Why the Havapoo is a perfect fit for every dog owner

Last Updated on April 26, 2023

In the market for a charming, clever companion? Then you’re in the right place! Havapoos are, by nature, friendly pups with a lot of love to give. 

Also known as the Havadoodle, Havanoodle, or Poovanese, this hybrid is a perfect match for just about any dog lover. Keep reading to find out why!

So, what is a Havapoo?

Originating in the United States, this crossbreed is the offspring of the Poodle and Havanese. There isn’t much information available about the Havapoo’s origins, but we know that it’s been recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry since 2009.

Speaking of registries, the Havanoodle is also registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club under the name “Poovanese,” and with the Designer Dogs Kennel Club.

You won’t find any mixed breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but both of the Havapoo’s parents are rather famous purebreds. 

Introducing the intelligent Poodle

Miniature poodle. Outdoor portrait on the blue sky
Miniature Poodle

Did you know that this classic working breed is the National Dog of France? It’s also considered to be the second smartest dog breed.

After being bred to hunt waterfowl in Germany, the Poodle became popular with the French nobility. Smaller Poodles were considered more fashionable, and selective breeding for these petite pooches eventually led to the Miniature and Toy Poodle varieties.

Poodles of all sizes are famous for their hypoallergenic coats. Unlike the Standard Poodle, though, smaller versions of this breed were primarily intended to be companions – not hunting dogs. As a result, they can be a bit more anxious and timid.

Meet the distinguished Havanese

Cute Havanese dog is standing on a rocky mountain in wind, beneath a city landscape

The Havapoo has not only one, but two, nationally-recognized parents. The other half of its family tree, the Havanese, is the National Lapdog of Cuba. These satiny-soft dogs are easily identified by their long hair and characteristic springy step.

This breed traveled with Spanish colonists to Havana, Cuba’s capital city, way back in the 1600s. Like the Poodle, the Havanese became a status symbol for the wealthy.

As a part of AKC’s Toy Group, a full-grown Havanese has an average weight of 8 to 13 pounds (4 to 6 kg) and stands about 8.5 to 11.5 inches (22 to 29 cm) tall.

Related to the Bichon Frise and Maltese, the smart, mischievous Havanese is a canine that’s fluffy but full of spunk.

How cute is the Havanoodle?

With floppy ears and dark eyes, this is one adorable crossbreed. Havapoos are fairly small dogs. You can usually expect them to have rectangular bodies and short legs. In fact, their build closely resembles that of the Havanese.

Your Havadoodle will probably have brown eyes, but depending on their Havanese parent, blue eyes are a possibility. If a blue-eyed crossbreed strikes your fancy, look for a pup with chocolate fur and a pink nose. This color combo is most likely to result in blue peepers.

Between their puppy-dog eyes and lapdog stature, it’s no wonder the Poovanese is such a charmer.

But in this video, the cat is not charmed by the Havapoo’s cuteness and playfulness:

How big do Havapoos get?

On average, Havadoodles are between 8-15 inches (20-38 cm) tall and weigh 7-30 pounds (3-14 kg). Their exact measurements will vary and depend on the size of the Poodle parent. Some Havapoos can tip the scales at 45 pounds! 

Most are fully grown by their first birthday, so as your pup gets closer to the one-year mark, you’ll have a better idea of just how big (or small) your Poovanese is likely to be.

The Havapoo’s size makes it suitable for small apartments or large homes. Your pup will be happy in either environment, as long as you indulge them in plenty of playtime. 

Does the Havapoo’s coat change color?

Any crossbreed’s appearance can be unpredictable, but the Havapoo’s coat is a real wild card. Your Havapoo could have long, silky waves, thick curls, or anything in between.

Usually, Havapoos have a color mixture of brown, grey, tan, white, or black. They’re likely to have white markings on their chest, face, or feet, too. In addition to these colors, your Poovanese could also be apricot, ginger, golden, or red.

Why such an assortment of shades and tones? The AKC lists 16 official colors in the Havanese’s breed standard and 10 in the Poodle’s. When you combine two multi-hued dogs, any number of color combinations is probable. 

And the countless color possibilities are just the tip of the iceberg! Your Havadoodle’s coat can actually change color as they mature. 

It’s important to note that this breed is generally considered to be hypoallergenic, but how much or how little each one will shed can vary from one dog to another. There’s NO guarantee that your particular Havapoo will be low-shedding.

Are Havapoos good family dogs?

This designer breed is described as smart, curious, and just a tad bit stubborn, but they’re famous for being social butterflies. In fact, they’re so good at making friends, and your pup may never know who’s an actual stranger!

So, if you’re looking for a guard dog, this crossbreed isn’t for you. Havadoodles don’t bark much anyway. As long as they get to release all pent up energy for the day, they’re pretty quiet fidos. 

When it comes to kids and other pets such as cats or dogs, Havanoodles are an excellent choice to add to your family. But always supervise young children and bigger canines around your Havanese-Poodle mix. Because of their size, they can get hurt during rough play. It’s simply not worth the risk.

