Dog Breed


Long-livedFits in your backpack
Primary image of Havanese dog breed
Full Name
Alternate Names
Little white dog of Havana, Havana Silk Dog
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Life Span
14 - 15 years
7 - 13 pounds

The ultimate companion dog. They were originally bred in Cuba for companionship for the royal families, but eventually came to the US, and have been much more widespread. They are intelligent, energetic, and can be good for first time owners because of their affectionate qualities, and good temperament with other dogs and people.

Overall they are a healthy dog, and have a long life, but are prone to eye disorders and deafness.

Bred For
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Havanese good with children?

    Yes, the Havanese is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Havanese naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Havanese friendly with strangers?

    Yes, the Havanese is very friendly with strangers. We still recommend early socialization while the Havanese is a puppy to introduce them to various new people, but in general they are friendly with everyone.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Havanese friendly with other dogs?

    Yes! The Havanese naturally loves other dogs. As always, socialization is always important, but the Havanese typically gets along with every dog it meets
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Havanese like to cuddle?

    The Havanese appreciates affection and that includes kisses and snuggles!

    Does the Havanese like to play?

    The Havanese will almost always be ready for play! The Havanese is great for a family with children, or otherwise, an environment that is always ready for play.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Havanese make a good service dog?

    The Havanese would not be a great fit as a service dog for several reasons.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Havanese good for first-time owners?

    The Havanese is a good breed for first-time owners. A good fit for first-time owners are friendly breeds that are motivated to please their owner. This means they can be trained, and are rarely aggressive and overpowering.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Havanese be trained?

    The Havanese is about average when it comes to training potential. The Havanese can be seen in competitions and can have advanced training, but it would require much dedication and oftentimes professional training.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Havanese shed a lot?

    No! The Havanese does not shed very much, and can be an excellent fit for someone who suffers from dog allergies.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Havanese easy to groom?

    The Havanese is one of the toughest breeds for grooming. It takes time and money, but the result is a beautiful coat.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Havanese need a lot of exercise?

    The Havanese requires an average amount of exercise. You should be ready to dedicate a couple of short walks or a larger dog park session each day for your Havanese to be happy and fulfilled.

    How smart is the Havanese?

    The Havanese has average intelligence. They are smart and witty, but do not need to be constantly challenged mentally, as some other breeds.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Havanese bark? Does the Havanese bark too much?

    The Havanese barks an average amount. It can vary widely between Havaneses - some may be much more expressive than others.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Havanese a good guard dog?

    The Havanese is the opposite of a guard dog!
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Havanese good at staying alone? Is the Havanese independent?

    The Havanese does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They can do well for a couple of hours alone, but may have anxiety for time beyond that.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Havanese a good apartment dog?

    The Havanese is an excellent dog breed for an apartment. Some daily exercise is still important, but if they get that then the apartment will be more than enough for them to call home.

    How big is the Havanese?

    The Havanese is below average when it comes to size. They are not a "toy" breed, but it is still significantly easier to travel with them.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Havanese tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Havanese?

    The Havanese can do very well in hot weather. Owners should still be aware of over-heating as this is one of the most common reasons for dogs going into the emergency room, but overall the Havanese can do well in hot climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Havanese tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Havanese?

    The Havanese does not tolerate cold weather very well, and we would not recommend having a Havanese if you live in a very cold weather climate. Even if your home is warm, it can be inconvenient to go on walks, and you may need to have a sweater for your Havanese.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Havanese try to run away?

    The Havanese is very unlikely to run away. Of course, precautions should always be taken, and every dog is unique, but with a Havanese it is very likely they will naturally follow you, even when they are off-leash.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Havanese a healthy dog? The health of a Havanese should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Havanese is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Havanese high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Havanese?

    The Havanese has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Havanese into your home. Can you give your Havanese enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Havanese drool?

    The Havanese does not drool at all.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Havanese have a large prey drive? Does the Havanese like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Havanese does not have a large prey drive towards birds or even cats, and can typically do very well living in the same home as them.

    Is the Havanese atheltic?

    The Havanese can have athletic moments, and bursts of speed, but does not have the endurance as other highly athletic dog breeds. They would do great for occasional jogs, but probably not the best for long-distance runs or anything more athletic than that.
  1. Toy
  2. Bichon
  3. Havanese
The Havanese is a purebred dog that belongs to the Bichon sub group, which falls under the larger Toy dog breed group.
Toy group: Toy dogs are primarily characterized by their very small size. But don't let that fool you- if anything their personality and tenacity is higher than the average dog. In fact, even their protective instincts are above average! In fact, because of that it is crucial they get socialization with children and other dogs from an early age. Perhaps out of all dog groups, the toy dog group is the most difficult to put sub-groups into, since the sub groups also include larger dogs, and fall under other groupings. For example, the Pomeranian is a Toy Spitz dog, but there are also large Spitz dogs such as the Samoyed. Because the toy dog is both small and primarily bred for home companionship, they make excellent additions for a wide range of families. There are also practical benefits with toy dogs- they are great for apartment living, and traveling. Toy dogs are also loyal and love to cuddle, making them the ideal lap dog.
Bichon sub-group: Bichons are typically small white dogs that were previously known as Barbichon dogs. Bichon's are a very ancient dog breed, and originate from Spain, presumably from the Canary Islands. It wasn't until the 13th century that they started being associated with royalty... a reputation that still holds today! Bichons need to be frequently groomed, but the result will be an absolutely royal looking dog. Bichons have a hypoallergenic coat, which is smooth to the touch, making them even more of a perfect lap dog. Bichons are adaptable and friendly with children and dogs. They are focused and proud, so can make decent guard dogs. They are the ideal city dogs because of their size, confidence, and swag. On top of all of this, the Bichon can be trained fairly easily, making them an excellent option for first time dog owners.

Havaneses for adoption

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