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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Havashu is a small mixed dog the result of breeding a Shih Tzu with a Havanese. She takes part in events like competitive obedience, agility, watchdog and tricks. She has a life span of 12 to 16 years and is a very responsive dog who can also have her hyper moments now and then.
Here is the Havashu at a Glance
Average height Up to 12 inches
Average weight 8 to 15 pounds
Coat type Wavy to curly, long, fine
Hypoallergenic? Can be, Havanese parent is
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing If coat kept shorter 2 to 3 times a week, if left long, daily
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Depends on coat, low to good
Tolerance to Cold Good
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good
Good with other Dogs? Very good
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization, may chase them as prey
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to small size
Good Pet for new Owner? Excellent
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Fairly active
Tendency to get Fat Somewhat high
Major Health Concerns Patellar luxation, kidney problems, bladder problems, eye problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems, Legg-perthes, Chondrodysplasia, heart problems,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, joint dysplasia, dental problems, ear infections, snuffles, reverse sneezing, deafness,
Life Span 12 to 16 years
Average new Puppy Price $300 to $1200
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $530 to $630

Where does the Havashu come from?

The Havashu is a designer dog, of which there are an increasing number around now today. Designer dogs are a very popular pet and have become almost a popular trend over the last 20 to 30 years. As well as the public, celebrities can be seen to have them too which increases their popularity. Most originate from America but some are being bred elsewhere like the UK, Canada and Australia. The majority are bred from two different purebreds and then names are created by blending part of each parents name. While some have a purpose and have some information on their beginnings most do not. A lot of puppy mills and bad breeders are breeding just to make money off the trend, creating crazy prices for the ones that prove more popular. Make sure if you want a designer dog like the Havashu that you check out the breeder before you buy.

As there is no information on the origins of the Havashu we can have a better understanding of her by looking at the parents. Keep in mind that with this kind of breeding there is no control over genetics so she could be more like one parent or the other in looks and personality or a mix.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is thought to be very old and is from China or Tibet. They were treasured as companion dogs and can be found on artifacts across Tibetan and Chinese history. They were called little lion dogs and were gentle, smart and joyful. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England was in 1928. In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu is still a companion dog today. He is keen to please and wants to be with you. He is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.

The Havanese

When Spanish settlers came to Spain in 1492 they brought with them small dogs who then bred with the dogs on the island. This breed developed into the Havanese. He was a small companion dog with a silky and thick coat to protect them. They were very popular by the early 1800s with the rich in Cuba and that spread to royalty and the wealthy across Europe. However their popularity faded and by the late 1800s they had disappeared from Europe and were even rare in Cuba. Over the years it has slowly been re-established.

Now he need lots of attention and companionship so does not do well when left alone. He is loving and has a very gentle nature. He is intelligent and trainable and will spend his time happy in your lap or entertaining you with his antics. He does not bark much and can live in an apartment or a larger home. He usually need more exercise than most small dogs. He can be a nightmare when he gets hold of any paper though!


The Havashu is cheerful, playful, social and very loving. She is alert and responsive and smart also. She likes to meet people, and while she can be stubborn and hyper sometimes she can also be sweet and becomes very attached to her family. She is a great family dog and while small is not overly fragile so she gets along fine with children.

What does the Havashu look like

She is a small cross weighing 8 to 15 pounds and standing up to 12 inches tall. She has longer back legs than front legs which makes her back end higher and her tail can curl. While she is small she is all sturdy. Her eyes are black and have black rims and her ears tends to be flappy. Her coat can be like either parents so wavy to curly, long, fine are possibilities. Common colors include brown, gray, cream, golden, black, white and chocolate.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Havashu need to be?

This is a fairly active dog so she will need daily outdoor time in the form of a couple of walks a day. As She is small some her activity will come from her indoor play and she is suitable for apartment living. She would also enjoy some off leash time somewhere where she can run free and explore. While access to a yard is not a necessity for her to be happy it would be a bonus.

Does she train quickly?

The Havashu is moderately easy to train as she is intelligent, eager to please and responsive. Use gentle, positive and consistent training methods. Reward, encourage and praise her and stay patient. Some owners find she is harder to housebreak so this may be something you will have to work a bit harder on. Early socialization and training are something you should always be serious about as it helps her become a better dog and makes things a lot easier for her and for you.

Living with a Havashu

How much grooming is needed?

She has moderate grooming needs so will need some regular care. While she does not usually shed much she will need to be taken to a professional groomers on a regular basis to have some trimming or stripping done. She can be good for allergy sufferers as one parent is deemed to be hypoallergenic but thus is something that should always be tested before buying in case there is a reaction. While there is not a lot of vacuuming to do after her she has long hair that will need brushing daily to keep it free of tangles. If you opt to have it kept shorter this will need less brushing. She should be given a bath as she needs it using a dog shampoo and conditioner. Blow drying will make the coat fluffy and may help prevent some tangling. Clip her nails when they get too long being careful not to cut through the quick. Clean her ears once a week and check them for infection. Brush her teeth two to three times a week.

What is she like with children and other animals?

She is good with children, other dogs and pets though she may chase smaller animals wanting play and seeing then as prey. Early socialization can help with this. With children she can be playful and very loving. She is gentle and because she is a bit sturdier than some small dogs is not as fragile around them.

General information

She is alert and can be a good watchdog who will bark to let you know of any intruder. She is an occasional barker otherwise. She will need to be fed a good quality dry dog food each day. ½ to 1 cup should be enough but it should be done in at least two meals.

Health Concerns

There are health issues she could inherit from her parents like patellar luxation, kidney problems, bladder problems, eye problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems, Legg-perthes, Chondrodysplasia, heart problems, Allergies, joint dysplasia, dental problems, ear infections, snuffles, reverse sneezing and deafness. The way to lessen the odds are to get a healthy dog from a trusted breeder who allows you to visit her and will show you health clearances for the parents.

Costs involved in owning a Havashu

A Havashu puppy could cost between $300 and $1200. Other costs for things like collar and leash, carrier bag, crate, blood tests, deworming, shots, spaying and chipping come to between $360 to $400. Yearly costs for medical essentials like pet insurance, shots, flea prevention and check ups come to between $435 to $535. Other yearly costs for things like food, treats, toys, license, training and grooming come to between $530 to $630.


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The Havashu is a small dog who is a great companion and family dog. She is active but for her size that is still very manageable for most people. She gets along great with everyone but can be hyper sometimes. She will become very attached to you and her charms are likely to have you become very attached to her.

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.

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