7-30 lbs

What is a Havapoo? Petite and lightweight, the Havapoo is an intelligent lap dog type that fits amicably into a house or apartment of any size. It’s a friendly and loyal breed that will turn heads in the park. Intelligent and gentle, Havapoos are perfect for anyone looking for a calm, affectionate dog that can be trusted around children.

In this intro guide to the Havapoo, you’ll learn:
  • This designer dog is a hybrid breed, a mix of a Havanese and a Poodle
  • Typical characteristics are a playful nature and high intelligence
  • Havapoos can be prone to hearing loss
  • They can get bored easily, so need mental stimulation 

Havapoo breed overview

The Havapoo is a wonderful and affectionate designer dog. A cross between a Havanese and a Poodle, it exhibits the characteristics of both parents, with some dogs sharing more Havanese and others more Poodle. The Havapoo is also known as the Poovanese.

It’s a small dog with wavy fur that would be great for any household. One thing it needs a lot of is attention, so any Havapoo owner needs to understand this – even if its little legs means that it doesn’t need a vast amount of exercise, typical Havapoos will always be on the lookout for lots of cuddles and plenty of play.

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purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Havanese and Poodle

Havapoo Health

Average Size
Male Havapoo size stats
Height: 8-15 inches Weight: 7-30 lbs
Female Havapoo size stats
Height: 8-15 inches Weight: 7-30 lbs

Havapoo Breed History

With one parent from Cuba and one from Germany, every Havapoo dog has an exciting lineage. But its history isn’t altogether clear; unlike some breeds, there is no one breeder responsible for designing this attractive cross.

There seems to be a consensus that the Havapoo began life in the US in the last 30 years or so, as the fashion for poodle hybrids hotted up. Breeders wanted to create mixed breeds that retained the Poodle’s attractive traits — intelligence, affection, hypoallergenic fur — while bringing other characteristics to the table. In the case of the Havanese, the little national dog of Cuba, this meant cheerfulness, playfulness, and companionability. 

The Havapoo isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club but is recognized by various other bodies, including the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the American Canine Hybrid Club. 

Havapoo Breed Appearance

In appearance the full grown Havapoo is, shall we say, petite. A typical Havapoo’s size is in the region of 8-15 inches. Weighing a tiny amount, this is a dog that is extremely easy to pick up (and generally very happy for you to do so). With short legs and floppy ears, the breed is an absolute cutie, coming in a wide range of colors that include tan, silver, and ‘blue’. There’s also a black Havapoo. All Havapoos will have eyes in a lovely dark brown color; a fluffy tail; and a gorgeous little black nose.

This is a breed with a lightweight, luxurious coat. Silky to stroke, the Havapoo and its fur are considered hypoallergenic so are obviously perfect pets for anyone who can’t deal with the malting fur of countless other breeds. (We should note that it is never possible to entirely rule out allergy problems in the case of ‘hypoallergenic’ dogs.)

Havapoo Breed Maintenance

Havapoos don’t require a huge amount of exercise, so short regular walks — one or two a day — are a great idea. 

As far as grooming goes, they don’t need a great deal. Brush your Havapoo a few times a week and give it a bath every month or two. Do Havapoos shed? They don’t, not much. As mentioned, this makes them great for people with allergies, and it also means that your home will benefit from not being covered in fur.

Remember, especially because Havapoos can have problems with their ears, that you should discuss with a vet exactly how best to maintain your furry one’s ears. They might advise plucking hairs to minimize infection risk.

Havapoo health risks

No dog is guaranteed to always have perfect health, and, while you can expect your Havapoo to lead a long and healthy life if it’s cared for well (a typical Havapoo lifespan is around 10-15 years), the breed is particularly susceptible to some problems that include:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Deafness
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy

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Patellar luxation

Patellar luxation (often spelled ‘patella luxation’) is quite common in smaller dogs, particularly toy breeds. Usually hereditary, it’s a disorder that means that the kneecap is dislocated from the dog’s knee joint. It can be quite painful for the dog (graded from 1 to 4) and it is almost always the rear legs that are affected. Make sure that if your Havapoo has patellar luxation you take it to the vet to be treated.


