Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Havashu (Shih Tzu & Havanese Mix)

Nicole Cosgrove

Height: 8-12 inches
Weight: 8-15 pounds
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Colors: Brown, white, gray, black
Suitable for: Apartment dwellers, families with kids and other pets, first-time dog owners
Temperament: Intelligent, playful, affectionate, and easy to train

The Havashu is a small crossbreed dog from the Havanese and the Shih Tzu breeds. This affectionate pet is a very enthusiastic and hyperactive family companion dog. This breed is a suitable companion for kids, and it combines the people-loving personality of the Havanese and the feisty nature of the Shih Tzu.

The Havashu are very playful and could play all day. As much as they adapt well to living in an apartment, they could use a yard to run around freely. This dog is full of life, loves sitting on its owners’ lap, and welcomes strangers.

Although the actual origin of the Havashu breed is unknown, this dog has been part of the designer dog category since the 1990s. The Havanese’s parent breed dates back to the 1400s and was brought in by Spanish settlers who settled in Cuba. On the other hand, the Shih Zhu got bred in royalty as a lap dog companion and a gift to noblemen in ancient China and Tibet.

The resulting cross of these two luxury dog breeds resulted in the Havashu. Their association with celebrities has increased their popularity. Most of the breeds now originate from the U.S, with some coming from the UK, Canada, and Australia.

If you love tiny lapdogs, the Havashu is a perfect choice. But before you get one from your breeder, you need to know how to care for it, the nutrition needs, potential health issues, exercise requirements, grooming, and training needs. Here’s a complete guide.

divider-dog paw

Havashu Puppies โ€“ Before You Buyโ€ฆ


What’s the Price of Havashu Puppies?

Just like any other pet, the price of Havashu dogs depends on the breed quality, traits, and health of the animal. The cost will vary from breeder to breeder and according to your needs; therefore, you need to carry out proper research before settling on one of these pets.

On average, Havashu puppies cost between $300 and $1,200. As you shop, compare the prices between different breeders.

Cheap tends to be expensive; therefore, avoid breeders selling these breeds at a very low price. More often than not, a cheaper than normal dog may have medical conditions that will be expensive to treat in the future.

Get your puppies from a reputable dealer and ensure that they have proper records and tests for diseases. The costs of owning a Havashu don’t stop at the buying stage. You’ll need to factor in a budget for a collar, pet insurance, medical checkups, blood tests, training, and food.


3 Little-Known Facts about Havashu Dog Breed

1. The Havanese is the National Dog of Cuba

The parent breed of the Havashu, the Havanese dog breed, is the national dog of Cuba. This is because it’s the only native breed from Cuba. It was very popular in the early 1800s with the rich in Cuba, and this also became prominent with royalty and the wealthy across Europe.

2. The Shih-Tzu Breed Almost Became Extinct

During the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949, the Shih-Tzu, a parent breed for the Havashus, almost went extinct. However, the breed survived because of some dogs that made it to Britain.

3. Hollywood Personalities Love This Breed

A-list celebrities such as Barbara Walters, Venus Williams, and Charles Dickens own the Havanese breed. On the other hand, Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, Jon Stewart, and Beyonce are some of the famous Shih-Tzu owners.

Havashu - Havanese and Shih Tzu Mix
Parents of Havashu. Left: Havanese, Right: Shih Tzu | Image Credit: Pixabay


Temperament & Intelligence of Havashus

The Havashu is a playful, intelligent, and affectionate dog that enjoys meeting new people. Because of these traits, these dogs get attached to their families. As long as they are socialized as puppies, they will be very good with kids and other pets.

Due to their tiny size, you should train children how to handle them properly. They are alert, intelligent, and will occasionally bark to warn you of strangers in your house or compound. Therefore, if you are considering getting this breed, be prepared for a dog that’s full of energy and personality.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? ๐Ÿ‘ช

This dog would do well in any family as long as it’s not left alone. Due to their breeding as lap dogs, they are people pleasers who love staying with their keepers; otherwise, they’ll get separation anxiety.

For families with members with allergies, it’s advisable to get the dog tested before taking it home. The parent breed, Shih-Tzu is hypoallergenic; therefore, the offspring might inherit this trait. The only way to confirm is to ensure that your breeder carries out the necessary tests before purchasing the puppy.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Havashu gets along well with other pets. However, due to its playful nature, it might occasionally chase smaller animals to try and play. Early socialization helps with developing this character to ensure the dog does not treat other animals as prey.

If you have kittens or other pets, Havashus are not threatening and will get along with them just fine.


Things to Know When Owning a Havashu

Before owning any pet, you need to know the specific requirements of each breed. This information helps you take care of your dog correctly. Here are some of the critical things you need to know before taking a Havashu to your home.

