A small Havanese
Havanese Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)7-12in (18-30cm)
Weight7-13lbs (3-6kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size1-9
Barking TendencyMedium-high
Exercise requirements
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityHigh
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Havanese is a compact but sturdy sweet looking dog. The body has well-sprung ribs, a level topline, straight legs and a high-set tail carried over the back. The head has dark round eyes, sidehanging ears, a black nose and an unusually small tongue. The double coat is soft and long, and can be straight, wavy or curly. The colouring varies but tends to include white, black, champagne, blue and silver.


Havaneses are friendly and outgoing little dogs with bags of character. Mild mannered, affectionate and playful, they love being around their owners and make ideal companions and family pets. They can be very entertaining at times but can also be quite demanding and do not like to be neglected, and so are not suited to those with little time to dedicate to their pets. These spirited and sometimes sensitive dogs are intelligent and keen observers, and they often sit on a high-point and simply observe any goings on. Being quick learners, responsive and always eager to please, they are relatively easy to train and so are suitable for both experienced and inexperienced dog owners, although some may be difficult to housebreak. Havaneses get along very well with older, more considerate children but are not suitable for smaller kids due to their small size. They also get along well with other pets and dogs and are mostly friendly around strangers too. Despite this, these brave little dogs still make good watchdogs and will alert owners to the presence of strangers, to whom they will quickly warm once an owner shows acceptance.

History & Skills

Havaneses originate from Cuba, where they are the National Dog. These dogs were once popular amongst the ruling classes of Havana, from where they derive their name, and they belong to the Bichon family of dogs. In the 1800s they were crossed with the Balnquito to create the Bichon Havanese. These days they are popular as household pets but are relatively rare.

Breed Specific Ailments

Havaneses tend to live between 12-15 years and are a fairly healthy breed. Some of the health issued that have been linked to this breed include luxating patella, thyroid problems, PRA and cataracts.


Havaneses are low shedders and so are suitable for those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are pretty high though and their coat will need brushing every other day, and the coat itself may need clipping every six weeks or so. The hair around the bottom area should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons, and the eyes and ears should be kept clean to reduce the chance of infections.

Exercise & Environment

Havaneses are indoor dogs, where they tend to be fairly active, and need plenty of exercise. They will need a short daily walk and a yard or garden area in which to play.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

Coming soon!

Owners Gallery

Pretty empy right now. If you would like to see you dog here please email a photo to BFD Photos along with your name, your dog's name & age, breed and rough location (please keep image file sizes reasonable!).