Havanese Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

The Havanese dog breed has won many admirers with his long, silky hair, expressive eyes, and size. Bred as a companion puppy to the Cuban aristocracy from the 1800s, he’s earned the nickname “Velcro dog” because he sticks closely to his proprietor. But don’t write him off the Havanese is trainable and amazingly lively, and has excelled in dog sports and puppy careers ranging to assisting the handicapped.

The Havanese shines his affectionate character including kids strangers, other dogs, and cats. However, his family members will find the lion’s share of his love given the choice, he’ll stick to his owner’s side like glue. This is unquestionably a housedog, and also a Havanese who is left away from his loved ones — or anyplace at the garden is not a happy dog.

His Velcro personality isn’t so surprising, considering he had been bred to maintain the rich families of his native island of Cuba company. Since then, however, the Havanese has proven that he’s good for more than warming laps. Puppies are quite trainable, and they have worked as therapy and assistance dogs, sniffed out mold and termites, and shown off their clownish antics.

Like many dogs, it’s typical for adoring owners to overindulge their Havanese. They’ll likely regret it — like eating people food that is just bad habits, can form fast. This breed is a sharp con artist, and you could discover your Havanese is coaching you, instead of the other way round.

Regardless of his quirks, or even because of them, the Havanese is a fantastic and versatile pet.

Vital Stats:

  • Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
  • Height: 8 inches to 11 inches tall at the shoulder
  • Weight: 7 to 13 pounds
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years


  • The Havanese is a companion dog that thrives on being with his loved ones. He could suffer from separation anxiety when left alone, and can best when someone is home during the day to keep him company.
  • Even though they generally outgrow this, it is fairly common for Havanese puppies (among other strains) to consume their own insides. Organize the poop of your puppy he can not indulge in this habit.
  • The long, silky coat of the Havanese is beautiful, but requires regular brushing and care. Many owners prefer to clip it short, but if you want to show your dog, you are going to need to allow it to grow and spend a good quantity of time in grooming, or money in paying a groomer. Another reason to maintain it : If you live in a climate that is warm, the coat helps keep your pet cool.
  • The Havanese does well from apartments. But he bark if he hears a strange noise or if he sees somebody passing by the house. The great thing is that he doesn’t bark for the sake of hearing his own voice.
  • The Havanese likes to see the world from up high, and will find his way onto the backs of sofas and tables to watch by.
  • Paper is a toy for your Havanese, and this clever little breed will go out of the way even sniffing throughout the jackets of your visitors. Paper, that can give hours of shredding pleasure to him, is a treat. Toss him a roll, and your house will soon seem like it’s been struck by Halloween pranksters.
  • The Havanese needs just as much exercise as a dog that is larger. A long walk or an active game every day should do it.
  • To acquire a puppy that is healthy, never buy a puppy from store, puppy mill, or an irresponsible breeder. Start looking for a reputable breeder who checks her dogs to make certain they’re free of hereditary diseases they may pass onto the dogs, and they have sound temperaments.


After Columbus maintained Cuba for Spain in 1492, Spanish settlers began arriving on the island. With them came their little companion dogs the ancestors of what is currently the family of puppies.

These dogs interbred and — isolated from dogs by island existence, and afterwards, by trade restrictions imposed from Spain — they started to grow into the Havanese we understand. Their signature coat was thick and silky, which helped insulate the puppy from the tropical sunshine (the coat is like raw silk , profuse, but exceptionally mild and soft, and insulates from the tropical rays in much the same manner that lawns of silk sari protect the women of India).

From the early 1800s, Havanese were gracing the laps of aristocratic families in Cuba. European travelers that became enamored with the breed attracted back dogs into England, Spain, and France. The strain became cool in Europe and Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens were one of his fans that were renowned at the time.

Like most strain trends, this one petered out. The Havanese became extinct, even. A few Cuban families still bred and kept the dogs, however, and with all the Cuban Revolution in 1959, 11 Havanese were brought to the U.S. in the arms of their owners.

These puppy refugees would be the ancestors of most of the outside of Cuba today.

The renaissance of this breed started in the 1970s,when an American couple who bred dogs discovered. Charmed with their intelligence and affectionate nature, they began tracking down Havanese and working to reestablish the breed.

