The Havapoo is a wonderfully happy and adorable Poodle mix dog. These canines make great companions for anyone looking for a cute pup with good energy that also loves to sleep in your lap.
What Is A Havapoo?
Like all Poodle mixes, the name Havapoo is a combination of the two breeds used to make it. In this case it is the Poodle and the Havanese.
Once the Poodle mix, or Doodle, craze hit in the 80s with the Labradoodle, breeds the world over started experimenting with Poodles and any other breed they could reasonably imagine. Because of the mania surrounding this phenomenon not a lot of good record keeping happened.
Unfortunately, not a lot is known about the history of the Havapoo. What we do know is that it was likely a result of the Doodle boom mentioned above and it likely made it’s first appearance in the United States.
Havapoo is the most common name for this breed. However, they are also sometimes referred to as Havadoodles, Havanoodles, or Poovanese.
What Do They Look Like?
The Havapoo is what’s known as a hybrid breed. Essentially, that just means they are the result of two pure breeds. Often times with hybrid breeds of dogs it is difficult to predict what your puppy is going to look like.
Pups can show traits from either the Poodle or the Havanese side of their genetics. It’s not always an even ratio either; even within the same little of puppies!
To get an idea of what your Havapoo may look like, here are the breed standards for Havanese and Poodles according to the AKC:
- Large, dark brown eyes
- broad ears that fold as they narrow
- Long, wavy, silky coat (sometimes corded)
Havanese dogs also have several recognized colors:
- Black & Silver
- Black & Tan
- Black Brindle
- Gold Brindle
- Gold Sable
- Red Brindle
- Red Sable
- Silver Brindle
- oval shaped eyes that are “very dark” in color
- ears hang close to the head
- Coat is either curly or corded
The accepted colorings/markings for poodles are:
- Silver Beige
Remember, like we said, your Havapoo can have any combination of these features. This is part of what makes them such a fun and unique breed of dog.
Similar to their appearance, their size also depends on their parental genetics. Typically, you won’t see a Havanese bred with a standard size Poodle, so we excluded them from the chart below.
Here is a breakdown of the size and weight ranges you can expect with a Havadoodle.
|Poodle (Toy)||under 10″||5 to 10 lbs|
|Poodle (Miniature)||10″ to 15″||12 to 20 lbs|
|Havanese||8″ to 11″||7 to 13 lbs|
|Havapoo||8″ to 15″ at the shoulders||7 lbs to 20 lbs|
One of the big benefits of this breed is that they are considered to be hypoallergenic. That just means that they shed very little and should be good pets for people who are normally allergic to pet dander.
Their coat will have a bit of length to it. Sometimes it will be a medium length coat and sometimes you can get a dog with a full length coat. Most often their coat will be curly or, at the very least, wavy.
Havapoos come in a variety of colors similar to their parent breeds. Those colors are:
It is also entirely possible that their coat will darken with time as they get older. So a tan puppy may end up being a darker brown adult.
While both the Poodle and Havanese are officially recognized breeds by the American Kennel Clulb (AKC), the Havapoo is not. However, there are a few canine organizations that do recognize the breed.
Those organizations are:
- American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
- Designer Breed Registry (DBR)
Temperament and Personality
Havapoos are known for their friendliness. They have never met a stranger. To them, nothing is better than running and playing with their favorite pack of humans.
But, their friendliness does not just stop with people. When they are properly socialized as puppies, they become quite fond of other animals. They can be comfortable living with other dogs, cats, birds, just about anything.
happy A common feature amongst Havapoos is they are just teeming with life. When they are busy playing you can practically see the smile across their face as they gallop across your yard. They are truly a very happy breed of dog.
How Are They With Kids & Pets?
If you couldn’t tell from the above section, they are great with children and other pets.
They are not a large breed of dog so it is possible that a young child can unwittingly cause an injury by playing a little too rough. But you should not have to worry about any overly aggressive behavior from your pup.
