Havapoo Care Guide: Meet The Havanese Poodle Mix

The havapoo, or poovanese, is a designer breed, a cross between a Havanese and a poodle (standard or miniature). For this reason, they are also known, unsurprisingly, as the Havanese poodle.

This furry friend is the perfect addition to any home, apartment, or a large house with a yard for its exercise needs.

Friendly and outgoing, Havanese Poodles love to be the center of attention and will always be by your side, hoping for a cuddle session.

The Havapoo has a beautiful look about them – their wavy or curly hair will soon make them the most popular dog in the neighborhood.

Photos of Havapoo

What is a Havapoo?

This small designer breed is a mixture of a Poodle and a Havanese.

It is difficult to say exactly when they were first bred by dog breeders, but we can assume it is from the surge of popularity of Poodle designer dogs, caused by the Labradoodle in the 1980s.

We may not know the exact history of the Havapoo, but we know their Havanese and Poodle parents’ ancestry.

  • The Poodle is originally from Germany, bred to retrieve waterfowl more than 400 years ago. They were then favored by French nobles and aristocrats – their good looks and entertaining personality made them popular companions.
  • The Havanese breed originated in Cuba, it was brought over by Spanish colonists and bred as lapdogs for nobles. Over 300 years of refining the breed have resulted in what we know today as the Havanese.

This new mix dog is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, but the Poodle is part of the non-sporting group and the Havanese is part of the toy group.

The cost of a Havapoo pup will vary depending on the breeder and the parents. The average cost is around $800 but some premium Havapoos can cost up to $1,800.

You can expect a healthy Havanese Poodle to live between 10-14 years.

Keep reading to learn about the Havapoo’s temperament, how to train them, and more…

Havapoo Appearance

A Havapoo

Like with all designer dogs, it is difficult to predict what a Havapoo will look like – even two puppies from the same litter can look completely different.

But looking at each parent breed will help give us an idea about what your pup can look like.

Some Havapoo puppies will favor their Poodle genes and others may inherit a Havanese look, or they could have a mixture of both.

They will have a small roundish head, with a slight but definitive stop. They will have well-set dark eyes, most commonly brown. Their ears will be floppy and fall down onto their cheeks. Their small rectangular build and short legs will give them a toy-like look – this is exaggerated if they are bred with the Miniature Poodle.

No matter the unpredictability of the Havapoo look, there is no doubt they will be cute and adorable.

Height and Weight

The Havapoo can range in size, it mainly depends on which Poodle their parent is (standard or miniature).

The Miniature Poodle can weigh between 10-15lb and stands between 10-15 inches. Whereas, the Standard Poodle can weigh between 60-70lb and stand over 15 inches tall.

The Havanese breed can weigh 7-13lb and stand up to 11.5 inches.

Size and weight can all depend on genetics, the pups’ parents, and their environment.

You should expect your Havapoo to weigh around 7-30lb and stand between 8-15inches tall – the smaller Havapoo is bred from Miniature Poodles.


Both the Poodle and the Havanese have a wide range of coat colors (solids, bi-colors, and tri-colors).

According to the AKC breed standard, Havanese dogs have 16 official colors. Some of these include black, black, and silver, chocolate, white, fawn, silver and gold.

The Poodle breed standard states there are 10 official colors, some of these include apricot, black, blue, brown, gray, silver, and cream.

So your Havapoo can have any number of colors!

It is also common for the Havapoo to have white markings on their chest, face, and on their feet.


One thing you can almost guarantee with your Havanese Poodle is their luscious coat.

They can have either a medium or long-length coat. The coat can either be wavy or curly, depending on which parent breed the Havapoo pup favors the most.

Thought to be hypoallergenic, this designer dog breed won’t shed too much thanks to the Poodle genes.

Havapoo Temperament


Just like their appearance, the Havapoo temperament is unpredictable as they could favor one of their parent breeds traits over the other.

To understand the Havapoo dog more, we can look at each parent breed.

The Poodle is famous for its intelligence. They are also very sensitive to our body language and voices, which might give them an edge when it comes to obedience and socializing.

They can be shy with strangers at first, but once they are familiar they will come around.

Miniature Poodles are likely to be more excitable and anxious than Standard Poodles, so this is something to consider. It should be noted that Miniature Poodles are more likely to be shy and fearful in new situations; socialization can help a Mini Poodle to become more confident.

Havanese are affectionate dogs, they are more confident and outgoing than the Poodle. These pups are mischievous and playful and will make their own fun, by chewing your shoes if you have not given them enough attention.

So what does this mean for your Havanese Poodle mix?

The Havapoo is a friendly companion dog that will thrive in a loving home.

Being a very loving and trustworthy mix breed, they are not good guard dogs.

Your Havapoo won’t mind other dogs in their home, in fact, they welcome new furry friends. They are great with dogs and other pets.

When introducing a Havanese Poodle to other pets, introduce them gradually, by presenting them with something with their scent on and then let them meet face-to-face.

Remember this dog gets bored easily, so it’s best to keep them occupied and not leave them alone for too long. Your Havapoo will always need their favorite chew toy.

