1. How big do they get?
Havanese are a Toy breed, ranging in size from 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches at the withers (top of the shoulder)
with the ideal height being 9 to 10 1/2 inches at the withers. Weight range is from about 8 - 15 pounds, although there
are always some smaller and some larger.
2. Do they shed?
The Havanese is considered to be a non-shedding breed, although there is some hair loss occasionally. The undercoat will
mat unless the dog is brushed and combed daily.
3. How long does the coat get?
The coat can grow up to about 9 inches in length when fully mature. To keep a Havanese in "show coat", i.e. untrimmed,
requires daily brushing and grooming sessions or the undercoat will mat.
4. I have allergies. Is the Havanese a hypoallergenic breed?
Many people with allergies tolerate the Havanese very well. However, if a family member suffers from severe dog-related
allergy, a test should be conducted where the afflicted family member can spend time with a Havanese to determine if this
breed will or will not trigger an allergic reaction. This test should be done before the family acquires a Havanese as a pet.
5. How healthy, overall, is this breed?
The Havanese, like all dogs, do suffer from some genetic problems. For further information on these conditions, please
go to the Havanese Club of America website at www.havanese.org
6. How long does a Havanese live?
The toy breeds are generally accepted to be longer-lived than larger breeds of dogs. A healthy, well-bred Havanese kept
in a healthy environment and given excellent diet, exercise and veterinary care can live to be well into the teen years. It
is not uncommon for a Havanese to live to be 15 or 16 years old.
7. Are these good family dogs?
The Havanese is a friendly, outgoing breed. Their main function has always been to serve as a companion to Man. The Havanese
loves people and generally gets along well with other animals in the household. Care should be taken, however, if there are
small children in the family. Although the Havanese in general loves children, children can often play too roughly with a
Havanese, unintentionally causing injury to delicate puppy bones and joints. Children should be carefully supervised if a
Havanese puppy is added to the family and taught to be very gentle with the new puppy when petting the dog and when playing.
8. Is this breed easy to housebreak?
I think this depends entirely on how much effort the new owners are willing to put into housebreaking and I think that
is true with any dog or any breed of dog. Toy puppies have very tiny bladders and bowels. Their control is non-existent until
their muscles and organs have had time to mature. This means very frequent trips outside or to the litterbox, depending on
how a new owner wishes to train the puppy. With consistency, diligence and patience, the Havanese can learn very quickly what
is expected of it and it's inherent intelligence and desire to be clean will eventually lead to an adult Havanese who is very
reliable in the house. For the record, I have been housebreaking dogs for over 45 years and I have found our Havanese (Smudge,
Icee and now Emmy) to compare favorably to the Goldens we lived with for over 20 years. So far our Havanese have been completely
reliable in the house by 10 months. Emmy is now 4 months old and the only accidents she has occur when we fail to pay attention
to her cues that she has to go out. When those few accidents do occur, I have a harsh word or two with myself, because I
9. Do these dogs need to be trained?
All puppies need to attend a puppy kindergarten class and then a basic obedience training program. Both puppy and owner
benefit from the socialization and the training classes can be a wonderful source of information, especially if the team of
puppy/owner encounter the normal problems (chewing, leash training, housebreaking, etc.) that many owners have to deal with
when raising a new puppy. Be sure, however, that if attending a puppy kindergarten class, the classes are divided into size
groups during the "free play" times. Havanese and other toy-sized puppies can be unintentionally injured by larger, stronger
puppies who only want to play but can inflict painful, sometimes life-threatening injuries on toy breed puppies.
10. Is the Havanese the right breed for me?
Do you have a lot of time to devote to a curious, active, demanding puppy who only wants to be with you 24 hours a day?
Do you have time to groom the puppy or take it for frequent (every 6-8 weeks on average) grooming sessions at a professional
grooming salon? Are you home during the day or do you have another dog or cat to keep the puppy company in your absence? Havanese
do not do well when left alone for prolonged periods every day. This is a charming, intelligent, active breed of dog and they
thrive on the daily companionship of their humans. But they do require a lot of attention and when they do not get that attention
and care, they can develop serious behavior problems. If you have the time, money and love...most important, the love...to
give to a Havanese puppy, then yes, I think this might be the right breed for you.