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Meet the breed: Havanese

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for a fun-loving and social companion to bring into your home, learn everything you need to know about the Havanese.


  • Smart
  • Affectionate
  • Energetic
  • Trainable
  • Family dog



Also known as the Havana Silk Dog, the Havanese originates from the Mediterranean where they were traded to Cuban women. Given to the wealthy, they became loyal lapdogs and companions. An eager and intelligent breed, the Havanese is easily trained and devoted to his family members. Good with children and other animals, the dog does well with apartment life as he enjoys burning his energy indoors.

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Breed standards

  • AKC group: Toy
  • UKC group: Companion
  • Average lifespan: 14 – 16 years
  • Average size: 8 – 13 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Soft and silky double coat
  • Coloration: White, black, chocolate, gold, cream, silver and blue
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Dropped ears; large dark eyes; scissor bite; body is longer than dog’s height; long tail; strong legs and neck
  • Possible alterations: Longer coat may resemble dreadlocks; some are born with a shorter coat, causing them to be non-hypoallergenic; chocolate-colored dogs may have green or amber eyes

Is this breed right for you?

Sweet and loving, this loyal watchdog makes the perfect companion for singles or families with children. Getting along with other pets, especially other Havanese, the breed is very social and enjoys constant companionship with his family members. Curious, he’s likely to check things, and is easily trained. Great for apartment living, he does enjoy playing indoors but will need a good amount of regular exercise. Requiring regular grooming, he does best with a family that can give his coat much-needed attention. With good brushing, he is unlikely to shed. A good watchdog, he’ll greet every guest that walks through your door.

Breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Havanese

It is likely that your Havanese will wake up long before you to check the perimeter of your home. Ensuring that everyone is safe, he’ll patiently wait for his human pack to wake up before joining them for breakfast. After a well-balanced meal, the Havanese will follow the members of the family, occasionally engaging in a bit of play. Once he has his daily walk, he’ll be happy to spend the remainder of the day indoors with the people he loves most.

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