with sharp intelligence and an affectionate nature. Their need to be in the center of attention and love for entertaining will have the Havanese perform tricks in exchange for laughs and treats.  

A member of the Toy group, the Havanese dog is small in stature, with an average weight between 7 to 13 pounds and an average height between 9 to 12 inches. It has a sturdy-built body covered in a gorgeous long silky coat, with beautiful dark almond eyes, cute floppy ears, and a fluffy tail curled over the back.  

BREED TYPE / MIX Purebred ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimum TRAINING Responsive TEMPERAMENT Affectionate, Cheerful, Intelligent, Loyal, Social ADULT WEIGHT 7-13 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 9-12 in LIFE SPAN 12-14 yrs

Characteristics

  • Havanese dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club
  • The Havanese dog loves its family above all else
  • Outgoing, funny and loving, with an eagerness to learn and please, the Havanese are excellent companions for first time pet owners
  • The Havanese is highly sociable, gentle, affectionate and one of the friendliest dogs out there – friendly with children, dogs, cats, other household pets and even strangers
  • Hypoallergenic low-shedding Havanese coat
  • The Havanese dogs are easy to train, they love to learn and are highly skilled in tricks and stunts
  • Highly adaptable – whether it’s a small apartment or a big house with a yard, the Havanese will quickly adapt to any living situation
  • The Havanese make excellent companions for big and small families with or without children, for singles and seniors
Small Havanese sitting on a chair

Appearance

Darling on the inside and stunning on the outside, the Havanese is popular for good reason. The Havanese is small in stature, with a sturdy build body, beautiful dark almond-shaped eyes, a full muzzle, cute floppy ears, and a fluffy tail curled over the back. Its size can differ from one pup to the next, with an average height of 9 to 12 inches and a weight between 7 to 13 pounds for a full-grown Havanese. The Teacup is generally much smaller.  

The low shedding hypoallergenic coat is long, soft to the touch, and silky. Shedding is minimal. The coat texture can vary from slightly wavy to straight, and it can have a variety of patterns and markings. It can come in a variety of gorgeous colors such as black, blue, brown, gray, silver, and white.

The most popular Havanese colors are:  

Temperament

The Havanese are happy, sociable, and friendly dogs that love dog tricks, the center of attention, and most importantly their human family. These sweet dogs are known for being exceptionally friendly and affectionate towards children of all ages, strangers, and other pets. The Havanese temperament is calm and patient. They lack aggression, play nice with other dogs, and are quite fond of multi-pet households.

The Havanese are family-oriented and loyal pups. They are famously known to form lifelong bonds and place their human family above all else. Calm and patient, with a happy demeanor, caring personality and a fun-loving nature that shines through, the Havanese makes an excellent emotional support and therapy dog.  

Highly intelligent and clever, with a love for learning and an eager-to-please attitude, the Havanese make excellent companions for first-time pet owners. Being very curious in nature, the Havanese dogs will climb on top of chairs, coaches, and beds in order to observe any action that is taking place around them. A natural-born performer, with a great love for tricks and entertainment, and a lively and joyful attitude, the Havanese will turn any house into a happy home.  

Insights

Havanese vs Havapoo Comparison

The Havanese and Havapoo are fan-favorites at Premier Pups. With their eye-catching appearances and delightful personalities, these two are sure to make any family feel lucky. Although they share an abundance of desirable qualities, the Havanese and Havapoo aren’t quite the same. What sets them apart is what makes them uniquely perfect. Read on to learn more about their key qualities and some of the aspects that set them apart.  

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All Comparisons to Similar Breeds

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Christmas is just around the corner. It's time to hang the big Christmas socks and stock up on hot cocoa and wine. Bring out the scented candles, the comfy pillows, and the warm puffy blankets, and join in on the wonderful Christmas spirit. Replace your regular coffee mugs with Christmas-themed ones and make sure to update your carol playlist. One more thing. Deck the halls and get a puppy! Don’t forget to plan ahead for the most special...