If you want to bring other animals around or take your Havapoo to the park, you will just want to make sure that they are socialized at an early age. They are naturally friendly and welcome all of the new friends they can make.
How To Care For Your Havadoodle
Now that you know a little about the Havapoo history, appearance, and personality, you can find out how to care for them.
Food & Dietary Needs
Most foods you can buy will already have their recommended feeding instructions on the label. You should be able to follow these without any problems.
You will want to keep an eye on your dog’s weight and body condition when they first start on a new food. As we mentioned above in the size section, a Havapoo is generally in the 7 to 20 lbs range. The size of their parents will determine which end of the spectrum they should fall.
If they are getting the right amount of food, their weight should stay pretty steady and their body condition should match a healthy conditioning score. You can use this chart from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is you unfamiliar with assessing body condition.
Of course, if you notice any significant changes to weight or condition, you should always discuss these questions with your dog’s vet. They know your dog personally and can assess their specific needs.
We’d like to address one final point on their dietary needs. Being a small breed dog, they have different dietary needs than a larger breed dog. You will want to make sure that their food is specially blended for small breeds.
Havapoos like to get a goods amount of exercise. Typically a 30 to 60 minute walk or equivalent physical exercise is what they need in a day.
Not only is it important for their physical health to maintain a good exercise regimen, it is also good for their mental health (and your belongings). Being the intelligent breed that they are, if they are not properly stimulated or build up too much energy, they can become bored.
Boredom can lead to all sorts of mischief like chewing on furniture, pottying in the house, barking out the window. So do them and yourself a favor and make sure they get plenty of exercise.
Both Poodles and Havanese are very intelligent and easy to train. Luckily, this trait is also passed on to the Havapoo.
You just want to make sure you stick to a consistent training schedule with lots and lots of praise and positive reinforcement.
Generally speaking, both Poodles and Havanese are pretty healthy dogs. There are a few health concerns that they can carry and pass on to their offspring.
- Addison’s Disease
- Cushing’s Disease
- Eye Issues
- Heart Problems
- Hip Dysplasia
- Legg-Perthes Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
By this point you are probably thinking you have found the perfect dog. We won’t say you are wrong, but grooming may be where you start to pump the breaks.
It’s honestly not really that bad. It is just a bit more time consuming than other breeds. Both the Poodle and Havanese breeds of dog have wavy to curly coats that need a good amount of maintenance.
The Havapoo has also inherited these traits. You will likely need to brush them several times a week, if not daily. Fortunately, they do not shed very much, but daily brushing will help keep their coats from getting matted and tangled.
Brushing will also keep the oils they naturally produce spread throughout their coat and onto their skin promoting good health.
Many owners of this breed, as well as Poodles and Havanese owners, will take their pets to a professional groomer periodically to keep their coat maintained and healthy.
On a positive note, they do not need to be bathed very often. Going back to those natural oils, if they are bathed too often, these oils can be washed away and it can cause their skin to become irritated.
They really only need to be washed every month or so or when they happen to get excessively dirty.
The needs of a small breed puppy are not too much different than their adult counterparts. The main differences are in the amount of exercise they need and the number of times they need to eat throughout the day.
Puppies grow at an especially fast rate. Because of this, they often expend more energy than their tiny bodies can store. Because of this, they need to eat at least 4 times a day for the first several months of life.
You can eventually cut them back to 3 times and then down to 2 times a day once they reach adulthood at around 18 months. Make sure to feed them a good puppy food since it is designed to keep up with their unique dietary and nutritional needs.
Puppies also need a lot of exercise to grow healthy. The Purina recommended exercise plan is twice a day with no more than 5 minutes per age in months.
For example, a 4 month old puppy would get 20 minutes of exercise twice a day while an 8 month old would get double that amount of time.
How To Find A Havapoo
If you think you found your special dog breed and can’t wait to find your Havapoo, this is the section you’ve been looking for!
