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Havanese vs Havashu Comparison

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

When you're caught in the delightful dilemma of choosing between two endearing breeds like the Havanese and the Havashu, the decision-making process transforms into an exciting journey of discovery. Every pet lover desires a companion that resonates with their lifestyle, values, and personality. With both breeds boasting of captivating characteristics, how does one navigate this choice? 

The Havanese, with its storied past and vibrant temperament, competes valiantly against the Havashu—a breed that elegantly blends the charm of the Havanese with the sass of the Shih Tzu. It's akin to choosing between a classic novel and a modern best-seller, both beckoning with their unique tales. 

This guide delves deep into the world of these two breeds, offering you a comprehensive overview and helping you make an informed, heart-aligned decision. Whether you're a dog aficionado or a potential pet owner seeking guidance, you're in the right place. Prepare for an engaging exploration into the worlds of the Havanese and Havashu, ensuring that by the end, your heart and mind will be in harmonious agreement. Let's embark on this furry adventure together! 

Havanese vs Havashu: Overview 

Havanese Overview 

white and tan havanese


The Havanese is not just a breed; it's a living tapestry of history and culture. Native to Cuba, the breed traces its lineage back to the Bichon family that graced the Mediterranean region before voyaging across oceans. The European sailors, in their voyages to the Cuban islands, brought with them small dogs, which over time, interbred with the local canine populations. This exquisite blending culminated in the birth of the Havanese we adore today. 

In the bygone eras of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Havanese was the pride of Cuban aristocrats, often luxuriating in the laps of Spanish nobility and charming the elite with their endearing antics. However, the onset of the Cuban Revolution witnessed this breed's dwindling numbers, only to be revived by emigrants who took these furry companions to the United States. It was here that dedicated breeders ignited the renaissance of the Havanese, ensuring its survival and proliferation. 

Breed Status  

Recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1996, the Havanese has not just survived but thrived in the hearts and homes of many. Today, this breed stands proud under the 'Toy Group' category, celebrated for its vivacity and adaptability. 


The Havanese isn't merely a breed; it's a sensation. As of recent AKC rankings, the Havanese confidently struts among the top 25 most popular dog breeds in the USA. Its irresistibly silky coat, paired with a personality that oscillates between playful jest and solemn loyalty, has cemented its status among families, singles, and seniors alike. From bustling urban apartments to sprawling country estates, the Havanese effortlessly fits into various lifestyles, making it a sought-after choice for many. 

Havashu Overview 

brown and white havashu puppy


The Havashu stands as a testament to the art of deliberate breeding, combining the best traits of two beloved toy breeds - the Havanese and the Shih Tzu. This designer dog, while relatively new to the canine kingdom, has a history that intertwines with its parent breeds, inheriting tales of imperial Chinese courts and Caribbean charm. 

The Havashu's inception can be traced back to the last few decades, when breeders aimed to blend the affectionate nature of the Havanese with the sturdy, lion-like demeanor of the Shih Tzu. A fusion of East and West, the Havashu carries with it a lineage rich in history and culture, from Tibetan plateaus to Cuban dance floors. 

Breed Status  

Though the Havashu isn't officially recognized as a standalone breed by major kennel clubs, it has been embraced enthusiastically by designer dog aficionados and organizations dedicated to hybrid breeds. The breed’s rise in popularity is backed by its increasing representation in breed-specific clubs that acknowledge and celebrate its unique lineage and characteristics. 


In the world of designer dogs, the Havashu is making its mark steadily. Its compact size, combined with a spirited yet affectionate temperament, has made it an attractive choice for families, singles, and older adults. While not gracing the top charts like established purebreds, the Havashu is steadily gaining traction in households that seek a blend of the Havanese’s joyful disposition and the Shih Tzu’s regal bearing. 

Havanese vs Havashu Overview Comparison 

Navigating the world of toy breeds often leaves potential dog parents in a delightful dilemma. With the playful and sunny disposition of the Havanese contrasting the vivacious spirit of the Havashu, the decision is indeed a challenging one. Let's delve deeper to understand the nuances and shared traits of these two captivating breeds. 

