Petit, family-oriented and adorable, the Havapoo is the perfect companion for anyone seeking a cuddly teddy bear dog.
In fact, when it comes to designer dog breeds, the Havapoo might just be one of the most popular. This is a cross between two highly intelligent and affectionate dogs, and he’s small enough to be portable yet compact enough to be more sturdy than many other toy breeds.
Have you fallen head over heels in love with the Havapoo mix? Then today’s article is just for you! We’re learning all about the Havapoo in the hopes of helping you discover if this would be the best addition to your home or family.
Let’s get started!
What Is A Havapoo? Introducing The Havanese Poodle Mix!
The Havapoo is a cross between the Poodle and the Havanese.
Type: Crossbreed, Designer Dog, Crossbreed or Mix
Parent Breeds: The Teacup or Toy Poodle and the Havanese
Also Known As: The Island Mini Doodle, The Havadoodle, and the Poovanese
Average Height: 8 to 15 Inches
Average Weight: 7 to 20 Pounds
Temperament: Affectionate, Intelligent, Playful, Sweet, Gentle, Trainable, Eager to Please
Best Suited For: Attentive Owners, Loving Families, Owners With A Flexible Schedule
Health Issues: Hypothyroidism, Skin Allergies, Dental Disease, Deafness, Addison’s Disease, Patella Luxation, Cataracts and Epilepsy
Lifespan: 10 to 15 Years
Clubs that Recognize The Havapoo: None
Havapoo Breed Overview:
The Havapoo is a darling dog crossed with the Miniature or Teacup Poodle and the Havanese. Hypoallergenic, intelligent and playful, Havapoo dogs make excellent additions to a variety of homes.
They are adaptable and don’t require much in the way of exercise, though they are incredibly devoted little companions known to suffer from serious separation anxiety if left on their own for too long.
A crossbreed dog, the Havapoo is not recognized by most major breed clubs, though that hasn’t stopped this hybrid from being one of the most popular designer dogs in the canine kingdom.
Havapoos are currently some of the most sought after Poodle mix dogs as they do well in a variety of environments and with children and other pets.
Is the Havapoo the right dog for you? Before you decide, let’s learn a bit more about the designer dog debate!
What Is A Designer Dog? Understanding The Crossbreed Controversy
Havapoo dogs are crossbreeds, which means they’re neither purebreed nor are they mutts.
Havapoo dogs are newer to the scene when compared to many of their other canine companions. In fact, they weren’t very well known until about 10 years ago. This is around the time the trend of Poodle mixes hit the scene, with everyone and their uncle seeking hybrid dogs with Poodle-like coats to reduce allergy problems due to dander and shedding.
Although the Labradoodle could be considered the trend setter of these types of hybrids, doodle dogs and their popularity exploded with toy dogs like the Havapoo, especially when dog lovers everywhere discovered how undeniably cute these teddy-bear lookalikes really were.
When it comes to designer dogs, many people spend just as much if not more than they would for a purebred dog when buying through a breeder.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the crossbreed controversy.
What Is A Designer Dog?
Also known as a crossbreed, hybrid or mixed breed, a designer dog is the purposefully chosen offspring of two carefully selected purebred parents. In the Havapoo’s case, these parent breeds include the Poodle and the Havanese.
Hybrid dogs are different from mutts because they’re “purposefully designed” but they’re not quite purebreds because they’re still, well, mixed.
This means they fall into their own category, where many traits and qualities are unpredictable or left up to genetics.
Although crossbreeding dogs has been going on for centuries, it typically takes generations of careful breeding for a crossbreed dog to be considered a purebred. Purebred dogs are dogs who have predictable traits when it comes to health, temperament and appearance.
For newer generation hybrid dogs like the Hvapoo, these traits are difficult to determine, as Havapoos may be more like a Poodle in some ways and more like a Havanese in others. This is especially true if you have newer generation hybrid dogs.
However, there are some benefits to raising a crossbreed, including what is known as hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor is the idea that crossbreed dogs may actually be healthier than purebred dogs thanks to their widened gene pool.
While this does seem promising and many experts back this theory, others suggest that crossbreed dogs like the Havapoo may be at just as much risk of serious genetic health issues as their purebred parent breeds.
We should note that Havapoo dogs may also have a longer list of health issues to contend with seeing as they have two different purebred parents with different types of ailments they may be predisposed to.
