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Havanese dog breed is a Bischon type breed. The breed was originally developed in Cuba from a now extinct breed known as Bichon Tenerife. The cute and cuddly Havanese dogs are quite sociable and tend to get along well with small children.

Certain other names for these dogs are Bichon Havanais, Bichon Habanero, Havana Silk Dog, Havaneser etc. These adorable dogs were initially very popular among the aristocratic Cubans.

But due to the French, Cuban and Russian revolutions, these dogs started decreasing in number as most of the families fled to the United States leaving their dogs behind them.

Owing to a recessive gene in these dogs, the breeders came across another variety of the Havanese dog breed characterized by a short hair coat. These smooth coated Havanese dogs are referred to as Shavanese dogs. The Shavanese dogs do not have any specific health issues and are as healthy as the Havanese dogs. Though, they are generally not accepted for show purposes.

Physical Appearance

Havanese dog breed is considered as a toy breed. However, it has been observed that these dogs are sturdier and less fragile than most of the other small dog breeds.

They tend to have large impressive eyes. The eyes almond shaped eyes are usually dark brown in color. The high set ears are moderate in size. The plumed tail with long silky hair is neither flat nor tightly curled.

Color: The Havanese dogs are available in a variety of single as well as parti colors like white, cream, blue, black, chocolate etc.
Height: On an average, both male as well as female Havanese dogs are 8 to 11 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal healthy weight of Havanese dogs should range between 7 to 13 pounds.

Health Problems

Havanese breed dogs are usually considered healthy. Still, some Havanese dogs may suffer from heart disease, liver disease, hypothyroidism, slipped kneecaps, skin problems and other such health issues.

They may also develop eye issues like Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataract, Poodle Eye (brown stains around eye corners) and other related problems.

Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of a healthy Havanese dog is considered to be 12 to 14 years.

Grooming Requirements

These charming little dogs are characterized by a long, soft and wavy hair coat. It is light and silky in texture. It is usually not harsh or coarse. The abundant double coat requires extensive grooming, about two to four times per week, especially in case of show dogs.

The hair coat can be clipped in order ease the task of grooming. These dogs do not shed much and hence are considered suitable for allergy sufferers. As Havanese breed dogs are prone to tearing, special care should be taken so as to clean the eyes and the tear stains regularly.

Similarly, their ears should also be cleaned at least on a weekly basis so as to avoid the chances of developing ear infections. In addition, the paws of Havenese dogs need to be trimmed from time to time in order to remove excess hair.


These delightful dogs are gentle, playful, sociable, loyal, loving, obedient, good natured and highly intelligent. These smart and responsive dogs are characterized by the ability to learn tricks quickly. They are considered compatible with other dogs.

Also, the affectionate Havanese dogs are quite friendly with stranger but at the same time they do have the ability to distinguish strangers from family members. These cheerful dogs simply crave human companionship. They are neither too timid nor too aggressive. The attentive and alert Havanese dogs can make for excellent watchdogs.

Key Points

Havanese dogs, being small in size and fairly active indoors, require only moderate amount of physical exercise. Sufficient interactive play sessions and daily walks usually suffice their activity needs. These people oriented dogs have been found to be exceptionally good with kids.

Interestingly, these cheerful little dogs love to follow their beloved owners throughout the house. But, at the same time, they generally do not exhibit territorial behavior. First time dog owners can safely go for these lively and happy-go-lucky dogs to make their first pet experience memorable.


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