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Affectionately known as the Havashu, the Havanese Shih Tzu Mix is a cross between two purebred dogs: the Havanese and the Shih Tzu.

This little bundle of joy is friendly and affectionate. He also enjoys the attention and affection given to him.

Despite his lively personality, the Havanese Shih Tzu Mix is very easy to maintain, making him an excellent choice for any family and even first-time dog owners.

Overall, this dog is suited for individuals and families looking for a lively companion.

Read on to learn more about the Havanese Shih Tzu Mix.

In this guide, we’ll explore their appearance, behavior, temperament and training needs to give you a better understanding of this mixed breed dog, so you can decide if he is a good match for you and your household.

About the Havashu

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Havanese Shih Tzu Mix is a hybrid dog that is a cross between two different purebreds: the Havanese and the Shih Tzu.

This mixed breed dog has a few other names, including Havashu, Hava Tzu, Havatzu, and Hava-Tzu.

As a crossbreed, the Havashu is not a recognized member of any particular breed group. However, both his parents are in the Toy Group, and therefore, the Havashu would definitely fall under the same group as well.

Although the origin of the Havashu is still unknown, this dog is most likely the result of the recent designer dog trend in the United States.

With limited details regarding the history of the Havashu breed, we need to study the history of each parent dog to understand the traits that the new mixed breed dog may exhibit.

havanese shih tzu mix dogHavashu – Image Source

The History of the Havanese

A very adorable, lively and outgoing small breed dog, the Havanese gets his name from the Cuban capital city of Havana.

This canine is also known as the Havana Silk Dog, the Bichon Havanese, the Spanish Silk Poodle, the Blanquito Cubano, the Blanquito de la Habana and the Bichon Habanero.

The Havanese dog originated from the Mediterranean region and was developed along the Italian and Spanish coastlines.

It is widely believed that these canines were imported to Cuba by early sea captains. Mistakenly, the most common brown color of the early dogs created the legend that would recognize it as a breed whose origins stem from Havana, the capital city of Cuba.

Political instability led to the disappearance of the early Havanese bloodlines in Cuba, but a few of those dogs were allegedly smuggled out of the country and their descendants have thrived in the United States ever since

havanese dog history

The History of the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a very old breed whose origins stem from the Tibet/China region.

Loving and gentle, the Shih Tzu was a cherished companion dog. These dogs were customarily given to noblemen and other high profile personalities as a gift.

Due to their looks, the Shih Tzu dogs were, for some time, known as Lion Dogs. Their wild hair and bold personality meant that they rightly deserved this nickname.

The Shih Tzu arrived in the UK in the year 1928 and later in 1969, the breed was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

These dogs also love attention and enjoy being around their family.

shih tzu dog origin

The Physical Characteristics of the Havashu

The physical traits of any mixed breed dog will usually be determined by the dominant gene.

The Havanese and Shih Tzu Mix will generally have longer legs in the back and shorter ones in front, thereby making them slightly raised at the rear side of their body.

They have a medium length curly tail. They also have floppy ears and a dark nose.

The texture of their coat will vary from wavy and fluffy to curly. However, this will depend on the parent breed your Havashu takes after most.

The most common coat colors include black, white, cream, gray, brown and sable.

shih tzu havanese crossHavanese/ Shih Tzu Mix – Image Source

The Average Havashu Size, Height and Weight

A full grown Havashu dog is still small in size and stands anywhere between 8 and 12 inches tall.

The normal weight range is 7 to 15 pounds. These dogs will normally mature around 12 months of age.

How Long Do Havashu Dogs Live?

The average lifespan of the Havashu dog is 12 to 16 years. These pups can live this long due to minimal health issues within the breed.

Proper nutrition and exercise regimen can help make them live longer and healthier lives.

Are Havashu Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Since both the Havanese and the Shih Tzu breeds are said to be hypoallergenic, their offspring should also be hypoallergenic.

This means that the Havashu dog is safe to own for anyone who has animal-related allergies. This mixed breed dog is an excellent choice for individuals who have allergies to canines.

Havashus produce less amounts of dander and do not shed as much as many other dog breeds. However, it is important to point out here that no dog is completely hypoallergenic. All dog breeds produce a certain amount of dander.

Dog-related allergies can also occur if an allergic individual gets into contact with a pup’s saliva.

Remember that Havashu dogs are very affectionate and usually establish very strong bonds with their owners.

If you have a serious allergy to canines, make sure to visit a trusted Havashu breeder so you can spend a reasonable amount of time with these dogs to see if you experience an allergic reaction before you buy or adopt one of these puppies.

Havanese Shih Tzu Mix Temperament & Behavioral Traits

The Havashu dog is charming, playful and fun to be with. These strong little guys are very energetic and tend to follow their owners around.

They are alert and highly intelligent, barking only when they sense danger.

The Havashu gets along well with young children. Since they are sturdier than many other similar sized canines, they are not as delicate. However, it is a good idea to teach your kids how to interact with this dog without teasing or hurting them.

