The Havanese is a small-sized dog breed, a member of the Bischon family of dogs. This breed is named after the capital of Cuba – Havana. The dog was the native lapdog of Cuba’s aristocrats and wealthy planters believed to be brought to Cuba from Tenerife. During hundreds of years in the lap of Cuban luxury, once called the Blanquito de la Habana (Havana Silk Dog), the breed was crossbred with other Bichon types, including the Poodle into today’s Havanese. Today, this dog is the national dog of Cuba.

FUN FACT: The Havanese is Cuba’s only native breed.



8.5-11.5 in (22-29 cm)



7-13 lb (3-6 kg)





Life Expectancy:

14-16 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

Males and females stand between 8,5 and 11,5 inches (22-29 cm) tall and the weight 7 to 13 pounds (3-6 kg). The Havanese coat is soft, silky, lightweight, and long, ranging from straight to curly. However, a long, wavy coat is ideal for the show ring. Because of the tropical nature of the Havanese, their coat is designed to act as a sunshade and cooling agent on hot days. They don’t do well in cold climates. The coat comes in various colors (white, black, black, tan, sable, gray) and may be a solid color or have markings in one or more other colors. All coat colors and patterns are acceptable. Because of this long, sometimes curly coat, the coat needs to be brushed at least two times a week to prevent tangling and matting. Havanese hair doesn’t shed but still needs to be taken care of.

havanese dogPhoto by: Aniko Csonka

Havanese personality

The Havanese is a family dog, with a strong desire to please. The dog needs to be around its family and can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. Although the Havanese is a small dog breed created to spend its time indoors, the Havanese has a lot of energy to burn. Take your Havanese on long walks and/or play active games every day to keep the dog happy and healthy. This breed is excellent with children.

This is a smart, trainable, affectionate dog with great personality and temperament. This dog is a born clown; this dog loves getting the attention and usually will achieve that by doing funny things. They are friendly but will alert their owners when someone is approaching their family. They may be quick to bark when they see or hear something new.

FUN FACT: Many of them like to watch the world from up high (from the high back of a sofa or a chair, for example) so they are first to notice and to announce visitors.

Barking can be held under control if you establish the right relationship with your dog, where your dog knows that you are the leader of the pack and he is the follower.

Energy level

Although easy to train, the Havanese, like many toy breeds, can be difficult to housebreak. Consistent crate training is mandatory. Positive reinforcement is the best method.

adult havanese

Health issues

They usually live 14-16 years. Havanese are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Common health problems that run in this breed are heart problems, eye problems, deafness, hypothyroidism, and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease causes a deformity of the hip joint ball that leads to arthritis or inflammation of the hip joint. Treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and surgically removing the deformed femoral head and neck.

Some of them develop tear staining because of watery eyes. Treating red yeast will help diminish or eliminate staining. Although in most cases this condition is not something serious to worry about, excessive tearing can be the first sign of an eye problem, so take your Havanese to the vet immediately.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at29.06.2020.