Canis lupus

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© iStock.com/Mary Swift

Their front legs are shorter than their back legs, giving them a unique, tilted physique.


Havashu Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Havashu Conservation Status

Havashu Locations

Havashu Facts

Name Of Young
Group Behavior
  • Pack
Fun Fact
Their front legs are shorter than their back legs, giving them a unique, tilted physique.
Most Distinctive Feature
Their long coat.
Distinctive Feature
Front legs shorter than the rear.
Other Name(s)
Gestation Period
63 weeks.
Affectionate, lovable, loyal, and devoted.
Litter Size
  • Pack

Havashu Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
  • Black-Brown
Skin Type
13-17 years
Male, 8-15 lbs. Female, 7-14 lbs.
Male, 9-12 inches. Female, 8-11 inches.

Havashu as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
8-15 lbs
Female weight
7-14 lbs

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The Havashu is an affectionate companion dog bred from the people-pleasing Havanese and the lovable but stubborn Shih-Tzu beginning in the 1990s. This adorable, devoted, and playful pup is excellent with childrenthey can keep one another entertained for hours! They are happy to greet everyone who approaches them, even strangers.

Havashu Fun Fact 

Their front legs are shorter than their back legs, giving them a unique, tilted physique.

3 Pros And Cons Of Owning Havashu 

The Havashu is a lovable companion dog. It is playful, fun, and interested in what you are doing. Whatever it does, it wants to be with people!It can sometimes take after its Shih-Tzu parent and be ornery and stubborn, impacting things like housebreaking.
Since the Shih-Tzu is hypoallergenic, sometimes the Havashu is, too. Ask for tests to determine if a particular dog is suitable for people with dog allergies.It can be easy to overfeed the Havashu because they only require a cup of food a day. Make sure you are giving your dog plenty of activity and cut back on the treats if it appears to be gaining too much weight.
The Havanese and the Shih-Tzu are long-lived, so it’s natural that the Havashu is, too. You can look forward to 12-17 years with your adorable companion if shown the proper care.One feature of the Shih-Tzu is its flat face, which can sometimes interfere with breathing. The Havashu may inherit this condition, meaning if it struggles to breathe during activity, it might be a good idea to pick it up and go home.

History Of The Breed

The Havashu is a relatively new breed, beginning in the 1990s, and while the exact origin is not known, its parent breeds, the Havanese and the Shih Tzu, can be traced back to Cuba and China. The Havanese can be traced back to Cuba in the 1400s when Spanish farmers came to settle in the area. These farmers brought the now-extinct Bichon Tenerife dogs with them, which was the ancestor of the Havanese, which was crossed with the also now-extinct Blanquito de la Habana, to eventually get the national dog of Cuba, the Havanese.

The Shih Tzu excited in China as early as 1,000 years BC but they actually originated in Tibet and were considered to be royalty. It is believed that Tibet gifted these dogs to Chinese royalty, who then bred them with Pekingese or Pugs to get the Shih Tzu we have today.

The Best Dog Food For Havashu

Havashus don’t require a lot of food; 1 cup a day will do. To avoid over-eating, divide it up over 2-3 meals, and choose a dog food with fewer carbohydrates. Dry kibble will help promote dental health, so A-Z Animals recommends Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe.

Size And Weight

Havashu are lap dogs, so they are a small but sturdy breed. Male dogs are 9-12 inches tall and weigh 8-15 lbs. The female is 8-11 inches tall and weighs 7-14 lbs.

Height (Male):9-12 inches
Weight (Male):8-15 lbs.
Height (Female):8-11 inches
Weight (Female):7-14 lbs.

Common Health Issues


The Havashu may occasionally inherit some genetic conditions from their parent breeds.

©iStock.com/Mary Swift

Havashu, as a hybrid breed, are pretty robust and healthy dogs. However, they occasionally inherit some significant concerns from their parent dogs.

Patellar luxation is when the kneecap slides out of place, which can happen when jumping off high furniture, so be sure to help your dog avoid these situations.

Another condition may be chondrodysplasia, a form of canine dwarfism that doesn’t usually show up until the puppy is about 5-6 months of age. The affected animal will stop growing normally and begin showing bowed legs and unusual facial proportions. Heart and joint problems may develop alongside the noticeable outward changes. A dog suffering from chondrodysplasia will need regular veterinary care and may benefit from adaptive devices, such as doggy wheelchairs, later in life.

