Havanese Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Havanese so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank23
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Havanese dog profile picture
OriginCuba flagCuba
Other Names
What other names does the Havanese have?
Bichon HabaneroBichon HavanaisBichon HavanesHavanese Cuban BichonHavaneserHavanezerBichon Havanese
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Purebred

Overview

 

Havanese Price and Availability

Price
How much does the Havanese puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? How much money is a Havanese?
$900-$1200
If you choose to purchase the Havanese, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Havanese for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Havanese gets to a happy place.
Availability
How easy is it to get a Havanese? How many Havanese are there in the world?
Very frequent: The Havanese is quite easy to get. There is a risk of overbreeding, as it is an extremely popular breed.

Inbreeding is common because of its popularity. A new study suggests that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful, buy from a trustworthy place or kennel and seek the help of an experienced person, a professional, to make the right decision.

Havanese Size

Size
Is a Havanese small, medium or large dog?

How big do Havanese get?

Small
Weight
How much does the Havanese weigh? How much should the Havanese breed weight? What is the normal weight of a Havanese?
7-13 pounds (3-6 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of a Havanese?
10 pounds (4.5 kg)
Height
How tall is the Havanese? Havanese height:
8-11 inches (21-29 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of a Havanese?
10 inches (25 cm)

Havanese Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Havanese have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
SoftWavyWoollyFlatLong
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Havanese's coat?
BlackReddish-BrownFawnWhiteHavana BrownTobacco
Grooming
How to groom the Havanese and how often?
Average: The Havanese requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential.

Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Havanese, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.

Shedding Level
How much do Havanese dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Bichon Habanero?
Havaneses shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car being covered by dog hair. Havanese dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Havanese need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Havanese every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.

Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Havanese Personality / Temperament

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Havanese have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
AffectionateGentlePlayfulCompanionableIntelligentResponsiveSturdyLivelyAmiableCharming
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Havanese? Is the Havanese breed dumb or smart?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.

The Havanese ranks average in the intelligence ranking of dogs.

Trainability
Are Havanese dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Havaneses are very easy to train. They easily find out the association between commands and actions.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
The Havanese is a highly playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Havanese sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Havaneses don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well.

They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is a Havanese a good family dog?
High: Havaneses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Bichon Habanero need? Havanese social needs:
Havaneses need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Barking
Do Havanese dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Bichon Habanero bark?
Low to Average: The Havanese rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Watchdog Ability
Is Havanese good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Havaneses are good watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're consistent in their effort. Good vocal cords and a sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're territorial and protective about their property, so the Havaneses will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Havanese dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Havaneses strongly protect their territory. This breed is a complete security guard, so you don't have to be afraid in case of danger.
Biting Potential
Do Havanese bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Bichon Habanero? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Havanese? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Havanese has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Havanese has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Havanese? How much bite force does a Havanese have?

Between 100 and 200 PSI 🔽

Havanese bite force: Weak. Dogs that have the weakest bite force below 200 PSI.

However, it is important to note that despite the fact that their bite force is considered the “weakest” it can still be very dangerous as all dog bites are.

They are usually not aggressive and very friendly towards children and other animals.

Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Havanese do?
Havaneses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Havaneses need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Havanese to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Havanese roam?
Havaneses tend to escape less than other breeds. They have low to average wanderlust potential. Exploring the world is not the best activity they can imagine.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Havanese have high prey drive?
Havaneses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Havaneses are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Havanese good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Very house-friendly dog the Havanese breed. It's good if you have a small garden where he can go out and do his business, but it's not important at all. You can get enough exercise with one or two walks a day, so keeping them indoors shouldn't be a problem.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Havaneses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can a Havanese be left alone?
Havaneses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.

Havanese Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Havanese temperament with other people:
Havaneses are stranger-friendly dogs.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Havanese dogs get along with other pets? Are Havanese dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Havaneses are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Child Friendly
Are Havanese dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Havanese temperament with children:
Havaneses are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Havanese dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Havanese breed live with a cat?
Havaneses are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Havanese good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Havanese dogs get along with other dogs?
Havaneses are very dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Havanese can be a great choice.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Havanese breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Havanese breed suitable for first-time owners?
Yes
Havaneses are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Havaneses good office dogs? Do Havaneses make good office friendly dogs? Can Havaneses be office dogs?
No
Havanese is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Havanese dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Bichon Habanero temperament with senior people? Are Havanese dogs good for elderly owners?
Havaneses are one of the best breeds for elderly people.