Because Havanese outside of Cuba today can trace their ancestry to just 11 dogs, breeders are working to widen the gene pools of their Havanese.

The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995.


Men and females stand 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches tall, and weigh 7 to 13 pounds.


The Havanese is a gentle and affectionate breed that thrives on human companionship. Your Havanese will frequently follow you from room to room through the afternoon, and he can become very stressed when left alone.

He’s smart too, and will enjoy sitting on your lap watching the world go by, or making you laugh along with antics.

Puppies with nice temperaments are interested and playful, ready to approach people and be held with them. Choose the middle-of-the-road pup, not the person who’s beating up his littermates or the person who’s hiding in the corner.

Consistently meet a minumum of one of the parents the mom is to make sure that they have nice temperaments that you are comfortable with.

Like each dog, the Havanese wants early socialization — exposure to diverse people, sights, sounds, and experiences — if they’re young. Socialization helps ensure your puppy grows up for a dog that is well-rounded.

Enrolling him is a superb beginning. Inviting visitors over frequently, and taking him to parks and on strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his abilities.


Havanese are healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Not all Havanese will find any or all these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you are considering this strain.

If you are buying a puppy, find a fantastic breeder that will show you health clearances for the your pet’s parents. Health clearances prove a dog was tested for and rid of a condition. You can confirm health clearances by assessing the OFA web site (offa.org).

  • This disease can be found in many breeds of dogs. Though it’s a disease that breeders screen for, it can show up at a puppy born to parents of this disease. Treatments include medication, weight loss in the event the dog is overweight, nutritional supplements, and sometimes surgery.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia is similar to hip dysplasia; it is a degenerative disease that affects the elbow joint. It’s believed to be caused by abnormal growth and growth, causing the joint to become malformed and weakened. The disease varies in severity; others, a little stiffness is simply developed by some dogs. The treatment is surgery, weight management, and medication.
  • Chondrodysplasia: This is a genetic disorder that’s commonly mislabeled as “dwarfism.” This can range in severity. In acute cases, dogs may live full and healthy lives, but any dog with this disease should not be bred.
  • Legg-Perthes Disease: Legg-perthes causes a deformity of the joint ball. It starts with a decrease in the blood flow to the head of the femur bone, until the bone expires off, collapses, and becomes more deformed. The end result is arthritis or inflammation of the hip joint. It’s uncertain what causes legg-perthes, but it may be inherited or harm related. Treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and surgically eliminating the femoral head and neck. Dogs normally do following the surgery, and several suffer minor lameness, particularly during weather changes.
  • Cataracts: A cataract is opacity on the lens. The affected eye has a cloudy appearance. It is an inherited disease and occurs with older age, but can happen at any age. Cataracts are treated with surgical removal.
  • Deafness: Deafness provides challenges for both the dog and the owner. Some forms of deafness and hearing loss can be treated with medication and operation, but deafness usually cannot be cured. Patience and time must be awarded to a dog and there are a number of products available on the market, such as vibrating collars, to make life easier for you both.
  • This causes lameness or an abnormal gait. Treatment for patellar luxation is usually operation.
  • Portosystemic Shunt: A portosystemic shunt is a abnormal blood flow where the blood from the digestive tract bypasses the liver and proceeds into the systemic venous circulation. When this occurs, toxins which are removed by the liver have been dispersed through the body leading to diseases, such as hepatic encephalopath. Portosystemic shunts usually occur in conjunction with another disease and symptoms include poor balance, loss of appetite, lethargy, blindness, depression, fatigue, seizures, disorientation, and coma. A change in diet and surgery can help cure the problem.
  • There are five grades of heart murmurs; they’re graded on how the murmur that is audible is.
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency: Mitral valve insufficiency is found in elderly dogs if the valve, which can be found between the left atrium and ventricle, begins to neglect. The mitral valve fails to avoid the flow of blood when this happens. Heart failure can be caused by this. Symptoms include hypertension, fluid from the lungs, and also a decrease in strength of the muscle.


He’s got a reasonable amount of energy although the Havanese is a small strain. A lengthy walk or an active game of draw daily can keep him happy.

