Havanese Shih Tzu Mix: Is the Havashu Right for You

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Breed Profile

The breed of dog known as the “Shih Tzu” or “Pug” is one of the most popular breeds today. They are very intelligent dogs with strong personalities. They have been bred since ancient times to hunt game animals such as deer, boar, rabbits and other small game animals.

Their hunting skills are not only useful for their own survival but they make excellent companions too.

They are very sociable and love to spend time with people and other pets. They enjoy being petted and cuddled, which makes them ideal family members. These dogs are good watchdogs as well, so if you want your home to be free from intruders then these dogs would be perfect for you!

Their coat is long, silky and soft like that of a cat’s. Their ears are large and pointed. Their eyes are bright blue and they have a wide set mouth.

They have a short tail that is straight and wagging forward when excited.

These dogs’ coats do shed, but it isn’t usually enough to cause problems for humans or other pets. If you’re looking for a dog that will keep your house clean, guard your property against intruders or just provide companionship then these dogs would be perfect for you!

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Appearance

The Havanese Shih Tzu dog breed is a small companion dog that has a body that is slightly longer than it is tall, but it still has a lot of weight to it. It has an elongated head with big round eyes and bulging brows above them. It also has a square muzzle and a powerful jaw, which makes this breed very good at holding onto smaller prey animals when it’s hunting.

It has large, erect ears and a nose that is either brown or black. The teeth of this breed are very strong and even from top to bottom.

The coat on this dog is very long and silky. If it isn’t brushed every day then it can get quite tangled and matted. While the tail of this breed is traditionally docked, you can also find these dogs with their tails intact.

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When it’s excited, the tail of this dog is held straight up into the air.

The average Havanese Shih Tzu dog can be anywhere from seven to seventeen inches tall and weigh between six and twenty-one pounds when fully grown. These dogs have a short coat that is either shiny and straight or curly. The most common colors for this breed are black, brown, gray or tan.

It also has an undercoat that is lighter in color than the outer coat.

This dog is known to have a long-lasting relationship with one person in particular. It has a habit of quickly showing affection towards that person, and will follow that one person everywhere they go. It’s rare to see this breed with strangers, but if it does happen then it will most likely be scared and hide behind its owner.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Temperament

The Havanese Shih Tzu mix dog has a very playful and loving personality. It’s very good with children and loves to cuddle and play with them. It’s very energetic and thrives on attention.

It also has a very stubborn streak and can be very persistent in doing things its own way. This dog is not good around other dogs, especially if they’re not socialized early enough.

These dogs are very intelligent and can learn a large number of commands in a short period. However, their people have to be consistent and firm with them so they know what is acceptable and what isn’t. If these dogs aren’t trained properly then they’ll develop a lot of bad behaviors that are hard to break.

These dogs absolutely thrive on human companionship which makes them very good at performing tricks and doing little things for their owners. For this reason, they also do very well in performing or agility competitions. They enjoy being active and love to play ball or take long walks.

These dogs get bored very easily and can become destructive if they don’t have anything to do or someone to spend time with.

These dogs are average shedders and will often shed more in the spring and fall, especially after being bathed or groomed. The long hair on their face and legs acts as a heat insulator and protects their skin from the sun, but it also requires extra maintenance. After playing outside, these dogs will track dirt all through the house so it’s a good idea to give them a good brushing before letting them inside.

The life expectancy of the Havanese Shih Tzu mix dog ranges from twelve to fifteen years.

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Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Appearance

These dogs have a very rounded head with bulging brows and large round eyes. They have a long muzzle with a scissor bite and large nostrils. The ears are traditionally docked and held erect on top of their heads.

The front legs are straight and the hind legs are long. The tail is either curled over the back or curled around their feet. The body is compact and they have a puff of fur around their chest. The Coat is silky, thick, double and either straight or curly.

Grooming these dogs is very easy as all it takes is consistent brushing. It’s recommended that you bathe or dry shampoo them only when necessary as all it does it soak the oils out of their coats.

Common Health Problems

There are no known health problems specific to this hybrid dog, but it’s important to find a breeder who has done genetic tests on the parents to avoid health problems in future offspring.

The Havanese Shih Tzu mix is a very affectionate, loving and playful dog. If they’re not socialized enough when they’re young then they can become withdrawn or too attached to their owners. It’s important to train them properly so they know what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

They do best in an environment where they get a lot of attention and their humans are active. Being left alone all day in a back yard is not going to produce a happy dog. If you want one of these dogs you have to be prepared to interact with it on a regular basis.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Full Grown Size

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The size of this dog is smaller than both the parents, coming in at around 11-13 inches. They will weigh between six to fifteen pounds.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix History

The Havanese Shih Tzu mixed dog is the result of a purebred Shih Tzu being mated with a purebred Havanese. There are also rumors that it can also be related to an older version of the Bichon Frise. Dogs resembling this cross breed have been found in paintings going as far back as the 16th century.

