Havanese vs. Goldendoodle: Which Breed to Get?

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Havanese vs. GoldendoodleDogs are man’s best friend for a reason, and both of these breeds are great pets that demonstrate precisely why we as a society love dogs.

With both the Havanese and Goldendoodle being extremely adorable and incredibly well-natured, it might be difficult to pick one. That said, they both suit different types of people and lives. Reading this article should help you with making one of your life’s most important decisions.

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Havanese vs. Goldendoodle: A Detailed Comparison

Let’s start by taking a look at the two breeds side-by-side.


Historians have discovered that the Havanese has a reasonably extensive history. Its roots can be traced as far back as 16th century Havana. It is there that the gorgeous breed is thought to have originated, descending directly from the Tenerife dogs of the time that Mediterranean travelers had taken to the country.

From there, the breed became insanely popular, working its way into the homes of many busy city homes and even becoming Cuba’s national dog. From Cuba, the breed made its way to mainland Europe when French visitors fell in love with the breed and took their own Havanese pets home to their families.

However, the breed did not reach the USA until the 1970s, when Cubans fled Castro’s Revolution, taking their dogs with them. In 1996, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed officially. It is one of the several different types of bichon breeds.

On the other hand, the Goldendoodle does not have a long history. It is thought to have originated in the USA in the late 1960s and was bred to provide a hypoallergenic guide dog for those with little sight or hearing.

Its parent breeds, the Poodle and Golden Retriever are known for loyalty and intelligence and have a much more extensive history that traces back to 17th century Germany for Poodles and 19th century Scotland for Golden Retrievers.


The Havanese is classified as a “toy dog” due to its size. The breed measures in at between 8 and 12 inches and weighs between 7 and 13 pounds on average, making it the perfect lapdog. A Havanese is recognizable for its dropped ears, wavy coat, and tail that curls up and over the back end of the body.

The breed is often longer than it is tall and comes in a range of colors including Havana Brown, mahogany, tobacco, fawn, black, and white.

The Goldendoodle is a bit bigger, measuring in at 13 to 26 inches and weighing anywhere between 45 to 100 pounds on average. Their coat is wiry and curly, and they can be gold, cream, red, black, brown, white, or grey depending on the stock.

Aging Profile

It is often the case that small dogs live longer than older dogs, however in this case that appears to not be true. The Havanese has an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, whereas the Goldendoodle’s typical life expectancy is between 10 to 15 years.

Havanese puppies will reach fully grown much quicker than the Goldendoodle, too. They will reach full size by 12 months old, whereas the Goldendoodle is much more likely to not reach their full size until they are 18 to 24 months old.


Both breeds shine when it comes to temperament.

The Havanese is known for its playfulness and energetic nature, and the breed will often do whatever possible to be the center of attention and to ensure that they are always being given affection. Sometimes described as needy, the Havanese is a very loyal and sensitive breed, which can sometimes prove too much for some families, but also means that they provide great companionship to their owners.

Goldendoodles take after both of their parent breeds with their temperament. They are very very friendly and social with both children and other dogs, and are very affectionate with their family and pretty much anybody else – they are not guard dogs, that’s for sure! They are very playful, and often have bounds of energy to let loose when it comes to playtime or walks.


There is one clear winner between these two breeds when it comes to intelligence: the Goldendoodle.

Whilst the Havanese is a relatively intelligent breed that can easily be trained and is very responsive, especially to positive reinforcement, the Goldendoodle is within the top 5 most intelligent dog breeds.

Bred to be a working dog, the Goldendoodle is not only incredibly intelligent, but they are incredibly obedient and are well suited to learning many tricks, including those required of service or assistance dogs.


Despite both the Havanese and the Goldendoodle being hypoallergenic dog breeds, they are both reasonably high maintenance. The Havanese requires a brushing every 2 to 3 weeks and must be bathed every other week. They can only be brushed when damp, and will often require eye and ear cleaning in between baths.

Likewise, the Goldendoodle requires regular brushing to prevent matts and needs regular moisturizing baths to help protect the skin from any dryness or irritation. For some Goldendoodles, owners may also need to complete regular trims of the coat around the eyes to ensure that the dog is able to see.


As with people, different dog breeds are prone to different health conditions. These conditions are usually treatable or avoidable, so long as the owners work alongside veterinary experts to provide the best care for their pets.

The Havanese are susceptible to Legg-Calves-Perthes disease, luxating patellas, distichiasis, deafness, hypothyroidism, eye conditions, and heart problems. The Goldendoodle is prone to hip dysplasia, sebaceous adenitis, subvalvular aortic stenosis, Addison’s disease, retinal atrophy, and cataracts.


For those looking to buy either of these breeds, it will not be cheap.

On average, in the US, a Havanese will cost anywhere between $1,000 and $1,500, and a Goldendoodle will cost between $2,000 and $5,000. These prices will change depending on the popularity and availability of the breed at the time, as well as the lineage of the stock used by the breeder and whether or not the breeder is registered.

Havanese vs. Goldendoodle: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

For those after a hypoallergenic pet, both the Havanese and the Goldendoodle are great choices to consider. However, when it comes to which lifestyles they suit, they differ greatly.

The Havanese’s sensitivity, for example, makes it an unsuitable pet for anyone with babies or toddlers. The dog will notice small changes and a lack of attention and may develop separation anxiety, destructive behavior, and jealousy toward the child.

On the other hand, Goldendoodles are brilliant with children of all ages. They’re incredibly social dogs and will get on with anyone in the home, including other dogs.

For owners who work away from home often and may need to leave their pet alone in the house, the Havanese is not an ideal breed. The breed has a tendency to form separation anxiety as a result of its closeness to the Bichon Frise. This anxiety can manifest as bad behavior, temperament changes, and even a sudden development of depression.

The Goldendoodle, alternatively, is fine to be left alone for up to 6 hours so long as they are trained well, exercised regularly, and left with sufficient water, food, and mental stimulation for the day. It is important, however, to lead up to this. Do not expect your puppy Goldendoodle to be able to cope with this straight away.

One thing that both breeds have in common, which is incredibly useful in the modern world where many people live in apartment blocks or small homes, is that they are well suited to most environments. Both breeds are incredibly adaptable, and so long as they are exercised regularly, both are absolutely fine to live in apartments, small homes, or large properties.


Those looking for a calm, constant companion who will be devoted to them forever, should opt for the Havanese over the Goldendoodle. However, anyone with a busy family, work, or social life, would be better off with a Goldendoodle, as they are more adaptable and are more likely to fit around your life, rather than you fit around theirs.

Both breeds make fantastic pets, and all families would be lucky to have one in their homes.

Considering Other Breeds Too?

Make sure to read how the Havanese compares with other breeds too:

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