Havanese Dog Breed – Facts and Personality Traits

Country of origin: Mediterranean / Cuba
Shoulder height: 21 – 29 cm
Weight: 4 – 6 kg
Age: 13 – 15 years
Colour: white, fawn, black, brown, grey, solid, or spotted
Use: Companion dog, companion dog

Of the Havanese is a happy, affectionate, and an adaptable small dog that is also good to keep in a city. It is considered to be easy to train and is also suitable for dog beginners.

Origin and history

The ancestors of the Havanese were small dogs native to the western Mediterranean and brought to Cuba by the Spanish conquerors. There, the Havanese (named after Havana, the capital of Cuba) developed into an independent small dog breed. Today, the Havanese is a very popular and widespread, robust companion dog.


With a shoulder height of less than 30 cm, the Havanese is one of the dwarf dogs. Its body is built approximately rectangular, and it has dark, relatively large eyes and pointed hanging ears. Its tail is covered with long hair and is carried over the back.

The Havanese’s coat is long (12-18 cm), silky and soft and smooth to slightly wavy. The undercoat of the Havanese is weak or non-existent. Unlike other small dogs of the Bichon type ( MalteseBologneseBichon Frisé ), which only come in white, the Havanese has many coat colors. Rarely is it completely pure white, shades of beige or fawn are more common. It can also be brown, gray, or black, in each case one color or spotted.


The Havanese is a friendly, extraordinarily intelligent, and playful dog that completely absorbs its caregiver and needs close contact with “its” family.

Likewise, the Havanese is alert and announces any visit. But he is neither aggressive nor nervous and also not a notorious barker. His guard instinct stems from the fact that he was also used to herding small livestock and poultry in Cuba.

The Havanese is considered to be extremely smart and docile. It was once also valued as a circus dog, so you can easily teach the always good-humored, easy-going little guy little tricks and tricks. But even with basic obedience, it works quickly with the Havanese.

The sociable dog adapts easily to all living conditions. It feels just as comfortable in a large family in the country as with an older person in the city. Although it is a persistent walker, its urge to move can also be satisfied with a lot of play and romping around.

Grooming the Havanese requires less effort than its “cousin”, the Maltese. The silky fur needs to be brushed and combed regularly to keep it from matting, but it doesn’t shed either.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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