One notable example is “The Dog of the Marquis of Bolougne” painted in 1878 by Edouard Manet.

The Havanese Shih Tzu mix is a relatively new hybrid in comparison to some other cross breeds. While it’s believed that they’ve been around since the late 19th century, the American Kennel Club didn’t recognize them until 2008.

In terms of popularity, they’re still rather rare compared to other well known mixed breeds like the Yorktese or the Goldendoodle. However, this is starting to change as more people become aware of them and more are being bred by dog lovers across the world.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Behavior

These dogs need a lot of stimulation to keep them occupied. If they don’t get it then they can become destructive and engage in annoying habits like barking or howling very loudly. They’re very intelligent and have a lot of energy so you need to find constructive ways to channel this or they will find their own ways that aren’t always good.

This dog likes human company and does not function well as a outside dog. They can live inside a house and will become destructive if they are isolated from their owners for too long.

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They’re very active indoors and do not function well as apartment pets, at least not if their owners work all day. They need a large yard where they can run around. If you do take it for a walk, it needs to be on a leash unless you want to risk it running off.

They’re very affectionate dogs and love spending time with their owners. They get along well with children, other dogs and pets in general. However, they can be territorial so it’s important to train them properly when they’re still young.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Appearance

The Havanese Shih Tzu mixed dog will have a very soft and silky black coat that most often has a golden tinge to it. The underbelly and muzzle are both lighter than the rest of the body. It will have piercing bright eyes and will usually have a docked or bobbed tail.

The head is fairly large in comparison to the rest of the body and the ears will be large, broad and erect. The muzzle is broad and short with a strong underbite being common. The teeth should form a scissors bite.

The legs are of equal length and the feet are tight with well arched toes. The tail is traditionally docked.

This breed will grow to between 11 and 15 inches and weigh anywhere between 6 and 18 pounds.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Health

These dogs have a life span of between 10 and 14 years. They are quite healthy provided they’re given the right diet and level of exercise. They can be prone to issues with their hips and knees, epilepsy, obesity, eye problems and skin conditions.

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Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Behavior

Havanese Shih Tzu mixes are not the best choice for first time dog owners as they do need a great deal of attention and consistent training. If you’re working all day and only able to spend a couple of hours with it each evening then this dog is probably not for you. They are very lively, curious, playful and affectionate dogs that need to be kept busy.

If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need they will find their own ways of amusing themselves, and this is often through digging, chewing, barking or howling. They’re very people oriented dogs and do not like being left alone for extended periods of time.

This is not the ideal dog if you want it to just sit in the backyard while you’re at work all day. They are happiest when they’re with people and do not like being left alone. If you work all day then a more independent breed would be a better choice as they will happily entertain themselves, although of course this means that you can leave them for longer than if you had an ultra playful breed.

Havanese Shih Tzu mixes can be a little difficult to train and challenging at times. Again, this is a breed that does not like being left alone so if you’re planning on leaving them for extended periods of time then they’re probably not the dog for you. They need a great deal of attention and people interaction.

They’re bred as companion dogs and do not function well as outside dogs.

They are very smart, lively, playful and affectionate dogs. They’re very easy to train as long as you have the time to dedicate to them. As long as you’re willing to give them the training, attention and exercise that they need then they’re a wonderful family pet.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Training

The Havanese Shih Tzu mix is usually pretty easy to train, however they can be a little willful and stubborn so they do require a slightly different approach to some other dog breeds. They are highly intelligent so can be trained to obey basic commands like sit, stay, heel and come, however they do not always do these commands automatically. You can say “come” and they will follow you if their interest is piqued, but if they’re not in the mood to play or are distracted then they may not return.

They will also obey your commands only if they know you have treats to give them. They are a little manipulative and will try reward you only if they think they’ve done a good job.

Obedience training is important with this breed to ensure that they do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. With some breeds, if they know that they can wheedle their way out of something then they’ll push the limits all the time. If you establish from the beginning that you mean business then this dog will learn quickly.

Havanese Shih Tzu mixes do not usually display any problematic behavior when it comes to training. They are very people oriented so they respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise. Clicker training and rewards based systems work really well with them.

