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AKC Height:

8.5-11.5 inches

AKC Weight:

7-13 pounds


All colors or patterns.

Life Expectancy:

14-16 years


Toy Group

Havanese: The Joyful and Companionable Toy Breed

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on the Havanese, a breed cherished for its charismatic personality, silky coat, and affectionate nature. This page offers an in-depth exploration of the Havanese, a small yet sturdy toy breed renowned for its adaptability and charm, making it a favorite among families and individuals alike.


AKC Height: 8.5-11.5 inches

AKC Weight: 7-13 pounds

Colors: All colors or patterns.

Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Group: Toy Group

Physical Characteristics

  • Distinctive Silky Coat: The Havanese boasts a long, silky, and sometimes wavy coat, which comes in a variety of colors, ranging from pure white to black and many shades in between.
  • Compact and Sturdy Build: Despite their small size, Havanese dogs have a sturdy, well-proportioned body, with a slightly longer length than height.

Temperament and Personality Havanese are known for their cheerful, sociable, and friendly demeanor. They thrive on human companionship and are known for their tendency to form strong bonds with their owners. Their playful and gentle nature makes them excellent companions for children and other pets.

Training and Exercise Needs

  • Training: They are intelligent and responsive, making training a rewarding experience. Positive reinforcement methods are most effective.
  • Exercise: Moderate exercise, such as daily walks and play sessions, is sufficient for this breed.
  • Mental Stimulation: Interactive games and socialization activities are important for their mental well-being.

Health and Nutrition

  • Diet: A balanced diet suitable for small breeds is essential. Regular veterinary check-ups can help ensure their health and dietary needs are met.
  • Common Health Issues: Generally a healthy breed, Havanese can be prone to certain genetic conditions. Regular health screenings are recommended.

Grooming and Care

  • Coat Maintenance: Their luxurious coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to maintain its beauty.
  • General Care: Routine health care practices, such as dental hygiene, nail trimming, and ear cleaning, are important.

Living with a Havanese

  • Family Compatibility: They are excellent family pets, known for their adaptability and affectionate nature.
  • Adaptability: Havanese adapt well to various living environments, including apartments and homes with limited space.
  • Companionship: They enjoy being part of family activities and are happiest when close to their human companions.

Responsible Ownership and Adoption

  • Selecting a Breeder: Opt for breeders who prioritize health, temperament, and the breed standard.
  • Adoption Options: Adoption from shelters or breed-specific rescues is a wonderful way to offer a loving home to a Havanese in need.

Conclusion The Havanese, with its endearing character, luxurious coat, and companionable nature, is an ideal breed for those seeking a small, affectionate, and adaptable pet. Their sociable and gentle disposition makes them a favored choice for many dog lovers.


Havanese are good dogs for smaller spaces; however, they still need a moderate amount of exercise. Twice-weekly brushing, along with trimming and bathing every 6 weeks, is necessary to keep the coat in good shape. Havanese do not shed noticeably.


Happy, alert, and friendly, Havanese make good family pets, and are generally good with children. They will bark when a stranger comes to the door, but are not aggressive watchdogs.

Havanese Housebreaking

Housebreaking the Havanese requires consistency on your part. Dogs are creatures of habit, and knowing the tips and tricks of training will make the process so much easier and less stressful.

Puppy Housebreaking     Adult Marking & Retraining

Find a Puppy: Havanese

If you are looking for a puppy or adult dog, please read our important information on choosing a puppy from a breeder and adopting a dog from a rescue. There are good dog breeders and good dog rescues and there are bad dog breeders and bad dog rescues. Our information will help you to make an informed decision and will give you tips on what to look for and what to avoid.

Pet shops are not the best place to look for a puppy. Dogs from pet shops often come from puppy mills, and puppy mill dogs are often kept in unhealthy conditions. The best way to end puppy mills is to rescue or buy from reputable sources.


The Havanese should only be fed high-quality dog food targeted toward the dog’s age, whether puppy, adult, or senior. Since Havanese can easily become overweight, it is important to watch your dog’s calorie consumption. Avoid cooked bones and food with high fat content. Talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog’s weight.


Havanese love to please their owners and may react harshly to scolding. Early socialization with other dogs and people is important. When training this breed, remember that firm leadership and consistency is key.


(Click here for Health Dictionary)
Watch for Luxating Patellas, PRA, Juvenile Cataracts.