Being a designer breed, they are not a very hard dog to find.
You will want to make sure that you find a good and healthy pet. That means you will likely have to do a bit more research than a simple Google or Facebook search.
When looking for your new forever friend, we recommend that you either adopt, rescue, or find a reputable breeder*.
*We understand there are many different opinions on the ethics of designer dog breeding. However, we believe that breeding can be done ethically and responsibly. It is those breeders that we support.
Find A Reputable Breeder
So, what is a reputable breeder?
We believe a reputable breeder is someone who puts the health and wellbeing of their animals above all else. These breeders love their dogs just like pets and are not willing to sell them to someone who is not right for that dog.
These breeders will also not have their dogs in a constant cycle of pregnancy/welping/pregnancy/welping/etc.
One of the reasons we do consider responsible breeders is because you can start with a clean slate. Not everyone has the time or capability to rehab an animal that has been abandoned at a shelter or rescue but they still need a companion. In those cases, a breeder is an ideal situation.
Another benefit to a breeder is you get your pet’s entire medical history as well as the history of their parents.
To make sure that you have found a reputable breeder and not a backyard breeder or puppy mill, we recommend asking A LOT of questions. A responsible breeder will expect this and be glad you care that much.
Some things you can ask about are:
- the area where they keep their dogs
- the amount of puppies/litters they have a year
- the number of dogs do they breed at a time
- are these their pets or just kept breeding
It is also good to find a breeder that offers a health guarantee. Sometimes you can also get testimonials and recommendations from past customers.
Find A Rescue Or Pet Adoption Agency
If you want to skip the puppy stage or want to help an animal in need, adoption and/or rescue shelters can be a great way to find your new dog.
Be warned, it is not uncommon for a dog that has been left at a shelter to be skiddish and have some trauma around being abandoned. This can manifest in different behavioral issues initially. But, if you are prepared and can spend the time to work through these issues with training, it can be an irreplaceable bonding experience.
Finding a good rescue, shelter, or adoption agency varies from place to place. Fortunately, with mixed breed dogs, you can look at a regular shelter as well as rescues specifically focused on Poodles and Havanese dogs.
You can usually find a rescue in your area or within a reasonable drive by searching something along the lines of “havanese rescue near me”, “poodle rescue near me”, or a similar search term.
Frequently Asked Questions
While researching Havapoos, we found a few questions that kept popping up. Here they are:
Q1. How big will a Havapoo get?
Havapoos generally grow between 8 and 15 inches tall at the shoulders.
Q2. How much does a Havapoo weigh?
Depending on the size of their parents, havapoos can get anywhere from about 7 lbs all the way up to 20 lbs.
Q3. How long does a Havapoo live?
Havapoos can live upwards of 10 to 15 years or more.
Q4. Can a Havapoo be left alone?
Like many smaller breed dogs they can suffer from separation anxiety. It is not best to leave them isolated for extended periods of time.
Q5. Is a Havapoo a good family dog?
Havanese and Poodles are both great for families so it stands to reason that the Havadoodle will be too!
Q6. How do you potty train a Havapoo?
Make sure you take your new puppy any time they eat, drink, wake up, or are sniffing like they need to go. They do not have a large bladder or good control yet so you need to anticipate before they need to go and get them to their designated potty area.
When in their area, make sure it is not play time and encourage them to potty. Give them a treat or reward when they go. They will learn that the designated area is the preferred place to relieve themselves.
You can also teach them to ask to go out by speaking them to speak at the door or by placing a bell at the door and ringing it each time you go out.
As far as poodle mixes go, you’d find a tough time finding a sweeter companion than a Havapoo. If you’ve read this far you know all about their needs for care, diet, grooming, and exercise. You know the health issues that can come along with them as well.
But you also know they are a wonderful, happy, loving dog that will quickly make it’s way into your heart.