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Havanese Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

OK, now there are a lot of reasons why a person will choose to adopt a dog.  For some, it could be because they’re looking for a good watch dog, while other are simply looking for a companion animal that will be there to greet them at the end of a long day.

Now whatever…

Your reason is for choosing to adopt a dog, what we can tell you is that if you end up choosing to adopt a Havanese, it better be because you’re looking to have a dog that just loves to make you happy.  Because that is exactly what these little guys were breed to do!

But that doesn’t…

Mean that choosing to adopt a Havanese dog is going to be the “right” choice for you.  This is why in this article, we wanted to shed some light on what it might be like to own one of these little bundles of fur.  So that, if you’re ever given the opportunity to get your hands on one, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good idea or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Havanese Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Cuba

Original Purpose:  Companion animal

 Height: 8.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder

 Weight: 7 to 13 pounds

Life Span: 14 to 15 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Toy group

Havanese Breed Origin

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to learn that a dog that is named after the capital of Cuba is in fact from Cuba, but what might surprise you is that these little guys have roots reaching all the way back to the Mediterranean Sea.

You see…

The Havanese dog breed is believed to be just one more “variation” of the super cute Bichon breed which is found throughout the Mediterranean area.

In fact…

It is believed that these little guys were actually brought to Cuba by Spanish merchants and traders who settled in Cuba during the 18th century.  Then, after a while spent in Cuba, the Havanese developed his own distinct style and appearance and soon became one of the most popular breeds in Cuba and became known as the “Habeneros”.

He was the pride of Cuba…

But then came the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and unfortunately, the poor Havanese was seen as a bourgeoisie pet by the Communist regime and fell out of favor.


These guys proved too cute to be completely wiped out and ultimately began to make a comeback which was facilitated in large part by their immigration to the United States.

It was here…

In the Land of the Free that these guys were able to flourish first by the formation of the Havanese Club of America in 1979, and then later with their “official” recognition by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1999.

Physical Characteristics of the Havanese

The Havanese is a very small dog that rises to a height of only 8.5 to 11.5 inches and never weighs more than 13 pounds. Which makes him light enough and portable enough to be carried around anywhere you go.  And as we all know, this is a very important characteristic if you’re going to become super “trendy” in today’s culture.

But don’t be fooled…

He may be small but is quite muscular and sturdy. He is covered by long facial hair that protects him from the sun and harsh weather conditions.

They also have…

Very expressive eyes and looks very cute when he wags his little tail at you. And we’ll just warn you know that if you’re just…

“On the fence”

About adopting a new dog, under no circumstance should you put yourself in the same room as a Havanese puppy, because if you do, there will be no way you won’t be the proud new owner in 2 minutes flat!

And who could…

Blame you, with their long furry coat that comes in any number of color patterns and is fluffy, wavy and silky and so many different colors to choose from such as:

  • black,
  • mahogany,
  • white,
  • fawn,
  • Havana brown,
  • and tobacco,

How could your resist?

Comparisons Dog Breeds

The Havanese Dog Breed may be compared to other dogs such as the Bichon, Shih Tzu, Flat-Coated Retriever, Havana Silk Dog, Bichon Havanese, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Coton De Tulear, Blanquito De La Habana Dog and the Coton De Tulear


The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family of dogs including the:

  • Bichon Havanais,
  • Bichon Frise,
  • Maltese,
  • Bichon Habanero,
  • Havana Silk Dog,
  • Bolognese
  • and the Coton de Tulear.

And like those other Bichon breeds, the Havanese is a generally a happy go lucky dog, very friendly by nature and a real people pleaser. He goes out of his way to make you smile.

That and…

He is a perfect playmate for children. He loves kids and enjoys running around them. He is one of those dogs that wants to be adored, snuggled and petted all the time.

He is also a…

Very peaceful, gentle and friendly dog, but is slightly shy around strangers. Don’t expect him to be a guard dog or watchdog; he is just a funny family pet. Just make sure to start his socialization and training as early as possible.

Are there any health concerns with the Havanese Breed?

Yes, the Havanese breed being so small is susceptible to many health issues. Regardless, he has a high life expectancy of 14 to 15 years, which is very high for a dog.

If you bring a Havanese home, you should watch out for the following health problems…


Even these risks are pretty minor which is why, the Havanese dog breed is generally considered pretty health.  The problem is that if this little guy does get sick or injured, most Havanese owners will spare no expense to make sure that little guys gets all the care that they need.  Which can become really expensive at times!

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Ennency D May 22, 2020, 3:22 am

    Thank you very much, that was some useful information.

    • indulgeyourpet May 23, 2020, 12:37 pm


      We’re glad you enjoyed the article.



  • Joel March 17, 2021, 9:14 am

    I’m a Havanese owner and they are truly spectacular dogs. I have owned a male named Chewy for the past 10 years. He was adopted from the Humane Society after someone abandoned him. He’s the best pet I have ever owned. One problem that occurs with some Havanese is cataracts. Chewy has developed these over the past couple of years. He’s a tremendous friend and a great family dog! Joel

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