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Size: Small

Weight: 7 - 13 lbs.

Height: 8" - 12"

Life Span: 14+ years

Health Problems: Lengthy life expectancy can result in typical health problems of elderly dogs; including: cataracts; luxating patellas; poodle eye; dry skin. Long-haired varieties are prone to ear infection.

Origin: Mediterranean Region / Cuba (1700s - 1800s)

Also Known As: Bichon Havanais, Havana Silk Dog

Group: Non-Sporting

Category: Companion Dog

Exercise Needs

The Havanese does not require much exercise, and is content with indoor living.

Grooming Needs

While they do not shed, the long-haired Havanese varieties should be groomed at least twice a week. In addition, keep hair inside the ear closely cropped to reduce the risk of ear infection. Short-haired varieties ("Havanese" that are originally bred in Havana) do shed and also need to be brushed regularly. "


Eager-to-please breed that is gentle and affectionate, the Havanese is highly trainable and constantly seeks approval from its owner. This breed will fetch your slippers and other objects -- if you show them how. The Havanese is extremely social and likes to be at the center of activity. Like cats, this breed prefers to perch on furniture or high ledges, so it has a clear view of everything that's happening. Havanese are not prone to barking, but will alert you to the arrival of a stranger or an odd noise.

Compatibility with Kids

Good with children.


The Havanese is a direct descendant of the Bichon lapdogs brought to Cuba in the 1800s and 1900s. As Cuban tastes in dogs changed, the breed became nearly extinct until the 1960s, when Cubans with Havanese pets began immigrating to the U.S. An American breeder took a liking to the breed and advertised in Florida newspapers to obtain enough dogs for revitalization.

Pet Facts

Long-haired varieties, more common in the U.S., are a good choice for owners with allergies because they do not shed.

Dog Food for Your Havanese

Small Breed Puppy 6 lb. Front Counter

Small Breed Puppy

For the care and nutrition of Small Breed Puppies.

Small Breed Adult 6 lb. Front Counter

Small Breed Adult

Carefully formulated for the care and nutrition of small breed dogs.

Bil-Jac Picky No More Small Breed Dog Food package front on countertop

Picky No More™ Small Breed

Created to please even the pickiest of small breed dogs. 

Small Breed Senior 6lb. Front Counter

Small Breed Senior

Helps support the lifelong health of small breed senior dogs.

The Dog Blog

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Breeds, Health and Nutrition

A group of different dog breeds waiting outside to be fed different types of dog food.