Havanese Dog BreedThe Havanese dog breed can make an ideal family pet and companion dog. They are highly adaptable, very friendly, social, and they are good with obedience and agility.

Despite their small size, they can be trained to become a therapy dog, an assistance dog, or a detection dog.


The national dog of Cuba, the Havanese is the only native breed to Cuba. They were bred to be companion dogs and to play with children.


The Havanese dog breed is a small dog that is part of the American Kennel Club’s toy group. In 1996, the AKC began recognizing the Havanese dog breed.


The Havanese is a small dog, about 8 to 11 inches tall to the shoulder and weighs between 7 and 13 pounds.


A Havanese has a long and wavy double coat, that can be black, brown, white, gold, gray, or a mixture of colors. Their coat may be wavy, curly, or corded.


They are a gentle dog breed that is affectionate, happy, and playful. Wanting to be the center of attention, they love to do tricks.

They are friendly dogs that like people and other animals. Being curious, they like to see what is going on around them and they want to be with their family.


With a moderate energy level, they are more active inside. They enjoy playing with toys inside with you. They will need regular walks outside as every dog does.


They are generally a healthy dog breed but can be prone to ear infections. Clean their ears once a week to keep infections away. Their lifespan is 14 to 15 years on average.


Shedding will not be a problem with a Havanese. Their coat, if left long, will need daily brushing and combing. Otherwise, tangling and matting will appear.

You can have their hair clipped short to help prevent matting and tangles. With regular trimmings every few months, they will need an occasional brushing.

Other Grooming

The Havanese can have tear staining around the eyes, that is more noticeable on white or light colored coats. They will also need to have the hair trimmed between the paw pads.


A Havanese will enjoy training as they like learning and the attention. You will need to teach them to be obedient or they may become bossy.

They can be difficult to train to go outside, but with this small breed you can train them to use a litter box. They will adapt to a litter box as they don’t like to be outside.

Havanese dog breedSeparation Anxiety

Needing lots of human interaction, they should not be left alone for long periods of time. They like to be with people and don’t do well alone.

The Havanese would make a good dog for a senior citizen or someone who works from home. Because of their need for human attention, they would not be good for someone who is away often, or for long periods of time.


For more information on the Havanese dog breed, check out the Havanese Rescue Inc. You can also find Havanese dogs available for adoption at PetFinder.

What do you think about the Havanese dog breed? Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.