Havanese: A Complete Guide

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With its long and adorably silky coat and deep, intelligent eyes, the Havanese has won many hearts around the world.

And, if you are looking for a dog that is so loyal and devoted that its nickname is “the Velcro”, this might be the ideal pet for you.

The Havanese has been bred as a companion dog for Cuban aristocracy, some 200 years ago, and that is still his trait even today – Being around the owner all the time.

However, he is not just an adorable lapdog. The Havanese is a smart dog that is easy to train and comes with surprisingly high levels of energy.

Definitely, a great dog to own, but getting a purebred, healthy puppy from a reputable breeder can be a difficult task. To save you the time and the trouble, we have come up with this in-depth guide.

Today, you are going to get much more familiar with this breed so that you know how to find high-quality puppies, and to know how to properly take care of your adorable little fluffball.

The Havanese Puppies – Before You Buy…

A Havanese dog looking at you
Havanese’s heart is as big as a mountain.

Let’s start with the important things you need to keep in mind before actually buying the puppy.

Things such as knowing if the price range suits your budget, and how to distinguish a backyard breeder from a reputable one.

What price are the Havanese puppies?

For a high-quality Havanese puppy with all the necessary papers and health clearances for both parents, you can expect a price range that starts at around $1000 and ends at $1800.

It can go even higher if the puppy is bred for dog shows and has champion genes.

How to find reputable Havanese breeders?

When looking for a reputable breeder, there are certain red flags you need to keep your eyes on.

For example, you should avoid breeders that don’t seem to know much about the breed and give you the impression that they are in it just for the money.

In most cases, these backyard breeders have little to no experience. And, buying a puppy from them includes genetically heritable diseases in the puppy’s DNA, which only means health issues later.

The even worse case you can find, are puppy mills, where the dogs are bred and raised in inhumane conditions and are shipped to pet stores in terrible health conditions.

Therefore, you should avoid buying a Havanese puppy from a pet store at all costs.

A reputable breeder is someone who, first of all, deeply cares about the breed and is focused on making the breed even better.

The money that comes from the puppies is not on his list of priorities. High-quality dogs with great genes and temperament are what these breeders are most interested in.

Therefore, all of their dogs have regular vet checkups, the parents of the litter are tested and cleared for any health issues that trouble the breed.

And, they will offer you an insight into the breed, and even help you in making sure that this is the breed for you by asking you questions about your lifestyle and daily habits.

In the end, when you are dealing with a reputable breeder, he will first make sure that his puppy is going to a good home.

And, you can rest assured that you are walking out with a high-quality puppy with great health and potential to become a perfect companion.

3 Little-known facts about the Havanese puppies

Two small Havanese dogs standing on a chair
Havanese likes being in a company of other dogs.

To help you realize if the Havanese puppy fits your lifestyle, here are some little-known facts about them.

  • They sometimes eat their poop!

This is something that the Havanese puppies like to do while they are small, but they do eventually outgrow this ugly habit.

  • Their coat is their isolation from the heat

They look cute with their long, silky coat but that just means regular grooming is required.

Some owners like to keep their coats, short. But, you should know that their coats are long because they act as insulation for high temperatures and the sun’s rays.

  • They are barkers

The Havanese does well in all types of housing, from apartments to homes with large yards. But he’ll probably bark when he sees someone passing by the house or when he hears a strange noise.

Physical Traits of the Havanese

Time to get “physical”. In this section, you will get to know how “big” can you expect your Havanese puppy to become, as well as what is the average Havanese lifespan.

How big is a full-grown Havanese?

When it comes to size and weight, the tallest a Havanese usually gets is some 11 to 11 and a half inches.

On the other hand, it shouldn’t be lower than 8 inches as these are the standards for a healthy Havanese dog.

As for the weight, the bottom end of the range is around 7 pounds, and it can go up to 13 pounds, but shouldn’t go much over that.

What is the life expectancy of the Havanese?

As smaller breed dogs, the Havanese tend to live longer than big breed dogs. The average lifespan of a healthy Havanese with a proper diet and enough exercise in his life goes from 13 to 15 years

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Havanese

A Havanese laying down
Havanese is a small, lovely and lovable little creature.

