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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Havanese Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Havanese Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

havanese dog

The Havanese, once known as the Havana Silk Dog due to its long, soft locks, is a toy breed simply waiting for your attention. These small dogs are a bit goofy, love to give affection, and prefer your lap to any other seat in the house.

Breed Overview


8.5 to 11 inches


7 to 13 pounds


14 to 16 years


White, blue, fawn, red, brown, gray, black, brown/chocolate, yellow/gold

Suitable for:

Seniors, children, families, cats, and dogs


Outgoing, friendly, gentle, and playful

This popular dog breed doesn’t require lots of room for exercise, making it a perfect fit for life in a big city or apartment. One of the few breeds that are happy wherever they are, the Havanese makes a great companion for the elderly, singles, or families with children. They are perfectly happy bounding around like fluffy balls of fur or simply spending their time snuggling with you.

If you are considering bringing one of these easy to care for pets into your home, read on below to learn more about the Havanese and what you should expect.

Havanese Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-pawHavanese Puppies

As you can see, the energy level of the Havanese is mostly neutral. This is what makes them perfect companion dogs. Whether you live a highly active lifestyle or spend most of your time taking it easy, your Havanese will be content with whatever you choose.

Havanese are highly intelligent dogs. This makes them easy to train. Whether potty training, leash training, or simply learning their basic commands, a Havanese will stay interested in what you are doing while being a quick learner.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Havanese

The Havanese is one of the most easy-going dog breeds around. These little bundles of joy are friendly and outgoing making them great companions for the elderly and people of all ages.1 These little dogs are also natural clowns who love to be the center of attention. Great with people, and other pets, the Havanese has the perfect temperament for being part of any home.

The Havanese is also a highly intelligent dog breed. They are easily trained and pick up their owner’s cues easily. These dogs learn quickly and love showing off their special quirks and tricks. If you’ve trained your Havanese to do tricks, they’ll gladly perform when you ask.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, the Havanese is a great dog breed for families. Their well-mannered temperament makes them good with children. No matter the age, if your child is taught to be gentle with your Havanese, they will have a great friend to grow up with.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Once again, the easy-going nature of the Havanese makes it easy to introduce them to other pets within the home. Remember, when introducing any new pet to the others in the house, take things easy. No animal wants to be thrust into a situation they aren’t prepared for. If you see signs of nervousness in your Havanese or other pets, slow the process down until the pets are more comfortable.

In most instances, a Havanese can make great friends with other dogs and even cats. Don’t be surprised though if they crave your attention. It is common, and shouldn’t become an issue with the other pets in the home.


Things to Know When Owning a Havanese:

A Havanese is a relatively easy dog to care for until it comes to grooming. Here’s a look at a few of the most important things you should be ready to take on when bringing a new puppy into your home.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Havanese is a small dog breed with lots of energy. Providing them with ½-cup servings, twice daily, is a great way to ensure they get the necessary food required to maintain a proper weight. For the best health of your dog, it isn’t recommended to leave food available all day long. Staying on a feeding schedule will keep your Havanese both happy and healthy.

When choosing a food for your Havanese, go with a high-quality dry kibble. This will provide them with all the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and avoid issues with gaining too much weight.

Havanese dog_ralfdeon, Pixaba
Image By: ralfdeon, Pixabay

Exercise 🐕

A Havanese will exhibit lots of energy. This means they need to play or exercise that energy off daily. Consider taking your Havanese on long walks, at least twice daily. It’s also great to keep them entertained with a game of fetch or other playful games throughout the day to help them burn off any extra energy they may have built up.

Training 🎾

The Havanese is an eager-to-please pet. During training, they will do their best to make their owners happy. Their high level of intelligence makes training quite easy as well. By using treats and positive reinforcement you will see your Havanese learning the ropes quickly and easily.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming is one of the biggest challenges you may face with a Havanese. These dogs have long, silky coats that need proper care. If you leave your pet’s coat long, you will need to comb it daily to help avoid issues with tangles and mats. If you prefer, you can have a groomer clip your Havanese’s hair short to make it easier to care for at home.

It is also important to keep your Havanese teeth well-cared for. This breed tends to develop oral issues if its teeth are not brushed often.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Havanese is a relatively healthy dog. Like most dogs, however, they can develop common issues. For a happy, healthy, Havanese take them for routine checkups with the vet and offer them a well-balanced diet.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Chondrodysplasia Punctata
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes
  • Liver Shunt
  • Deafness

Male vs Female

In appearance, the male Havanese is approximately one inch taller and one pound heavier than females. When it comes to energy, however, the male Havanese is full of it. Males love to run around and need extra exercise to burn off their additional energy. Males are also often more aggressive toward strangers or other animals as puppies. To avoid these issues training should be done early.

Female Havanese mature quicker than males and are slightly more stubborn. Females enjoy being doted on and love attention. With their quirky attitudes, they are great at showing their owners what they want. Mood swings are common with females, especially if they haven’t been spayed and are nearing their heat cycle.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Havanese

1. Havanese Have a Spring in Their Step

One of the easiest ways to distinguish a Havanese is by the way they walk. You’ll notice they spring or bounce instead of walking. This is because a Havanese has very strong back legs and short arms. It is comical to see but one of the most endearing traits of the breed.

2. The Havanese Is the National Dog of Cuba

The Havanese’s beauty and great personality should be enough to make it the national dog of Cuba, but the real reason is it is Cuba’s only true native dog breed. The Havanese also became recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996, making them official.

3. They Are Super Soft

The silky coat may not be a little-known fact about the Havanese but it definitely deserves to be mentioned. When touching the coat, you’ll quickly compare it to silk. This breed has one of the most beautiful coats in the world.

divider-pawFinal Thoughts

The Havanese is an overall friendly and fun breed to bring into your home. Yes, they have high energy but can be just as happy simply spending time with you instead of running around in the backyard. These small dogs don’t require much space but have a personality that can fill any home. If you are looking for an ideal companion dog, the Havanese may be the perfect one for you and your family.

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Featured Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock

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