Havanese Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Havanese dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Havanese is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Havanese breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Havanese breed? Most common health risks of Havanese:
CataractsChondrodysplasiaDeafnessElbow DysplasiaHeart MurmursHip DysplasiaLegg-perthes DiseaseMitral Valve DiseasePatellar LuxationPortosystemic Liver Shunt
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Havanese breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Havanese see the vet?
Average
The Havanese should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Havanese dogs live? How old can a Havanese be? What is the age limit of the Havanese? How many years can the oldest Havanese live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Havanese?

14-16 years
The average lifespan of Havanese: 15 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Havanese breed hypoallergenic?
Yes
Havaneses do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction. However there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs in the world, there are a variety of breeds that are considered to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Havanese have? What is the activity level of the Havanese?
Havaneses have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does a Havanese need? How much exercise do Havanese dogs require per day?
Havaneses exercise need is very minimal. If you live a lazy life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Havanese breed need?
Havaneses sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered a lazy breed.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does a Havanese need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Havanese breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Havanese? How much food should I feed my Havanese?
1/2 to 1 cup dry food a day.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Havanese risk for obesity:
Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Havanese's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Havanese's weight regularly.

Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather
Dogs that tolerate hot and cold weather are typically those that have a double coat of fur. Dogs with a double coat of fur have a layer of fur that insulates their skin and helps protect them from the cold and the heat.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?

Low 🔽

The Havanese has a low chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Havanese drool?
The Havanese is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Havanese could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Havanese.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Havanese As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Havanese be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Havanese is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Havanese be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Havanese be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Havanese is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Havanese be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Havanese is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Havanese be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Havanese is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Havanese be a boat dog?

Not really

Havanese breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Havanese be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Havanese is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Havanese dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Havanese Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is a Havanese pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Havanese breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Havanese: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Havanese have in a litter? How many puppies can the Havanese breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Havanese have? How many puppies can a Havanese give birth to?
1-9 puppies, average 4

Havanese Recognition

AKC Group
Is Havanese recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996 as a Toy breed.
FCI Group
Is Havanese recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Bichons and related breeds section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Havanese breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubUnited Kennel ClubHavanese Club of America

Havanese Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Trainability: Havaneses are very easy to train.
  • Hypoallergenic: Havaneses do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Very house-friendly dog the Havanese breed.
  • Shedding Level: Havaneses shed none to minimal.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Havanese is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Stinkiness: The Havanese has a low chance of bad smell.
  • Watchdog Ability: Havaneses are good watchdogs.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Havaneses tend to escape less than other breeds.
  • Adaptability: Havaneses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Havaneses are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Cat Friendly: Havaneses are very cat-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Havaneses are very dog-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Havaneses are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Havaneses are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Cons
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Havanese's weight, he can easily gain weight.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Havaneses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
  • Office Friendly: Havanese is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Havanese History

This breed is unique in many respects and its history moreover it is fascinating is also important to define the type. The Havanese is the National dog of Cuba and its only native breed. Cuba was discovered by Cristopher Columbus in 1492 Spain colonized it in the next decades and Cuba remained a Spanish colony until the 19th century. Due to the hard trade restrictions imposed on Cuba by Spain Tenerife remained basically it's only determining trade partner and it would appear these little dogs, who soon found their way into the homes of the resident Spanish aristocracy, and developed without much outside influence. They did, however, develop adapting to the climate of this tropical island. Havanese have a unique coat thanks to which they are a remarkably heat-tolerant breed. The coat is like raw silk floss, profuse, but extremely light and soft, and insulating against the tropical rays. (Once they were called the Havana Silk Dog, or the Spanish Silk Poodle). In Cuba, the coat was never clipped for this reason, and the hair never tied into a topknot, as they believe it protects the eyes from the harsh sun.

