Bichon World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This post may also contain other affiliate links and Bichon World might be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on them.
The havachon is a cross between the bichon frise and Havanese, two dogs who are not so dissimilar in looks, nature, or background. Mixed breeds can inherit traits and characteristics from either parent, so it’s hard to predict with total certainty what your dog will be like. (Although we can safely say it will be unbearably cute!)
This article gives you a general idea of what to expect from this adorable crossbreed. So if you’re debating whether a havachon is the one for you, read on to find out more.
Havachon (Bichon Frise x Havanese Mix) History
Like many designer dogs, the exact origins of the Havanese x bichon frise cross is not known. However, the parent breeds have existed for centuries, so in order to get an idea of the havachon’s temperament, let’s find out more about where they come from.
The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba. It belongs to the same ancient family of little white dogs as the bichon frise, thought to originate in Tenerife. Little lap dogs like this were often used to barter by seafaring merchants around the world, but it is also possible they were brought over to Cuba by Spanish and Italian explorers in the 1600s. This little dog became popular among Cuban aristocrats and wealthy planters and was named after the capital city Havana, where it was most popular.
Later, British, French, and Spanish nobility vacationing in Cuba also became enamored with the Havanese.
During its 300 years in Cuba, the breed was refined, thought to have been mixed with the now extinct Blanquito de la Habana (Havana Silk Dog). During the Communist takeover of 1959, many Cubans fled Fidel Castro’s revolution, taking their little dogs with them to the USA.
Today, they are an AKC registered breed and make for popular pets given their adorable, loyal, lively natures. Nicknamed the “velcro” dog, they really do attach to their families and love being by their side.
Bichons frises have the same roots as the Havanese, both originating in Tenerife. They belong to the “Barbichon” family of dogs, along with the Maltese, Bolognese, and Havanese, which are all thought to descend originally from the barbet, a large water dog.
While the Havanese breed lived in the lap of luxury in Cuba, the bichon frise went from being a sailor’s companion dog to becoming popular with wealthy, upper-class nobles and royalty in Europe, also turning into a pampered pooch. Small, clever lap dogs like the bichon frise and the Havanese which were not used to work were a mark of wealth, distinguishing the royals and upper classes from the lower classes.
Today, the bichon frise is a popular breed of small dog, particularly with families, due to their loving and affectionate natures – and, of course, their cute, powder-puff look!
While mixed breed dogs’ characteristics can vary, your havachon is likely to have qualities of both these breeds: cute, smart, lively, and affectionate.
Havachon Appearance (Coat, Size, and Weight)
When it comes to mixed breeds, there can always be variations, as it depends on what parent is most dominant, but let’s look at what you can generally expect from a havachon.
Coming from two very small breeds, these little pooches tend to measure between 8.5 – 11.5 inches (22 – 29 cm) and weigh about 7 – 13 pounds (3 – 6 kg). Their double coat will usually be medium to long, quite dense, and can either be more curly like the bichon frise or silky like the Havanese. Common colors include:
The havachon, while small, is quite sturdily built and has a tail that curls over its back. Their eyes are dark, their nose is typically black, and they have an expressive, sweet face with long ears.
As small dogs, the havachon will be considered adult size by the time they are one year old, so at this point you can switch over to adult food and begin off-lead walks (as long as they are trained and have good enough recall).
Next, let’s look at what it takes to keep a havachon happy.
The havachon comes from two dogs with double coats but which are low shedding, meaning that they’re low maintenance when it comes to cleaning your home.
As for grooming, they’ll need brushing at least 3 times a week to keep their coat free from mats, particularly if it’s on the silky side. Some owners decide to keep their havachon’s coat shorter for a tidier appearance, in which case you should hire a professional groomer.
It’s also important to keep your havachon’s ears clean, as if they’re anything like their Havanese parent, they can get profuse hair growth in their ears, making them more prone to infections.
Activity and Living Requirements
Havachons, despite their size, are fairly active dogs. They will need at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.
The havachon is also known to be playful and quite comical, combining qualities of both its parent breeds. This can make them good at doggy sports like flyball and agility, as they learn tricks quickly, and due to their intelligence will respond well to mental stimulation. Alternatively, you could just make sure you do lots of play sessions with your pet, give them toys, and incorporate teaching some tricks as part of their training.
As for living space, the havachon will be a good choice if you live in an apartment due to their small size and moderate energy levels. They will also do well in a house and garden, of course.
Havachon Temperament and Intelligence
The havachon is known to be cheerful, smart, and curious. They love being with their owners, which is no surprise, as they come from two breeds that have been lap dogs for centuries. This makes them suitable for people who work from home or an older, active person, or a couple who has a lot of time to dedicate to their furry friend.
