The Havatzu in 2023: Perfect Havanese Shih Tzu Mix

So you’ve heard of “havatzu”, right? If not, let’s dive into this intriguing term, and by the end, you’ll be a havatzu aficionado!


Looking for the perfect addition to your family? Meet the Havatzu, a delightful designer breed that is sure to capture your heart with its adorable looks and charming personality. This hybrid dog is a crossbreed between a Havanese and Shih Tzu, combining the best of both breeds into one lovable package.

Explanation of Havatzu breed

Havatzus are small to medium-sized dogs that usually weigh between 7 to 16 pounds and stand around 8 to 12 inches tall. They have a compact, sturdy build with long silky coat that can come in a variety of colors such as black, white, brown or cream. Their cute button noses, floppy ears and expressive eyes make them an instant hit with animal lovers all over the world.

The Havatzu is recognized by several organizations such as the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC) and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR). While Havatzus are not purebred dogs, they have become increasingly popular over the years due to their charming personalities and unique looks.

Brief history and origin of the Havatzu

The Havatzu breed originated in North America during the late 20th century when breeders began crossing Havanese dogs with Shih Tzus in an attempt to create an affectionate companion dog with hypoallergenic properties. These hybrid dogs quickly became popular among pet owners who wanted small dogs that were easy to groom and train.

Since they are not considered purebred or recognized by major kennel clubs such as AKC or CKC, there’s little known about their origins besides what we know from their parent breeds. The Havanese has roots in Cuba where it was used as a lapdog by aristocrats while Shih Tzu was developed in China and was considered a royal dog of the Chinese emperors.

Overview of the article

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about owning a Havatzu. We’ll start by taking a deeper look at their appearance and characteristics, including their coat type, color, grooming needs, temperament and personality traits.

Next, we’ll discuss their health and care, including tips for maintaining good health and exercise requirements. We’ll also dive into training and socialization tips that will be helpful for first-time owners or those seeking to improve their Havatzu’s behavior.

We’ll discuss what it’s like living with a Havatzu including ideal living conditions for them as well as feeding habits and dietary needs. By the end of this article, you’ll be fully equipped with knowledge on how to take care of your furry friend so that he can live his best life with you!

Appearance and Characteristics

Physical Appearance and Size

The Havatzu is a small dog breed, weighing between 7 to 16 pounds and standing between 8 to 12 inches tall. These dogs have a compact, sturdy body with short legs and a round head.

The ears are floppy and the eyes are large and expressive. Their tails are usually curled over their back.

Coat Type, Color, and Grooming Needs

The Havatzu has a soft, fluffy coat that can either be straight or slightly wavy. Their coats come in a variety of colors including black, white, cream, tan or any combination of these colors.

Due to their long hair, they require regular grooming which includes daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling. It is important to keep their hygiene in check by regularly trimming nails (once every few weeks), brushing teeth twice or thrice per week using dog toothpaste especially made for them as human toothpaste can be toxic for them.

Temperament and Personality Traits

The Havatzu is known for its friendly disposition towards humans making it an excellent family pet. This breed is affectionate towards its owners but can be wary of strangers at first but will warm up quickly with proper introduction.

They are intelligent dogs that enjoy playing games making them good indoor pets that will thrive in apartment settings as well as large houses with yards or gardens where they can play around. These dogs usually excel in obedience training as they love pleasing their owners but due to their stubborn nature they might sometimes refuse commands especially when distracted by smells or other sounds outside the house.

Health and Care

Common Health Issues in Havatzus

Havatzus are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are susceptible to certain health issues. Some common health problems that owners of this breed should be aware of include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye problems such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and allergies.

It is important to purchase your Havatzu from a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings on their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of passing on genetic disorders. Hip dysplasia is a condition where the ball and socket joint of the hip are misaligned.

This can cause arthritis and pain in affected dogs. Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap slips out of place causing limping or lameness.

