We’ve all seen poodles, right? They’ve got those cute haircuts with puffy tails, puffy ears, and maybe even puffy legs! Okay, now, can you imagine that funky haircut on a small Havanese?
If you can, then you’ve got yourself a pretty good idea of what a Havapoo looks like!
Havapoos are a cute hybrid mix of a Havanese and, usually, a miniature Poodle. They have a calm temperament and sparkle behind their eyes, making them one of the most popular designer dogs.
In today’s post, we’ll tell you all about Havapoos, their personality, their health issues, and how to care for them properly. So, get your doggo next to you, and let’s start!
The Breed’s Origin
Nobody knows exactly how the Havapoo came to be around, and very little is known about its history. However, it’s generally theorized that this hybrid breed showed up almost 20 or 30 years ago in the USA.
This was around the time that designer breeds were becoming a trend. Breeders wanted a new dog with the Poodle’s curled coat and the Havanese’s affectionate attitude. So we ended up with the Havapoo!
Though we don’t know the particulars about this breed’s history, we can definitely share its parents’ history with you. Hopefully, it’ll help you understand more about this designer breed.
First off, we have the Havanese dog, also known as the Havana Silk Dog. As you can probably guess, this little dog is from Havana, Cuba. Actually, it’s the only dog breed native to Cuba—it’s even their national dog!
His soft cuddly nature and gentle temperament made him desirable to many of the country’s nobles. They mostly used Havanese as lap dogs and as status symbols.
Whether toy, miniature, or standard size, most of us have seen a curly-coated Poodle somewhere!
Poodles are one the oldest breeds worldwide, originally from Germany. Back then, people used them during hunting trips to help catch ducks and other birds.
This breed’s playful attitude and fascinating coat made it a favorite companion dog among the French nobility—where it became famous.
As per usual with all hybrid dogs, there isn’t a particular set of physical traits that are indicative of the breed.
For example, their coats aren’t a definitive color and can come in black, gray, brown, red, apricot, or white. The dog’s size may also vary depending on its Poodle parent—miniature, toy, or standard size—among other factors.
However, there are some similarities that you could check for. For starters, since the Havapoo’s parents include miniature or toy Poodles, it can be pretty small. They range from 8–15 inches and weigh around 7–30 pounds.
Another similar trait is their small, round head with dark noses and dark eyes. In addition, their heads are adorned with floppy, soft ears nearly falling to their cheeks.
Furthermore, Havapoos have curly or wavy coats ranging from medium to long in length, with a puffy tail at the end. They also have short legs that make them appear as a tiny cloud walking in your home!
Lifespan and Health Issues
Havapoos can live anywhere from 14–16 years with proper care and nutrition.
Additionally, as this breed is a hybrid, it’s usually more disease resistant than other breeds because its genetic makeup isn’t limited to one breed.
Unfortunately, Havapoos can still suffer from various health issues affecting their lifestyle or lifespan. Here are some of the most prominent ones:
No matter how old or young your Havapoo is, cataracts can affect him anytime. Cataracts is an issue that can affect your dog’s eye lenses, making them less transparent—i.e., more opaque.
As the problem festers, you’ll notice that the dog’s vision has grown weaker or, unfortunately, completely gone.
Moreover, Cataracts can also cause more problems besides loss of eyesight as it causes the eyes lens to deteriorate entirely over time. This, sadly, could lead to future surgery.
Cataract usually develops from diabetes, poor diet, chronic uveitis, or a genetic issue. Check for the following signs before taking your Havapoo to the vet:
- Swollen eye/s
- Excessive squinting or blinking
- Bumping into people or furniture
- Increased lethargy
- Cloudy cornea
- Sometimes pupils are different in size and don’t respond to light
Deafness in dogs can be either partial or complete loss of hearing. It can be temporary or permanent, affecting both ears or just one.
When it comes to temporary deafness, it’s usually the result of wax or debris buildup in the ear canal. On the other hand, permanent deafness can result from the dog’s breed, untreated ear infections, head injuries, tumors, or simply old age.
Thankfully, the condition isn’t severe enough to greatly impact your dog’s lifestyle. All you need to do is keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Behavioral changes
- Hard to wake up
- Easy to startle
- Excessive barking
- Unresponsive to regular, everyday sounds and commands
- Unresponsive to their name being called
- Hypothyroidism (Underactive thyroid)
Essentially, hypothyroidism is a problem with your dog’s thyroid gland. It occurs when the glands aren’t producing enough hormones to help regulate body metabolism.
In most cases, it affects middle-aged dogs because of one of two diseases: lymphocytic thyroiditis or idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy. Both conditions still need a lot of research to determine their causes.
The first one, though, seems to be a genetic problem. Signs of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain without any increase the appetite
- Problems with ear and skin infections
- Slow heart rate
- Gets cold quickly
- Dull hair
- Excessive shedding
- High blood cholesterol
If you notice any of these issues, please don’t hesitate to take your Havapoo to the vet for a quick check-up.
- Von Willebrand’s
This disease is one of the most common health problems affecting dogs. Von Willebrand’s is an inherited bleeding disorder that makes it difficult for the blood to clot, leading to excessive bleeding after any minor injury.
The main cause of this condition is a missing or malformed protein called the von Willebrand factor in the bloodstream. There are three types of von Willebrand’s in dogs.