Of course, all dogs can be prone to genetic health issues, and there are many ways you can work to combat health problems in your Havapoo if this is truly the dog you have your heart set on!
One of the ways you can combat potential health issues and even behavioral issues in your Havapoo mix is to have a good understanding of where he comes from.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about the Havapoo dog’s parent breeds, starting with the Havanese!
Meet The Havanese
The Havanese is a small breed of hypoallergenic dog bred for companionship.
The Havanese is an ancient dog specifically bred for companionship in Cuba. In fact, Havapoo dogs are the national dog of Cuba and considered the country’s only native breed.
Descendants of several now extinct toy dogs, the Havapoo is a Bichon-type dog beloved for his gorgeous coat, adoring temperament and infectious disposition.
This little dog has “sweet” written from his nose to tail. He can range in size from seven to 13 pounds, and makes an excellent companion for a variety of committed owners.
However, as a bred companion dog, the Havanese can become quite anxious when left on his own. He can be prone to barking and destructive behaviors if not kept busy, and does best in homes with loving, attentive families and owners with flexible schedules.
Because the Havapoo is a smaller dog that does not require too much exercise, he also makes a wonderful lap dog and companion for seniors!
Meet The Toy Poodle
The Toy Poodle is a friendly, athletic dog bred for hunting and water retrieving.
Havapoo dogs are a mix between the sweet-natured Havanese and the spirited, intelligent Poodle. Poodles come in three size varieties, but when it comes to the Havapoo you are most likely going to get a mix of Havanese and Toy or Miniature Poodle.
Miniature and Toy Poodles can range in size from six to 17 pounds, which can have an impact on your Havapoo.
The good news is that you have a bit of variety here when it comes to choosing your Havapoo’s size, as smaller Poodle parents will lead to smaller Havapoo puppies and larger parents to larger puppies.
Poodles are famous for a few things – they are incredibly intelligent, they have curly hypoallergenic coats, and they are superb comedians.
Originally bred as water dogs in Germany, Poodles played many roles throughout their history. These roles included coveted lap dogs and beautiful purse dogs for noblewomen of France to street and circus performers!
These dogs love being the star of any show, and they are very eager to please which makes them super simple to train.
However, Poodles are a bit more active than their Havanese counterparts. A Poodle Havanese mix may require a bit more exercise and mental stimulation than a Havanese alone.
What else can you expect out of your Havapoo mix? It’s time to talk about temperament!
What Is The Havapoo’s Temperament Like?
Havapoos are smart and people oriented.
Havapoo dogs are all things sweet, as we mentioned above. They are friendly, playful, affectionate and gentle, and do excellent in homes with children and other pets including both dogs and cats!
However, if your Havapoo inherits his Poodle parent’s temperament, he may have a good prey drive. This could mean he might be prone to taking off after smaller animals both inside and outside the home, so it’s best not to leave your Havapoo unsupervised around small pets like rodents, birds and reptiles.
Outside of this potential prey drive, Havapoo dogs are highly people oriented. They are often known as velcro dogs, which means they will follow their owners from room to room simply to be near them.
These pups can become very depressed and anxious if left on their own for too long, and they are not ideally suited for owners with very busy schedules who cannot be home often.
On the flip side, Havapoos do excellently with seniores, singles, retirees and families so long as their needs are being met! Larger Havapoo dogs are sturdy enough to play with youngsters in the home, though it’s very important to always moniter young children around your family dog.
If you plan on raising your Havapoo with children, we recommend always supervising very small children around your Havapoo to ensure he is being treated appropriately. We also suggest that you work with age-appropriate children on understanding basic canine body language.
Doing this can help reduce stress and anxiety for your Havapoo and will help ensure everyone is getting along safely and happily.
Because of his small size and friendly demeanor, the Havapoo can also make an excellent apartment dog. He can be vocal from time to time but since training a Havapoo is so easy, it is possible to train this hybrid when to bark and stop barking on command!
Havapoo dogs also make wonderful travel companions, and enjoy going really anywhere their people are going. These dogs truly love being a part of their human family.
How Do You Groom A Havapoo Dog?
Havapoo coat types can vary and they’ll need consistent care.
While the Havapoo is low maintenance in many areas, grooming may not be one of them. This is a dog that can come with different textured coats depending on his generation of crossbreed and his genetics.
