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Havanese - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


The Havanese is a small dog, but a sturdy dog, covered with long, silky, wavy hair. They come in all colors of the canine rainbow. The long facial hair is designed to protect the Havanese from the harsh light of the tropics, where the breed was developed. They have dark, almond-shaped eyes that wear an intelligent, yet playful expression. The nose is broad and squared off and the teeth should meet in a scissors bite. Ears are medium-length, set high on the head and have a distinct fold. The tail is set high on the body and is plumed with long, silky hair. It should arc forward over the back, but not curl. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried loosely curled over the rump and the plume may fall straight forward or to the side of the body.

Size and Weight

The ideal height for a Havanese is between 9 and 10.5 inches, although anywhere from 8.5 to 11.5 is acceptable by breed standard. While there is no weight requirement, the breed typically weighs anywhere from 8 to 14 pounds.

Coat and Color

The Havanese wears a thick, soft, silky coat that doesn't shed easily. Some have straight hair, some have curly hair, but wavy hair is the ideal for show dogs. Havanese come in many colors of the canine rainbow including black, white, black and tan, sable, or gray. They may be speckled or parti-color. There is no preference given to any particular color or markings. The length makes the coat appear heavy, but the coat is light and designed to reflect heat.

Grooming Needs

The coat of the Havanese may be clipped or kept long. Show dogs must have long hair, but family dogs can be trimmed short for no-fuss grooming. Long-haired Havanese require daily brushing to remove tangles and prevent mats. They also require frequent bathing to keep the coat clean. It's not uncommon for a Havanese to get a weekly bath. Tear stains are common on the face of a Havanese, and the face should be wiped daily with a damp rag.

Teeth should be brushed several times per week. Small dogs are prone to dental problems, and regular brushing can help prevent bad teeth later in life. Trim nails monthly and check the ears regularly for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ear with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser.

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