Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
fast facts

About Havashu

8-15 lb
10-12 inches
12-16 years
Not Applicable
Best Suited For
families with kids and other pets, apartment dwellers, first-time dog owners
playful, intelligent, highly active, affectionate
Comparable Breeds
Havanese, Shih Tzu
Havashu Basics

The spirited little Havashu brings together the loyal, people-loving personality of the Havanese and the stubborn, feisty nature of the Shih Tzu for a great family dog that gets along well with kids and other pets. This fun-loving pooch would play non-stop if allowed and can lean towards hyper-active if he doesn’t have an outlet for his energy.

The spirited Havashu brings together the people-loving personality of the Havanese and the feisty nature of the Shih Tzu.


The Havashu comes from crossing the Havenese and the Shih Tzu and while his parent breeds have some pretty impressive history – the Shih Tzu dates back 800 years to ancient Tibet while the Havanese first surfaced in Cuba around 1500 – the Havashu himself is fairly recent. He likely goes back 30 or 40 years to when breeders first began crossing pure-breds to help cancel out common health issues and create smaller, gentler or even hypo-allergenic variations on a popular breed.


Because he comes form 2 different purebreds, the Havashu cannot join the coveted American Kennel Club (AKC) roster of pure-breeds however both foundation breeds are members. The Havanese joined the “toy” group in 1996 while the Shih Tzu was named to the same group in 1969.

This fun-loving pooch would play non-stop if allowed.


The busy little Havashu loves his food and can become obese if given the chance. Because he can suffer from joint issues later in life its important his ideal weight be maintained so plan to feed him a nutrient-rich kibble designed for his age, size and activity levels. Smaller meals 2 to 3 times a day versus free-feeding is ideal and always avoid foods with fillers such as carbohydrates that will cause him to over-eat to feel full.


The smart little Havashu is quick to pick up commands and fairly easy to train. He does have a stubborn streak which may present and require a little extra patience but taking a rewards-based approach that includes treats and loads of verbal praise will help overcome this. Because the Shih Tzu is known to be difficult to house-train, start early and be firm and consistent to net the best results.


Once grown, the Havashu will weigh between 8 and 15 pounds.


This fun-loving dog is full of energy and packed with personality. He loves to cuddle up with his family after a day of play and he easily gets along with everyone from kids to pets and other dogs. He’s an intelligent pooch with a stubborn streak and an inquisitive mind that can get him into mischief from time to time – more often when he’s left on his own for long periods of time. A real people-pleaser, this sturdy, friendly little guy is an occasional barker who will alert you to strangers so a great watchdog and ideal for apartment life.

Common Health Problems

Havashu dogs have no known health issues however one should always be aware of what their new pup could inherit from the parent breeds. With the Havashu, this can include joint issues such as patellar luxation as well as bladder stones and heart disease.

Life Expectancy

The Havashu will enjoy a good, long life of between 12 and 16 years.

Exercise Requirements

The Havashu is a peppy little pooch whose exercise will ideally include loads of interactive playtime in addition to short daily walks. He’s a curious boy who will enjoy the opportunity to explore off-leash at the dog park or in his own backyard. Because he is highly intelligent and can tend to become hyper-active, it’s important you include activity in this pup’s daily routine to help him burn off energy and stimulate those little grey cells.

The curious little Havashu is full of energy and packed with personality.

Recognized Clubs

Also known by the names Hava-Tzu and Havatzu, the Havashu’s mixed breed status means he can’t join the American Kennel Club’s(AKC) roster of purebreds however he is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Breed Registry (DBR), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA). And the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).


While your Havashu is not a heavy shedder, his long, silky coat will require daily brushing to prevent tangles and matts from forming. As both the Shih Tzu and Havanese are considered hypoallergenic dogs, it’s likely the Havashu will be too, making him ideal for allergy sufferers. If his coat is kept longer, expect regular visits to a groomer to keep it trim and looking it’s best. His floppy ears should be inspected and cleaned weekly to prevent infection and because smaller dogs are prone to periodontal disease, plan to brush his teeth 2 to 3 times per week.


This sturdy pup will grow into a playful little dog who loves to chase – so early socialization will be needed to ensure he knows how to play nice with other dogs and family pets. Because he is an intelligent breed, obedience training can begin while he is still young and with joint issues a potential problem later in life, make sure playtime and exercise don’t overtax tiny limbs.

Photo credits: Pepsco Studio/Shutterstock; Bianca Grueneberg/Shutterstock; Dan Kosmayer/Shutterstock

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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