The first type is the most common kind, characterized by low levels of von Willebrand protein in the dog’s blood. The second kind indicates that while there may be a sufficient amount of the protein, they’re malformed and don’t function as they should.
The final type means that your dog has no von Willebrand factor at all, which means that even the slightest wound won’t close and will cause a lot of bleeding.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your Havapoo dog, then it’s best to visit the vet:
- Bloody urine
- Blood in stool
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive or prolonged bleeding after injury
- Patellar Luxation
One of the main causes of lameness in many animals is patellar luxation. And sadly, small breeds, like the Havapoo, are more likely to suffer from this problem than larger breeds.
Patellar luxation is the dislocation of the kneecap from the groove where it usually sits. Mostly, this condition is either congenital or developmental.
However, injuries, such as overstretching your dog’s joints, can increase the likelihood of developing this problem.
If your dog seems to be limping or skipping a lot, and if his limbs often lock in odd angles, then he probably has patellar luxation.
In order to stay away from these numerous health issues, you should go for a trusted breeder with an excellent reputation. A responsible breeder will always perform regular health checks and won’t crossbreed if there’s any risk of genetic defects or inherited diseases.
Temperament and Personality
The first thing you need to know about your Havapoo is that he’s smart. However, he’s not just smart as any puppy out there; he’s very quick-witted and can be a bit naughty too!
His mix of Poodle and Havanese genes makes him very clever, as both breeds are known for their intelligence. As a matter of fact, both dogs were used in circuses to perform in front of people—the Havanese was known as the trick dog!
You’ll find your dog eager to please you and learn new tricks as you go along. However, this cleverness takes us back to their mischievous nature. If your Havapoo is left too long without any mental or physical stimuli to keep him distracted, you might come back to a big mess!
Moreover, you’d be happy to learn that Havapoos are very cuddly and love spending time with their parents and kids. So despite the heavy-handed pets and surprising shouts that children dish out, this tiny fur ball isn’t as daunted by them as you might think.
Sadly, this comes at the cost of separation anxiety. Because Havapoos are very family-oriented, being separated from their owners can leave them feeling nervous and sad.
To avoid this problem, it’s best for someone to stay with them most of the day.
Last but not least, the Havapoos is known for being a calm and gentle breed. You won’t hear a lot of barking or even yelping unless something is happening.
Care and Training Tips for Havapoos
When it comes to caring for your Havapoo, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. The first one is they’re people-pleasers. We’ve already explored their intelligence in the last section and how they love to please their owners.
However, we didn’t mention that this means that even if they’re in pain, they’ll ignore their woes to impress you and get their treat! So, please, take your fur friend to a vet for a quick check-up to ensure he doesn’t have something like patellar luxation that could be affecting him.
Moreover, they don’t need a huge backyard with a fence to play in. So it’s completely fine if you live in a small apartment and want to own a Havapoo.
All you need to do is ensure that the little fellow has enough space to run around and plenty of daily walks and exercises.
If your Havapoo is having trouble following your commands during walks or other exercises, try using positive reinforcement.
This means you’ll need to be extra affectionate—maybe throw in a kiss or a hug when he does something correctly—and offer treats as rewards.
Lastly, remember that because of the Havapoo’s tiny stature, his energy levels aren’t like those of a German Shepard! Therefore, rugged terrains and long walks might not be the best idea.
Even though Havapoos don’t shed as much as other dogs, keeping their coat—which is hypoallergenic!— clean and soft is an essential step in their grooming process. You’ll need to brush his coat at least three times weekly to prevent any matting or dirt from building up.
You’ll also need to pay extra attention to certain areas, like near his eyes, ears, and under his tail. Any unattended extra hair can easily cause infections that’ll harm your dog.
When it comes to trimming your dog’s nails, we recommend doing it every time you feel them scratch or catch on something. Actually, hearing their clickety sound on the floor can be a good indication that it’s time for a nail trim!
You can do this yourself or take your furball to the vet or groomer to do it for you. You also can ask them how they do it, so if you ever need to clip your pet’s nails later on, you’ll know how.
Lastly, you’ll have to bathe your Havapoo regularly to keep its coat clean and fresh. This might be a challenging task as not all dogs are fond of getting wet.
However, you can definitely use the fact that your Havapoo loves to please his owners by playing games to get him into the bath.
The Best Diet for Havapoos
Because Havapoos are generally smaller than most dogs, they don’t require a lot of food throughout their day. However, they do need a sufficient amount that provides them with nutrition and energy.
So, ensure that your Havapoos diet contains enough minerals, vitamins, and protein to help them grow and develop. You can feed him things like vegetables, eggs, beans, and meats to help provide all the necessary sustenance.
Also, remember that your dog may be prone to weight gain because of the possible hypothyroidism mentioned above. So it’s best to keep in mind that adult Havapoos enjoy at least one cup, 250 grams, of kibble per day, divided throughout the day.
Nevertheless, the exact amount can vary depending on your dog’s age, weight, and height. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best amount and what to include in your dog’s diet.
So, how did you find our little guide on Havapoos? Hopefully, it helped you decide whether the Havapoo is a good dog for your home or not.
To give you a quick recap, Havapoos are generally quiet, intelligent dogs that love their families. They’re super easy to train because of their tendency to obey, and they can be great companions for kids.
Lastly, Havapoos make excellent pets for people with allergies because they have hypoallergenic coats.