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The Havanese is a sweet and lively companion dog. His playful nature and small but sturdy size make him an ideal family pet. With a non-shedding, profuse coat, in any color, he is a striking small dog while still being quite hypoallergenic. He has medium energy but requires a great deal of coat care. They can best be described as a small mop of a dog.

This breed makes a good kid dog (as do most of the Bichon family) as they are sweet and tolerant, and will sit through a fair amount of tugging and ear pulling. They like other breeds and are a good dog park dog. They are unusual as their rear is higher than their front, which causes a somewhat shuffling gait.

They have so much hair they can really have a bad hair day in a big wind.


The breed is descended from the old Spanish Tenerife dogs, an ancestor of the Bichon family. They were brought to Cuba from Spain. While they may have started out as an accessory to a Grandee’s entourage, he quickly became well loved by all levels of Cuban society and are the only native breed of Cuba.

By The Numbers

Size: 8 ½”to 11 1/2"” at the shoulder. He is a sturdy little dog and should never appear fragile.
Coat Care: 10 – High; requires frequent brushing and a weekly bath.
Trainability: 8; quite willing and eager to please.
Energy level: 6 He has medium energy level. They love to play.
Good with Children: 10 This is a great kid dog.
Noise level: low -- 7 The breed can be noisy.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: 8 The breed has a minimal undercoat and shed very little.

To start your puppy search, first read What is a Responsible Breeder. Check out What Makes a Responsible Pet Owner. Then start looking at the Havanese Club of America. 

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