The Havanese does well from flats to houses with lawns, in a number of houses — as long as he is an indoor dog. This strain is not suited for life in the garden. He is happiest when he’s with his loved ones. Although they’re not too yappy, they really do bark so if your house has noise restrictions, this may not be the breed for you.

His eagerness makes the Havanese simple to train in most cases. Basic obedience, starting with puppy classes, is recommended. Which means you’ll need to be patient during this process, Housetraining, however, can be challenging for a Havanese. Training is a must, although you will get there.

Separation anxiety can be a serious concern for the Havanese and his owner. The best way is to avoid it. Do not leave the puppy alone for long periods of time and, if you do depart, place him into a crate with plenty of sturdy toys to keep him occupied.

Though he’s little and fuzzy, a Havanese isn’t a toy. Like all breeds, he needs to learn manners that are canine that are good. Don’t spoil him or by taking him all the time hebe too possessive of you or’ll get fat.


Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food each day, divided into two meals.

Dogs are individuals, just like individuals, and they all do not need the identical amount of food. It goes without saying that an exceptionally active puppy will need more than a couch potato dog. The standard of pet food you buy also creates a difference — the greater the dog foods, the further it goes toward nourishing your pet and also the less of it you’ll want to shake to your dog’s bowl.

Maintain your Havanese in good shape by measuring his meals and feeding him twice a day instead of leaving food. If you are unsure whether he is overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on evaluation.

First, look down at him. You ought to be able to see a waist. Put your hands on his back, thumbs across the spine, with all all the palms spread downward. You ought to be able to sense but not see his ribs without having to press difficult. If you can not, he needs food and more exercise.

Coat Color And Grooming

The Havanese coat is thick but silky , soft, and mild, and it doesn’t shed easily. The jacket is long and ranges from straight to curly, although wavy is regarded as the perfect for the show ring. It comes in white, black, black and tan, sable, grey, and many colors and markings.

Owners clip the Havanese coat short to make it a lot easier to care for. But if you show your Havanese — or just need to look just like you do — you are going to have to maintain it and should expect to do a great deal of grooming.

When maintained the coat requires daily brushing to prevent mats from forming, and regular baths to keep it clean. In general, it is wise to keep the hair over the eyes tied up to reduce irritation — it looks cute.

Unless you are highly motivated and skilled, you’re probably better off. Owners may learn how to groom their dogs, but it requires a dedicated person to maintain this breed’s coat in good shape.

Eyes and tearstains are common from the Havanese. Keep in mind that an eye problem can be signaled by excessive tearing and should be checked by a veterinarian. Most tearstains aren’t severe, and the cause is unknown. You are able to enhance the stained look by keeping the hair around your eyes clean (wipe daily with a damp cloth). You will find whitening products on the market made specifically for moisturizing.

Brush your Havanese’s teeth at least twice or three times every week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk within . Daily brushing is better if you wish to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog does not wear them down naturally. They are too long, if you can hear them clicking onto the ground. Neatly trimmed claws maintain the feet and prevent your legs from getting scratched if your Havanese enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.

Begin accustoming your Havanese to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws often — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears. Make grooming a favorable experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll put the groundwork for veterinary examinations and other handling when he’s an adult.

Babies should be clear, without any redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam can help you spot potential health problems early.

Children And Other Pets

The Havanese is a wonderful family dog who is affectionate with everyone, including children of all ages and other dogs and pets. But because he is so modest, he can easily get hurt by accident, so it’s especially important to teach children how to treat the dog.

You must always teach kids how to approach and touch puppies, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and children to prevent ear or any biting or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child to not approach any dog while he’s eating or sleeping or to try to select the dog’s food away. No dog should be left unsupervised with a kid.

Rescue Groups

Havanese are purchased with no clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are Havanese in need of adoption and boosting. There are a number of offenses which we have not recorded. If you don’t find a rescue listed on your area, contact the breed club or a breed club and they can point you.

  • Havanese Club of America Placement and Rescue Service Committee
  • Havanese Fanciers of Canada Rescue

Breed Organizations

  • Havanese Club of America

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