A cute gold and white Havanese.


8.5 - 11.5"
7 - 13 lbs
Life Expectancy
13 - 15 years
Area of Origin
The Havanese is a gentle, playful, and affectionate small breed that is a member of the extensive Bichon family. They are known for their friendly, outgoing personalities and their long, silky, gorgeous haircoat. Their small size and sweet nature make them great lap dogs. This breed is extremely intelligent and easily trainable, since they are so eager to please their owners. Havanese are active little canines that love to play and learn new tricks. Despite their small size, they actually make good watch dogs, as they can be leery of strangers. They also make great apartment companions because of their size and portability. Since they're a non-shedding breed, people with sensitivities to dog hair will be overjoyed to have them as a pet.
Energy Level
Friendliness to dogs
Friendliness to strangers
exercise requirements
affection level
friendliness to other pets
Grooming Requirements

Where Are Havanese Dogs From?

The Havanese found their way to Cuba on trips with Spanish farmers and Italian noblemen in the early 1500s. They were initially used as bargaining items, and are believed to have descended from the Bichon Tenerife and the Poodle. They became popular among the wealthiest Cubans and were named after capital city of Havana. They became the national dog of Cuba in 1993, and were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996.

Because of their trainability, they can be used as service dogs for the deaf, and to sniff out mold, bugs, and vermin.

Caring for a Havanese

What Kind of Diet Does a Havanese Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Havanese Need?

Havanese dogs need an age-appropriate diet of a high standard. They can be prone to obesity, so it is important to monitor their calorie intake. Overweight dogs can suffer from a number of health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure. You should consult with your regular veterinarian for a proper meal plan.

How Much Grooming Does a Havanese Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Havanese Need?

The Havanese breed requires regular grooming. They have fur that continuously grows, like that of a human, so they lose hair in a similar fashion as well. They do not have a seasonal shedding period like other dogs. A full brush out at least twice a week is necessary to keep hair from knotting and matting. They will also require a bath every other week to keep them happy and healthy and their hair coat silky and smooth. As most small breeds are prone to dental diseases, it is necessary to brush their teeth weekly to avoid tarter buildup.

Are Havanese Healthy Dogs?

Are Havanese Healthy Dogs?

Havanese have a fairly long lifespan of about 13 to 15 years and are prone to very few predisposing illnesses.

The breed is known to have luxating patellas, which is a condition that causes the knee cap to slip in and out of its correct position. It can be rather painful, and often requires surgical correction.

They are also prone to hip dysplasia and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. LCP is a rare condition where the ball of the hip joint is damaged because of a lack of blood supply to the area. Typically, this condition is noted between 6 and 12 months of age.

Havanese should be screened yearly by a veterinarian for heart conditions, ocular diseases, and orthopedic problems.

The breed is predisposed to: progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, chondrodysplasia, deafness, heart murmurs and chronic mitral valve disease, patellar luxation, ear infections, portosystemic shunt, elbow dysplasia, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

How Much Training Does a Havanese Need?

How Much Training Does a Havanese Need?

This breed is highly intelligent and very eager to please, making it simple, pleasurable, and rewarding to train them in obedience and agility. They were originally bred for labor, so they can also be trained to do farm work, like herding chickens, ducks, and geese.

They do not do well when left alone, and are capable of getting into mischief. Some even suffer from extreme separation anxiety.

Make sure you properly socialize your Havanese between 8 and 12 weeks of age. Ideally, you should also acclimatize them to grooming and dental care during the same time period.

How Much Exercise Does a Havanese Need?

How Much Exercise Does a Havanese Need?

This breed requires a moderate amount of daily exercise. A brisk walk twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes, accompanied by indoor play, is enough to keep your pup happy and healthy. So, if you are looking for a couch potato, this just might be the perfect breed for you.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Havanese?

How Big Are Havanese Dogs?
The Havanese is a small-breed dog that has a flowing, silky hair coat and large, expressive eyes. Their height can range from 8.5 to 11.5 inches tall from the shoulders to the ground, and their weight typically falls between 7 and 13 pounds.
What Color Eyes Do Havanese Dogs Have?
Havanese have large, almond-shaped, dark-brown eyes that sit widely apart. They have a soft and intelligent facial expression with a slightly-pointed muzzle. Ears are folded over, at a medium length, and covered with flowing hair.
The Havanese Body Type
Havanese dogs are long rather than tall, and boast a broad chest and sturdy frame.
Do Havanese Dogs Have Curly Tails?
Yes, the Havanese tail is curled up over the back and covered in velvety hair.
Havanese Front Legs
The upper arm of the Havanese is relatively short and forces the leg well under the body. The elbows face forward and are pulled close to the mid-section.
What Colors Are Common for Havanese Dogs?
The Havanese coat comes in many different colors, but the most common are black, white, fawn, Havana brown, and mahogany. Their fur coat can be straight, wavy, or even curly on occasion.
Havanese Back Legs
The hindlegs are muscular and feature a slightly abnormal bend. The hocks are short and aligned with the thighs.

Havanese Facts

The Havanese is Cuba's only native dog breed.
Queen Victoria had 2 Havanese dogs named Chico and Golia. Her passion for the breed inspired their popularity in the United Kingdom.
Though some would assume a dog of Cuban origin would have short fur to fit the climate, Havanese dogs have a long coat that protects their skin from the sun and helps to keep them cooler.

Other Breeds to Explore