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Harsh reprimands do not work well with this breed so if you have a Havanese Shih Tzu mix that is displaying negative behavior then you’ll need to find another way of training them. They respond well to gentle correction and encouragement, so instead of harsh words just ignore them or divert their attention with a toy when they’re displaying unwanted behavior.

Havanese Shih Tzu mixes are very intelligent dogs but their high level of energy means that they have a lot of mischief in them. They have to learn what is and what is not acceptable behaviour if you want to keep your house intact. Socialization and training are the best ways to ensure that you have a happy, healthy and well-adjusted dog.

Havanese Shih Tzu mix Grooming

Havanese Shih Tzu mixes don’t shed so they make excellent pets for people who have allergies. They will need grooming and regular baths, especially as they do like to get into things and get dirty. They will need their nails clipped and their ears cleaned regularly as they can’t do this themselves.

Havanese Shih Tzu mixes do not have a “doggy” odor however they will still benefit from regular baths. It’s important to ensure that their ears are kept clean and checked for infection on a regular basis. Also their nails will need clipping and their hair will need styling so they look nice enough to show off to your friends!

Havanese Shih Tzu mix Health

The Havanese is generally a very healthy dog, but like all breeds they are prone to certain health conditions. Just be aware of a few health conditions that have been found in some Havanese and get your dog checked out from time to time.

Hip Dysplasia: This is a hereditary condition found in many larger dogs. Basically the deep hip bone doesn’t fit snugly into the pelvic joint so some of these dogs suffer from arthritis and other related symptoms due to this problem, which often gets worse as the dog ages.

Eye Problems: Eye problems are becoming more common in dogs generally and the Havanese is no exception. The most common being Cataracts which make the lens of the eye progressively cloud over with a haze. There is treatment but it is best to catch this early by having your dog’s eyes checked regularly.

Hypoglycemia: Although not a common problem in Havanese it is recommended that you learn the signs of Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and keep something like honey or sweetcorn around to treat it just in case you do have a seizure.

Patellar Luxation: This is a condition where the ligaments in the knee joint are not strong enough and the kneecap can pop out of place. This can be very painful and usually surgery is required to treat this condition.

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Cancer: Like people, dogs can suffer from many different types of cancer, unfortunately once a dog has gotten cancer treatment is rarely successful. Regular check-ups can help your vet catch any potential problems early.

Havanese Shih Tzu mix General Health

The Havanese are generally very healthy dogs. They don’t suffer from a lot of the health complaints that plague other small breeds, but they are still a relatively small breed with long noses and that does mean they are slightly more prone to some medical problems.

Havanese Shih Tzu mix grooming

The Havanese can be a little high maintenance when it comes to grooming, especially if you prize show quality coats! They will need regular brushing and professional clipping every couple of months. They are also one of the more odoriferous breeds so they do benefit from regular baths and other forms of hygiene.

Havanese Shih Tzu mix training

The Havanese are intelligent little dogs and therefore fairly easy to train, however they can sometimes be willful and stubborn. You need to be confident and display strong leadership skills when training a Havanese. They respond well to positive reinforcement and rewards.

Harsh methods will not work with this breed.

Havanese Shih Tzu mix kids

Havanese love the company of children and are gentle enough to be suitable around them. It is important, however, that parents always supervise any interaction between dog and child to prevent any accidents or incidents.

Havanese Shih Tzu mix habits

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The Havanese are generally very lively and playful dogs. They are always eager to please and very people orientated, which means they suffer a lot from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. They are relatively clean dogs inside but they can be quite the shedders and do emit a rather pungent doggy odor!

General Facts

The Havanese are affectionate, happy little dogs who love to be around people. They make excellent watch dogs due to their barking, but are not particularly good guard dogs as they are too small and timid to fend off anyone who means harm.

Havanese normally live to be between 12 and 15 years of age.

The Havanese is also known as the Havana Silk Dog or Perro Faraón de Puro Sangre (Spanish for Pure Blood Dog)

The Havanese’s coat does not contain the same kind of fur that other dogs have. It is made up of hair like ours which means it has a lot more grooming needs to keep it looking nice and prevent it from becoming tangled.

the Havanese is the national dog of Cuba.

Famous Havanese

The most famous and iconic Havanese is probably owned by Paris Hilton, he even has his own web page! Check him out here .

Havanese are also popular because they are a favorite of the current pope!

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba.


There are no common cross-breeds of the Havanese as yet.

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Difficulty rating = Intermediate

You will need to commit to giving your dog plenty of attention, exercising him regularly and ensuring he receives good obedience training. Grooming is a regular task and you should expect some barking and the usual “kid chasing” that comes with this breed.

If you want a healthy, happy dog that will be a companion for your child, then this is definitely the dog for you!

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