Havanese Dogs 101: A Pet Owners Guide to the Havanese Silk Dog

A very adorable, very happy, and very bouncy small breed whose origins stem from Cuba, the Havanese is named after the capital city of Cuba – Havana – aka the Havana Silk Dog. With a heart of gold, these little bundles of love are a gentle but robust, small and affectionate companion dog. They are a breed that is easy to train, very observant, and get along well with people and other pets. Perfect for apartments and city dwellers, a Havanese will fit in with any lifestyle and especially anyone able to have their little buddy by their side for most of the day.

What is a Havanese?

The Havanese family tree is a long one. Early ancestors are said to date back to the BC years in the Bichon and Maltese families in the Mediterranean. The 300-year history of the Havanese living with Cuban’s aristocracy is thought to have been fine-tuned with Poodle crosses.

Over the years they’ve also been known as the Havanese Silk Dog, The Spanish Silk Poodle, the Bichon Habanero, the Havana Silk Dog, the Blanquito de la Habana, the Blanquito Cubano, and the Bichon Havanese. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Havanese breed in the mid-1990s.

Appearance: Cutest of the Cuban Dog Breeds

Not only is the Havanese the cutest dog of Cuba, it’s also the only purebred Cuban dog breed! This national icon is so beloved its portrait has even featured on postage stamps in its native country.

These happy pups have a naturally long silky double coat that may be a little curly or straight and grow six to eight inches long. HeTheir almond-shaped soulful eyes and dropped ears will make you melt inside. Their bodies are small but sturdy with legs that are short but springy and spirited. Their tail curls and flops over their back.

Havanese Colors

The color variations of the Havanese breed are huge and coats are accepted in every shade and marking under the sun! Their coats can be solid, dilute, brindled, saddled, tri-color, piebald and more. Their eyes are usually brown, but among the black and grey dogs, blue-green eyes may be seen. Some of the coat colors include:

  • Black Havanese: Black Havanese, or dogs with a black base, ranging from a deep jet black to charcoal to silver.
  • White Havanese: A pure white Havanese dog is not very common. They’ll often have a mix of creamy almond or caramel hues as well as bright white hair or pigments of other colors.
  • Chocolate Havanese: The shades of Chocolate Havanese dogs range from light milk chocolate to rich and dark shades of brown.
  • Havanese Black and White: The two main black and white spotting markings in Havanese dogs include a piebald effect with patches or spots of black or white against their main color or a trim with white on the chin and feet.

Breed Sizes: From Puppies to Full Grown

As young puppies, this small lil doggos are obviously tiny tots. Their birth weight is around 4-7 ounces (113-200 grams). They reach full height and maturity in 12-18 months, and even as adults appearances can be deceptive. Underneath that gorgeous fluffy looking hair is a solid but small body.

Teacup Havanese Puppy Size

The Havanese breed is classified within the Toy Group by the American Kennel Club, so as just, they don’t come in a smaller Teacup size!

Adult Havanese Size

Fully grown Havanese adult dogs measure between 8.5-11.5 inches (21.5-29 cm) to the top of their shoulder.

Average Havanese Weight

The average weight of the adult Havanese breed is 7-13 pounds (3-6 kg).

Clingiest of the List of Velcro Dog Breeds

Havanese are by no means a slick and smooth independent Teflon-type pet – they love company and will cling to the side of those they love. The breed doesn’t like solitude and is known to experience separation anxiety if alone without any form of company for too long.

What Exactly is a Velcro Dog?

If you’re familiar with the properties of Velcro, you’ll know what this means! Once they’re attached to you, Velcro dogs stay close – very close – they love body contact. They’ll lovingly shadow you from room to room, and be very aware of any subtle clues that you are about to move!


In a nutshell, Havanese dogs have a happy nature that likes to have fun! They are a breed known to love playing and a little clowning around and spreading their affection to their adopted family and everyone they meet.

Havanese Temperament

Havanese dogs are a very affectionate and intelligent breed that is quick to learn and like to please. They’re friendly, outgoing and non-aggressive breed, and as a result often used as therapy and emotional support pets. Because of their trainability and nimbleness, they are also great in agility arenas.


