Havanese Breed Info And Fun Facts!

If you have a lot of time to spend at home and enjoy affection, the Havanese is ideal.

This small dog breed has won the hearts of many people across the world. This petite breed will love to climb on your lap and is a clingy dog to own. 

If you like attention, many strangers will be drawn to you walking a Havanese in the street. This dog has a gorgeous coat full of thick, silky long hair that drapes to the floor.

This loveable lap dog comes in many different colors. Like white, black, silver, chocolate, red, gold, brindle, sable, cream, champagne, and more.

They’re also known for their curly tail and small structure.

The Havanese can grow up to 8.5-11.5 inches tall and weigh between 7-13 lbs. Likewise, they can live up to 13-15 years. 


If you live in the city, this lap dog is a great breed to own. They’re adaptable, small in size, and love a good cuddle. Their petite size makes them perfect for an apartment, and they only need 30 minutes of exercise per day.

The majority of the time, they will love to curl up on your couch with you!

Don’t think twice if you have children in your home, as the Havanese will be a great fit. This dog is not aggressive and has lots of affection to share, especially with family members. On the contrary, owning a Havanese can be a bit difficult as they are incredibly demanding.

What we mean by this is that they were bred to be companion dogs. That means they will stick to you like glue. If you’re very outgoing and outside from home a lot, then the Havanese is not the small dog breed for you.

If left for a long time, the Havanese can develop separation anxiety.

When this happens, they engage in self-destructive behavior and chew on everything.


If a stranger or new animal was to enter your home, this breed could be quite conservative. They may be withdrawn or jump onto your couch and bark even when they see someone. Don’t worry, though; you can stop this if you socialize it from an early age.

You will need to be consistent and have a lot of patience when training the Havanese.

This lapdog can be a bit difficult to housetrain compared to other breeds.


Are you familiar with the dog breeds known as the Maltese and Bichon Frise? It’s believed that these two breeds are the ancestors of the Havanese. The common factor that links all these together is that they all come from the Bichon family.

During the early period of their existence, this breed served as a lap dog for many rich noblemen and women. They were also one of the most popular items to be bartered around the world by merchants overseas.

These dogs were interbred, as there were a lot of restrictions Spain placed on Cuba.

After some time of interbreeding, the Havanese breed we know today came into existence. While in Cuba, they grew a thick and silky coat that protected the dog’s body and head from the tropical Cuban sun.

In the 1800s, many Havanese were a common pet of many Cuban aristocrats and their families.

Travelers came to Cuba and often brought back the Havanese to their countries. During this time, the breed increased in size in Spain, England, and France.

By the mid-1800s, the Havanese was a fashionable breed to own; even Queen Victoria liked this breed!

The Havanese did nearly become extinct in their native country.

Thanks to a select few Cuban families breeding these dogs, 11 Havanese were brought to America during the Cuban Revolution.

Due to American owners’ help, the Havanese refugees were kept safe and numbers began to increase. Finally, the Havanese was registered officially by the American Kennel Club in 1995.


If you have allergies and are worried about owning a high shedding dog, then you don’t need to stress with the Havanese. This breed is hypoallergenic, which means they do not shed and will not set off any allergies.


While it may not shed, its long silky coat still needs to be maintained. Any owner of the Havanese breed should brush the small dog every day and remove any tangles or mats from its coat. You should never brush this breed with a dry coat; you should use a mist spray.

The Havanese should have a bath every couple of weeks; if you do it too frequently, you could strip oils out of its coat. Before bathing, you should ideally brush a Havanese to make sure its coat is free of mats. When bathing, you have to handle the coat gently and not rub on it heavily; otherwise, it will mat.


Havanese teeth must be brushed every day. If they don’t like the taste of mint, you can get poultry flavored toothpaste for them.


Regular attention should be placed on the corner of its eyes to stop them from getting tear stains.


Their ears need to be checked frequently to remove wax, debris, or dirt. You can do this using a paper towel or cotton swab around their canal.


This small dog breed should have its nails clipped or trimmed every 2 weeks. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you can always seek help from a professional groomer.


Health problems

If looked after well, the Havanese tend to be a healthy dog. However, there are some health issues they could potentially experience, which are:

  • Patellar Luxation: When the kneecap and the thighbone don’t line up properly, causing mobility problems and pain.
  • Hip Dysplasia: The hip socket does not form correctly, causing pain in their hip joint.
  • Liver Shunts: Parts of their blood bypasses their liver and reaches the heart.
  • Legg-Calves Perthes: This occurs when the hip joint does not receive enough blood supply, causing a lot of pain.


A Havanese should be fed high-quality veterinarian-approved dog food. The amount of food it should eat will depend on its age, weight, and dietary requirements. Be careful of overfeeding this breed; it can get fat easily.

Because of this, it’s best to give the Havanese treats in moderation. Likewise, be cautious of feeding it scraps from the table.

Did you know?

Fun Fact #1

Due to their clingy nature, they’re nicknamed “velcro dog” as they stick to other humans.

Fun Fact #2

Many famous people have owned a Havanese, such as Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemmingway, Joan Rivers, Venus Williams, Queen Victoria, and more.

Fun Fact #3

They can get freckles.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Havanese is a fantastic dog for city lovers, families, and those who have a small home. If you like affection, then the Havanese will be ready to give you lots. This breed can become too attached, though, and doesn’t like to stay on its own.

Their silky and soft coat requires a lot of maintenance. They should be brushed daily and bathed at least every 2 weeks. Before bathing them, you should brush its coat to stop it from getting matted.

Finally, the Havanese is a nonaggressive breed and will fit into a city lifestyle.

Judd Albring - Lap Dog Lover, Blogger

Judd Albring - Lap Dog Lover, Blogger

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