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Havana Silk Dog: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on July 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

havana silk dog sitting

Havana Silk Dog: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

If you’ve ever heard of the Havana Silk Dog, they naturally bring up more questions. How are they both a new and old dog breed? How are they different from the Havanese? They’re an extremely interesting dog breed that’s a joy to own. The only way to determine if one is right for you is to learn more about them, so keep reading!

Breed Overview


9–11 inches


8–13 pounds


10–15 years


Pied, black, brown, gray, cream, and white

Suitable for:

Active families, families with children, and homes with other pets


Loyal, loving, intelligent, easy to please, friendly, social, and sweet

The modern Havana Silk Dog descends from the Havanese, but they’re two completely different breeds with different physical characteristics, personalities, and even health conditions. So, what sets a Havana Silk Dog apart from a Havanese, and why are these adorable pups so sought after? We’ll break it all down for you here!

Havana Silk Dog Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Havana Silk Dog Breed Puppies

The Havana Silk Dog isn’t quite as popular as most purebred breeds, but it is not impossible to track down a breeder, either. But if you’re hoping to have a Havana Silk Dog fall into your lap, that’s not likely to happen.

The Havana Silk Dog has a following that ensures puppies almost always immediately get scooped up, so once you find a breeder, you might need to get on a waiting list to get one. But keep in mind that even though it can be challenging to track down a breeder, you still need to ensure they’re a reputable breeder.

You need to inspect the facilities, get a full health guarantee, and get some reviews. You don’t want to support a breeder that isn’t doing things responsibly, so always take the time to do your homework before you purchase a puppy from them.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Havana Silk Dog

The Havana Silk Dog is eager to please their owners, and they have above-average intelligence. With a little determination and consistency, you can teach them to complete a wide range of tasks.

Personality-wise, a Havana Silk Dog is a small dog breed with a big dog breed personality. They’re extremely friendly, far from shy, and think they can hang out with any other dog out there regardless of size.

They also think they can drive anyone or anything off, even as the other animal looks at them like they’re nuts. Overall, they’re a great dog breed for both experienced and first-time dog owners!

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡

Yes! The Havana Silk Dog gets along great with children of all ages, but because of their smaller size, you need to be careful with them around smaller children. A Havana Silk Dog won’t go after the small child, but if the kid falls on the dog, they can easily hurt them by accident.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Yes! These dogs are great with other pets. Whether you have other dogs, cats, or another type of pet in your home, a Havana Silk Dog is a great addition. Just keep in mind that each dog will have their own personality, and socialization is important even with a predisposition to getting along with other dogs.

One thing to take note of is that the Havana Silk Dog thinks they’re a large dog breed, so if you put them with a larger dog, you need to be a little careful.

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Things to Know When Owning a Havana Silk Dog

While a Havana Silk Dog is a relatively easy dog to care for, you still want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you bring one home. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some of the basic things to know when you’re thinking about getting a Havana Silk Dog down below.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

As a smaller dog breed, the Havana Silk Dog doesn’t need to eat much to thrive. Always feed them a high-quality diet, although it is up to you if you want to feed them dry kibble, wet food, or fresh food.

If you feed them kibble, they need less than a half cup of food each day. With wet food, they need about half a can a day, and the fresh food requirements will vary a bit from dog to dog, but about half a cup of food is standard. However, always follow the feeding instructions on the package. No matter what option you go with, it is significantly less expensive than feeding other larger dog breeds!


While a Havana Silk Dog is a pretty active breed, their smaller size makes it easier for you to meet their daily exercise requirements. Take them out for at least two walks each day, and each walk should last between at least 15 to 20 minutes.

In addition to this, they need space to run around either inside your home or in a fenced-in yard. Otherwise, they’re likely to engage in destructive boredom behaviors.


The Havana Silk Dog is eager to please, and because of this, they’re not as difficult to train as some other dog breeds. Consistency is still key, though, and we recommend one training session a day that lasts between 10 and 15 minutes.


The Havana Silk Dog has a long coat, and because of this, it’s best to brush them out daily to help prevent matting. In addition to daily brushing, we recommend brushing their teeth each day to keep up with their oral hygiene and to clip their nails as needed.

Health and Conditions❤️

While the Havana Silk Dog is a relatively healthy breed, there are a few conditions you need to keep an eye out for. To help reduce the chance of your Havana Silk Dog developing these conditions, use a reputable breeder, feed them a high-quality diet, and meet their daily exercise requirements.

Serious Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Liver shunts
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
Minor Conditions
  • Skin allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation

Male vs Female

Generally, there isn’t much of a difference between a male and a female Havana Silk Dog. However, one area they are different is their size. Males tend to be larger than females, but because of their small size, this difference is usually only a pound or two.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Havana Silk Dog

1. Modern Havana Silk Dogs Are a Recreation

The modern Havana Silk Dog came about in 2000, but historically, the breed existed hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, this historical breed had numerous health problems that kept it from making it today, and modern breeders had to recreate this breed while meticulously avoiding the health pitfalls of the historical breed.

2. They Are Not the Same as the Havanese

The Havana Silk Dog isn’t the best-known dog breed in the world, and if you’ve never heard of the breed before, it’s easy to mix them up with the Havanese. But while the two breeds are similar, they are not the same.

The Havana Silk Dog is a hardier breed, and while the Havanese enjoys formal recognition from the American Kennel Club (AKC) and other dog registries, this isn’t the case for the Havana Silk Dog.

3. They’re a Hardy Breed

While the Havanese and the historical Havana Silk Dog both come with plenty of health problems, this isn’t the case with the latter. Part of the breeding process for this dog was ensuring common health problems didn’t crop up, and the end result is a hardly little dog breed!

Final Thoughts

While the Havana Silk Dog isn’t the most well-known dog breed out there, that doesn’t mean they aren’t great dogs. They’re a newer dog breed that’s a recreation of an old one, they’re extremely friendly, smart, adorable, and eager to please.

They’re not the easiest to track down, but if you do find one from a reputable breeder, you’re getting an excellent dog for both experienced and first-time dog owners, and they make a great addition to just about any family!

Featured Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

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