Origin and History

Havanese: Hailing from Cuba's sun-kissed streets, the Havanese is an old breed with links to European aristocrats and Cuban nobility. This breed's distinct history as a companion dog has embedded it with an inherent charm and magnetic warmth. 

Havashu: A modern-day product of deliberate breeding, the Havashu weaves together the rich tapestries of the Havanese and the Shih Tzu. This designer dog captures the cultural confluence of the East and West, merging tales of Chinese emperors with Caribbean allure. 

Breed Status

Havanese: Recognized and celebrated by major kennel clubs, the Havanese is a mainstay in the world of purebred dogs. Its official status comes with decades, if not centuries, of breed standardization and acknowledgment. 

Havashu: As a designer dog, the Havashu hasn't yet earned the nod from major kennel clubs. However, it has found recognition and adoration within niche circles dedicated to hybrid breeds, and its fanbase is steadily growing. 


Havanese: Firmly positioned among the top ranks, the Havanese's popularity is a testament to its long-standing history and endearing nature. Its widespread acceptance makes it a common and beloved choice across various households. 

Havashu: Treading the newer paths of the dog world, the Havashu's popularity is on a positive uptrend. Though not as established as the Havanese, its rise to fame among designer dog enthusiasts is undeniable. 

In drawing a comparison, the Havanese and Havashu may seem worlds apart in terms of history and recognition, but they converge beautifully in their roles as loving companions. Whether you lean towards the established grace of the Havanese or the exciting fusion that the Havashu offers, both breeds promise a life filled with joyful barks, wagging tails, and unconditional love. 

Havanese vs Havashu: Temperament 

Havanese Temperament 

playful havanese dog

With a heart as warm as the Cuban sun from which they hail, the Havanese is truly the epitome of a companion dog. Their temperament is a melange of charm, vivacity, and an unyielding bond with their human counterparts. Here's a closer look at what makes the Havanese's personality so enchanting. 

Lively and Playful 

A Havanese carries an undying spirit of playfulness. They are always up for a game, be it a frolic in the garden or a fun indoor session. Their agile nature, combined with an insatiable curiosity, often leads them on little adventures around the home, seeking out toys or playmates. 

Deeply Affectionate 

This breed is not one to shy away from showcasing its love. A Havanese thrives on close contact, often shadowing their owners from room to room. Their affinity for lap snuggles and gentle nudges is a testament to their deep-seated affection. 

Intelligent and Alert 

Belying their petite size, the Havanese boasts a sharp intellect. They are quick learners and pick up on cues, both verbal and non-verbal, with ease. This intelligence, paired with a natural alertness, often makes them excellent watchdogs. While they might not have the stature to intimidate, they'll surely let you know with their spirited bark if something's amiss. 

Sociable and Friendly 

Equipped with a social butterfly's disposition, the Havanese gets along famously with both humans and other animals. They're seldom aggressive, making them wonderful companions for families with children or other pets. 


Whether residing in a bustling apartment in the city or sprawling suburban homes, the Havanese adapts with remarkable ease. Their temperament is such that they're content as long as they're with their loved ones. 


It's essential to remember that beneath their jovial exterior lies a sensitive soul. Havanese dogs do not take well to harsh treatment or being left alone for extended periods. They yearn for company and a gentle hand to guide them. 

The Havanese is a delightful package of joy, wit, and loyalty. Their temperament makes them suitable for a myriad of households, from singles seeking a loyal companion to families desiring a playful, kid-friendly pet. The key to a happy Havanese lies in understanding and nurturing their inherent need for companionship and affection. 

Havashu Temperament 

cuddly havashu

Marry the cheerful spirit of the Havanese with the tenacious zest of the Shih Tzu, and you get the Havashu—a breed that brings together the best of both worlds. This hybrid's temperament reflects a harmonious blend of its parent breeds, creating a dog that is as affectionate as it is animated. Dive in to discover the multifaceted personality of the delightful Havashu. 

