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Havanese vs Havapoo Comparison

Havanese vs Havapoo: Full Breed Comparison | Lone Star Pups
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2023 by PremierPups

When it comes to choosing the ideal companion from the world of small breeds, the decision can often be overwhelming. The Havanese, with its proud history and purebred status, and the Havapoo, a delightful mix of the Havanese and Poodle, are two standout options for many pet lovers.  

But which one is truly suited for you? Both breeds boast a variety of qualities that can fit seamlessly into various lifestyles. From families with children to solo dwellers in apartment spaces, the adaptability of these dogs is commendable.  

In this guide, we will delve deep into the nuances of each breed, comparing their temperament, appearance, health, and more. Our goal is to provide you with a clear and comprehensive understanding, assisting you in making an informed and heartful decision. Join us as we navigate the charming world of the Havanese and the endearing allure of the Havapoo. 

Havanese vs Havapoo: Overview 

Havanese Overview 

curly havanese dog

Breed Status 

The Havanese holds the pride of being a purebred, recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and various other global kennel clubs. As the national dog of Cuba, the breed has an established status that commands respect among dog enthusiasts. 


Standing firm within the top 25 of the AKC's list of popular breeds, the Havanese has won hearts worldwide, thanks in part to its cheerful disposition and adaptable nature. 


Tracing its roots back to the silky dogs brought to Cuba by Spanish settlers, the Havanese evolved in the island's unique climate. These little dogs, having been bred with the dogs native to the island, soon garnered a distinct identity of their own. Over time, they became companions to the Cuban elite and later found their way into European aristocracy, thanks to their captivating charm. Their journey to the United States began in the 1950s when Cuban families fleeing the revolution brought these little bundles of joy along. Since then, their popularity in America and around the world has only soared. 

Unique Qualities 

The Havanese isn't just about its looks. Beyond its silky coat and expressive eyes, this breed is known for its resilience and adaptability. Whether it's braving the humid Cuban climate or adjusting to apartment living in bustling New York, the Havanese stands out as a breed that adapts and thrives. Its intelligence, paired with a desire to please its owners, makes it a delightful family companion and a star pupil in obedience classes. 

For those seeking a blend of history, adaptability, and a joyful temperament, the Havanese promises a companion that's both loyal and full of life. Whether you're a history buff or someone simply seeking a furry friend to brighten up your days, the Havanese has facets that appeal to all. 

Havapoo Overview 

cute havapoo dog

Breed Status 

Unlike its Havanese parent, the Havapoo is a hybrid or designer breed, resulting from the union between a Havanese and a Mini or Toy Poodle. Though not officially recognized as a purebred by institutions like the American Kennel Club, the Havapoo has steadily gained a dedicated following due to its distinct qualities and charming attributes. 


The allure of designer breeds has been growing, and the Havapoo is no exception. Known for combining the best traits of both its parent breeds, it's seen a surge in demand among families and individuals alike. Particularly in urban settings, where space is at a premium, the Havapoo's adaptable nature and compact size make it a standout choice. 


The Havapoo's history, while shorter than the purebred Havanese, is quite fascinating. Originating in the United States during the last few decades, breeders aimed to merge the Havanese's cheerful disposition with the Poodle's hypoallergenic coat, catering to dog lovers who wanted the best of both worlds. As with many designer breeds, the goal was to capture complementary traits, and in the case of the Havapoo, the result was nothing short of delightful. 

Unique Qualities 

What sets the Havapoo apart? It's a cocktail of charm, intelligence, and low-shedding qualities. With a coat that leans towards the Poodle's hypoallergenic properties and a temperament that resonates with the joy and vivacity of the Havanese, the Havapoo is an embodiment of balance. Its adaptability is also worth noting, as this breed is just as content in a city apartment as it is in sprawling suburban homes. 

For those on the fence between a purebred and a designer dog, the Havapoo offers a middle ground that doesn't compromise on affection, adaptability, or allure. It's a testament to the idea that sometimes, the sum can indeed be greater than its parts. 

Havanese vs Havapoo Overview Comparison 

Choosing between the regal Havanese and the versatile Havapoo can be a delightful dilemma for prospective dog owners. Both breeds radiate charm and have proven themselves to be affectionate companions. But, like all breeds, they each come with their own set of unique attributes and histories. Here, we'll dive into a side-by-side comparison to help you decide which furry friend aligns best with your lifestyle and preferences. 

Breed Status 

The Havanese is a recognized purebred, boasting a rich history that stretches back centuries. Its esteemed status in the dog world is well-established, and it's celebrated for its singular charm and personality. On the other hand, the Havapoo, a more recent arrival on the scene, is a designer breed. It hasn't achieved the same "official" status as its Havanese parent, but its growing popularity cannot be denied. 