As companion dogs, they like to be near their humans. These dogs benefit from routine and don’t do well when left alone for long periods. Separation anxiety is definitely a concern with this crossbreed (something to consider if your work schedule is demanding or erratic).

When it comes to teaching your pooch the basics, try not to feel frustrated or discouraged if your Havapoo doesn’t get the hang of house training right away. Toy and Miniature breeds with small bladders tend to need more time to become fully housebroken, even with the most consistent regimen.

If you want to use training to level up the purpose of your Havapoo from a family pet to a canine job, these dogs certainly have the brains and personality for service and therapy work.

Look for people or organizations that train service dogs in your area, and have fun teaching your fido to be a community helper.

Caring for your Havapoo

Havadoodles are charming pups, known for their good looks and fluffy fur. This cuteness requires a bit of assistance from their human friends, though.

All this info might help you decide if this furball is the right pet for you.

How to groom the Poodle-Havanese cross?

Depending on your Havapoo’s coat, plan on brushing 2-3 times a week or more. Regular brushing is essential for non-shedding and low-shedding dogs to remove any dead hair while preventing tangles or mats. Baths can be done every month or two, or when necessary.

You’ll also want to check and clean their ears, eyes, and teeth once or twice a week (or more, if your dog needs it). If your Havapoo has weepy eyes, wipe them as needed to keep their fur from staining.

As with most Poodle mixes, you have to do more than basic ear care. Ear plucking is needed to ensure airflow and avoid infection.

Here’s a video on how you can make sure there’s no excess hair and dirt on your Havapoo’s ears:

Once or twice a month, set aside time to trim your Havanoodle’s nails and shampoo their fur.

Twice a year, treat your designer pooch to a professional grooming session to keep their coat in tip-top shape. Puppy cuts and teddy bear cuts are two popular styles for these dogs.

While we’re talking about grooming, let’s go ahead and be totally honest here: some Havapoos smell. If your pup has a funk that just won’t go away, no matter how much you wash them, it’s time to head to the vet.

Their odor could simply be diet-related, or it could indicate an underlying health issue. Either way, it’s best to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.

Exercise: What’s the Havapoo’s average energy level?

A cute Havapoo puppy playing with a ball
Source: @whereswinston___ / IG

The Havanese and Poodle mix require 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, plus a few toys to keep them occupied during downtime. Some Havapoos may be more energetic than others, so don’t be surprised if yours needs a little extra playtime.

These hybrids are great candidates for dog parks or doggy daycares. Just be mindful of their overly-friendly nature. Not all people/dogs respond well to super-social pups.

If you’re letting your Havanoodle play off-leash, especially in an unfenced area, be vigilant. This crossbreed is naturally curious and likes to explore.

Spend time teaching your dog reliable recall and always keep an eye on your Poovanese when they’re outside, just to be safe.

These dogs will usually tolerate outdoor exercise in most climates, but they’ll need special attention during weather extremes.

If winters are particularly cold where you live, find a warm, comfortable coat for your Havapoo.

If your area is known for scorching summer temperatures, limit outside time to mornings or evenings. Keep plenty of freshwater handy, and know the signs of heatstroke in dogs.

Note that this breed likes to play and exercise outdoors, but should not live outside. Their small size, weather sensitivity, and sociability make them much better suited to indoor living.

Weather keeping you and your pup from enjoying a lap around the neighborhood? Brain games are another effective way for your Havapoo to expend some energy. Believe it or not, mental stimulation is as important as physical activities.

The ideal diet for your Havapoo

Your Poovanese will need ½ to 1½ cup of high-quality dry kibbles each day, split into two separate meals to prevent overeating or indigestion.

When choosing a dog food, look for one that’s formulated to your furbaby’s age, activity level, and size. A diet high in protein is usually a good choice for this designer dog.

The best way recommended when feeding dogs is based on their weight. So consider how much calories your Havapoo puppy should consume based on how much she weighs. Generally, an adult Havanese-Poodle mix would consume about 40 calories per pound of its body weight.

That means, if your four-legged friend weighs around 15 pounds (7 kg), she would need to consume about 600 calories a day, divided into two to three meals. She would need approximately 1.6g of fat and 2.62g of protein per kg of her body weight.

For a more specific computation, here’s a calorie calculator you can use.

Are Havapoos healthy?

The Poovanese is generally considered to be a healthy breed. With a lifespan of 10-15 years, you can look forward to many happy moments with your Poodle-Havanese cross.

Still, there is always a chance that they’ll inherit health conditions from their parents. Some of the more common issues include:

  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patella luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Skin allergies

Aside from proper care, regular check-ups, making sure vaccinations are done on time, the health of your pup’s parents will play a significant role in her health. This will lead us to picking a puppy from the right breeder.

Buying: How much are Havapoo puppies?

Designer dogs are in high demand. Expect to pay $800-1,800 for a Havanese-Poodle puppy. Think that’s a wide range? Prices have been known to go as sky-high as $4,500 and as low as $200.

