Breed of the Month: Havanese

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba and is bred for companionship. The breed originated in Cuba in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s and is a distant relative of the Bichon Frise. The Havanese is an intelligent, happy little breed that is very people-oriented and loves to cuddle. They can, however, be a bit timid with strangers, so it is best to socialize them from an early age. They are very alert which makes them suitable watchdogs. The Havanese does NOT do well if left alone for long periods of time – they suffer from separation anxiety and can become destructive if anxious or bored. The Havanese is easily trained and has served as therapy dogs, circus performers and in dog agility. If you are looking for a happy-go-lucky companion who loves spending quality time with family, the Havanese may be the perfect breed for you!


  • Male: 8-13 lbs.
  • Female: 7-12 lbs.


  • Male: 11 in.
  • Female: 10 in.


  • Small, sturdy dog
  • Short Legged
  • Body longer than the tail
  • Tail curls over the back
  • Drop ears
  • Straight or wavy coat
  • Also known as “Havana Silk Dog”, double coated and feels like silk
  • Comes in all coat colours and combos


  • Exercise requirements: Moderate – 20-40 minutes daily
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Energy Level: High
  • Drool Level: Low
  • Bark Level: Moderate – can bark excessively if not trained properly
  • Grooming needs: High – brushing/combing 3+ times a week
  • Shedding Level: Low to none
  • Intelligence: High
  • Child-Friendly: High
  • Cat/ Dog-Friendly: High

Common Health Problems:

  • Cataracts/eye disease
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Hypothyroidism

Written by Kylie, CCR