The Havapoo is not known to be yappy, but they can and do use their voice! They will bark when playing or when they are excited.

Is A Havapoo A Good Family Dog?

Havanese Poodle mix dog is great with kids – they love playtime and a nice cuddle session and will be gentle and loving towards children.

How To Train A Havapoo

Havanese and a Poodle Mix

The Havapoo is an extremely intelligent dog thanks to their Poodle parent. In addition to them being eager to please, they do very well with dog training.

They do best with positive reinforcement, so give your dog a reward when they follow your command or when they stop unwanted behaviors.

As they are a dog that is sensitive to your body language and voice tone, your Havapoo will respond positively if you are confident and give them encouragement. If, as an owner, you are stressed out, your dog will sense this and become anxious as well.

Do not punish your Havanese Poodle, it will stress them out and even encourage them to continue the behavior.

Socialization is just as important as training. Even though the Havapoo is a fairly sociable dog, they still need socializing in new situations as a pup. Introduce your puppy to new experiences and situations. When doing so give them positive feedback and let them know it’s a good experience by giving them treats.

Being highly intelligent and energetic, the Poovanese needs to keep its mind occupied.

Give them a puzzle feeder, or play games with them like hide and seek or go find the treat.

Teaching your dog new and fun tricks will also keep their mind sharp.

Caring for a Havapoo

The Havapoo is a fairly small dog and can adapt well to apartment life.

They are suited for any type of family including singles, couples, big families, or empty-nest homes.

As long as you give them enough attention, including their exercise needs, they are quite happy to just be by your side.

Most Havanese Poodles are hypoallergenic, meaning that they don’t shed too much.

Exercise Requirements

They may be small, but that does not mean they are lazy.

In fact, they are very energetic and playful. If they have don’t get in regular exercise they can get grumpy and frustrated, taking it out on your new shoes!

With all this energy to burn, they should be getting at least 1 hour of exercise a day.

They also need a couple of hours of indoor playtime, so buy them a few toys.

Two Havapoos

Grooming and Shedding

Grooming your Poovanese is fairly easy.

A simple brush every other day to prevent tangles and matting will be plenty.

Only give them a bath when they are particularly smelly or if they have been playing around in the mud. Bathing a dog too much can wash away their natural oils, leaving their coat dry and dull.

General dog grooming should also be taken care of. This includes brushing their teeth twice a week, trimming their nails, and cleaning their ears.

Feeding and Diet

Knowing what to feed your Havapoo dog is not an exact science, you should feed them a balanced doggy diet with all their nutritional needs in check.

Dogs need:

  • Protein (they are the basic building blocks for cells and tissues)
  • Dietary fats (this is where they will get their most concentrated form of energy)
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fiber (this keeps their digestive system running nicely)
  • Vitamins and minerals are also a necessity

Feed your Havapoo high-quality natural dog food and make sure to avoid dry food that has artificial filler ingredients like corn syrup.

How much you feed them depends on their weight.

If your Havapoo is 15lb they should be fed around 1 cup of kibble each day or if they are 30 lb they should have around 1.5 cups a day.

They can also be given fruit and veg, to help them get the vitamins and minerals they need.

Known Health Problems

Havapoos are a designer dog mix, meaning they have less chance of inheriting genetic disorders, as they have more genetic variance.

This does not mean that they don’t develop any health issues though.

They are prone to developing hip dysplasia and patella luxation – these are joint and bone issues.

Patella Luxation is more likely to occur with Miniature Poodles. This is when the kneecap dislocates causing pain and lameness.

They can also suffer from hypothyroidism, deafness, Addison’s disease, cataracts, and epilepsy.

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Luxating patella

As an owner, you might notice that your dog is limping on a hind leg, or in severe cases, won’t put weight on it. The most likely cause and the reason being that your Havapoo is suffering from Patellar Luxation. 

Patellar Luxation occurs when the Havapoo’s kneecap (patella) gets dislocated from its normal position where it rests in the groove of the thigh bone (femur). Once this kneecap is dislocated from the groove of the femur, it can only return to the proper position when the dog relaxes and lengthens or stretches its hind legs.

Give your dog rest, only resuming exercise gradually. If you witness limping, as if they have weak leg muscle for more than a day, consult your veterinarian on possible treatments. Do not consider any type of patella luxation repair surgery until your dog at least 12 months. Consider other patellar luxation treatment options first.

Correct diet and exercise may help prevent a luxating patella, so you must feed your dog a well-balanced, nutritious diet and ensure that their weight stays within a healthy range. Poovanese puppies going through the teething stage might lack sufficient calcium in their diet might. They should not eat red meat at all. Instead, feed them tinned food and dry puppy food, and lots of dairy products until 12 months.

Don’t let your Hav pup jump up and down from furniture, beds, or steps, and while mild and regular exercise to build muscle may help puppies with lower patella grades, avoid too much exercise. Ice packs help minimize swelling, and moist heat is better for older injuries. 