Food and Diet Requirements ๐Ÿฆด

The Havashu is a small dog, therefore needs very little food. However, these packs of energy also love their food and can become obese if not checked properly. In a day, you should feed this dog breed small meals 2-3 times a day.

When planning the meals, avoid foods with fillers such as carbohydrates that will make him overfeed. Havashu are most likely to develop joint issues as they age. To prevent this, you should feed them nutrient-rich food that coincides with their weight, age, size, and activity level.

Also, keep tabs on their weight. Once you notice your dog is becoming overweight, it’s time to cut down on the amount of food and increase exercise sessions.

Exercise ๐Ÿ•

Havashu dog breed needs moderate forms of exercise. While most of it comes from following the family around the home, you can schedule a few hours for a short walk. Since this breed tends to be hyperactive, these short bouts of exercise help the dog burn off some energy.

For apartment dwellers, you can schedule a walk across the neighborhood or take your dog to the park and let it run around without a leash. These trips outside the home allow the dog to socialize with other dogs and become comfortable.

If your Havashu inherited the Shih Tzu’s flat face, it’s more likely to get brachycephalic airway syndrome. If your dog has this issue, you’ll notice that they start panting or struggle to keep up during a walk or jog. This syndrome causes breathing difficulties; therefore, it’s best to carry them back home if your dog is struggling.

Training ๐ŸŽพ

A Havashu can be very stubborn, a trait they inherited from the Shih-Tzu. Because of this, training them might require you to have a little more patience. You can also incorporate a reward system to keep them motivated during training.

However, they take up commands well due to their intellectual abilities and because they are people pleasers. As you train them, avoid being harsh; puppies are very sensitive. To avoid these difficulties in training, begin early socialization when they are still young to makes things easier for both of you.

Grooming โœ‚๏ธ

While this breed is not a heavy shedder, the long, silky coat still requires daily brushing to remove tangles and prevent matting. You should schedule a bath every three to four weeks to keep his coat clean. Since these dogs have floppy ears, the owners should clean them weekly to keep away infection.

Like other small dogs, Havashus are prone to dental complications. Therefore, you should make sure you brush their teeth regularly – about three times a week. Additionally, trim the nails and make sure they don’t get too long.

Health and Conditions ๐Ÿฅ

As a designer dog, Havashus are not prone to many diseases. The breeding is meant to improve on the health quality in comparison to their parent breeds. Despite these improvements, they are not entirely immune to all diseases.

Here are some of the conditions you should watch out for.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Chondrodylsplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Bladder stones

Minor Conditions

Here are some medical issues that you need to pay attention to, to avoid serious problems.


It’s common for some Havashus to have allergic reactions. If your dog is suffering from an allergy-induced condition, you need to identify the cause and find ways to protect it.

Ear Infections

Havashu needs their ears cleaned regularly every week. By doing this occasionally, you’ll protect your dog from inflammation and infection that can eventually lead to deafness.

To avoid and prevent most of these medical problems, get your puppy from a reputable breeder who’ll show you medical clearances for the parent breeds. Also, have the dog tested for potential health problems such as patella, hip problems, eyes, and joints.

You can also plan for routine tests as your dog grows, such as urinalysis, X-ray imaging, complete bloodwork, and hearing. With proper care, Havashus can live for up to 12-16 years.

Serious Conditions


The Havashu can suffer from canine dwarfism. This genetically transmitted disorder limits the dog’s bones from growing to their potential size. A condition inherited from the Havanese parent breed, its characterized by the forelegs being shortened or bowed, which increases the risk for hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Patellar Luxation

This condition occurs when the kneecap gets dislocated from its normal position. It’s a common medical issue for small breeds such as Havashus.

Bladder Stones

If your Havashu has bladder stones, you’ll notice that they might have blood in the urine or strain to urinate. This is because bladder stones cause inflammation of the bladder walls, which can be irritating and painful for your dog.


Male vs. Female

There are no distinct differences between the male and female Havashus, especially in terms of personality. You’ll get an energetic, playful dog despite the gender. However, they differ in size, with the females being slightly smaller than the male Havashus.

On average, males grow to a height of 9-12 inches and 8-15 lbs, while females weigh 7-14 lbs and are 8-11 inches tall.

divider-dog paw

Final Thoughts

Havashu dog breed makes great companions. They are playful, energetic, and enjoy human company. Therefore, you need to make sure there’s someone at home with the dog at all times.

Get a puppy from a reputable breeder to ensure that your pet doesn’t inherit significant health issues from the parent breeds. Havashu needs constant grooming than other dogs; therefore, you need to make room for that. If you are looking for a small, loving dog that your kids will like, a Havashu is a perfect choice.

Looking for more crossbreeds? We have tons ofย Havanese Mixes andย Shih Tzu Mixes for you to look through!

submit a pet pk dog

Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, 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.