Havashu can also be prone to bladder stones, which are indicated by blood in the urine or straining during urination and should be evaluated by a vet. The vet can identify the stones through an X-ray or ultrasound. They can then be removed through surgery, flushing them out, or special dietary additives.

Finally, some dogs may have mitral valve disease, a leaking heart valve. This doesn’t usually occur until the dog is about 4-6 years old. This may show up as a heart murmur and will eventually end up causing heart failure.

These are rare conditions; otherwise, the Havashu is a sturdy and healthy dog. Many of these conditions may occur because of irresponsible breeding, so choose a reputable breeder.

More common issues to watch your Havashu for are allergies and ear infections (because of those floppy ears.)


The Havashu has a playful, energetic personality and is a joy to be around. It is a curious, sometimes mischievous dog that loves nothing better than to be with its family, and its behavior with children and family pets is exemplary. However, its people-pleasing traits can cause separation anxiety, so if you aren’t around much, let somebody else enjoy this dog’s company.

How To Take Care Of Havashu  

Maintenance And Grooming 

The Havashu’s double coat calls for attentive grooming. Every other day at the very least, you should run a pin brush and a detangling comb through its hair. Its long and luxurious coat should be bathed on an almost monthly basis. To get your Havashu looking dapper, take it to a groomer every few months to trim and wash the coat.

Of course, you should brush the dog’s teeth three times a week, trim the nails (without trimming down to the skin), and especially clean the ears regularly. The Havashu’s floppy ears are prone to wax and debris buildup resulting in infection.


When training your Havashu, remember that it may have inherited some of its Shih-Tzu parent’s stubbornness, so be patient. If you are harsh with it, it can get sulky. Use rewards, a positive tone, and a favorite toy to encourage cooperation. Keep the sessions short and be consistent with your expectations, and the people-pleasing Havanese side of this lovable dog will reward your efforts.


Havashus have a pretty high energy level and always want to play. This is a good way of getting in some of the 60 minutes of high-energy activity this dog requires. They also need one to two brisk walks a day. A fenced-in yard or a dog park are also good places to let them run and explore off-lead.

One thing to be aware of, though, is if your dog has inherited the flat face of the Shih-Tzu, watch for struggling or shortness of breath. If this occurs, you may want to pick the dog up and carry her to a cool location.


Their stubbornness can make them harder to housebreak, but the pups are sensitive to harsh treatment, so begin training early and be patient.

Some of the breed’s potential health problems can result from poor breeding practices, so ensure that you get your pup from a reputable breeder. Also, request vaccination records and test results from health screenings.

Havashu And Children

Havashus are great with kids. They long for someone to play with them and make them a part of what they’re doing. Train children to be careful with them, though. Their small size makes it possible for an overeager child to injure them.

Dogs Similar To Havashus

If you are interested in the Havashu, you may be interested in the dogs listed below.

Toy Poodle: Like the Havashu, this dog is found in the toy group. The Toy Poodle is a small dog that is loyal and affectionate, having many of the character traits of the Havashu.

Maltese: If you are interested in a playful toy dog that is, like the Havashu, also hypoallergenic, the Maltese may be the choice for you.

Whoodle: Finally, if you are looking for a larger dog than the Havashu with combined traits of two species, the Whoodle is a lovable hybrid. This is an energetic combination of the Poodle and the Wheaten Terrier.

Popular Names For Havashus

Popular names for Havashu include:

  • Shatzi
  • Bella
  • Bruno
  • Teddy
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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

Melissa Bauernfeind was born in NYC and got her degree in Journalism from Boston University. She lived in San Diego for 10 years and is now back in NYC. She loves adventure and traveling the world with her husband but always misses her favorite little man, "P", half Chihuahua/half Jack Russell, all trouble. She got dive-certified so she could dive with the Great White Sharks someday and is hoping to swim with the Orcas as well.

Havashu FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Havashu good dogs?

Havashu are very playful, energetic little dogs that are good around children. They are also good around other pets, having little to no aggression.

Do Havashu dogs shed?

Though it has a long coat, the Havashu is a low-shedding dog, but the coat should be brushed every couple of days to avoid tangles.

How big does a Havashu get?

Havashu can be between 8-12 inches tall and weigh between 8-15 lbs. They’re the perfect size for a comfortable lap. Despite their diminutive size, they are sturdy little dogs.

Are Havashu hypoallergenic?

Since the Shih-Tzu is hypoallergenic, the Havashu may be, too, making it a good choice for those with mild dog allergies. Just to be sure, ask the breeder to test for this trait.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.


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