The Perfect Companion Dog, Very Happy, Sweet and Gentle

Havanese - Fluffy little aristocrats

By Toni Grzunov - Last updated on March 20th, 2021

All you need to know about the Havanese

The Havanese are tiny, furry puppies who are simply irresistible! This was the only possible way to start an article talking about this wonderful breed. If you are looking for an affectionate, furry friend that will become a loving member of your family, look no further.

Although this breed may seem delicate at first, they are actually quite sturdy. These dogs are also cheerful and curious and like to keep themselves busy. They are known for walking with a slight spring, which makes them extra cute and clownlike!

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba and is a member of the Bichon family of dogs, accompanied by Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Coton de Tulear, and Maltese

This breed has risen in popularity in the last several years. Have you fallen in love with a cute Havanese but are not quite sure it’s the right dog for you? Read our article to learn all the important info about Havanese!

Fast Facts

Group - Toy

Weight - 7-13 Pounds 

Height - 8.5-11.5 Inches

Hair Length - Medium

Shedding - Light

Lifespan - 14-16 Years

The Appearance of the Havanese 

The Havanese’s fluffy coat does a good job of hiding just how small and petite these dogs are. They are incredibly cute and look absolutely irresistible.

Many would describe the Havanese as aristocratic in appearance. While they may look fragile and delicate, these dogs have quite a bit of power in them. Their long coat can be groomed to be soft and silky, and it should, to make them look breathtakingly sweet.

This is a toy breed so they are quite small. Their facial appearance is whimsical and they have lovely, expressive eyes. The tail of a Havanese will arch forward over its back cheerfully. Their ears are long and fluffy and remain folded even when the dog is alert.

Havanese dogs have a naturally corded coat. The coat is usually curly and grows continuously. With grooming, the corded feel can easily be softened, and you will be able to make it feel smooth to the touch. It is a double coat that can grow up to 8 inches in length. Both the outer and undercoat feel very feathery to the touch. 

Featured Havanese Dog Breeders

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What Colors does a Havanese come in?

There are many dog breeds where the color of the coat can determine whether they are fit for dog shows or competitions. That isn’t the case with the Havanese. According to the breed standard, all colors are accepted and have equal value. 

This makes picking the right Havanese pup easier if you’re interested in dog shows by any chance. Some of the most popular colors are:

  • Silver
  • White
  • Cream
  • Gold
  • Black
  • Blue

Many breeders prefer black or chocolate-colored Havanese dogs, but in general, we believe all of them look equally gorgeous. Interestingly, chocolate dogs have green or amber eyes, while those of other colors have brown eyes.

All about the Havanese Personality

The Havanese makes an absolutely perfect companion dog. It will become a wonderful pet since these dogs are always happy, gentle, and sweet. They become attached super easily, so expect your pup to fall in love with you as soon as you bring it home!

These dogs love following their owners around as if they were their shadow! Your Havanese will follow you even to the bathroom from time to time. Most people consider this extremely endearing (count us in!), but if you don’t like this type of behavior, keep that in mind.

Havanese dogs are sociable and cheerful. It is quite easy to discipline them. Their primary goal is to please you, which should make any pet owner satisfied. They might not be the easiest dog to housebreak, though. This is a common problem with toy breeds, and one solution would be to train your Havanese to use a litter box.

These pups are always lively. They love to play and can get noisy and energetic. Still, with their size, we’re sure you won’t mind this.

Havanese will get enough daily activity by merely playing indoors. Naturally, you’ll want to take them outside whenever possible, but this is a great added “bonus”. 

If you live in a house and have an enclosed front or back yard, that will work wonderfully with this breed. A Havanese will love playing around near your home and will get plenty of activity from that alone.

Is Havanese easy to train?

We already mentioned how the Havanese are eager to please their owners. They are also intelligent so combine these two, and you have a dog that is extremely easy to train. 

Be careful though! You should only use positive methods of training. These dogs are sensitive, so you don’t want to scold them too strongly. Simply react positively to the behaviors you like and ignore those you don’t and you should be fine.  