The main highlight and the trait that makes this breed so popular is their affection, even towards small kids, and other dogs and cats.

But, it is his family that gets most of his love, and if you allow him, he will stick like Velcro to you and not leave your side no matter what.

But, due to their enormous love towards their family, Havanese dogs are not meant to be left alone for longer periods.

Leaving them in the yard is a sure way to give them a broken heart and have a depressed dog in your hands.

They love being a part of the family and they need to live with you, in your home.

They were bred to warm the laps of the Cuban rich society, and that is something they do exceptionally well. But, they can offer so much more as well.

In fact, thanks to their high intelligence levels, their training is a breeze. And, they can even become excellent therapy dogs, or even working dogs as they can be trained to sniff out termites and mold.

They can very well adapt to apartments, as long as you provide enough playtime and walks in the outdoors.

Also, even though they don’t bark at anything that moves, they can be a bit complicated for apartments because every time someone walks by your door in the corridor, your Havanese will bark.

But, with proper training and early socialization, that habit can be mitigated.

And speaking of training, the Havanese’s “I am here just to please my owner” attitude, makes the training easy.

They will be more than happy to show you that they can do anything you want them to.

However, housetraining can sometimes be complicated, and your Havanese will require a lot of patience from your side. Of course, crate training is something you have to do.

All in all, the Havanese is a dog that is affectionate with the entire family, including your friends and other pets you might have in the household.

However, due to his small size, you do need to be present while letting small kids play with the dog as they may hurt him unintentionally.

Therefore, even the kids will need some basic training on how to behave around dogs.

Now, even though this dog comes with a few quirks, which is maybe why everyone loves him, he can be a perfect companion for people of any age.

The Havanese is smart and versatile and doesn’t have a problem with living with just one person, or an entire family that has 3 kids and a dog and a cat already. He will fit right in just fine.

The Havanese Diet

Due to the size of this breed, it is recommended that you feed your Havanese with dog food that is meant for small dogs.

Every little dog is an energy burner and they burn it much faster than bigger breed dogs. Therefore, dog food for small dogs is in most cases, nutrient and calorie rich.

If there’s the right amount of calories and nutrients in it, you can even feed your Havanese with “All Life Stage” food. But, keep an eye on the label and always read what it says.

While still a pup, your Havanese will need around 460 calories per day.

On the other hand, once he grows up into an adult, is energy levels will drop a little and his metabolism will slow down a bit, which is why the daily calorie intake will be around 400 calories.

How much Exercise does a Havanese need?

Yes, the Havanese is a small dog breed, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy exercise and that he doesn’t have the excess energy to burn.

Although the Havanese is a small breed, he has a fair amount of energy to burn. A relatively long walk, combined with some exercise such as fetch, will keep your dog happy and help his development.

The Havanese Health and Conditions

The Havanese come with a reputation of being a healthy breed. However, even the healthiest of breeds have certain health issues that trouble them.

If you are considering this breed, here is what you should be aware of.

  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Heart Murmur
  • Legg-Perthes Disease
  • Chondrodysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Portosystemic Shunt
  • Cataracts

And, you should talk to the breeder before buying the puppy, about the mentioned health issues, and ask for test clearances for both of the puppy’s parents.

My final thoughts on the HavaneseA white Havanese with long hair

Okay, now that you’ve finished our in-depth Havanese guide, what do you think about the breed?

Do you see yourself as a Havanese owner?

Just remember, these dogs are small, but their heart is as big as a mountain.

They will love you for as long as they live, and fortunately, this can be for quite some while.

So, if the dog you are looking for should be a small, happy, and lovable one, and you wish to be able to spoil him a bit, the Havanese can be the ideal choice for you.

They are also smart and don’t have too high exercise levels, therefore they can be a perfect city and apartment pets.

The Havanese love being around their owners, all the time.

Even if they are eating, if you don’t stick around after filling the bowl, your Havanese will stuff his mouth with food, carry it to your feet and eat it there, in several runs!

That’s how much they love their owners.

In the end, thank you for reading and we do hope that by reading our guide, you now have a clear picture of this breed and if you want to own one.

Also, feel free to share the guide on social media, so that your friends can get more familiar with this adorable breed.

Once again, thanks for sticking with us till the end of the guide!

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