Energetic and Enthusiastic 

The Havashu is brimming with energy and enthusiasm. Their zest for life shines through in every little tail wag and playful romp. Whether it's a game of fetch or a simple walk around the block, these dogs embrace every activity with unbridled excitement. 

Loyal to the Core 

One of the defining traits of the Havashu is their unwavering loyalty to their human family. They form deep bonds with their owners, often proving to be shadow-like in their commitment to stick by their side. 

Sharp and Observant 

With a keen intellect inherited from both parents, the Havashu is a quick study. They are observant, often picking up on household routines and even the moods of their owners. This sharpness, combined with an innate curiosity, can sometimes lead to mischievous explorations if not channeled correctly. 

Sociably Spirited 

Blessed with an outgoing personality, Havashus usually have no qualms about making friends, be it with humans or other pets. Their amiable nature makes them a hit in social gatherings and playdates. 

Gentle Yet Tenacious 

Their Shih Tzu lineage blesses the Havashu with a certain tenacity, making them determined little furballs. However, this never overshadows their inherent gentleness, especially when they interact with their loved ones. 

Responsive to Affection 

Like their Havanese parent, Havashus thrive on love and affection. They respond warmly to gentle strokes and kind words, often reciprocating with affectionate gestures of their own. 

Adaptable, But Seek Companionship 

Havashus, while being adaptable to different living environments, have a pronounced dislike for being left alone. Their ideal day is spent in the comforting presence of their family, engaging in playful activities or simply lounging around. 

The Havashu offers a well-rounded temperament that's both lively and loving. They make for ideal companions in households that can offer ample time, affection, and a touch of spirited play. As with any breed, understanding and catering to the unique needs of the Havashu is pivotal in fostering a strong, enduring bond.

Havanese vs Havashu Temperament Comparison 

Embarking on the journey of pet ownership can be both thrilling and daunting, especially when choosing between two breeds as endearing as the Havanese and the Havashu. Both breeds boast a temperament that's rich in affection, loyalty, and vivacity. However, subtle nuances distinguish them, shaping the unique essence of each breed. Let's delve into an insightful comparison of these two charismatic canines. 

Energy and Playfulness

Havanese: A bundle of joy, the Havanese is spirited and loves interactive play sessions. They're often described as "happy-go-lucky," taking pleasure in simple games and activities. 

Havashu: With their blended heritage, Havashus are a tad more energetic than the Havanese. Their Shih Tzu lineage adds a dash of spunk, making them particularly enthusiastic in their play. 

Loyalty and Attachment

Havanese: This breed is deeply bonded to its family, often forming strong attachments to all members, young and old. Their loyalty is unwavering, making them superb companions. 

Havashu: Much like the Havanese, Havashus are fiercely loyal. They tend to shadow their favorite person around the home, showcasing their deep-rooted bond. 

Intellectual Curiosity

Havanese: Possessing a sharp intellect, Havanese dogs are quick learners. They're observant and have a keen sense of their surroundings, making them responsive pets. 

Havashu: Marrying the intelligence of the Havanese with the alertness of the Shih Tzu, the Havashu is both sharp and curious. They often showcase a penchant for exploration, driven by their innate curiosity. 


Havanese: Generally amiable, the Havanese is friendly and open to making new friends. Their gentle demeanor makes them approachable and cherished in social settings. 

Havashu: Equally sociable, Havashus radiate warmth in gatherings, actively seeking interaction. Their outgoing nature can often lead them to be the center of attention. 

Tenacity vs. Gentleness

Havanese: While gentle at heart, the Havanese can be persistent when they set their minds on something. Their tenacity is usually channeled into play or seeking affection. 

Havashu: With the Shih Tzu's tenacity in their genes, Havashus can be more determined in their pursuits. Yet, this never overshadows their innate gentleness, which remains a core trait. 


Havanese: Flexible in nature, the Havanese can adapt to varied living environments, be it a city apartment or a suburban home. However, they flourish best with consistent companionship. 