For example, if the Havapoo inherits his Havnese parent breed’s coat, his fur will be more hair-like. It can grow long and silky and care will need to be taken to keep it free of tangles and mats. This hair should also be kept out of your Havapoo’s eyes during play, as this can lead to an increase in tear stains and eye irritation.
Because you can’t show the Havapoo in formal competitions, many owners opt to keep their Havapoo trimmed in a puppycut. This helps reduce maintenance when it comes to grooming, especially if your dog inherits his Havanese parent’s coat.
If your Havapoo looks more like his Poodle parent breed, he may have a tightly curled coat that will need to be brushed and trimmed routinely. Again, because Havapoos are not meant to be show dogs, many owners will trim their dogs down into a puppy cut.
One of the great things about the Havapoo is that this is a hypoallergenic dog. While this doesn’t mean he does not shed 100%, it does mean that he sheds less than many other breeds and even produces less allergy inducing dander. For this reason, the Havapoo makes the ideal companion for those who suffer from allergies.
Still, the Havapoo should be brushed at least once or twice a week using a dematting comb. He should also be bathed once every two to three weeks using a dog-safe shampoo and conditioner. His nails will need to be trimmed or ground down often using a nail trimmer or doggy nail grinder.
Havapoo dogs can be prone to ear infections, so it’s important to keep an eye on their ears and keep them clean and free of debris, waxy buildup and moisture.
Last, remember that small breed dogs like the Havapoo are often at higher risk of dental disease. You can combat dental disease by ensuring you brush your Havapoo’s teeth once a day using a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste or canine dental wipes.
Pet MD Dog Dental Wipes
For smaller dogs, we recommend using a combination of dental chews and wipes to help stay on top of their dental health. The above dental wipes by Pet MD are flavored with apple and mint to help reduce bad breath and even remove plaque and tartar buildup on teeth.
The wipes come pre-soaked in 100 textured swabs to make keeping your dog’s breath fresh and his teeth healthy easier.
Tips On Properly Training and Socializing Your Havapoo
Havapoos are generally eager to please and easy to train.
The Havapoo is not only a friendly and family oriented dog, but he’s also an eager to please, highly trainable companion that is a joy to work with. He is so devoted to his people that he will see any opportunity to make you happy as a great reward!
Of course, like all dogs, the Havapoo does best when trained using positive reinforcement techniques that utilize treats and praise. Though this is a dog that is super eager to please, he can quickly shut down if he feels he has displeased you.
Scolding your dog or using aversive training methods may actually make training more difficult and can even lead to a deterioration in the bond built between you and your Havapoo.
Instead, use lots of gentle praise and encouragement to get your Havapoo to listen, and of course use quality training treats to keep your dog’s focus.
Pupford Freeze Dried Training Treats
When it comes to training your Havapoo, it’s important to not only use praise and treats, but to use high-value training treats that will capture and keep your dog’s attention. Some wonderful training treats for the Havapoo are the above Pupford freeze dried training treats. They are small, low in calories, and come in several different recipes and protein types including chicken, rabbit, liver, salmon and sweet potato.
The treats are natural and free of additives or preservatives, and they are small, chewy and very smelly. This combination makes them ideal for training small breed dogs like the Havapoo to ensure they are focused and driven.
You can begin training your Havapoo as early as the day you bring him home from the breeder or shelter, and you should continue working with him and training him throughout the rest of his life.
It’s also important to ensure you socialize your Havapoo during puppyhood. Properly socializing your Havapoo can help reduce anxiety, stress and other issues that may lead to destruction and fear-based behavior problems down the road.
To properly socialize your Havapoo, it’s important to introduce him to as many new experiences as possible at an early age. Avoid forcing your dog to do things that clearly frighten him and instead encourage him to explore the world around him using positive reinforcement methods and patience.
Training treats may also come in handy during socialization to help your dog associate new experiences with something positive.
How To Keep Your Havapoo Exercised and Mentally Stimulated
The Havapoo is a family-oriented dog, and he can be prone to separation anxiety if he’s not kept mentally stimulated when he’s alone.
Havapoos make excellent companions for less active owners because they can have their exercise needs met in a variety of ways. With that being said, they do require at least 30 minutes of dedicated exercise each and every day to ensure they are happy and healthy.
Exercise can include brisk walks through the neighborhood, games of fetch or chase in the yard, or even adventures to the local dog park where the Havapoo can play with other dogs of his same size.
When you are walking your Havapoo, be sure you walk him on a proper leash and harness, like the one listed below.