Proper socialization can help your Havashu dog get along well with other pets. Otherwise, he may want to chase them around just for fun rather than aggression.

Since both parent breeds (especially the Shih Tzu) are quite stubborn, Havashu puppies can be strong-willed and will usually require some form of obedience training.


The Havanese falls under the same category of dogs as the Maltese and the Bichon Frise, which are all difficult to housebreak. Therefore, proper crate training is a must for your Havanese Shih Tzu Mix puppy.

When it comes to the actual training, Havashu dogs do quite well. They are quite smart and generally, eager to please. This means that they are willing to learn and will do everything possible to make their owners fully satisfied.

They will usually require some obedience training due to their hyperactivity and stubbornness, but positive reinforcement methods can help you train your Havashu dog successfully.

It is important to note that Havanese Shih Tzu Mix dogs are sensitive to human emotions and the tone they are spoken to. Therefore, they will not learn quickly under harsh conditions. Punishment-based training is a no-no for any dog.

They will also be quite stubborn if you are not confident enough when training them. Therefore, you should be the pack leader of your puppy from the word go.

When training a Havashu, you will achieve the best results if you start training him early and use a firm, positive tone.

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Exercise Requirements

The Havashu is an energetic little dog whose exercise routine should include daily walks and plenty of interactive playtime.

These dogs are also curious and will enjoy exploring the dog park or the neighborhood off-leash.

Since the Havashu is highly intelligent and full of energy, it is advisable to include physical activities in your dog’s daily routine in order to help them release excess energy and provide mental stimulation.

Activities like obedience or agility training will also offer the much-needed mental stimulation.


When it comes to grooming, the Havanese Shih Tzu Mix has moderate demands.

While shedding is minimal for this mixed breed dog, regular brushing is essential to maintain the pup’s coat in optimal condition. Brushing his coat at least three times each week will be sufficient to keep his coat shiny and healthy.

You should also check his ears frequently for any infection or inflammation. Also, clean their ears properly from time to time.

Then, trim their nails as needed. A nail grinding tool can come in handy here.

Havashu dogs should be bathed from time to time, but not too frequently.

Additionally, this dog’s teeth should be brushed regularly to prevent bad breath and to keep their gums healthy.

Further Reading: What Is The Best Brush For Shedding Dogs? (Top 15)

Feeding Information

Havashus need just one cup of high quality dog food per meal. It is advisable to monitor your pup’s calorie intake to prevent obesity, which can aggravate any existing health problems.

You should also give them treats in moderation. While treats are good for training, offering too much can lead to obesity.

These dogs require high quality food without fillers like carbohydrates. Grains are sometimes used as fillers, so it’s important to choose dog foods that have enough protein content and avoid those with too many grains.

Homemade food is sometimes recommended, but you need to ensure your dog is getting proper nutrition. Otherwise, it is advisable to supplement with fish oil and vitamins.

Common Havashu Health Problems

Thankfully, Havanese Shih Tzu Mix puppies have no major health problems. However, you should research what these pups could inherit from both parent breeds.

The Havashu might inherit a few health issues, including deafness, urinary stones, Patellar Luxation, Mitral Valve disorder and chondrodysplasia (canine dwarfism).

Other less serious health problems include joint and bone problems, allergies and eye issues.

The best way to reduce the health risks involved is to get a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder and also to use an at-home testing kit like the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit.

Finding Havanese Shih Tzu Mix for Sale or Adoption

If you’re considering Havashu puppies for sale, check out trusted breeders near you.

Reputable breeders will be open and can give you more information about these pups. You may want to check out the official website of the American Kennel Club for certified breeders in your area.

Ideally, you should meet the parent dogs before choosing your puppy. That way, you’ll get a good idea of what to expect when you finally bring your puppy home.

The price of Havashu puppies is normally in the range of $300 to $1200.

Rescue shelters and dog adoption centers do a great job of finding new homes for puppies and adult dogs that have been abandoned or surrendered due to unforeseen circumstances. The adoption fees will vary from one organization to another.

havashu dog infoImage Source

Ideal Home for Havashu Dogs

Since the Havashu dogs form strong bonds with their owners, it is not a good idea to add this dog to your family if you will be leaving him alone for long periods of time.

Havashu dogs require both physical and social activities to remain happy and healthy.

Your Havanese Shih Tzu Mix will require plenty of playtime each day. This means that these dogs are suited to active individuals or families that have active children.

These dogs are also ideal for apartment living. They are normally quiet and do not bark unnecessarily. They are also easy to train not to bark.

Although they are suited to smaller living spaces, these dogs are very adaptable and will be equally happy in bigger homes.

While playing outdoors, they enjoy running around off leash. Due to their small size, you need to ensure your Havashu is always within your sight.


The Havanese Shih Tzu Mix is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. He is a relatively low-maintenance dog who is a great companion for families of any size as well as anyone living alone.

Just make sure that you have the time to be around your pup because Havashus are people pets. If so, be ready for a little adorable bundle that has a lot of love to offer.

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