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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Havanese Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 8.5" - 11"
  • Weight
  • 7-14 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Low - This breed requires little daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Black
    • Blue
    • Cream
    • Yellow
    • Silver / Grey
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

bichon Havanais, bichon habanero, Havana silk doh


This breed developed in Cuba.

Date Of Origin

The havanese originated in the 1700's.


The havanese is believed to be descended from Old World bichons, such as the Bolognese and Maltese. Interest in bichons developed throughout the port cities of the Spanish empire, including Havana. The havanese is the national dog of Cuba. It was kept as a companion for aristocracy, but soon became popular with Cuba's middle class. The havanese was brought to the U.S. with Cuban refugees who left the country after the revolution of 1959.


The havanese is a small, sturdy dog that is longer than it is tall. The head is wedge shaped and slightly broad and the skull is slightly rounded. The muzzle is equal in length to the skull. The eyes and nose are dark and the ears are drop. The plumed tail is carried over the back. The double coat has a long soft outer coat. The hair on the forehead forms a curtain over the eyes in some dogs.


The havanese is a highly trainable, intelligent, and attentive dog. It is quiet and gentle but still playful. It is especially affectionate with its owner but is friendly with most everyone, including children, other animals and strangers.


The Havanese is a companion dog through and through.

Health Concerns

Chondrodysplasia, deafness, hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, liver shunts, luxating patellas, skin conditions.

Additional Information

This breed will require professional grooming every 4-6 weeks for the entirety of it's life.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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