Gooby Comfort Head and Harness
Like other small breed dogs, the Havapoo can be more prone to suffering from tracheal collapse, especially if pressure is put on his throat during walks. To combat this, we recommend investing in a quality dog harness specifically designed for small breed dogs and specifically designed to reduce choking.
The above dog harness by the Gooby Store is one such harness that not only helps reduce pulling, but it has a patented X design that helps reduce and even prevent choking on small dogs during walks. The harness is available in several different sizes and a variety of colors.
Along with routine exercise, Havapoos will also need daily mental stimulation.
For the most part, they can be kept happy being right next to you, but when you’re away you might consider investing in puzzle toys, treat balls, KONGS, and other items that can help keep your Havapoo busy and active to keep him from becoming stressed or anxious while alone.
The Havapoo’s Health And LIfespan
Havapoo dogs have an average lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, though some can live longer.
Havapoo dogs are relatively healthy little pups with an average lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Because they are crossbreeds, they have the benefit of hybrid vigor, which is the idea that they have less of a chance of developing certain genetic health issues due to their widened gene pool.
Of course, that’s not to say they are free and clear of developing health issues. The truth is, the Havapoo can still be susceptible to any and all of the same health issues as his purebred parent breeds.
These health issues include:
- Skin Allergies
- Dental Disease
- Addison’s Disease
- Patella Luxation
- And Epilepsy
You can help combat certain health issues by ensuring you keep your Havapoo on a quality diet specified for his age, weight and activity level. Avoid dog foods that contain fillers or additives including soy, corn, wheat, gluten or byproducts.
Instead, choose dog food for small breed dogs that contains fatty acids, carbohydrates, real animal meat protein, vitamins, minerals, and a good source of water.
You can also help reduce the chances of certain health issues by ensuring you get your Havapoo from a reputable source, keep up with proper grooming habits and routine exercise, as well as scheduled vet visits.
Are You The Ideal Owner For A Havapoo?
These little dogs can do well in family settings and adore their people, but they are prone to injury if handled too roughly.
The Havapoo is a low maintenance, sweet and affectionate dog, but he’s not the ideal dog for every household or owner.
These dogs become very bonded to their people and are best suited for owners or families who have flexible schedules and can be home with them often. They can do well in smaller spaces and apartments, and get along famously with children and other pets.
However, keep in mind that smaller Havapoo dogs can be prone to easy injury if they are played with too roughly by small children or larger dogs, so it’s important to supervise your Havapoo when he’s around youngsters or other pets.
So, is a Havapoo dog the right dog for you? If so, buckle up because we’re going to talk about just how much this darling dog will cost you.
How Much Is A Havapoo Puppy Or Rescue?
Havapoo dogs are very popular, so buying a puppy might be costly.
Havapoo puppies are extremely popular, and this can be a double-edged sword when it comes to finding a Havapoo through breeders.
On average, Havapoo puppies can cost between $800 and $1,800 when going through a reputable source. Sadly, not all Havapoo breeders are as focused on responsible breeding practices as they should be, so we do have some tips and advice you should follow when looking for a quality breeder.
First, stay away from backyard breeders, online sellers, uncertified breeders or those selling puppies for much more or much less than you know them to be worth. It’s also very important to ask plenty of questions of your breeder.
Remember, when going through reputable breeders, you should be provided with a certificate of health proving your puppy has been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
Some breeders may also be able to show you your puppy’s parents so you can get a good idea of your dog’s generation and what he or she may grow up to look like.
When it comes to finding a Havapoo puppy through a breeder you trust, it’s not uncommon to be put on a wait list. Though it may feel frustrating, it’s much better to wait to get a healthy puppy through a responsible breeder than to jump the gun and get a puppy that could wind up with serious health and behavioral issues down the road, which is heartbreaking for everyone.
You also have the option of adopting your Havapoo through a shelter or rescue, though this could take some time and patience on your part as well.
Adopting a dog has many benefits. You’re not only offering a dog in need a good and loving home, but rescuing is less costly than going through a breeder. You also may be able to get an adult dog whose coat and size is better established.
Some adult Havapoo dogs at rescues may have also already been spayed or neutered, and many have even been microchipped.
Regardless of which route you choose when it comes to obtaining your Havapoo, just remember that this is a hybrid dog that requires lots of love and attention from his owner.
Is that owner you?
Tell us what you think about Havapoo dogs in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.