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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

The Havamalt is a mixed breed, small in size but large in personality! She is a mix of the Maltese and the Havanese and has a life span of 12 to 15 years. She is also called the Havatese and she often takes part in agility shows. She will fill the house with her presence and is a great companion and lap dog for a family, for a single or for seniors.

Here is the Havamalt at a Glance
Average height 8 to 12 inches
Average weight 6 to 13 pounds
Coat type Double, harsh and coarse inner, long silky outer
Hypoallergenic? Yes
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily to remove mats from its long length
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Low
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good
Good with other Dogs? Very good to excellent
Good with other Pets? Very good
A roamer or Wanderer? Low
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Excellent
Trainability Easy to train
Exercise Needs Moderate – has quite high energy despite her size
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Patellar luxation, Portosystemic liver shunt, PRA, Hypoglycemia, Collapsed trachea, Legg-Perthes Disease, eye problems, deafness, heart problems
Other Health Concerns White Dog Shaker Syndrome, Reverse sneezing, joint dysplasia
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $500 to $1800
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $500
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $525 to $600

Where does the Havamalt come from?

In the 1990s it became a trend to mix usually two but sometimes more purebreds together to deliberately create a hybrid dog. Some of those mixes have an obvious thought process into them, and some are clearly just an attempt to put two odd breeds together in the hope of making money. Some breeders of mixed or designer breeds are genuine in their care of the dogs and have the intention of getting the best from two purebreds into one mix. However many breeders of these dogs are from puppy mills and such places you really should not be supporting with your money. If you want a mixed breed like the Havamalt buy from reputable breeders. To get a better idea of what this dog comes from we can look at the parent dogs. Keep in mind while the best intention may be to have a mixed dog with the best traits from the Maltese and Havanese it is not something that can be controlled and various results can occur even within the same litter.

The Havanese

The Havanese comes from Cuba and it is thought it came about when Spanish settlers can to Cuba after 1492 bringing small dogs the ancestors of Bichons with them. These bred with island dogs and there are the beginnings of the Havanese. Living in such a hot place they developed a thick but silky coat that protected them from the sun. They were the lap dogs of the wealthy in Cuba for many years. He was brought back to Europe with travelers and also became a trend during the mid 1800s. However his popularity faded and in Europe he died out. Even in Cuba his numbers became very small. When Cubans fled Cuba after the 1959 revolution into America a few of those dogs came with them and over the years breeders have slowly managed to salvage this breed.

Today he is a popular companion dog, he is gentle, loving and intelligent. He can be clownish with his antics making you laugh but he is also happy curling up on your lap for some down time. He will trail you around the house to be close to you and does not do well if left alone in the house for long periods, suffering from separation anxiety. Though he is a small dog he needs plenty of exercise and he has an annoying habit of seeking and finding any kind of paper to shred all over the house!

The Maltese

The Maltese is one of the oldest toy sized breeds there are and he can be traced back for at least 2000 years. His exact origins are unclear, some believe he was developed on the Isle of Malta, some in Italy and some from Asia. He was popular amongst royalty across Europe up until the 16th century. Attempts to breed him to squirrel size in the 17th and 18th centuries nearly destroyed the breed. He was saved by mixing with other miniature and toy dogs like the spaniels, and poodles. This in itself led to several new breeds being formed. The Maltese we see today was bred by the English in the late 1800s.

Today he is very successful in dog shows and is a lively dog full of personality. He trains easily and loves people. He assumes everything and one he meets is a friend. He is also quite accomplished at getting his own way with everything. House training though can be difficult and because of his size he may not be best suited for families with small children.


The Havamalt is a very smart dog, full of joy, eager to please and has a unique way of running in circles around you to get your attention and express their happiness to be with you. She also loves to cuddle and will be quite content on your lap when it is time to relax. She gets very attached to her owners and this means she can suffer from separation anxiety should you leave her alone for long periods. She is gentle and sweet with everyone and her love of people and her brains means she is easy to train.

