Frequently Asked Questions


Can I buy a Havanese from the pound or a pet-store?

Pure-bred Havanse are purchased from registered breeders, who can be located through contacting your local canine governing body. Havanese are a purebred dog and are not a designer or a mixed breed.  They are not a cross between a shih tzu and maltese. There is no such registered breed as a 'minature' or a 'tea cup' Havanese. Havanese have been available in Australia since the year 2000.  They are not a very common breed with approximately 2000* registered in Australia; compared to a breed such as the Stafffordshire Bull Terrier which had approximately 57,000* registrations for the same period.  (*ANKC National Registration survey 2016) 

How do I find out if the breeder of the puppy is an ANKC (Australina National Kennel Club)  reputable breeder? 

Contact the ANKC member body in your state and ask if the breeder is a registered member.  The following link for the ANKC member bodies can be copied in a new URL to find the details: 

How long do they live?

Approximately 12-15 years. Buying a Havanese is a serious commitment to feeding, exercising, grooming and veterinary care.

How big do they grow?

Havanese grow to 8-11 inches (20-28cm) in height. Weight, while not part of the breed standard, is approximately 6kg, which would vary with height.

What grooming is required and do they shed hair?

Havanese are low shedding dogs and are suitable for people with allergy sensitivities. Most people prefer to have their Havanese groomed professionally. A full coat requires daily brushing, weekly or twice weekly bathing; and possibly smaller baths too, if feet and the nether regions are dirty.

A Havanese in pet clip will need to visit the groomer several times a year to maintain a shorter coat that is easy to look after.  A Havanese in pet clip is much easier to look after, and only requires weekly or twice weekly brushing; and bathing as often as the owners like (once a month is common). Regular attention to eye, ear and teeth care is essential.  Nails also need to be trimmed every couple of weeks and don't forget the dew claws on the side of the legs (if they have not been removed).

Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes. Pet owners can choose to have the coat clipped to make it lower maintenance. They would still need brushing a couple of times a week though. They are fairly easy to train and generally like to please, so are good for first time dog owners.

What is the general temerament/personality?

The Havanese is truly one of the most delightful of the small breeds. They are exceptionally intelligent and quick-witted. Their love of attention comes from their adorable little 'show off' natures.  They are curious, are natural clowns and enjoy interludes of rowdy, madcap play.  They are NOT yappy and snappy, like many other toy breeds. Generally, they don't bark very much except to warn of strangers.

They thrive on human companionship, and are at their best as a participating member of the family. Havanese are a very good small breed for families with children and the elderly. They love children and will play tirelessly with them at any game in which children delight.  However, it is a good idea to supervise any situation where dogs and young or unfamiliar children are together. Havanese are not an aggressive breed, they are cheerful dogs and are very sociable and will get along with everyone including people, other dogs, cats and other pets. Obedience training is achieved with very little effort.  They do not respond well to harsh discipline. Fast to learn and anxious to please, they are a charming, open- hearted breed.

Are they suited to indoor apartment living?

Yes. Havanese are good for apartment living as they are 'calm' in temperament and are a 'low' shedding breed (ideal for allergy sufferers). You will need to check if there are any regulations to keeping a dog in an apartment. Havanese are suitable for indoor home living, and ideally not abandoned in an outdoor courtyard or a kennel. They do require regular exercise for their mental and physical well being.

How much daily excercise is needed for the average adult?

A walk and/or some good quality play time. They have an average demand for exercise, which is important to raising a well rounded and balanced Havanese. Dogs need both their minds and their bodies exercised, and a daily walk provides both.

What type of activities can I do with a Havanese?

Havanese were bred as companion animals.  They love to be part of the family. As well as conformation showing; Havanese owners also compete with their  dogs in obedience and agility trials. Havanese are quick to learn tricks, and love showing off to friends and family.  Havanese are suitable for obedience, agility  and just lounging around with their owner(s).

Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Not really. I'm not sure if any breed of dog can. The Havanse is a companion breed, and so thrives on company. If the owners family is away from the home for extended periods of time, ideally the dog will need a canine companion to keep him/her company.

Havanese general video.

If you would like to see a video providing general information about the Havanese breed, please click (or copy to URL into a new tab) on the following link from Animal Planet.