Havashu: Sharing a similar adaptability, Havashus, too, can thrive in different settings. Their primary need? The loving presence of their human family. 

Havanese vs Havashu: Appearance 

Havanese Appearance 

white havanese dog

The Havanese, often referred to as the "national dog of Cuba," embodies a unique blend of elegance, charm, and robustness in its appearance. This small yet sturdy breed captivates hearts not just with its temperament but also with its distinctive look. Here's an in-depth exploration of the Havanese's enchanting exterior. 


Standing at about 8.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 7 to 13 pounds, the Havanese falls into the small dog category. Their compact size makes them a favorite for city dwellers and those seeking a portable companion. 


One of the most distinctive features of the Havanese is its luxuriant double coat. Silky to the touch, this coat can range from straight to wavy, with a soft and fluffy undercoat. While many cherish the breed's long, flowing locks, some owners opt for a shorter "puppy cut" for easier maintenance. 

Color Varieties 

The Havanese showcases a delightful array of coat colors, offering potential owners a veritable palette to choose from. Common colors include white, black, gold, blue, silver, chocolate, and many shades in between. Furthermore, they can be solid, brindle, or even parti-colored. 

Facial Features 

A Havanese's face is an emotive canvas. Their almond-shaped, dark brown eyes exude warmth and intelligence, while their black button nose adds a touch of cuteness. With a broad skull and a moderate muzzle length, their face achieves a balanced, expressive look. 


Set slightly above the eye line, their folded ears drape down, framing their face with a touch of elegance. When attentive, the base of the ear lifts, but the tips maintain their graceful drop. 


The tail of a Havanese adds to their graceful silhouette. Carried up and over the back, it often forms a plume that either rests on the body or to its side, giving them a distinctive, proud stance. 


Beyond their charming face and luxurious coat, the Havanese possesses a robust body. Their back is strong and slightly arched, leading to muscular hindquarters. Their well-boned legs provide them with a sprightly gait that's both fluid and lively. 

Havashu Appearance 

cute havashu puppy

Merging the visual aesthetics of the Havanese and the Shih Tzu, the Havashu emerges as a delightful blend of both parent breeds. This little canine is the epitome of sophistication and allure, captivating many with its distinctive features.  


Typically mirroring the compact stature of its parent breeds, the Havashu stands between 8 to 12 inches at the shoulder. Their weight averages from 8 to 15 pounds, placing them comfortably in the small dog bracket. This manageable size makes them ideal companions for both urban and suburban settings. 


The Havashu's coat is an artwork in itself, combining the silky essence of the Havanese with the dense quality of the Shih Tzu. Generally wavy or curly, the coat can sometimes present in a straighter fashion, depending on genetic influence. Maintenance can vary based on coat type, with some owners opting for the low-maintenance "puppy trim." 

Color Varieties 

A canvas of colors awaits potential Havashu owners. Drawing from the rich color lineage of both parents, the Havashu can sport shades ranging from white, black, sable, gold, silver, to chocolate and combinations thereof. Their coats might be solid, mixed, or carry distinctive patterns. 

Facial Features 

The Havashu's face is a delightful merger of the expressive Havanese and the imperial Shih Tzu. Their eyes, mostly dark and round, radiate a gentle curiosity. Complemented by a cute, slightly upturned nose and a well-defined muzzle, their face captures a myriad of expressions. 


The Havashu's ears, set at or just below eye level, cascade down the sides of their head. Often fringed with soft hair, they further enhance the breed's elegant appearance, lifting slightly when the dog is alert. 


The tail of a Havashu is reminiscent of a graceful feathered plume. It arcs over their back, sometimes resting against their body or draping to one side, embodying the pride and joy of their lineage. 


Beyond their delicate visage, the Havashu boasts a sturdy physique. Their slightly rounded back transitions into well-set legs, giving them a nimble and spirited walk. The balance between their strength and gracefulness is evident in their every move. 

