Breeders, keepers, importers and lovers of Havanese dogs

Temperament

One of the brightest and sturdiest of the toys, the Havanese is happy and playful and enjoys clever games of dexterity.


Havanese are very people-oriented dogs, love snuggling in laps, and can be overly dependent -- they don't do well at all when left for long periods of time without companionship. "Not doing well" means unhappiness and boredom, which they may try to vent through barking and destructive chewing.


Though peaceful and gentle with everyone (humans and other pets), the Havanese can be conservative with strangers. Socialization is important to build a confident, outgoing temperament, as there is a potential for excessive caution/timidity.


Havanese do have an independent streak, but they are not a dominant breed. They respond well to training and they especially love learning tricks. Many individuals excel in competitive obedience and agility.

The most problematic training issue is housebreaking -- Havanese is slow to house train. Many Havanese like to perch on the high back of a sofa or chair, looking out the window so they can announce visitors.


If you want a dog who...
  • Is small, yet sturdier (and healthier) than his tiny Maltese cousin
  • Doesn't need much outdoor exercise
  • Is playful and entertaining
  • Makes a good watchdog, but is not aggressive
  • Has a long coat that can be clipped short so he looks like a cute perpetual puppy
  • Doesn't shed much (one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers)
  • Is good with other pets


A Havanese may be right for you.


Amusing Quirks

Havanese may be busy active little dogs indoors but are generally relatively quiet. But every now and then, particularly in the evenings mayhem erupts as they enjoy short rounds of energetic rowdy madcap play. Just all of a sudden, one will take a flying leap off the back of the couch and continue in circles through the dining room, living room and family room tearing around the house like a banshee. In most Havanese households we call this amusing game Runlikehell as that is exactly what they do. This is always so much fun to watch and never fails to provoke a smile. They run with such glee and unabashed delight; some will make a low grr-ing noise which is not in any way an actual growl, but rather a throaty sort of noise of happiness. They blitz around, banking off chairs and couches, barely touching the furniture, dashing madly about the house for several minutes and then collapse in happy exhaustion; the game over as suddenly as it began.


​Another thing that Havanese are renowned for is their love of being up high. This is common among cats but unusual in dogs. The favorite resting spot of most Havanese is a high place, like the tops of chairs or the sofa. As young puppies even, they may climb to the back of the sofa where they rest their little head on your shoulder and fall asleep with their paws on your arm.


Havanese make up their own games, some with elaborate rules only known to them. A silly game which can leave you in stitches, is "ITS ALIVE." Small light items, like bully sticks or small toys are usually selected to come alive. Suddenly, they are pounced upon repeatedly by a whirling dervish, tossed wildly into the air in many different directions, and just generally made to jump all over the room (obviously needing to be chased)


Havanese are not yappy little dogs however they certainly can be very vocal. Not in the way of yapping or barking but rather because they have a large repertoire of vocalizations, with nuances of warbles, grumbles, groans and chortles that only immediate family can decifer. Others have a unique low grumble when they are totally content which is similar to a purr.