All Havanese Insights

Care

Grooming

The Havanese have moderate grooming requirements. It is beneficial to brush them twice or three times every week in order to avoid knots, tangles, and matting, and to keep their coats soft and shiny. They should also be bathed regularly, preferably once or twice every month, and have their nails clipped and ears cleaned monthly. The Havanese will also benefit from a visit to a professional groomer for a coat trim and dental care every few months. Popular Havanese short hair haircuts are the Havanese teddy bear cut and the Havanese puppy cut.  

Learn everything there is to know about home grooming from our Grooming your Dog at home Guide.

Exercise Needs

The Havanese are not overly active dogs. They much prefer staying indoors and performing a trick or a stunt in the middle of the living room rather than being active outdoors. They do enjoy an occasional game of fetch or a brisk chase but are not necessarily adventure seekers. A short daily walk and some fun playtime at home are enough to keep them healthy and happy.  

Health

The Havanese is a generally healthy breed with few health concerns that the Havanese dogs are prone to. Some conditions they may develop include patellar luxation, cataracts and deafness (usually in old age), hip dysplasia, and Legg Calve Perthes.  

Lifespan

The Havanese lifespan is between 12 and 15 years. The Havanese life expectancy can increase with a well-balanced high-quality diet, proper exercise, and frequent vet checks. The oldest Havanese dog lived to the age of 18 years and 2 months.  

Training

The Havanese are bright and generally easy to train. They love to learn new things, but they can also get a bit bored in the process, so it is important to make training sessions short and as fun as possible. They respond well to positive reinforcements, delicious treats, and praise.  

Socializing Havanese puppies should be easy enough. They are naturally social, outgoing, and friendly to all. They take well to leash training and are known to be easily potty trained.  

The Havanese are not overly dependent dogs, but they are sometimes prone to separation anxiety if spoiled too much. It is best to leave them alone for short periods at a time when they are still very young to help them adjust and avoid any issues in the future. Leaving them alone for long periods of time before they have recieved training can bring on unwanted behavior as they very much dislike being left alone for long.

RELATED: New Puppy Owner Guide & How To Train A Puppy 

History

Having a Mediterranean root, the Havanese, also known as “the Havana Silk Dog”, is recognized as a member of the Bichon family. Named after Havana, the capital of Cuba, the Havanese is a favorite of the Cuban people and their national dog, a favorite of Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. The sweet Havanese puppy has seen a steady rise in popularity around the world for centuries.  

The Havanese is also a member of the Bichon family, which includes the Maltese, Coton de Tulear, Bolognese, and Bichon Frise.

It is believed that shortly after Columbus colonized Cuba, Spanish colonists began arriving on the island accompanied by their small fluffy companions – the Havanese ancestors. Their sweet appearance, happy demeanor, and cleverness have rewarded the Havanese dogs with a life of luxury among royals, aristocrats, and rich families in the Cuban Islands.  

During the 1800s, European sailors became so fond of the Havanese that they began taking the dogs home with them to Spain, England, Italy, and France. These dogs began their journey to other corners of the world when the Cuban Revolution began. And they would know instant fame wherever they set paw on land.  

During the mid-1990s, the adorable Havanese pups made their way to the United States where they were welcomed with loving open arms.  

Joyful and clever, excellent circus performers, great service dogs skilled at detecting mold and termite, agile competitors in sports, loving and devoted companion pets, the Havanese have proven for centuries that they are more than lapdogs.  

The Havanese are among the most popular small dog breeds worldwide. And thanks to their amazing popularity status, they have been chosen by professional Havanese breeders for the creation of new mixed breeds. Among the most popular Havanese mixes are:

The Havapoo, or Havanese Poodle, is the most loved Havanese mix. These perfect little hybrid dogs are hypoallergenic, highly intelligent, and very loving.  

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