The Havanese may be a toy breed, but he's sturdy in structure. Slightly longer than he is tall, adult dogs stand at 23-28cm and weigh approximately 3-6kg. He has has an abundant, soft, silky coat, with the tail carried over the back in a plume. The coat can be any colour or combination of colours.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
I'd like a little toy dog to carry around
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts


The Havanese dog breed belongs to the Bichon family, which includes the Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Coton de Tulear, Lowchen and Maltese. A small white dog found originally in the Mediterranean area, it accompanied traders across the globe, where the dog developed into different breeds. When it landed in Cuba it developed into the Havanese, and became the lapdog of the aristocracy before being taken to the hearts of ordinary Cubans.


The Havanese is a lively, outgoing dog who is friendly and affectionate. As you'd expect of a toy breed, he loves people – including children – and thrives in company. He will suffer if left regularly or for too long. A playful little dog, he isn't just a pretty face and enjoys training and learning new things.


Like many small breeds, the Havenese can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas). As with many breeds there are some hereditary eye problems that can arise and so breeding dogs should be regularly eye tested.


A small breed, the Havanese needs only about half an hour's daily exercise. A playful dog, he can expend energy playing in the garden with his human family, as well as out on walks. His main pleasure is in accompanying his owner wherever they go.


Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.


The Havanese coat is soft and silky in texture. Wavy or with a light curl, the topcoat is profuse, with an undercoat beneath. Daily brushing is needed to keep the coat tangle-free.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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The Havanese is a sturdy Toy breed belonging to the Bichon family. Good with children and with a playful attitude, he makes a loving pet. Learn more here.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information