Eye problems such as cataracts or PRA can lead to vision loss in later years or even blindness if left untreated. Allergies are common in Havatzus which can cause skin irritation, itching, hair loss among other things.

Tips for Maintaining Good Health

To keep your Havatzu healthy it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs based on their age and activity level. Regular exercise is also essential for maintaining good health – aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Schedule regular vet check-ups to ensure any potential health concerns are caught early before they become more serious issues. Keeping your Havatzu up-to-date on vaccines is another vital aspect of caring for them.

Additionally, proper grooming practices should be observed to promote good hygiene and prevent skin issues like matting or hot spots. Be sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly with toothpaste formulated for canine use only – this will help prevent dental disease which is a common ailment seen in small breeds.

Exercise Requirements

Havatzus are energetic and playful dogs, so regular exercise is essential to keeping them healthy and happy. They require daily walks or playtime, preferably in a secure, enclosed area.

Havatzus also enjoy interactive games with their owners like fetch or hide-and-seek. However, it’s important to note that this breed has a low tolerance for extreme heat or cold due to their small size.

It’s best to avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day in summer months and provide extra warmth during colder seasons. Additionally, be mindful of overexertion which can cause injury or exhaustion – especially when introducing new physical activities into their routine.

Providing your Havatzu with regular exercise will not only improve their physical health but also help prevent behavioral issues linked to boredom or anxiety. Ensure that you make time for your Havatzu’s daily exercise needs as they require both mental and physical stimulation to thrive.

Training and Socialization

The Importance of Early Socialization

Socialization is a critical aspect of any dog’s development, and it is especially important for Havatzus. These dogs are social creatures that thrive on human interaction, so early socialization is key to their long-term happiness and well-being.

Experts recommend that puppies begin socializing as early as possible – ideally between 3-14 weeks old – in order to develop positive relationships with people, other dogs, and various environments. During this period, it is important to expose your Havatzu puppy to a variety of people, including children, men, women, and elderly individuals.

You should also introduce your puppy to different types of animals such as cats or birds within the household. Exposing them to different environments like parks or beaches allows them to experience new smells and sounds which help in building confidence.

Basic Obedience Training Tips

Basic obedience training is an essential aspect of raising a well-behaved Havatzu. The first step in teaching basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come” etc., is by using positive reinforcement techniques such as praise or treats.

It’s best to begin with short training sessions 2-3 times per day instead of one long session which may cause the puppy anxiety or boredom. During these sessions repetition should be used along with positive reinforcement until the pup associates the command with the expected action.

It’s important not to scold the puppy when he doesn’t respond as expected instead give gentle redirections paired with a command repeatedly. Once they have mastered basic commands move on more advanced training techniques.

Advanced Training Techniques

Once your Havatzu has mastered basic obedience commands properly you can move onto more advanced training techniques such agility training or trick training for mental stimulation. In agility training exercises like jumping and weaving through obstacles are used to improve mobility, coordination, and balance.

This training is great for active pups that need a lot of stimulation. Trick training involves teaching your Havatzu a variety of fun or useful tricks that can range from simple (shake, high-five) to more complex (play dead, roll over).

This type of training further strengthens the bond between pet parent and Havatzu. It is important to remember that advanced training techniques are not necessary for all pets.

Your Havatzu may not be athletic enough or may not enjoy these activities as much as others. In such cases it’s best to stick with basic obedience training only.

Living with a Havatzu

Living with a Havatzu can be a joyful experience as they are friendly, social, and loving. These dogs crave attention and strive to please their owners.

They love to snuggle and cuddle with their owners, making them excellent lap dogs. The ideal living conditions for a Havatzu would be in a house or an apartment setting.

They do well in small spaces but require enough living area to move around freely. They should have access to at least one outdoor area where they can run and play.

When it comes to interacting with children, the Havatzu is an excellent choice for families with young kids. They are gentle and patient animals that enjoy spending time playing games and engaging in other playful activities.