Popularity Trends 

The Havanese, with its long lineage, has enjoyed a steady fan base, particularly among those who appreciate its historical significance and purebred nature. Meanwhile, the Havapoo, representative of the growing trend towards hybrid breeds, is fast becoming a favorite among urban dwellers. Its compact size and adaptability, combined with hypoallergenic qualities, make it a sought-after choice for modern homes. 

Origins and History 

The Havanese has its roots firmly planted in the rich soils of Cuban culture, offering a tale of elegance and history. In contrast, the Havapoo, born in the US, is a testament to modern breeding practices aiming to blend the best of two worlds. Its history might be shorter, but its impact on the dog-loving community has been significant. 

Unique Offerings 

The Havanese, with its purebred status, brings a sense of legacy to its owners. Its distinct temperament and look have remained largely unchanged over the centuries. The Havapoo, meanwhile, is a symbol of innovation in the dog world. By inheriting traits from both its parent breeds, it promises a balanced blend of joy, intelligence, and low-maintenance care. 

To sum it up, while the Havanese offers a touch of historical charm and the consistency of a purebred, the Havapoo appeals to those looking for a modern companion that meshes well with today's lifestyles. Your choice will ultimately boil down to personal preferences and lifestyle needs, but with either breed, a loving and affectionate companion awaits. 

Havanese vs Havapoo: Temperament 

Havanese Temperament 

havanese puppy sitting in a dog bed

For many, the choice of a dog is not just about appearance or history, but fundamentally about the bond they envision. And that bond is deeply influenced by temperament. When discussing the Havanese, one quickly realizes that its character is as rich and vibrant as its storied past. 

Sociable and Affectionate 

The Havanese is often likened to a small bundle of joy, and for good reason. They thrive in human company and have an innate desire to be by your side. Whether you're lounging on the sofa or bustling about, you'll find them trotting by your heels, eager for a loving pat or a playful tease. 

Highly Adaptable 

One of the standout traits of the Havanese is their adaptability. They're just as content in an apartment as they are in a sprawling mansion. Their moderate energy levels mean they're satisfied with short play sessions, but they're always up for more fun if you are! 

Intelligent and Trainable 

Don't let their cute façade fool you; the Havanese are sharp thinkers. They're keen learners, picking up tricks and commands with relative ease. Positive reinforcement and consistency are your best allies, ensuring training sessions are both productive and enjoyable. 

Gentle with Everyone 

The Havanese doesn't discriminate with its affection. Whether it's children, strangers, or other pets, they approach everyone with the same gentle disposition. They're especially good with kids, making them an ideal choice for families. 

Sensitive and Empathetic 

While they're sturdy in many ways, the Havanese also has a softer, emotional side. They're attuned to the feelings of their owners and can often sense when you're down or ecstatic. Their sensitivity requires a gentle touch, and they thrive best in environments where harsh methods are avoided. 

Havapoo Temperament 

black havapoo puppy sitting on grass

Deciding on the right furry friend often hinges on understanding their temperament. As we turn our focus to the Havapoo, it becomes evident that this breed brings a unique blend of qualities to the table, combining the best of its parent breeds. 

Friendly and Welcoming 

The Havapoo carries a heart full of warmth. Their friendly nature ensures that they're quick to make friends, both with humans and other animals. Their infectious enthusiasm can light up any room, making every moment feel like a celebration. 

Eager to Please 

A trait they've inherited from both the Havanese and Poodle lineage, Havapoos are incredibly eager to please their owners. This not only makes them delightful companions but also facilitates smoother training sessions. 

Adaptable Companions 

Whether you reside in a city apartment or a countryside home, the Havapoo adjusts with grace. Their flexible nature means they're content with short walks around the block or extended playtime in the backyard. They're versatile, fitting seamlessly into various lifestyles. 

Curious and Alert 

Havapoos are naturally curious dogs. They love exploring their surroundings and are often alert to changes, making them decent watchdogs. While they won't be aggressive, they'll make sure to alert you with their distinct bark. 

Gentle and Caring 

Much like the Havanese, Havapoos are gentle souls. They handle interactions with kids and other pets delicately. Their caring nature makes them suitable for families and singles alike, ensuring that everyone feels their unwavering love. 

Intelligent and Quick-witted 

Drawing from the Poodle's renowned intelligence, Havapoos are quick learners. They enjoy puzzle toys and mental stimulation, ensuring that their minds are as active as their bodies. 