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba and is considered to be its only native breed. There are several written historical evidence that it was, indeed, developed there prior to the 17th century after its canine ancestors came from Spain (from Tenerife in the Canary Islands) in the early 1500s. The Havanese is part of the Bichon family, which are thought to be from the Mediterranean area in pre-Christian times, just like the Maltese, Bolognese, Bichon Frise, and the Tyetnaya Bolonka. Bichons descended from the same bloodlines that produced the Barbet, the Poodle, and many others. For centuries these small lap-sized dogs have been bred as companions to provide love for their owner. However, it is hard to know the exact origin of the Havanese as their history is drawn from guessing and possibilities rather than documented facts. The theories and stories are based on legends but all authors agree that both the Spanish and Italian have played a huge part in bringing the Havanese to the new world. In spite of all the history, most Cubans think that the breed was brought to them by the sea captains as many of them carried precious things aboard their ships to be able to give them to senoras who were married to rich businessmen. One of these precious gifts were the little Havanese puppies.

The Havanese was a beloved pet of the wealthy Cubans and later became popular among wealthy Europeans such as; Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. Back in the 15-16-17th centuries, many antique portraits have been found and feature a companion dog that looks similar to one or another of the Bichon breeds. For example, the portrait of Frederico II Gonzaga, who was Duke of Mantua, with his small companion by his side was painted around 1525. Moreover, these little dogs were barely seen in public places just like the well-to-do women who owned them. They lived their lives in luxury, and it was said that on special occasions these women would ride through the capital in their carriages with their precious Havanese at their side. The breed was also known as “Perritos de la Falda”, meaning ‘skirt dogs’ because they were small enough to hide under their owner’s skirts. Back in those days in Cuba, the Havanese was bred but never actually sold because of puppies for gifted for favored friends in thanks to who had provided a valuable service to the family. One of the most famous Cuban breeders was Senora Catalina Laza, the wife of a wealthy baron, so we can say that her friends were lucky.

After the Cuban revolution in 1959, people who owned Havanese were the first to leave. There were only 11 dogs that were left to save the breed from extinction when the Perez and the Fantasio family reunited their forces and by the end of the 1970s the breed was being rebuilt. Later on, the Havanese was then registered with the Havanese Club of America in 1996 and also became recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Despite the trade restrictions, Colonial Cuba developed and prospered. By the 18th Century, it was the cultural center of the New World, with operas, theatres, and Palacios and an elegance that surpassed anything the British had managed in ITS colonies! The city of Havana became a touristic center and a regular holiday destination for the European aristocracy. On the way back home, they often brought back the little Dog of Havannah with themselves, which found favor in the courts of Spain, France, and England. In both Spain and in the court of Louis XVI, they were shorn in the manner of poodles and were much admired for their diminutive size. The English, on the other hand, appeared to leave them au natural, and called them the white Cuban, although they were as often found in parti-colors and shades of fawn.

By the mid-eighteenth century, they were downright trendy in Europe and the type became well established. They were usually exhibited in the early European dog shows. Meanwhile in Cuba as the aristocracy of the sugar barons was dying out and a new class was emerging, the bourgeoisie, the little dog of Havana, became a family dog extraordinaire. With the advent of the Cuban revolution, the class of Cubans who owned Havanese was the first to leave. A handful of them found their way to the USA, and by the end of the 70s, a gene pool was being rebuilt.

Rate The Havanese Breed

Havanese Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Trevor

    Jan 27, 2021, 5:34:08 PM:

    This breed is awesome. Seriously. I debated between buying a Poodle and a Havanese, and I choose Havanese. I bought one from a breeder and he's the most lovable dog ever.

  • Havanese's are amazing

    Nov 13, 2020, 7:29:39 PM:

  • Nathelie

    Oct 19, 2020, 4:35:04 PM:

    She is right now 5 month old, she is house trained and already knows how to sit down and roll over. She loves to cuddle but beware, if you open leave the door open, she will escape.

  • Marshmallow

    Oct 11, 2020, 1:18:11 PM:

    My Havanese dog is somewhat stubborn, but he is a superb watchdog, and a great addition to the whole family.

  • Jdhdjd

    Apr 24, 2020, 4:09:35 PM: