The Havanese Dog Breed: What You Need To Know

The Havanese Dog Breed: What You Need To Know

The Havanese dog breed is a descendent of the Bichon family. They are the national dog of Cuba and are that country’s only native breed.

If you are thinking about the Havanese for your family, then you are making a brilliant choice. They are becoming very popular and if you meet one, you’ll soon see why.

There are many reasons for this popularity, one article cannot possibly do this little dog justice, but we will try to give you a broad overview which might explain why we love them so much.

Everything you need to know about the Havanese dog:

1. Havanese Dog Breed

Let’s look at a few Havanese facts.

They formed the Havanese Club of America in 1979.

Officially joining the American Kennel Club in 1996, categorized into the Toy group.

They can grow close to 12 inches at the shoulder and weigh upwards of 15-16lbs. When their hair grows out to its full length, they look like they have short legs, but this is an illusion. Cut their hair short and you can see they have long legs for their size.

Havanese dog aspects

Which makes them swift runners.

Many people see them like lap dogs and they love to sit on or near you, but they need regular exercise. Havanese don’t do well when they cannot burn off their excess energy.

Every week they probably need to exercise 6 or 7 miles or about an hour or more each day. Because of this, we don’t feel they are suitable dogs for owners who don’t enjoy exercise themselves.

2. The Havanese Temperament

They are affectionate, love their family, and hate being left behind. They must go with you wherever. It doesn’t matter to them as long as they are with you.

We will not use the term Velcro-dog, because one, it’s overused and two, it just doesn’t describe how close these dogs can become with their family.

They are not a dog you should leave alone for long periods; they are very dependent dogs and need your companionship.

Havanese closeup

If you have a Havanese prepare yourself for a few mental battles. They are smart, yes, but it seems to go way further than that. They gaze at you with such intelligence to make you stop for a moment and ponder whether they know just what you’re thinking.

Teach them a few tricks, a Havanese loves to show off ball-skills, catching and chasing. Sometimes you might have a job getting the ball back, though. But a little food treat will soon put that right.

So are there any negatives with the Havanese? Yes, like any dog, there can be minor problems.

You must socialize early in the puppy stage, if not they can grow to be too timid. You don’t want them to fear their own shadow.

They also love to be the master of all they survey. If you have a piece of furniture high enough for a Havanese to climb up and see out of the window, they will bark at everyone and everything that passes by.

But, we would say, the most problematic thing is potty training. For whatever reason, because they are intelligent dogs, toilet training can take a few months. And, even after you think the job’s done, minor accidents will still happen.

It’s all worth it, though. Trust us when we say, you will love your Havanese from the first minute you see him/her.

3. Havanese Dog Lifespan

The average lifespan is between 12-14 years. But ill health or mistreatment can affect this.

There are a few health issues you should be aware of.

Havanese cute puppy

Patellar luxation, chondrodysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes (thought to be genetic. The disease appears to be in one hip, causing the dog to limp on one leg, eventually the dog cannot put any weight on that leg), portacaval shunt, elbow dysplasia, deafness, and mitral valve insufficiency.

Contact your vet and set up regular check-ups for hips, hearing, and heart.

4. Do Havanese Dogs Shed

Before we discuss if they shed, we should first explain about their coat and why it’s a little unusual.

Their coat is two coats, both coats are silky to the touch and lightweight. You can cut their coats in a variety of styles.

Havanese grooming

Brushing your Havanese is essential. Every day is necessary, not sometimes. Because their hair in both coats is so soft, when the undercoat loses hair at the root it tangles with the outer coat. If you do not brush this out their hair will mat. This is often painful for the dog as it occurs close to the skin. When these mats appear, they can be so bad the only course is to cut them out.

Havanese are hypoallergenic, their hair doesn’t fall to the ground. But, as mentioned, it needs brushing out.

One other thing we should mention is their hair can grow long in the ears. This needs plucking out, probably once every two weeks. If not debris can collect in the ear canal and if during bath time water inadvertently gets in there, it can lead to ear infections.

After pulling the hair out a few times, the dog gets used to it and it doesn’t hurt them.

5. How Much Do Havanese Dogs Cost

Although this is a straightforward question, unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Many reasons are affecting the cost. Quality of breeder. If they are breeding with show lines, this will always increase the price of a puppy. The pedigree of the puppy’s parents and popularity of the breeder, all point to more expensive puppies.

At the time of writing, the Havanese is not what you would class as a well-known dog, such as a French Bulldog or a Chihuahua, for instance. Because they are a little more difficult to find, it adds to their price.

You can expect to pay near $1500 for a quality pedigree from a reputable breeder.

Havanese on the grass

As I mentioned earlier, they are becoming more popular, so expect the price to come down a little.

As their popularity rises, so will the adverts for “buy a cheap Havanese puppy.” We advise you to stay away from these ads. Buying a Havanese puppy may seem to be the major cost, but it isn’t so. The ongoing costs for any dog far outweigh the initial purchase.

You don’t want to add to those costs because your pup has genetic health defects because of poor breeding standards.


What is a Havanese Dog Like?

They have an incredible charm with the most expressive eyes we have seen in a dog; they look at you with such intense scrutiny. Lovable, playful, and full of mischief.

They might be a smallish dog, but what they lack in size they more than make up for in an outstanding personality.

They are a significant addition to any family, with or without children. If a Havanese puppy is on your potential buying list, then buy him/her, you will never regret it.