Havanese vs Havapoo Temperament Comparison 

When choosing between the Havanese and Havapoo, understanding the temperament nuances becomes pivotal. Both breeds share a heritage rich in affection, adaptability, and intelligence, but there are slight differences that might tip the scales for potential owners. Let's delve deeper into how these breeds measure up in the temperament department. 

Affection Overload 

Both the Havanese and Havapoo exude an endearing level of affection. Havanese are natural-born cuddlers, always eager for a snuggle session, while Havapoos radiate warmth and friendliness, quick to make friends wherever they go. If unconditional love is a top priority, either breed will fill that role beautifully. 

Learning Curve 

Intelligence is a common thread for these breeds. Havanese are sharp and attentive, picking up on new commands with a dash of enthusiasm. Havapoos, on the other hand, combine this wit with an eagerness to please, inherited from their Poodle lineage, making training sessions a joy. 

Adaptability in Action 

The Havanese gracefully fits into both city and country living, showcasing an impressive adaptability streak. Havapoos mirror this trait but with an added layer of versatility, adjusting equally well to short strolls or extended playtimes. 

Curiosity Levels 

The Havapoo's natural curiosity often translates into a heightened alertness, making them adept watchdogs. While the Havanese might not always be the first to bark, their observant nature ensures they're rarely caught off guard. 

Gentleness and Care 

In terms of gentleness, both breeds excel. The Havanese, with their history as cherished lap dogs, approach interactions with a delicate touch. Havapoos carry this gentle demeanor forward, ensuring interactions, especially with kids, are filled with care. 

Social Butterflies 

While both breeds love social interactions, the Havapoo's friendly and welcoming nature might make them slightly more outgoing in new social scenarios. In contrast, Havanese, though sociable, might take a moment longer to warm up. 

Havanese vs Havapoo: Appearance 

Havanese Appearance 

full grown havanese dog

The Havanese, often dubbed as the 'velcro dog', is not just endearing in temperament, but also a delight to gaze upon. Possessing a distinctive appearance, this breed blends elegance with a dash of playful mischief. Let's paint a vivid picture of the Havanese's physical characteristics for those keen on envisioning this fluffy companion. 

Size and Build 

Typically, a Havanese stands proud at 8.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder, weighing between 7 to 13 pounds. They boast a sturdy, slightly elongated build, which surprisingly doesn't deter their agility. This compact frame makes them the ideal lap-sized companions. 


One of the Havanese's standout features is their silky, wavy, and incredibly lush coat. This double coat, though soft, is designed to protect them from the tropical sun, reminiscent of their Cuban roots. While their fur can come in a spectrum of colors, including fawn, chocolate, black, and white, it's the coat's fluid movement, like a soft wave, that adds grace to their every step. 

Expressive Eyes 

Their almond-shaped, dark brown eyes are nothing short of captivating. An expressive pair, these eyes often become the window to the Havanese's soul, reflecting their mood, be it playful mischief or sheer curiosity. 

Tail of Charm 

The Havanese possesses a plume-like tail, carried over their back in a gentle curve. This tail, often covered in long, silky fur, adds a flair of elegance to their overall appearance. 

Feet that Dance 

Their feet, though small, are compact and well-padded. It's no wonder then that the Havanese, often described as having a 'spring' in their step, move with such agility and lightness. 

Facial Features 

Their rounded skull, accentuated by a moderate stop and a slightly pointed muzzle, results in an ever-so-adorable facial structure. Combine this with their drop ears, which often get lost in their hair, and you have a face that's irresistibly cute. 

Havapoo Appearance 

full grown havapoo dog

The fusion of the Havanese's grace and the Poodle's poise gives birth to the Havapoo, a delightful amalgamation of two incredible breeds. Characterized by both its endearing looks and its undeniable allure, the Havapoo's aesthetics beautifully capture the best of its parent breeds. Let’s delve into the visual symphony that is the Havapoo. 

Size and Stature 

Typically ranging between 9 to 12 inches in height at the shoulder, Havapoos generally tip the scales between 7 to 20 pounds. Their physique, a blend of sturdiness and elegance, makes them ideal companions, fitting comfortably both on your lap and alongside your strides. 


The Havapoo’s coat is truly a wonder, interweaving the silky consistency of the Havanese with the curly pizzazz of the Poodle. While the curliness can vary, their fur is usually soft, wavy, and medium in length. This coat is versatile, appearing in colors such as cream, chocolate, silver, and even multi-toned, giving potential owners a delightful palette to choose from. 