The average lifespan of Havanese dogs is 12 to 14 years. Their health is generally good; however, they may face common small dog problems such as patellar luxation and hip dysplasia.

6 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About the Havanese Dog Breed

  1. They are mischievous breed – they may find a loose sheet of toilet paper too irresistible not to tear off a sheet, or two!
  2. Their long hair looks thick and warm, but the coat is actually quite lightweight, so in cooler climates, they need to be kept snug and warm.
  3. They are born performers and found themselves as circus animals in Europe in the 1800s. These days they’ll willingly learn a number of tricks both with you and for you.
  4. They don’t bark a lot but will alert you to stranger danger if someone unknown comes close to you or them – enough to be a mini kind of guard dog.
  5. They are quick learners but are known to be slow to potty train. You will need to calmly and positively reinforce positive habits.
  6. They are house pets, but this breed is not a couch potato! They don’t need a huge amount of exercise, but thrive with a short daily walk or being able to move around your house or fenced yard.

Popular mixes, aka crossbreeds, hybrids or designer dogs combined with Havanese to bring out the best of both include:

  • Havanese Poodle Mix: Aka the Havapoo equals cuteness and busyness x 2, with rounder button eyes!
  • Havanese Maltese: Aka the Havamalt equals personality x 2 that loves snuggling on a lap!
  • Havanese Shih Tzu Mix: Aka the Havashu equals agility and responsiveness x 2 with a little watchdog combined.
  • Havanese Yorkie Mix: Aka the Havashire equals loyalty x 2 and plenty of intelligence to boot!

What is the Difference between Havanese and Biewer Terriers?

These two breeds are similar in nature and are both low shedders. Biewer Terrier puppies are newer breed originating from Germany and a little smaller than the Havanese.

Grooming and Shedding: What You Need to Know

As a long-haired dog, Havanese does need a regular grooming of their coat. They should be brushed and combed thoroughly at least twice a week, if not daily, to stop tangling and remove dead hair. Other people prefer to keep their Havanese groomed with a shorter hairstyle for convenience sake.

Havanese Shedding

The long-haired Havanese breed is a low to no shedder, so as such is considered hypoallergenic and are great for people who suffer from allergies as they don’t leave hair around the house (just the brush!). Short-haired Havanese does shed a little more.

Havanese Haircuts

Yes, this is a pup with their own range of hair or coat cut styles!

  • The Adorable Havanese Puppy Cut or Teddy Bear Cut: The Havanese Puppy Cut or Teddy Bear Cuts is an all over trim so their coat length is between one to three inches – the same length as when they were a puppy and similar to a teddy bear. Slightly longer hair is sometimes left around the face and tail.
  • Havanese Dog: Picture the Mop Dog: Havanese breeds with slightly curlier coats may cord, or separate into wavy sections. With care and professional guidance, over time these can develop into cords or tassels similar to the look of dreadlocks.

Havanese for Sale!

If you’re sold on a Havanese pup, check out reputable dog breeders in your area.

A good place to start is The Havanese Club of America (HCA). They are the AKC Havanese Parent Club for the breed and have a fantastic online resource with more information on these pups. Reputable breeders include MistyTrails Havanese in Canada and Royal Flush Havanese in Florida and Rhode Island. Otherwise, check out the American Kennel Club website for AKC registered breeders.

Havanese Puppies for Sale: Havanese Price

Purebred Havanese puppies from Havanese breeders are usually in the range of $1,000-$1,500.

Yay! Free Havanese Puppies! Havanese Adoption is the Way to Go!

Rescue shelters and puppy adoption organizations such as Havana Rescue Inc. do an awesome job of helping re-home puppies and dogs that have been surrendered or abandoned due to changing circumstances. Some breeders help with rehoming dogs as well. How much you pay will depend on the organization from next to nothing, to a donation or adoption fee to cover their costs as a nonprofit that has spent in caring for the dog in between re-homing.

3 Tips for Owning a Havanese!!

  1. Make sure you or your family combined, have plenty of time during the day to be around your pooch – they are people pets.
  2. Invest in a great grooming kit! Whether you keep their hair long or short these pooches need regular hair brushing.
  3. Be prepared for a little buddy that has a lot of love to give!