You don’t necessarily want to spend thousands of dollars on your new dog, but you also don’t want to go with the cheapest breeder you can find. Sometimes, low prices mean low breeding standards.

Finding a Reputable Havapoo Breeder

Several people choose to go through breeders to find their perfect four-legged new addition. This route has several advantages, like being able to meet and learn about your dog’s parents. You have to be careful, though. Not all breeders are created equal.

If you decide to go through a breeder, shop around and plan ahead. You’ll want to visit each one in person. Take your time when you go, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Here are a few breeder or kennel options to start your search:

  • Sunny Day Havapoo Puppies (Patriot, OH)
  • Gap Kennels (Sylvania, GA)

Marketplaces like Lancaster Puppies and Greenfield Puppies (serving Pennsylvania and the surrounding states) are worth checking out, too.

BEWARE of breeders claiming to sell Teacup Havapoos. This designer crossbreed isn’t intended to be that small, so best case scenario? Your new pup may just be the runt of the litter. Worst case scenario, the puppy could have an underlying serious health issue.

Adopting a Havapoo

A cute Havanese and Poodle mix puppy holding a chalk board with the words Please Adopt Me

Adopting doesn’t only give a needy fur angel a loving home. This is a great option when getting a new pet as it is usually more affordable as they mostly cost around $300.

Also, those who don’t want to go through all the training and puppy years can pick an adult canine friend instead.

Havanese and Poodle rescue organizations are likely to have adoptable Havanoodles. Frequently, breed rescues will take in hybrids in addition to purebreds.

You can take a look at these organizations to get started:

  • Havanese Rescue, Inc. (Bakersfield, CA)
  • Havanese Angel League Organization for Rescue /HALO (Huntley, IL)
  • Carolina Poodle Rescue (Pacolet, SC)
  • HavaHeart Rescue (Springfield, MO)
  • River View Puppies (Burlington, IA)

Just like you would with a kennel, make an appointment to meet your future Havanoodle and ask as many questions as you can before bringing them home. 

You may not be able to find out much about your dog, but any info the rescue can provide will help you choose the pup that fits your household best. 

How does the Poovanese stack up to other Poodle mixes?

The Havadoodle isn’t the only Doodle with a stellar reputation. Many of these crossbreeds share quite a few desirable qualities, and it can be hard to discern which is best for you.

Here’s a quick guide that may help you make a decision a little easier:

Havapoo vs. Cavapoo

A cute Cavapoo laying in the grass

Cavapoos are the energetic cross between Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. This breed is also known as the Cavoodle, Cavadoo, Cavapoodle, and Cavadoodle.

Personality-wise, these dogs are very similar to Havapoos. Both are an entertaining combo of easygoing and spunky and can adapt to many living situations.

Even if they’re a great family pet and are friendly with little ones, this Doodle has a high prey drive. So, if you have any other canine and feline friends at home, especially smaller pets, this pooch isn’t the right fit for you.

In terms of size, the Cavapoo has a smaller build, which may be a consideration if you prefer a more compact dog. This Poodle mix usually weighs 12 to 25 pounds (5 to 11 kg) and stands 11 to 18 inches (28 to 46 cm) tall.

Havapoo vs. Cockapoo

A close up of a Cockapoo

A mix between Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, Cockapoos boast curly coats, and high trainability.

Also called the Spoodle, Cockadoodle, or Cockapoodle, Cockapoos come from two social, intelligent breeds. They love attention, whether it comes from their family or complete strangers. 

If they go too long without this attention, your Spoodle may have separation anxiety and turn to destructive behaviors to cope with it, like chewing on your couch cushions or barking nonstop.

Other than that, they do well with kids, other dogs, cats, and even smaller pets. 

On average, they weigh 12 to 24 pounds (5 to 11 kg) and measure 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) tall. Like the Havanoodle, they can be bigger or smaller, depending on the Poodle variety. If you’re up for a high maintenance dog just to get a teddy bear fur baby, then Cockapoos might be for you.

Havapoo vs. Yorkie Poo

A sweet little Yorki-Poo puppy sitting on a pink background.
Yorkie Poo

Yorkie Poos are tiny cuties, standing only 7 to 12 inches (18 to 30 cm) tall and weighing in at a mere 3 to 14 pounds (1 to 6 kg).

With the Yorkshire Terrier and Toy Poodle as parents, this feisty hybrid takes the Havadoodle’s confidence and cranks it up a notch. They’re confident and curious fidos, which makes them the perfect companion for fun-loving owners.

The excitability of Yorkipoos requires plenty of training and socialization to instill good manners. Without it, she can develop bad habits, such as excessive barking or poor play behaviors.

Is the Havapoo right for you?

It’s hard not to find something to love about this designer dog. Cheerful and outgoing, the Poovanese will be content in just about any household. If you spend a lot of time away from home, though, your Havanese-Poodle cross might not handle it well.

This lovable crossbreed lives for companionship, so it’s best to include your Doodle as much as you can, and your doggo will be one happy fido.

Are you planning to add a Havadoodle to your pack? Tell us all about it in the comments!


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