Lifespan: 14 – 16 years
Weight: 7 – 13 lbs.
Height: 8.5 – 11.5 inches
Do I shed?: Somewhat
Personality: Intelligent, social, cheerful, watchdog
Common health problems: Chondrodysplasia, deafness, Legg-Calve-Perthes, eye disorders
The sturdy Havanese is notable for its silky coat of many colors. Their tail often comes up over their back in a cheerful curl.
Havanese dogs have a long, silken coat, as well as an undercoat. Soft and light, their luxurious fur grows in waves and comes in many colors officially recognized by the American Kennel Club:3
- Black and silver
- Black and tan
- Red sable
- Red brindle
- Black brindle
- Gold brindle
- Gold sable
- Silver brindle
The Havanese breed does shed, but not excessively. They are a high-maintenance dog when it comes to grooming requirements. If you do not brush your Havanese daily, their fur will begin to become matted.
Havanese ears are high-set and have a distinctive fold that remains present even when alert. Their ears will raise at the base but remain flopped over at the top. Like many floppy-eared dogs, your Havanese could be vulnerable to ear infections, so be sure to keep them cleaned.
Havanese are not heavy droolers, and may in fact never drool at all.
What My Adoption Bio Would Say:
I’m as pretty on the inside as I am on the outside, the complete package! I love spending time with my people (and meeting new ones). But don’t let my luxurious coat fool you. If you’re looking for a protector, I’ve got the courage and bark to guard my family.
The Havanese temperament could best be described as sunny. They love to be loved and are often extremely bonded to their family. At the same time, the Havanese can be a social butterfly. They love meeting new folks and are a great companion for the outgoing.
Due to the strong attachment that Havanese dogs form with their family, they often experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended amounts of time. This can manifest as destructive behavior. Take steps to help your Havanese cope with separation to prevent them from chewing and tearing up the house.
Their intelligence and positivity means Havanese are up to any challenge. Positive training is key. Harsh scolding will clash with their sensitive nature. Be sure to socialize your Havanese as early as possible so they learn not to fear new situations.
Havanese dogs tend to walk with a spring in their step, but they only require a moderate amount of daily exercise. A walk in the park or romp around the house should suffice. As long as you’re involved, they’ll be happy.
Their playfulness, excitability, and innate sense of humor makes the Havanese perfect for a family with children. Be sure to supervise your pooch around young children to ensure no accidents happen.
A Havanese will get along with any friendly animal, be it cat, dog, or other pet.
They may not look it, but Havanese make excellent guard dogs. Despite this they’re not overly vocal. Most Havanese will keep their barking to a minimum.
Named for their region of origin, the Havanese is the only dog breed to be native to the island of Cuba.3 They are descended from the extinct Blanquito de la Habana — the “Little White Dog of Havana” — which in turn descended from the extinct Bichón Tenerife of the Canary Islands. The Havanese is believed to be the result of crossbreeding the Blanquito de la Habana with other bichon-type dogs, such as the poodle.3 They made their way to the United States in the late 1950s as a result of the Cuban upper crust fleeing the Revolución. In 1996, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Havanese breed, and as of 2021 they are ranked the 25th most popular dog in the States.4
- Havapoo: A Havanese/poodle mix
- Havashu: A Havanese/shih tzu mix
- Havamalt: A Havanese/Maltese mix
- Havachon: A bichon/Havanese mix
If raised by a responsible breeder, most Havanese will live long and healthy lives.3 However, there are some complications that are more common among their breed than others:
- Chondrodysplasia: This is a genetic health condition which is sometimes thought to be “dwarfism.” Due to changes in bone and cartilage structure, dogs with chondrodysplasia often have abnormally short limbs for their breed.5
- Hip Dysplasia: Another genetic condition, hip dysplasia causes the “ball and socket” joint in a dog’s hip to separate.
- Cataracts: Cataracts, which could cause blindness, are common in this breed.
- Hypothyroidism: If your Havanese is experiencing a thyroid problem, symptoms may include obesity, hair loss, seizures, and/or lethargy.6
- Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation is the knee joint sliding in and out of place. This can be crippling to some dogs; however, most live a long, healthy life even with the condition.
Getting your Havanese on a dog insurance plan as early as possible is one of the best ways to keep them healthy and safe. That way, conditions they may develop later in life won’t be considered preexisting.
Pet insurance can help cover the cost of routine care, like vaccination and required medications. But it’s also important in the event of an illness or injury, when the most expensive vet bills begin to pile up. If your Havanese were to develop hip dysplasia, they would likely require surgery or even a total hip replacement. This can cost as much as $7,000 per hip.7 With MetLife Pet Insurance, you could be reimbursed for some or all of the cost of the procedure.1,2 That’s a huge weight off your shoulders!
Get started with a free quote to see how much you could save with pet insurance.