While a toy dog, Havanese are sturdy and not overly delicate. The muzzle is full and tapers slightly at the nose. It does not have the appearance of being short or snipy. Length of skull measured from stop to point of occiput is equal to the length of muzzle. The top of the skull is rather flat and the backskull is rounded.
The Havanese has dark brown eyes and almond-shaped lids surrounded by black pigment. The ears, when extended, reach half way to the nose. They arc slightly upward at the base and hang down on the sides of the head without touching the face. The tail is carried arched forward up over the back. While the tail’s long plume of hair falls on the body, the tail itself never touches the back.
Although there are a few arguments on whether the original Havanese were all white or of different colors, modern Havanese are acceptable in all coat colors and patterns. All colored dogs should have a black nose and black pigment around the eyes, with the exception of chocolate (brown) dogs, which may have dark brown pigment on their nose instead. Examples of coat colors are white, cream, fawn, red, chocolate brown, beige, gold, silver, blue, and black. The coat may be one solid color or have markings in one or more other colors. For example, sable, brindle, black & tan, Tri-color, Irish pied, parti colored, belton, or piebald, black and white, beige black, and white.
The Havanese is a toy dog. It is smart and can be easily trained. It is best to train this dog at a young age, because some habits will stick as they become older.
This breed is very smart and can be house trained faster than most toy dogs. The Havanese get very attached and are very loyal to their owners, and often attach to one person which they will closely follow. As a result, the Havanese does not do well in a household where it will be left alone all day. Although the Havanese is an active and lively dog, they are small enough that many of their exercise needs can be met in a house or yard, and therefore they do not require as much vigorous exercise as other breeds may. However, exercise is still necessary for this breed to be happy and healthy. These dogs love to play and be outside. The Havanese is satisfied when their owner is satisfied.
Havanese are generally healthy and sturdy with relatively few serious health issues. Havanese suffer primarily from luxating patella, liver disease, heart disease, cataracts and retinal dysplasia. Havanese sometimes tear and may develop brown tear stains, especially noticeable on white or light coats.