Liver disease

Unfortunately, your Havapoo is more likely than other breeds of dog to have a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt (PSS). Some of the blood supply that should go to the liver goes around it instead, depriving the liver of the blood flow it needs to grow and function properly. If your dog has PSS, their liver cannot remove toxins from their bloodstream effectively. 

To check for this problem, a liver function test needs to be conducted. If symptoms such as stunted growth or seizures develop, a blood test and possibly an ultrasound scan of the liver are required. Surgery may be needed, but in some cases, your dog can be treated with a special diet and medication.

Heart disease

Heart failure is a leading cause of death among the Havapoo in their golden years. Heart disease in a dog is usually caused by a weakening of a valve. A heart valve slowly becomes deformed so that it no longer closes tightly. Blood then leaks back around this valve and strains the heart. Dogs with heart valve disease (sometimes called mitral valve disease) have a heart murmur. 

If your dog has a heart murmur or outward signs suggesting heart problems, testing needs to be performed to determine the severity of the disease. The same tests will need to be repeated at least every year to monitor the condition. If heart valve disease is diagnosed early, it may be able to prescribe medications that could prolong the life of your dog for many years. Veterinary dental care and fatty acid supplementation can help prevent heart disease and weight control can help diminish symptoms.


Another one of the most common health problems is the opacity of the lens in the eye of your Havapoo dog or pup. Located directly behind the pupil, the lens and is normally transparent. A cataract interferes with your dog’s normal vision by keeping adequate light from reaching the retina. Although most cases develop after the age of five, your dog can develop at any age. Some are born with cataracts or develop them as Poovanese puppies. 

Signs can vary from a little spot of white to a totally opaque – meaning they look cloudy instead of clear – covering that affects the entire lens. Make sure to check your dog’s eyes regularly as if the lens becomes completely masked, it can result in blindness. Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in older Havapoo dogs. Again, you need to watch for the lenses of your dog’s eyes to become opaque. Many dogs adjust well to losing their vision and get along just fine. Surgery to remove cataracts and restore sight may also be an option.

Retinal Dysplasia 

An eye disease affecting the retina is characterized by folds or rosettes (round clumps) of the retinal tissue. The term retinal dysplasia really just means a malformation within the retina while dysplasia simply means that there is an abnormal or unusual development within a structure. Retinal Dysplasia can reduce the vision of your Havapoo’s eye and is usually a genetically inherited condition. This condition does not cause your dog any pain.

As an owner, as well as color changes within the eye, watch out for symptoms and behavioral changes. Your dog may develop difficulties in recognizing people or objects. A hesitancy to leap off things, or maneuver stairs, or just seeming to be clumsy and bump into objects, may become noticeable.

Havanese Poodles sometimes tear and may develop brown tear stains, especially noticeable on white or light coats

Keep in mind that excessive tearing can signal an eye problem in your dog and should be checked by a veterinarian. However, most tear stains are not serious, and the cause is simply unknown. You can improve the stained look by keeping the hair around the Havapoo’s eyes clean by wiping it daily with a damp cloth). There are whitening products on the market that are made specifically for lightening the stains, which some owners find helpful.

Havapoo Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:8-15 inches
Lifespan:10-14 years
Coat:Wavy or Curly, medium-long length
Color:Wide range of colors
Do They Shed:Minimal
Temperament:Affectionate, playful, confident, and charming
Intelligence:Very intelligent
Socialization:Great with other pets
Destructive Behavior:Will chew on anything if bored or frustrated
People Skills:Great with people, can be aloof with strangers at times
Good with Children:Great with kids (playful and gentle)
Activity Levels:Very energetic, will need at least 1 hour of exercise and 2 hours of indoor play a day


Does this Havanese Poodle mix designer dog take your fancy?

For sure, the Havapoo has just the right amount of playful and friendly with a dash of cuddles and cuteness.

Havapoos Poovanese is non-shedding, small-medium teddy bears that loves attention.

A Havapoo needs an owner who can take care of their exercise needs, taking them for daily walks, and will always be ready for playtime.

Your Havapoo will love to play with children and will thrive in a family, but they will also enjoy any loving home!

More Havanese and Miniature Poodle Mixes

Want a Havanese mix or Miniature Poodle mix but aren’t keen on the Havapoo? Check out these other hybrid dog breeds:

Miniature Poodle Mixes

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. I just got a havapoo-jack russell terrier mix puppy. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me! Reading this I’m learning how much like a havapoo he really is, and it’s very helpful and eye opening.

  2. I am looking for a Havapoo puppy sometime after March 2021
    I have recently retired and I have read that Havapoos a great dogs for retired people.
    If you do or will have any puppies, I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Hi Carol
      Just wondering if you found the right doggie for yourself.
      I am now in a silmilar situation. Any helpful hints appreciated.
      Thank you, Nance

  3. my grandson has a havenese mix (not sure if it is a poodle mis. He is about 1 year old and has the longest eyelashes and loving eyes however when I take him for a walk and he sees other dogs he growls at them and wants to go after them. otherwise he is the cutest dog. I don’t know if he is protecting me or the reason behind his behavior. Can you give me some help in order to change his behavior.

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