Havanese Dog Breed Information | Dogs 101 Havanese

Indeed, half of your heart will be left in Havana once you get to know these dogs. Anyone could be your best friend, but no one is as loyal, huggable, energetic, and charming as the Havanese. Not only are they cute but also clingy as you need them to be. Their natural instincts will make you feel needed, appreciated, and somehow special. But these are not the only traits that make the Havanese unique.

The Havanese dog is one of the most energetic companion dogs. Because of their liveliness and their trainability, they make outstanding service dogs. Believe it or not, people from different cultures utilize the skills of the Havanese dog to assist persons with disabilities.

Aside from that, these dogs are famous for their therapeutic benefits. Because of their huggable and clingy nature, people with depression and anxiety can cope with their feelings by petting the Havanese dog.


When Columbus claimed Cuba in 1492, the Spanish settlers began arriving on the island with their companion dogs – the Bichon. These dogs were interbred and were isolated on the island until the first Havanese was born.

By the early 1800s, the Havanese was known for gracing the laps of aristocratic families. This originated their royal hierarchy. Visitors from all over the world admired the breed and wanted to take some back to England and France. Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens among many others were some of the greatest fans of the breed.

Unfortunately, there was a time when these dogs almost became extinct during the Cuban revolution in 1959. Luckily, some Cuban families kept their dogs safe when they traveled to the United States. These 11 survivors are now the ancestors of most of the Havanese dogs people have today.

Other Names

The Havanese is not only rich in its background but also its name. They were once called the Blanquito de la Habana or the Havana silk dogs by the Cubans. Over time, they developed other nicknames such as the Havanese Cuban Bichon, Havanese, Bichon Habanero, Bichon Havanese, and Spanish Silk Poodles.

Some cultures even regard them as Velcro Dogs because of their clingy nature towards their owners. Now, they’re popularly known as Havanese dogs. Whatever their name is, you’ll definitely hear amazing stories about their adventures and funny moments which can make your day joyful and inspirational.


On average, The male Havanese can grow up to 11 inches tall and can weigh up to 14 pounds while the female Havanese can grow up to 10 inches tall and can weigh up to 14 lbs. Can you imagine how small they are? You can travel to Havana and fit them in your purse. What better way to have a designer bag than to have a designer dog to enjoy your adventures with?


A unique aspect of the Havanese is their flashy and lively gait. When they’re on the move, you just can’t keep your eyes off of them. As they come close to you, you can see their dark, brown eyes filled with curiosity and affection. Their loving instinct makes them effective therapists and amazing companions.

The best part about them is their tolerance to apartment living. Even if you don’t have a yard for them to play on, they don’t act out like other dogs. However, it is essential to give them time to exercise to boost their mental and physical health.

The Havanese Dogs do not tolerate being alone at all. So if you are the career type of person who doesn’t spend much time at home, this might not be for you. Havanese dogs are prone to separation anxiety. When they’re left alone for too long, they can be unpredictable and might expend their anxiety on destructive behaviors. But if you give them a healthy dose of attention, you can unleash their full potential and bring out their adorable traits.

Pet Compatibility

Some dogs will fight rather than play. Others prefer to run than greet other animals. The Havanese dog is different. They display an all-around friendliness to all types of animals including cats and dogs. When talking about sociability, the Havenese excels in this area. In fact, they might even supersede your expectations. This is why it became one of the most popular dogs in the first place.


Because of their rich bloodline, the Havanese are often treated like royalty by their owners. The dogs are given treats unconditionally and their disruptive behaviors are often tolerated. If this continues, your pooch will develop Small Dog Syndrome. This is a behavioral issue developed by spoiled and improperly trained dogs.

If this happens to your Havanese, it will feel and act like it’s the boss, that he is the one commanding its master. Often, it will display negative behavior such as obsessive barking, digging, and chewing materials. Many find this cute. But for the sake of your family and your dog, you need to help them suppress this behavior before they cause more trouble. Other than that, if your dog is highly trained and socialized, you can see that it is affectionate, sensitive, and energetic. Their number one goal is to impress you and make you happy.

Family Life

Havanese dogs are family-oriented. They appreciate the value of being part of a family more than anything else. With that attitude, they will look to you to give them purpose and a sense of involvement. They want you to give them an opportunity to make you happy.

To do this, assign them even the most basic activities such as fetching and pulling. Sometimes, just asking them to accompany you is enough. Don’t forget to pet them or commend them after a job well done. Consider them your younger sibling who seeks your approval every step of the way. In return, you will get the sweetness and assurance you need to keep yourself motivated and joyful.

Children Compatibility

Havanese are a hundred percent compatible with children. They can be their playmates and their entertainer. However, there must be precautions taken before you let your children play with a Havanese. Since these animals are small, your kids could stumble on them, which may lead to serious injuries for both your child and the dog. Seeing how sensitive and fragile these dogs can be, instruct your children not to play roughly with the Havanese to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

Owning A Havanese

The characteristics and specialties of the Havanese make you want to have one, don’t they? But do you have what it takes? Here’s what you need to care for these dogs.

Havanese dogs are generally healthy. However, they are prone to other diseases such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and many more. They are also prone to weight gain. If you don’t give them proper care, they will be prone to various illnesses. This is why experts recommend consulting the vet regularly to ensure that your dog is getting the care it needs. From grooming to dental health and diet, your trusted veterinarian can suggest what you need to do and prescribe products you can use to keep them healthy.

If you want to own a Havanese, you must be willing to spend $200 – $300 yearly maintenance. This includes their grooming needs, diet, vaccinations, checkups, and emergency runs. It may seem pricey at first. But if you compare it to the affection and the assurance that the Havanese gives you, I’m sure you will do everything to keep them safe and healthy. Do you think you have what it takes to care for one? If so, there’s no stopping you from getting the most affectionate and loving companion that ever walked the planet.


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