The Little ‘Velcro’ Dog from Havana, Meet the Havanese Dog Breed

havanese walking outside with golden sun in the background

You may instantly recognize this sturdy little toy dog for its long, droopy hair and friendly personality. Cute, yes, but do Havanese dogs make good pets? Do Havanese bark a lot? Are they easy to train? Can you have one in an apartment? This guide will answer these questions and more about the cute, little, cuddly and somewhat clingy Havanese dog breed.

Are Havanese Dogs Known Barkers? How Trainable Is the Havanese?

havanese with shorter hair black and white

Do Havanese Bark a Lot?

Unlike most other toy dogs, the Havanese aren’t as yappy or snappy at strangers and other dogs. Instead, the Havanese dog breed has a reputation for being sweet, gentle, and affectionate. They tend to develop very close attachments to their owners, struggling to stay alone for long periods of time. For this reason, you may notice your Havanese following you from one room to another. When a stranger comes by, your Havanese will respond to them with reserved curiosity. 

Are Havanese Easy to Train?

havanese running with a ball

Still, it’s best to socialize your Havanese early on to avoid it becoming too skittish or anxious, lest it develop barking, fearful habits. House training is perhaps the most important part of a Havanese’s training. Havanese dogs like to develop potty habits, going in the same spots every day at the same times. Therefore, upon waking up, it’s important to take your Havanese out and let it relieve itself in the same spot every day. This way, it incorporates the activity into its daily habit.

If your Havanese is restless, it may need a short, brisk walk alongside a small amount of playtime. They do well indoors, however, especially with squeaky toys to keep them occupied. 

Facts About Havanese Dogs

The Havanese are the only dogs known to be directly native to Cuba and were bought by the aristocracy as cute lap dogs. The dog dropped off in popularity until American dog breeders took an interest and began breeding them throughout the country. 

  • Size: Small, only 7 to 13 pounds and 8.5 – 11.5 inches tall.
  • Life expectancy: 14 to 16 years
  • Coat: Long, fluffy, and silky hair that requires a lot of brushing. 
  • AKC group: Havanese are recognized as part of the AKC toy group. 

Are Havanese easy to train? Do Havanese make good family pets?

Havanese dogs do make very good pets, for singles and families alike, although they do tend to become especially attached to one person in a household. Still, they’re affectionate and friendly. They tend to be very good with children. 

long-hair havanese dog

Havanese dog breed training tips:

  • Establish regular potty spots outdoors and specific times so your Havanese develops good potty habits.
  • Socialize as a puppy so your Havanese recognizes friendly and unfriendly situations.
  • Intelligent and gentle, use only positive methods to reinforce good behavior with the Havanese dog breed.

Havanese dogs are easy to train and naturally outgoing. Like training any other dog, establish that you are in charge and reward good behaviors with low fat treats, as the Havanese is prone to becoming overweight. But, with good socialization, your Havanese will get along well with people and nonaggressive pets alike. The biggest hurdle to overcome is establishing potty training habits. 

Does the Havanese Dog Breed Need Grooming? Do Havanese Dogs Shed a Lot?

That wavy hair of a Havanese can be absolutely beautiful if taken care of and brushed properly. However, if kept long, their hair will need to be brushed daily to prevent mats and tangles. Some Havanese dogs have what’s called a “corded” coat that might need different types of grooming. Your Havanese does not shed often, however, and is considered a hypoallergenic breed. That said, there’s no guarantee a Havanese dog won’t trigger specific allergies. 

Keep in mind to check a Havanese’s ears and eyes often to clean out wax and debris. Use a paper towel or wet gauze to clear this away, as a Havanese is prone to eye diseases.

As with all dogs that spend a lot of time indoors, you’ll need to regularly trim their nails to prevent them from growing too long. The lap-friendly Havanese should do well with a nail grinder or guillotine-style nail trimmers every couple of weeks.

Popular Havanese Mixes

Looking for a Havanese mix? Their friendliness and distinct hair can be bred together with other breeds to produce a cute, yet unique companion that will suit any home! Plus, the combination of “Havanese” with some of the other dog breeds just makes for some fun-to-say names. Check these out:

Resource Links for More Info About the Havanese Dog Breed