Havanese dog breed
A Havanese dog. ©Dorottya_Mathe | Thinkstock.

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 7 – 14 pounds
  • Height: 8.5 – 10.5 inches

The Look of a Havanese

The Havanese has a small, sturdy frame—slightly longer than tall—covered in a long, silky coat. Its slightly rounded head has a short rectangular muzzle, square nose, black lips and high-set, hanging ears that are mostly covered in hair. Its dark eyes have a sweet but inquisitive expression. Its neck arches slightly, sloping down to a deep chest, straight back and a plumed tail that carries over the back. Its long, lightweight coat can come in almost any color. Overall, the Havanese has a distinguished but disheveled look.


  • Bold
  • Loving
  • Gentle
  • Pleasant
  • Curious
  • Social
  • Attentive

Ideal Human Companion

  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Families
  • City dwellers
A black Havanese dog.
A black Havanese dog. Photography ©GlobalP | Thinkstock.

What They Are Like to Live With

The Havanese may have originated as coddled companions of the wealthy, but over the centuries they have become sweet, endearing family pets. This friendly, affectionate and clever canine is a wonderful member of the household, forming strong family bonds and winning everyone’s heart. It is easygoing, adaptable and trainable.

If you’re looking for an excellent watchdog that also happens to be cuddly, the Havanese can really deliver. Alert and protective with a good sense of restraint, it will bark loudly to alert visitors but knows how to calm down when it realizes there’s no danger. Because it’s small and fairly quiet, the Havanese makes an excellent apartment dog.

You’re never really alone with a Havanese in the house: It can be very attentive, following you around the house or watching you read on the couch. It also loves squeaky toys, games on the carpet and long walks through the neighborhood. In fact, as long as you’re keeping it company, the Havanese will always be happy.

Things You Should Know

A healthy Havanese can live as long as 15 years. Though generally healthy, some can develop eye problems and dry skin. The Havanese requires regular brushing and grooming. Its coat, if kept long, needs to be brushed every day, and its eyes and ears should be checked regularly to prevent infection.

Havanese History

The Havanese is the only dog native to Cuba. The breed probably made its way to Cuba hundreds of years ago via trade ships from the Canary Islands. By the 18th century, the Havanese was a major fixture in aristocratic homes across Cuba. After the Revolution in 1959, many wealthy Cubans came to the United States. Luckily, they brought their Havanese along: This special group of11 canines helped prevent the breed from becoming obsolete.

4 thoughts on “Havanese”

  1. I’m planning to buy a Havanese puppy for my sister because she’s been wanting to have one! It’s great to learn that this type of breed is an excellent watchdog and has a good sense of restraint. Well, thank you for reminding us that its eyes and ears must be regularly checked for any infections.

  2. After examine a number of of the weblog posts in your web site now, and I truly like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will probably be checking again soon. Pls take a look at my website online as nicely and let me know what you think.

  3. Laurie Stolovitch

    Looking for a Havanese puppy to adopt. Please send me info and the prices of a male one. We’re seniors but in good health and we had a mixed breed for 12 yrs but unfortunately it got very sick and we had to put it down almost three yrs ago. We’re ready to start again and would like you to tell me how it works. I remain, Laurie Stolovitch

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