Socialization is also important. You should make sure to expose your dog to many different places and people starting from an early age. These experiences shouldn’t be intimidating. Try to make them feel safe and secure to create a positive environment. If you train them gently, they will become wonderful companions. 

Havanese will also get along nicely with other pets, as long as they are not aggressive. Keep that in mind when bringing your pet to play with other dogs.

All of this makes it seem as if these dogs are perfect pets! That might be true, but before deciding on getting one, here’s all you need to know about grooming.

How much Grooming does a Havanese need?

When it comes to grooming, there are two options with the Havanese. A lot of owners take the easier route and simply clip the coat shorter. This makes it easy to take care of and requires far less brushing and grooming.

Others like to keep it longer, some for competitions, but also just to stay true to that classic Havanese look. Leaving the coat long requires a lot of work. It needs daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles from forming.

Use a comb or a soft brush and gently run it through the dog’s coat while it is sitting on your lap. This way you will be able to do it with relative ease. 

Most breeders advise that you keep the hair above the eyes tied up since it can irritate. It has the added bonus of looking extra cute if you do it this way! If you are extremely dedicated to keeping your pet’s coat in excellent shape, you can always hire a professional groomer.

The Havanese rarely sheds. They also barely drool, which makes them great for people with allergies. 

While no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic, there are some which are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. This is why Havanese dogs are considered hypoallergenic.

Something else you should watch out for is the watery eyes of the Havanese. These can cause tear stains and you should clean the hair around the eyes using a damp cloth. 

Bathing your Havanese pup should also be done occasionally. You want to keep it clean and avoid any type of bad smell. Naturally, brush your pet’s teeth at least two or three times a week. This will prevent the buildup of bacteria and gum disease. Your pup also won’t have bad breath!

The nails should be trimmed at least once a month. Some dogs will wear them down naturally, but you should always pay attention if that doesn’t happen. 

The Health and Fitness of the Havanese

Havanese dogs are generally healthy and long-lived. The average lifespan of this breed is between 14 and 16 years, which is pretty long. These pups will stay with you for a while, so if you adopt one you can enjoy the friendship longer!

Several conditions are known to appear with Havanese. These include deafness, heart disease, eye disorders, and bone issues. Always talk to your veterinarian about potential issues. They will be able to help you minimize any risk. 

A common issue is the Legg-Calve Perthes disease. This condition is also known as avascular necrosis of the femoral head. To put it simply, when a dog gets affected by this, the head of the femur starts to degenerate, which causes the hips to collapse which leads to arthritis.

These dogs are also prone to various dental issues. Regular teeth cleaning is a must, and make sure it is with a vet-approved doggy toothpaste! Since the Havanese is a tiny breed, having the same number of teeth as much larger dogs becomes a problem, since their mouth is tiny. Tartar builds up easily between their teeth so dental diseases are common.

The Nutrition of the Havanese

Make sure to give your Havanese dog the highest quality dog food you can find. All dogs are different, even small differences in size can change the eating habits. Not to mention the activity level and age. Consult with your veterinarian on what the best dog food for the Havanese is. They will also be able to help you with the correct amount of food you should give it daily.

The best thing to do is to divide the amount of food you give to your dog into two meals each day. You don’t want your Havanese to overeat!

Where does the Havanese come from?

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba and is the only native breed to that country. The ancestors of this dog most likely came to Cuba on trade ships. This probably happened sometime during the 16th century.

During that time, trade to Cuba was controlled by Spain, and it's only open port was the island of Tenerife. The ancestors of the Havanese probably came from there and captured the hearts of Cuban aristocrats. The breed continued developing there in isolation.

Many believe that Cuba’s tropical climate is responsible for many traits of the Havanese, including their silky coat. These dogs became increasingly popular in Cuba and Europe throughout the 18th century.

They finally found their way to the United States near the end of the 1970s, when some Cuban aristocrats fled the country because of the revolution. The breed has been unchanged for over 150 years.

The AKC recognized it in 1996, and the Havanese is currently ranked as the 24th most popular dog breed.

Havanese Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular Havanese mixes:

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed.

Questions people often ask about Havanese Puppies

  • +Are Havanese yappy?

  • +Are Havanese hard to potty train?

  • +Are Havanese destructive?

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