What Are Havanese Dogs? The Ultimate Havanese Breed Guide

Do you like small and fluffy dogs? Do you love it when a dog snuggles up to you asking for all the love and attention from you? Are you looking for an energetic dog with a playful personality? If you said yes to these questions, then you will like Havanese dogs. 

What Are Havanese Dogs 1 What Are Havanese Dogs? The Ultimate Havanese Breed Guide

What’s a Havanese dog?

Havanese dogs are a breed of small dogs that have very long fur. They’re considered toy dogs and weigh of up to 13lb. These dogs are native to Cuba but have grown super popular amongst American dog owners. 

The Havanese dog comes from the Bichon family and stemmed from Tenerife dogs. Those dogs had been brought over to Cuba with Spanish farmers where, over time, they eventually were bred into the Havanese dog that we know today.

They are considered to be the only dog that is native to Cuba and with that, they also had large importance in Cuba. 

Havanese dogs only left Cuba when the Cuban Revolution happened. Those who were upper-class were able to flee Cuba to the United States with their Havanese dogs. This is the first time that Havanese dogs have been in America and they eventually gained popularity from there. 

In America, these dogs were super rare because only a select number were able to come up from Cuba. Breeders didn’t take interest in them until the 1970s which allowed for the Havanese numbers to rise. 

What is the Personality of Havanese Dogs?

Havanese dogs have such a lovable personality that can win the hearts of the people that they are around. These dogs are super playful and have the energy to keep playing all day. If you have kids, then the Havanese dog will be a great playing companion for your kid. They will become best friends and be a great pair. 

In fact, the Havanese will get along with other dogs in the house as well. They don’t mind having a big and happy family. You will surely form a strong bond with your Havanese as well as everyone else in the household. 

Havanese are the social butterfly of the dog world. They are ranked very high in their social, playfulness, and adaptable nature. If you have friends over or take your Havanese dog out to meet new people, they won’t act with fear or aggression. Instead, they will be polite and playful dogs. It’s hard to not love these adorable and sociable creatures. 

These aren’t the smartest dogs, but they are super eager to please. This trait makes it a lot easier to train them because they will want to impress you with everything that they have learned. However, these dogs might still cause a bit of mischief from time to time. There will be times when your Havanese dog might play a “prank” on you by getting into something that it shouldn’t. These dogs can be giant clowns sometimes. 

What Does a Havanese Dog Look Like?

The Havanese dog has a semi-unique look. They are very small, weighing from 11-13lb and with a height from 8.5-11.5 inches. This makes them great for snuggling on the couch or bed as they won’t ever take up too much space. 

The Havanese Coat

Havanese dogs have super soft and silky coats. The fur on their coats can grow up to 8 inches long and it does require a lot of upkeep to keep this coat looking good. They also have a double coat that allows them to stay warm and dry during the winter months. 

There is a lot of variety in the coat colors that these dogs can have, and many are recognized by the AKC. Just some of the colors that a Havanese dog can have includes chocolate, black, white, sable, cream, red, silver, and brindle. There are even more variations, but these are some of the more common ones. They can also have different markings in a variety of colors. With these dogs, there is a ton of variety in how they can look. 

Havanese dogs have large floppy ears that are also covered in long fur. Make sure to keep these ears clean to prevent infections and bacteria from getting trapped. 

How Do I Groom a Havanese Dog?

What Are Havanese Dogs 1 1 What Are Havanese Dogs? The Ultimate Havanese Breed Guide

Having a Havanese dog takes a lot of work. There is a lot of grooming that goes into making sure that their coats look good and that they are healthy. Most of the work goes into brushing and bathing, so starting a routine is very helpful. 


You should brush your Havanese dog once a week as a minimum. It is best to brush their fur 2-3 times per week to make sure that no dirt and debris get stuck in their fur. The longer your Havanese dog’s coat is, the more frequent you should give them a good brushing.

Many owners choose to keep their Havanese dog’s coat nice and short to make it more manageable. A short coat can get away with only being brushed once a week.


A Havanese dog can be bathed every 1-3 weeks. You should never wait longer than 3 weeks, however, as their fur can trap a lot of dirt which can cause problems if not cleaned. Bathing will protect the fur on your Havanese dog so that the fur stays healthy and tangle-free. 

The longer your dog’s coat is, the longer each bathing session will be. When bathing, use a gentle shampoo and make sure that all the hair gets thoroughly washed. Rinsing might take a long time depending on the length of your dog’s fur but don’t allow any soap to remain. Using a comb when applying conditioner to your dog’s fur can help make sure that each stand gets properly hydrated. 

When bath time is done, use a towel and gently pat down the fur on your dog. If you want to completely dry your Havanese dog’s coat, take a blow dryer on cool and use it to finish drying the fur. 

Bathing is the perfect time to take care of brushing your Havanese dog’s teeth and trimming their nails. Brushing their teeth should be done at least once a week and trimming their nails is a monthly task. Doing these other tasks while bathing knocks them out of the way so that you don’t have to worry about them later. 

Do Havanese Dogs Need a Lot of Exercise?

Havanese dogs need a lot of energy for how playful they are. Each day, a Havanese dog should get around 30 minutes of exercise to use up its energy. This number may be lower than the exercise needs of other dogs, but the small size of Havanese dogs means that this energy has a bigger impact. 

A great way to get in some of the exercise that your Havanese needs is by taking them on a walk. A short 15-minute walk in the morning or in the evening is enough exercise at once time for them. The rest of their exercise needs can easily be taken care of by playing inside or outside. Playing can include things from fetch to having a kiddie pool outside to letting your kids run around with the dog. 

If you don’t spend a ton of time at home each day, you might want to consider taking your Havanese dog on two walks. One walk in the morning and another walk in the evening is a good routine to have. Avoid taking your dog on a walk in the middle of the day because typically, the ground will be too hot for them to spend a lot of time on. 

With the proper amount of exercise, expect your now tired Havanese to want to snuggle up at the end of the day. Their favorite way to end the day is by being close to their owners and spending quality time. 

Final Thoughts

Havanese dogs are toy dogs that are very small in nature but mighty in their love and playfulness. Havanese may be high maintenance with their grooming needs, but their extroverted personalities make it so worth it. 

If you are thinking about getting a Havanese dog, make sure that you have a good grooming routine. You will be spending a lot of time working on making their coat look healthy and shiny, though you can always make the workload easier by getting their fur cut short. Don’t trim their fur shorter than an inch, however, as it will expose their skin to too much sun. No matter what look you end up going for with your Havanese dog, it will look super cute and steal the hearts of everyone that it meets. Expect to hear “your dog is so cute,” if you plan on taking a trip to the dog park. 

Always give this dog plenty of love and spend plenty of time together. The more time that you and your dog spend, the better bond the two of you will have. 

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