Due to their affectionate natures with their families, they are good with children and other pets. They can be initially wary of strangers and make good guard dogs for the home, as they will alert you to visitors. Although they’re not excessive barkers and will normally welcome the person once they arrive, if you’re looking for a quiet dog, the havachon might not be the one for you.
Havachons are said to be fairly easy to train due to their smarts and bond with their owner. That said, they can be known to have a bit of an independent streak, something that shows up in the havanese breed. Therefore, consistent and firm training with this breed is a must – you’ll need to dedicate time and energy into this in order to get a responsive, well-trained pup.
Havachon Health and Lifespan
The havachon usually lives between 12 – 15 years. It is difficult to say with any certainty how healthy a hybrid breed will be. The bichon frise havanese mix could suffer from any medical conditions that are common in their parent breeds, but they may also be healthier because of their mixed-breed status.
It’s important to choose a reputable breeder who screens their adult dogs for common inherited conditions so that you’re more likely to be getting a healthy havachon pup.
Some serious health conditions noted in the bichon frise havanese mix are:
- Progressive retinal atrophy: This is an untreatable but painless eye problem that causes progressive blindness over a period of months or years.
- Congenital deafness: Some Havanese are born deaf from birth, and this can show up in havachons.
- Mitral valve disease: Also coming from the Japanese line, this disease occurs when the mitral valve doesn’t function properly and allows blood to flow backward into the left atrium. Most dogs with this disease will have a heart murmur, which is a vibration or change in a normal heartbeat. If diagnosed early, medication may be able to help prolong your dog’s life. It’s also very important to keep your dog’s teeth clean, as poor dental health affects heart health.
- Patella luxation: This is when your dog’s kneecap moves out of place. You may notice your dog has a skip in its step or runs on three legs. Mild cases can be managed with physiotherapy and mild exercise, but more severe cases may need surgery.
Some minor conditions the havachon can suffer from are:
- Hip dysplasia: This is complete or partial hip dislocation and can occur in many breeds, especially in old age. Keeping your havachon at a healthy weight and providing dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin (or using supplements) may help alleviate the pain in their joints.
- Allergies: If your havachon devlops skin allergies, it will be worth changing their food to see if they might be allergic to something in their diet.
5 Havachon Fun Facts
Let’s look at some fun facts about this little mixed breed.
1. They Have Common Ancestors
Some hybrid breeds come from very different lines. However, this breed comes from two dogs who share common ancestors and similar traits, meaning they’re that much easier to predict as they more closely resemble each other.
2. Their Coat Can Change
Both the bichon frise and the Havanese go through a “coat change” as they mature. The bichon usually starts bi-color or with various tones in their coat and slowly turns white as they get older, while the Havanese’s coat can turn lighter or darker due to modifying genes that can change the pattern, tone, and color of their coat.
This means that the havachon may follow in the same (little) footsteps, making their coat color delightfully unpredictable and changeable. Magic!
3. They Go By Other Names
While havachon is the most common (and easiest to say) term, they are also known as frise havanese or bichon havanese. The latter doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?
4. They Might Have a High Prey Drive
Thanks to the Havanese, whose owners say they enjoy a good chase, a high prey drive may also show up in a havachon. This means that if you have small family pets like guinea pigs, rabbits, or hamsters, it’s a good idea to keep your havachon away.
They’re likely to accept cats, but it’s better if the cat is already part of the family and they meet while your havachon is still a puppy.
5. They’re “Hypoallergenic”
While no dog can be 100% hypoallergenic, this mix comes from two low-shedding, so-called hypoallergenic breeds. This is good news for allergy sufferers, as havachon’s tend not to cause an allergic reaction.
Is Havachon the Right Breed for You?
So, is this adorable little hybrid the right choice for you? Let’s sum up.
Havachons are great for families as they can get along with children, but they’ll also suit a single person as long as someone is at home frequently with them. These little lap dogs like to be around their families. While they don’t bark excessively, they do make good watchdogs, as they are likely to alert you to visitors. So if you’re looking for a dog with zero bark, this may not be the one.
You should be somewhat active, and when it comes to training, they’ll respond well as long as you’re firm and consistent, as they have been known to have an independent streak like the Havanese. They need lots of play, too, as they’re curious and comical creatures.
They’re low-shedding and hypoallergenic, so they are good choices for allergy sufferers. Though they don’t shed a great deal, they will still need to be groomed fairly regularly to keep their coat healthy and looking tidy.
These little dogs can live long lives – up to 15 years – so they’ll accompany you on yours for a long time, delighting you with their loyal, loving, and playful nature.