Not many toy-type breeds suffer from this condition but the Havapoo does. Hypothyroidism can be tricky to spot because the symptoms — which can be one of about 25 different things — will often lead vets in a different direction. The condition - often attributed to an underactive thyroid gland - causes the hormones in a dog’s thyroid to fall out of balance, slowing down the animal’s metabolism. 

At its most serious, the condition can cause a dog to go into paralysis or even a coma. But it’s easily treated, so make sure you treat it and the symptoms will go away, allowing your dog to live its life freely.


If your Havapoo is failing to respond to stimuli like squeaky toys and their name being called, they may well be suffering from some form of deafness or hearing loss. This is a problem that can be particularly common in Havapoos. A vet will need to look into your dog’s ear as soon as possible and check for any obstructions or tumors or inflammation, among other things. The condition is often temporary, especially if it has been caused by an infection, but if it’s contracted later in life, it may well be permanent; a sign that your dog’s nerves are degenerating as it gets older. 

Addison’s disease

It’s not just your Havapoo who might get Addison’s disease. The condition affects humans as well as dogs. If you notice that your dog has lost weight or appetite, has diarrhea or vomiting, or is feeling weak, you will need to look out for Addison’s. Your dog’s endocrine functioning won’t be taking place because its adrenal glands aren’t making enough hormones. 

It’s a condition that is more common in female dogs and means that the balance in the animal’s metabolic and electrolytes can be adversely affected, making it harder for the dog to regulate the amount of water, salt and potassium in its body.


Here’s another one that can also affect humans, as we well know. An extremely common issue in dogs, cataracts are caused by the eye’s inability to hydrate the lens. The result of this problem is that the eye clouds up and afflicts the dog with partial (or sometimes total) loss of vision. So, if you notice any discoloration in the eye, or if your Havapoo is bumping into anything, stay alert. Left untreated, cataracts can get worse, of course, so make sure you have them treated when you can. 


It can be scary and very unpleasant when a dog suffers an epileptic shock. Occurring at any time, whether your dog is awake or asleep, an epileptic seizure might last between 30 and 90 seconds. Like many conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all explanation for why epilepsy might occur in a Havapoo but the problem could be an internal one, pertaining to its kidneys, for example, or it might be related to an infection or a brain tumor. 

Your dog won’t be able to control its movements and it may even lose consciousness. When it is happening, keep your hands away from its mouth and speak to it gently. A vet might give the dog daily medication; is likely to do a blood test; and may supply intravenous diazepam if the seizures are particularly severe.

Feeding a Havapoo - what’s the best food?

Your Havapoo’s precise diet will depend on plenty of personal factors, including its exact size, but always try to provide it with a well-rounded diet that features real meat, vegetables, and perhaps fruit. Our trusted friends at Dog Food Advisor can advise you on the best nutrition for small-breed puppies and for small-breed dogs.

You do need to be mindful of exactly how much you feed your Havapoo, as the breed has a tendency to put on weight easily. In order to do this, pace things: don’t let the dog have access to the food whenever it likes; instead, divide the day’s food into two or three installments (this could rise when the animal is a puppy). Keep an hour free, either side of feeding time, before considering an offer of more food. This will reduce the risk of bloat.

Havapoo Temperament

The headline as far as the Havapoo’s temperament is concerned is that it’s great: the Havapoo is an affectionate, gentle breed that loves to lie on your lap just as much as it loves to play with you. What’s more, they’re known for getting along well with other pets, so don’t be too afraid to introduce it to your cat. (Keep an eye on this first meeting though.)

Because they’re bright, they can bore easily — so make sure you’re keeping their brain as occupied as you can, in the time you have available. 

Owning a Havapoo

If a Havapoo is your very first dog, you’re in luck. Owning a Havapoo is simple and joyous. This is a breed known for its great character, medium-level maintenance level, and cheeky character. 

If it’s not your first dog, of course, you will have just as much fun. Like all toy dogs, there isn’t a huge difference between the Havapoo puppy you bring home and the Havapoo adult that becomes part of the family. Use regular reward-based training to ensure the best behavior possible — especially important around small children, with whom the dog should have a great relationship. 

Like many dogs, the Havapoo needs a pet parent who’s willing to devote a lot of attention and energy to them. So, although in this department they’re not necessarily the most demanding dog, it’s something everyone who looks after any breed should be keenly aware of.

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