If you work full-time or have a busy schedule, it’s essential to keep your Havatzu occupied during the day by providing them with toys or interactive puzzles that keep them mentally stimulated. These intelligent dogs love learning new tricks, which makes training sessions an excellent way to keep them engaged.

Feeding Habits and Dietary Needs

The Havatzu is relatively small in size; hence they need smaller portions of food at regular intervals throughout the day. Their dietary needs differ according to their age, size, activity level, and overall health condition. Their diet should include high-quality protein from sources like chicken or lamb combined with carbohydrates like brown rice or sweet potatoes.

Some owners prefer dry kibble while others prefer wet food options; there is no right or wrong choice as long as it meets their nutritional requirements. Owning a Havatzu requires monitoring their weight closely since they are prone to obesity if overfed.

It’s best advised not to feed them table scraps as this could also affect their overall health. Always consult with a veterinarian to ensure you’re feeding your Havatzu the right amount and quality of food that meets their nutritional needs.

When giving treats to your Havatzu, make sure they are healthy options, and limit the quantity. Treats can be a helpful tool for training and rewarding good behavior.

Tips for Traveling with a Havatzu

If you plan on traveling with your Havatzu, there are some essential things you need to consider. Firstly, you should ensure that your dog is healthy enough to travel by visiting a veterinarian at least six weeks before the trip.

The vet should provide necessary vaccinations as required by airlines or other modes of transportation. Your pet should have identification tags on their collars and a microchip implant for added safety measures in case they get lost during the trip.

When traveling by car, it’s essential to keep them secure in their crate or carrier for both yours and their safety. When flying, check with the airline before booking tickets as different airlines have different pet travel policies.

Make sure you pack everything needed like food, water bowls, leash, medicines (if any), favorite toys or blankets that can comfort them during travel times. With proper preparation and planning traveling together can be an enjoyable experience for both owner and dog alike!


After exploring the world of Havatzus, it is clear that this breed makes an excellent companion for anyone looking for a small, affectionate dog. They are intelligent, playful, and have a gentle nature that makes them perfect for families with children or seniors looking for a loyal companion.

Throughout this article, we have examined the Havatzu’s physical characteristics and personality traits, as well as discussed tips for maintaining their health and training them effectively. We also explored ideal living conditions and feeding habits to ensure a long and happy life.

Overall, the Havatzu is an excellent choice for anyone seeking a small dog with big personality. Their loving nature combined with their intelligence makes them easy to train and great family members.

Summary of Key Points

When considering bringing home a Havatzu, it’s important to remember some key points about their care: – Physical Characteristics: Havatzus are small dogs weighing up to 20 pounds with soft fur coats in various colors.

Temperament: They are friendly dogs who love human companionship but can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone too often. – Health: Like all breeds, there are some common health issues that owners should be aware of such as patellar luxation or eye problems.

– Training: Early socialization is important to ensure they develop into well-rounded adults. Obedience training can start after 8 weeks old.

– Living Conditions: They can live in apartments or homes but require daily exercise. – Feeding habits: A healthy diet plan should consist of high-quality food rich in nutrients without preservatives.

Final Thoughts on Owning a Havatzu

Owning any pet is an incredible responsibility that comes with many benefits. However owning one requires commitment; one must be prepared financially and emotionally before bringing home any furry family member like the Havanese Shih Tzu Mix.

The Havatzu’s gentle nature and intelligence make them a popular breed as a companion for families with children or seniors. They can be quirky but loving and will be happy to cuddle with their owners on lazy days or go out for walks in the park.

Resources for Further Information

If you are interested in learning more about the Havatzu breed, there are many resources available online and through pet stores. Some helpful resources include:

– American Kennel Club website – Havanese Club of America website

Shih Tzu Club of America website Additionally, joining online communities or social media groups dedicated to this breed can provide valuable insight from other owners, including tips on training, health, and more.

The Havatzu is an incredible breed with much to offer any dog owner who wants a playful companion with lots of love to give. With proper care and attention, they will become wonderful members of any family.

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