Are Havanese Dogs Hypoallergenic ?

Yes! The Havanese is a small hypoallergenic dog that hardly drools or sheds.

  • small-hypoallergenic-dog
  • hypoallergenic-dog
  • non-shedding-dog
  • low-dander-dog
  • high-maintenence-dog
  • apartment-friendly-dog
  • kid-friendly-dog
  • highly-intelligent-dog
  • easy-to-train-dog
  • medium-energy-dog

For those of us out there who suffer from allergies to dogs, many may be wondering are Havanese hypoallergenic? Thankfully, these beautiful dogs not only make excellent companion animals, but their silky hair is great for people who are looking for a dog who won’t trigger their allergies.

You may be wondering just what makes a Havanese hypoallergenic. Three different qualities set the Havanese breed apart as a hypoallergenic dog. Most people who suffer from dog allergies are actually allergic to a dog’s dander and saliva. Like many hypoallergenic dogs, the Havanese does not tend to drool much. Secondly, their unique, silky, double layered coat sheds little, and produces far less dander than dogs that typically trigger allergic reactions. Though no dog is ever completely hypoallergenic, these traits are often enough to help the Havanese not to cause an adverse reaction in allergic people.

For a quick summary of the Havanese breed features, skip to our Havanese dog breed summary further down the page.

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Havanese Quick Facts

Hypoallergenic Dog: Yes
Shedding:  Non-shedding
Drooling: Low
Size: Small
Breed Group:  Toy
Lifespan:  13 – 15 years
Energy Level: Medium
Trainability:  High
Family Dog: Yes

About the Breed

The Havanese’s Physical Appearance and Coat

The Havanese has a lot of great qualities that make it a fantastic dog for single individuals, couples, and families.

This breed is available in a wide variety of colors such as : Black, White, Havana Brown, Tobacco, Fawn, and Mahogany. Usually, their long, silky coats will contain more than one color. Most of the time, their fur will have a bit of a wave to it. The Havanese’s coat requires quite a bit of maintenance, but having them clipped in a “puppy cut” can help to reduce the amount that these dogs need to be groomed.

Happy and adaptable, Havanese dogs are hypoallergenic and produce less dander than other dog breeds. They don’t drool very much, and they don’t bark excessively either. Therefore, this little dog is a fantastic option for those who are living in confined spaces, such as apartments, or for people who live with roommates. This breed only grows to a mere 11 inches and weighs at most 14 pounds.

Did you know that most Havanese love the water?

As with all dogs though, some Havanese can be water shy. It helps to set up a play date with another water loving dog! Keep reading for more about the Havanese temperament!

Havanese Temperament

This sweet little toy dog has a fantastic personality! Often described as playful, affectionate, and companionable, these dogs are known to be incredibly loyal to their owners and their families. The Havanese is even sometimes described as a “ velcro dog ” breed, due to their intense need to stick close to those they love!

They are lively and bright little dogs that are low-shedding and not very drooly. They produce less dander than other dogs so they’re great for people with dog allergies. These little dogs are intelligent and curious. They are overtly friendly to family members and fellow pets, but under socialized members of this breed may sometimes be shy with strangers. The spritely little Havanese thrives off its owners’ love and attention. They will follow their loved ones everywhere and they don’t tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They are playful, but don’t require as much exercise as other breeds. Due to their hearty stature, they’re more resilient than other toy dogs, and therefore a better choice for families with children.

For an in-depth look into the life of a Havanese family, Meet Romeo and Juliet, Two Havanese Dogs

A quote from a Havanese owner :

“Once they bond with you, they will stick to you like Velcro. Introduce separation in small periods of time and work your way up. They may have strong separation anxiety at first. Positive affirmation will work much better in any training than punishment. They love to make you happy!!” – Carol

Editor: Dealing with anxiety in dogs can be a real challenge, but studies and anecdotal evidence suggest music can help, especially if you train your dog to relax when they hear it. If you have a dog with anxiety, it’s worth it to Check out this 9 hour anti-anxiety soundtrack and training manual. It comes with a 60 day money back guarantee, so you can get your money back if it doesn’t work for you.


Are you considering adopting a Havanese?