Havanese vs Havashu Appearance Comparison 

In the realm of petite dog breeds, both the Havanese and the Havashu shine brightly, each with their distinctive panache. If you're struggling to decide between the silky Havanese or the elegant Havashu, a closer look at their aesthetic attributes might aid your decision. Here's a head-to-head comparison. 


Havanese: Averaging between 8.5 to 11.5 inches tall, the Havanese presents as a small yet sturdy breed. Their weight ranges from 7 to 13 pounds. 

Havashu: Not deviating much from its counterpart, the Havashu stands between 8 to 12 inches, weighing between 8 to 15 pounds. The similarity in size means both breeds are apt for similar living conditions. 

Coat Texture and Maintenance 

Havanese: With a soft, silky double coat that may form loose curls, the Havanese demands regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. 

Havashu: A fusion of silky and dense, the Havashu's coat can be wavy, curly, or occasionally straight. Depending on the coat's nature, grooming requirements might differ, but regular maintenance is advisable for both. 

Color Palette

Havanese: Their spectrum ranges from cream, gold, blue, silver, chocolate, to black and combinations in-between. They might exhibit a solid hue or a blend of colors. 

Havashu: Drawing from a broader palette, the Havashu can don shades from white, sable, gold, silver, to chocolate and beyond. Their coats might be solid, mixed, or patterned. 

Facial Expressions

Havanese: Their almond-shaped eyes convey a world of emotions, from mischief to deep affection, while their button nose and rounded muzzle complete the charming picture. 

Havashu: With round, inquisitive eyes and a slightly upturned nose, the Havashu exudes a gentle curiosity, often bouncing between the playful demeanor of the Havanese and the regal stance of the Shih Tzu. 


Havanese: Their drop ears, set high, add to their expressive nature. 

Havashu: Cascading down the sides, the Havashu's ears often carry a feathery look, framing their face beautifully. 


Havanese: Their plume-like tail, gracefully curling over their back, is a hallmark of the breed. 

Havashu: With a tail arching over their back or sometimes resting against the body, it's a testament to their proud lineage. 

Overall Presence

Havanese: Elegant with a touch of sportiness, the Havanese moves with a sprightly gait. 

Havashu: A harmonious blend of strength and grace, the Havashu has a poised presence, ensuring they're never overlooked. 

Havanese vs Havashu Comparison Conclusion 

It's clear that each breed, with its unique quirks, characteristics, and charms, holds a special allure. But when it comes to making that ultimate decision, a few considerations can simplify your choice. 


Both breeds adapt well to different living situations. If space is a constraint, either breed would fit seamlessly into an apartment setting. However, if you're looking for a more independent pup, the Havanese might be more up your alley. On the other hand, the Havashu might require a bit more attention and company, drawing from its Shih Tzu lineage. 


If you're not a fan of frequent grooming, remember that the Havanese's silky coat does demand regular care to keep it mat-free and gleaming. The Havashu, while it does need grooming, might be slightly less intensive, depending on its coat type. 

Activity Level 

Energetic by nature, the Havanese would love play sessions, albeit short ones, interspersed through the day. The Havashu, while playful, may have a slightly more relaxed demeanor. If you have a bustling household with kids or other pets, the Havanese might meld better. For quieter homes, the Havashu's calm might be a perfect match. 

Longevity and Health 

Generally robust, both breeds can be expected to be by your side for a good number of years. It's essential, however, to be aware of potential breed-specific health issues and ensure regular vet check-ups. 

Final Words 

The choice between the Havanese and the Havashu is indeed a delightful dilemma to have. Both breeds, with their affable natures, endearing personalities, and attractive appearances, make for wonderful companions. Your decision should hinge on what aligns best with your lifestyle, preferences, and what you're seeking in a canine companion. 

Remember, adopting a pet is a long-term commitment, a journey of mutual love, understanding, and growth. Whether you choose the spirited Havanese or the gentle Havashu, you're set to embark on an adventure filled with tail wags, affectionate cuddles, and countless cherished moments. Whichever path you choose, the road ahead promises to be rewarding.