What does a Havamalt look like

She is a small or toy sized dog weighing just 6 to 13 pounds and measuring 8 to 12 inches tall. She has a medium sized muzzle that is blunt rather than sharp and eyes that are brown or black and almond shaped. Her ears droop down and are usually covered in long hairs and she has a short tail that turns up and points to the back. Her coat is harsh and coarse on the inside and long and silky on the outside as she has a double coat. Common colors are cream, black, brown, silver, blue, white, gray and golden.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Havamalt need to be?

While she is small she is not a lap dog 24/7. She actually is very active for her size and needs regular walks and play each day to keep her well behaved, happy and healthy. While she can live in an apartment as long as you take her out each day she would also enjoy having access to a yard, even a small space is somewhere she can play and be curious. Just like any dog she would enjoy trips to the dog park, games like tug of war or fetch and so on.

Does she train quickly?

She is clever, eager to please, agreeable, willing. She really couldn’t be any easier to train! She will listen to commands and will need less repetition so she will learn more quickly than many other dogs. Early socialization and training are still important with her though. You should also adopt positive training methods rather than harsh ones. Be firm and consistent but offer praise, treats, play rewards and so on as a means of encouragement.

Living with a Havamalt

How much grooming is needed?

She is known to be hypo-allergenic for most people and is low shedding. Some will claim non shedding but really all dogs shed a little, it is just very low for this one! She has long hair so she will need brushing regularly to remove mats, daily is a good idea. If you are showing her in dog shows you will need to keep her hair long but you can opt to have it trimmed if you are not. She will need visits now and then to a professional groomers to at least trim the hair though, and she will need her nails clipped too. There will be hair in the pads of her feet to be trimmed also. Her teeth should be brushed at least 3 times, and her ears will need checking and wiping once a week. When it comes to bathing just do it when she really needs one to avoid affecting the natural oils in her skin, and always use a dog shampoo.

What is she like with children and other animals?

She is great with children, other dogs and other pets. Early socialization and training help with that too. You may have to supervise young children with her though because of her size as they might accidentally hurt her. Also children should be taught that there are somethings you cannot do to your dog! Her gentle and sweet nature though really help her in dealing with all sorts.

General information

She is quite adaptable in where she lives as long as she gets outside each day still. She is not a great watchdog though. She does much better in warm to hot climates than cold ones. She will need ½ to 1 cup of high quality dry dog food a day divided into two meals. She is a rare barker.

Health Concerns

While there are no known health issues specific to this mixed breed there is the possibility she can inherit conditions the parents are more prone to. To avoid getting a sickly puppy or one that develops problems alter in life buy from a breeder who is happy to offer health clearances and that they cover the parents too. Health concerns she might develop because her parents are prone to them include Patellar luxation, Portosystemic liver shunt, PRA, Hypoglycemia, Collapsed trachea, Legg-Perthes Disease, eye problems, deafness, heart problems, White Dog Shaker Syndrome, Reverse sneezing and joint dysplasia.

Costs involved in owning a Havamalt

The puppy should cost between $500 to $1800. The ranges are wide because things like trend, location, and type of breeder really can vastly affect what people ask for in terms of price. She will need a collar and leash, a carrier bag and a crate. She will also need blood tests, a micro chip, spaying and possibly shots. These will cost between $360 to $400. Annual non medical costs for food, toys, treats, a license, training and long hair grooming can be between $525 to $600. Annual medical costs for pet insurance, vaccinations, flea prevention and health check ups can be between $435 to $500.


Looking for a Havamalt Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

She is a great little dog best suited in an environment full of love with people or a person who can give her all the affection she craves. You will need to be accepting of her need to follow you everywhere, be prepared to give her the early socialization and training that is important for all dogs, and the exercise she needs. If you are dedicated to loving her she will be equally dedicated to you.

Featured Image Credit: michaelheim, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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