Here’s what to watch out for :

  • The Havanese is extremely friendly, but they get lonely quickly and require constant love and affection.
  • The Havanese is hypoallergenic, low shedding, low dander, and doesn’t drool much. However, they might cause allergic reactions to more severe dog allergy sufferers – especially if they’re not regularly groomed.
  • The Havanese is an excellent choice for families that live in small houses, apartments, or have children. However, they’re not good candidates for people who work 9-5 and are unable to make arrangements for their dog. These dogs can suffer separation anxiety and negative behavioral problems associated with loneliness.

Similar Dog Breeds To Havanese

Havanese Training and Exercise

Havanese Training Tips – Encouraging Good Behaviour In Your Havanese!

There is more to this breed than an allergy-friendly companion dog. The Havenese breed does take a decent amount of time and energy, but that’s more due to their grooming requirements than their need for exercise. Due to their small size, they only need to get about two 15-minute walks per day, although one 20 minute walk would suffice.

Much more important than their need for exercise is the Havanese’s need for affection, socialization, and mental stimulation. The allergy-friendly Havanese does have a tendency to suffer separation anxiety, so you may find that your dog does best if at least one person is home regularly throughout the day. For busy owners, dog walkers are often a convenient and responsible solution for those breeds that need extra attention. It may also be helpful to have other animals in the home as well to help keep this dog company. However, be aware that even though these toy dogs are very hearty when compared to other dog breeds, they are still better suited to pets that are gentle similar in size. Play with exuberant, larger pets should be monitored.

Did you know that most Havanese can be lazy with you?

58% of Havanese owners voted that their dogs are moderately active. Most owners say that their Havanese loves a good, daily walk, but can enjoy a lazy day cuddling their owners just as much!


While this breed can be trained easily, some do have a stubborn streak. Due to their independence, house training may take longer for this breed. Therefore, it is recommended that the Havanese begins crate training early and abides by a strict feeding schedule to reduce the number of household accidents. It is crucial with the Havanese to make crate training sessions short, because these dogs may develop behavioral issues if left alone for too long. For crate training tips, refer to our dog training article! (Coming soon!)

Tips for Potty Training a Havanese

If you’re struggling to potty train your pup, try this guide on how to potty train any dog in 7 days or less. If it doesn’t work for you, you can get your money back.

  • Crate train them when they’re puppies.
  • Cover their crate with a towel or sheet so they can’t see you.
  • Feed your puppy in their crate
  • Feed your puppy three times a day, and plan their meal times. Let them out 20-30 minutes after they’ve eaten.
  • Plan your puppy’s access to water so you can let them out 20-30 mins after they drink.
  • Be sure your puppy has access to water 4-6 a day with potty breaks 20 minutes later. This ritual will help them get in the habit of going outside more quickly, because they will have to pee more!
  • Don’t scold your puppy for accidents! A puppy that is having a lot of accidents is likely not being taken out to potty enough, or is being given too much access to water.
  • When they’re not playing or eating, crate your puppy. Puppies will hold it in rather than potty in their crates. Do not leave your Havanese puppy in a crate alone for more than two hours during the day.
  • Feed and water your Havanese puppy a few hours before you plan to go to bed.
  • Take your puppy out to potty right before you go to bed and first thing in the morning. You do not need to take them out in the middle of the night.
  • Make sure your puppy’s crate is a safe, warm, comfortable place to sleep! Don’t feel bad about crating your puppy. Eventually, they will learn that their crate is the one place that belongs to them!

Havanese Exercise Needs

Although their coat may take a bit of extra effort, the Havanese makes up for it by being an easy dog to exercise. Two 15 minute walks a day would be ideal for this dog from both a mental and physical standpoint, but a twenty-minute walk once daily would be okay as well. It’s more important to make sure this dog gets plenty of affection and mental stimulation. These dogs are intelligent and curious, and without intellectual stimulation, they may develop destructive habits out of boredom. Similarly, being left alone for long periods of the time can cause the Havanese to develop separation anxiety and behavioral problems related to loneliness. If you plan to be out of the house all day, make other arrangements for your dog!