The Havapoo's eyes, often round and carrying shades from amber to dark brown, are indeed the mirrors to their ever-playful souls. They exhibit a constant spark, illuminating their moods, be it pure joy or inquisitiveness. 


With a tail that's often set high and curls over, the Havapoo's rear appendage is a blend of style and vivacity. Cloaked in a fur, it waves proudly, echoing their bubbly personality. 

Dainty Paws 

Their compact paws are reminiscent of the Havanese's dainty feet, ensuring their movements are both graceful and lively. It's these feet that add rhythm to their sprightly dance. 

Facial Charisma 

A softly rounded face with a subtle stop and proportionate muzzle gives the Havapoo a look of perpetual puppyhood. This, combined with their floppy, fur-laden ears, crafts an irresistibly sweet countenance. 

Havanese vs Havapoo Appearance Comparison 

In the landscape of petite pooches, the Havanese and Havapoo stand tall with their own distinct set of aesthetic virtues. From their silken tufts to their sprightly strides, both breeds vie for the top spot in the hearts of potential owners. As we embark on this comparative journey of looks and allure, our objective is clear: to paint a vivid picture, assisting you in deciding which of these breeds aligns best with your vision of the perfect canine companion. 


The Havanese, with its compact stature ranging from 8.5 to 11.5 inches, is closely mirrored by the Havapoo, who stands between 9 to 12 inches. Both breeds tend to fall in a similar weight category, making size a less distinctive factor in your decision-making process. If you're looking for a slightly taller companion, the Havapoo might just have that edge, but the difference is rather minimal. 


The Havanese flaunts a silky, sometimes wavy, double coat that can grow quite long, echoing its regal ancestry. Its diverse color spectrum from black to cream offers a rich palette for enthusiasts. On the flip side, the Havapoo brings a delightful blend to the table, intertwining the silky charm of the Havanese with the curly allure of the Poodle. This results in a soft, wavy, and sometimes curly medium-length fur, boasting a similar range of hues. If minimal grooming is your aim, the Havapoo's Poodle genes might offer a slight advantage with its less prone-to-matting coat. 


While both breeds have eyes that brim with affection and curiosity, the Havanese's almond-shaped eyes carry a mystique, often drawing you into their deep gazes. The Havapoo, with rounder eyes, offers a more playful, wide-eyed wonder. The choice here rests on personal preference: the depth of the Havanese or the bubbly spirit of the Havapoo. 

Tail and Trot 

The Havanese's tail, carried over its back, is a graceful curve, while the Havapoo often sports a high-set tail with a jovial curl. In terms of movement, both breeds exhibit a lively gait, but the Havanese might display a more springy prance, reminiscent of its Cuban dance namesake. 

Facial Framing 

The facial features of both breeds are undeniably endearing. The Havanese with its soft muzzle and the Havapoo's perpetually puppy-like countenance both promise to melt hearts. It's a tough call to decide which face you'd rather wake up to every morning! 

Havanese vs Havapoo Comparison Conclusion 

In the endearing world of companion dogs, the Havanese and Havapoo consistently emerge as top contenders for countless families and individuals worldwide. Their heartwarming appearances, buoyant temperaments, and rich histories each contribute to their widespread appeal. But when it comes to making that final decision of which one to welcome into your home, the distinctions, though subtle, can be pivotal. 

For those who treasure authenticity and seek a breed steeped in history, with tales of Cuban shores and European aristocracy, the Havanese might be your muse. Its genuine lineage and distinctive Cuban heritage make it a beacon for history enthusiasts. 

Conversely, the Havapoo represents the best of two worlds, blending the aristocratic charm of the Havanese with the intelligent allure of the Poodle. This hybrid offers a touch of modernity, both in appearance and temperament. If you're seeking a contemporary companion, one that combines two of the most loved breeds in a delightful mix, the Havapoo might just be the ticket. 

Both breeds are recognized for their adaptable nature, thriving in various living situations, be it a spacious home or a city apartment. Furthermore, they both promise affection in spades and are renowned for their loyalty and companionship. 

In terms of maintenance, while the Havanese requires a dedicated grooming routine given its long, silky coat, the Havapoo, with its hybrid vigor, can sometimes promise fewer health issues and a slightly easier grooming experience. 

To conclude, the choice between the Havanese and Havapoo isn't about determining which breed is superior; it's about aligning the nuances of each breed with your personal preferences, lifestyle, and what you seek in a furry friend. Remember, each dog, regardless of its breed, brings its own unique charm and personality. It's about the connection, the shared moments, and the memories you'll forge together. Whether you lean towards the historical charm of the Havanese or the modern blend of the Havapoo, rest assured, your life is set to be enriched manifold!