Havanese looking forward

Quick Facts


7 to 13 pounds


8.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder

Average Lifespan:

14-16 years

Known For:

Only dog from Cuba, very cheerful, playful and smart with minimum barking.


With a sprinkle of joy and a dash of enthusiasm, let’s dive into the world of the charming Havanese! Originating from Cuba, this breed is the only dog breed native to the country and holds the title as Cuba’s national dog. The Havanese has won the hearts of pet lovers globally, climbing the American Kennel Club rankings with its amiable personality and adaptable nature. Known for their silky fur, expressive eyes, and loving demeanor, Havanese dogs are a popular choice among dog enthusiasts, especially those seeking a companion that is both affectionate and spirited!

History and Origin

The Havanese breed boasts a fascinating history, tracing its roots back to the 1500s when Spanish settlers brought small companion dogs to Cuba. These dogs adapted and evolved in isolation, leading to the development of the distinct Havanese breed we know today. Named after the capital of Cuba, Havana, this breed has experienced highs and lows in its journey.

The Havanese were once the beloved companions of Cuban aristocracy, but as political climates changed, their popularity waned. Fortunately, Cuban families who immigrated to the United States during the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s brought some Havanese dogs with them, preserving the breed from the brink of extinction. Today, the Havanese have rebounded and have become a beloved breed across the world, charming everyone with their sociable nature and adaptable personality.

Among the most famous Havanese, we can count “Ricky,” who won Best in Show at Crufts in 2020, showcasing the breed’s charm and charisma on a global stage!

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

The Havanese is a small dog with a big personality! Characterized by a sturdy and well-proportioned frame, they typically weigh between 7 and 13 pounds and stand about 8.5 to 11.5 inches tall at the shoulder.

One of the breed’s defining features is its beautiful, silky coat. The coat can be wavy, curly, or straight, and it comes in a variety of colors, including white, cream, fawn, chocolate, black, and silver. Their expressive eyes and button nose only add to their overall cuteness, making them irresistible!

This breed is known for its springy gait and lively demeanor, carrying a sense of elegance and grace in every step. Their plumed tail arches over their back, completing their cheerful appearance. Despite their small size, Havanese dogs are robust and adaptable, thriving in various living environments, be it a city apartment or a country home.

Personality and Temperament

The Havanese is renowned for its delightful personality and cheerful temperament. These little canines are social butterflies, loving nothing more than to be around their human companions. They are known for their friendly and playful nature, making them excellent family pets and fantastic companions for individuals of all ages.

With their gentle and affectionate demeanor, Havanese dogs form strong bonds with their families and thrive on human interaction. They are intelligent and curious, always eager to learn new tricks and please their owners. Their playful antics and clownish behavior are sure to bring laughter and joy to any household!

Despite their small size, Havanese are also known for their alertness and can make good watchdogs. They are typically welcoming to guests but will let you know if a stranger is at the door. Overall, their balanced and adaptable temperament makes them a joy to have around.

Health and Lifespan

Havanese are generally healthy dogs, with a lifespan typically ranging between 14 and 16 years. With proper care and attention to their well-being, these little companions can live long, happy lives. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health conditions.

Common health issues in the Havanese breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and cataracts. Additionally, they can be prone to allergies and ear infections. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and regular exercise are essential to maintaining their health and detecting any potential issues early on.

Dental care is also crucial for the Havanese, as they can be prone to dental issues. Regular brushing and professional dental cleanings can help prevent dental disease and contribute to their overall well-being.

It’s essential to get a Havanese from a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs for common inherited health issues to ensure you’re bringing home a healthy puppy. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding overfeeding can contribute significantly to their overall health and longevity.

Care and Maintenance

Havanese grooming

Caring for a Havanese is a rewarding experience that brings joy to both the pet and the owner. One of the key aspects of their care is grooming. Their beautiful, silky coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Some owners choose to keep their Havanese in a shorter haircut for easier maintenance.


Exercise is also crucial for the Havanese. They are active and playful dogs that enjoy daily walks, playtime, and interactive games. They love to explore and are always up for a fun adventure with their human companions!


Diet is another important aspect of their care. Feeding your Havanese a balanced and nutritious diet will help maintain their health and vitality. Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overfeeding and obesity, as this breed can be prone to weight gain.


Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and parasite control are also essential to keep your Havanese healthy and happy. With proper care and love, the Havanese will thrive and bring endless joy and companionship to your life!

Training and Behavior

Training a Havanese can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, as they are eager to please and quick to learn. Known for their intelligence and curiosity, they respond well to positive reinforcement techniques like treats, praise, and play. Early socialization and exposure to various environments, people, and other animals are essential for a well-rounded and well-behaved Havanese.

Though generally well-mannered, some Havanese can develop a stubborn streak. Consistency and patience are key to overcoming this and ensuring successful training outcomes. They can also be a bit vocal, so teaching them when it is and isn’t appropriate to bark is important.

Havanese and Families

Havanese with people

The adaptable and affectionate nature of the Havanese makes them an excellent fit for families. They form strong bonds with family members, thriving on companionship and interaction. Their gentle temperament makes them great with children, and their playful nature keeps the household lively and joyful.

Havanese also tend to get along well with other pets, making them a great addition to multi-pet households. Whether you are a single individual, a family with children, or a senior, a Havanese can bring joy, love, and companionship to your home.

Adopting a Havanese

If you are considering bringing a Havanese into your home, adopting can be a wonderful option. Several rescue organizations and shelters have Havanese dogs looking for loving homes. When adopting, consider the dog’s temperament, health status, and any special needs they may have.

It’s important to ask questions and gather as much information as possible to ensure a good fit between you and your potential furry friend. Be prepared for an adjustment period as your new Havanese gets accustomed to their new environment. With love, patience, and care, adopting a Havanese can be a rewarding experience, giving a loving home to a dog in need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Havanese dogs good for families?

Yes, Havanese are excellent family pets known for their affectionate nature and love of companionship. They are great with children and other pets.

What is the grooming requirement for a Havanese?

Havanese have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent tangles. Daily brushing and occasional professional grooming are recommended.

How much exercise does a Havanese need?

They have moderate energy levels and are satisfied with daily walks and play sessions. They enjoy being active but also love cuddling with their owners.

What health issues should Havanese owners be aware of?

While generally healthy, they can be prone to hereditary health issues like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and heart problems. Regular vet visits are important.

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