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Breeds that have a similar personality to the Havanese

Havanese Grooming and Care

Maintaining Your Havanese’s Coat

Though they are low maintenance in some ways, the hypoallergenic Havanese does require a lot of grooming if their silky coats are to be kept soft and beautiful. It’s important to ensure that the Havanese is brushed at least once per day and bathed weekly. You will also have to get your Havanese into the groomer for regular sessions. However, this is a small price to pay for a beautiful, allergy-friendly pooch like this one.

Havanese in a traditional show coat
Havanese traditional coat

For those of you out there who’d rather not keep up with the extensive daily brushing necessary to maintain the Havanese’s long, silky locks, an alternative cut called the “puppy cut” could be a good option. The puppy cut is a type of cut where the groomer will shear the coat short in a puppy-like style. These coats are easy to maintain on a daily basis, but you will either need to commit to trimming your dog every two weeks or bringing them to the groomer more often for regular maintenance trims. However, this is a small price to pay for a beautiful, allergy-friendly pooch like this one.

Havanese with a Puppy Cut
Havanese with a puppy cut

Tips for Grooming your Havanese

  • When you’re petting or grooming your Havanese, check for matted hair. Matted hair happens the most under the ears, in the groin area, around the base of the tail, in the armpits, and on the stomach.
  • It’s better, and less painful if you keep up with brushing them frequently. Keep a brush next to the TV or a place where you like to sit and make a ritual of it.
  • When removing a mat, you can jiggle your comb to get the mat away from the skin. Then use your fingers to pinch the fur between the matted area and the skin, while you work the mat loose with your comb. Holding the fur makes it hurt less when you try to brush the mat out.
  • You should have at least two combs – a comb for dematting, and a comb with wideset teeth for general brushing. Most people prefer to have a few different combs to choose from.
  • Take breaks to say sweet things and love on your Havanese while you’re grooming them! Grooming is a great chance to develop your bond!
  • Be sure to always brush your Havanese right down to the skin so you don’t miss any mats.
  • Run your fingers through your hair while you cuddle your Havanese.
  • Dirty hair mats more quickly, so clean your Havanese when they get dirty outside.
  • For those of you that don’t care about having a fancy cut, it helps to trim your Havanese’s coat or give them a “puppy cut” from the groomer.

Tools to use to groom a Havanese
long-haired grooming tools for the Havanese

Teeth, Ears, and Nails

The Havanese doesn’t require any unusual maintenance when it comes to their teeth, ears, or nails beyond what other small dogs would. As with any other dog, it’s important to brush their teeth twice a week. This is even more important for toy dogs such as the Havanese, as they are more prone to dental problems than large breeds. Dental hygiene treats and chew toys are an excellent way to keep your hypoallergenic Havanese mentally stimulated. They also help to clean the dog’s back teeth, which are often harder to get with a toothbrush. However, even with dental care treats, it’s very important to brush your Havanese’s teeth regularly. Dog toothpaste has enzymes that digest bad bacteria that cause dental diseases.

Cool names to name your Havanese puppy!

Girl Havanese Puppies Boy Havanese Puppies
Allita (Meaning: The Earth) Neo (Meaning: New life; Gift)
Leya (Meaning: The Earth) Ruyan (Meaning: Little King)
Savanah (Meaning: Treeless Plain) Arlo (Meaning: Fortified Hill)
Cozette (Meaning: Little Thing) Bow (Meaning: Small Son)
Luana (Meaning: Happy) Kosmo (Meaning: Harmonious; Universe)


Potential Havanese Health Issues

This companion dog is a decently healthy breed, but there are some concerns that should be considered before adopting or purchasing one. The Havanese tends to suffer eye, heart, and liver problems, particularly as they age. A condition called patellar luxation, or a ‘floating kneecap’ is also fairly common in this breed. This is a condition in which the kneecap slides out of position. After having occurred once, this incidence has a high probability of happening again. In severe, recurrent cases of patellar luxation, various surgeries may be necessary to stabilize the kneecap.

As with any purebred dogs, many genetic health disorders can be avoided by taking proper precautions.

Always find a reputable breeder that has health records of your puppy’s parents and never buy a puppy from a store. Puppy stores often sell dogs from a “puppy mill”, which is a factory-like business that produces puppies by breeding dogs in inhumane conditions. Many puppy mill dogs suffer long-lasting physical and psychological damage from having been bred in these cruel habitats.

Many of the health problems experienced by the Havanese can be avoided by finding a good breeder or rescue organization. Hereditary health issues are rampant in dogs that have been improperly bred, or whose breeders are only in it for the money.
There’s a number of genetic tests available to breeders. Ask your Havanese breeder to show you paperwork for the tests and certifications they have completed for their breeding dogs. A diligent breeder will never be offended by a diligent customer!

By conscientiously selecting a well-bred puppy, or by using a rescue organization that can help you choose a puppy who has had a thorough health screening, you’ll be giving you and your Havanese the best chance at a happy, healthy life!

Common Health Issues for Havanese


The Havanese, as the name suggests, is originally from the island of Cuba where it is the national dog breed. In recent years, this hypoallergenic small dog’s popularity has spread far beyond the boundaries of Cuba. They are great pets for tidy people because they hardly shed. Currently, this loveable toy breed is the 24th most popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The Havanese is an intelligent, small companion dog that is affectionate, loving, and highly adaptable to apartment living.

Where can I get a Havanese Puppy?

Adopt a Havanese here, at HALO’s Havanese Rescue! .


Check out answers to even more questions on our FAQ below, or click here!

Havanese Breed Facts

Breed Havanese (Small dog)
Hypoallergenic? Yes!
Other Names? Bichon Habanero, Havanese Cuban Bichon, Bichon Havanais, Bichon Havanês, Havaneser, Havanezer
Height (inches and cm) 9.1 – 11 in (23.1 – 28 cm)
Weight (pounds and kg) 7 to 13 lbs (3.17 – 5.9 kg)
Lifespan 13 – 15 years
Temperament Intelligent, Responsive, Playful, Companionable, Affectionate, Gentle
Colors White, Black, Havana Brown, Fawn, Tobacco, Mahogany
Coat – describe the coat Long and silky, sometimes a bit wavy
How much grooming? Frequent
How much shedding Low shedding
Dander levels Low
Saliva – Do they Drool or Lick much? Low
Energy levels Medium
How much exercise do they need? 20 minute daily walk
Health problems Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Chondrodysplasia, Legg-Perthes Disease, Cataracts, Deafness, Patellar Luxation, Portosystemic Shunt, Heart Murmur, Mitral Valve Insufficiency
Good for apartment? Yes
Suitable for kids? Yes
How much do they bark? Infrequently
Can they be left alone? Not for long periods of time
Intelligent? Yes
Trainable? Highly Trainable
How popular as a pet? Quite popular
Any other important facts? These dogs were bred in Cuba as companion animals

Havanese FAQ

Do Havanese Dogs Shed?

Havanese are low shedding. If you’re allergic to dogs, be sure to brush them regularly to reduce potential shedding.

Are Havanese Good Dogs For Apartments?

Yes! They are great in apartments! They don’t bark too much, they are small, low-shedding dogs, with moderate energy. They need regular exercise, so be sure to take your Havanese out for a walk every day if you are living in an apartment.

Are Havanese Good Family Dogs?

The Havanese is an excellent family dog. They are sociable, affectionate, and more durable than other small dogs.

Do Havanese Dogs Bark A Lot?

Havanese don’t bark very much compared to other breeds.

Are Havanese Good Guard Dogs?

Yes. Most owners say that their Havanese will alert you of danger – however, they’re too friendly to actually protect you!

Are Havanese Good With Other Dogs?

Yes. Havanese are very friendly dogs!

Are Havanese Good With Cats?

Yes. However, it helps if you raise them with one. Some Havanese are not as cat-friendly, but these guys are much friendlier to cats than most breeds!

What Are the Havanese Pros and Cons?

Pros : Havanese dogs are sociable, friendly, and playful. They’re intelligent, and great for novice dog owners. These dogs are relativelyeasy to train. Their small size and the fact that they’re non-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs makes them adaptable apartment pets.

Cons : Expect to spend a lot of time grooming if you have one of these dogs. Havanese were bred to be companion animals, and they don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time. These dogs are slower than most to take to potty training because, despite their intelligence, they can tend to be stubborn at times.

Did you know that Bichon Frise don’t get stinky?

67% of Bichon Frise owners said their dog has no odor at all! Bichon Frise are another small dog, similar to the Havanese! Read more about them here! .