Havanese vs. Labradoodle: Which Breed to Get?

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Havanese vs. LabradoodleThe Havanese and the Labradoodle are incredibly popular dog breeds, and both make great family pets. However, whilst the two breeds are both well-beloved, and share a few characteristics, they definitely suit different households.

As such, it’s important to do your homework before getting either. In this article, I’ll help you decide between the two.

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Havanese vs. Labradoodle: A Detailed Comparison

Let’s start by looking at the two breeds side-by-side.


Havanese can be traced back as far as the 1500s when they begun to crop up in Cuba. Historians believe that the current Havanese breed developed from Tenerife dogs that had been taken to Cuba from around the Mediterranean by travelers.

The Havanese breed became an instant family favorite and was well suited to city living, so became a very common dog in cities such as Havana – hence the breed’s name. From Havana, the breed spread across the world. It became popular among French and other European visitors who took their own pets back with them.

Then, much later, in the 1970s, the breed spread up into the United States when people left Cuba to escape Castro’s Revolution. In 1996, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. It is one of several different types of bichon breeds.

Labradoodles have a much shorter history. The name was first used in 1955 to describe a one-off mix of the two parent breeds: Poodles and Labradors. Then, in the late 1980s, the Australian Guide Dog Society received an inquiry from a woman looking for a hypoallergenic guide dog.

And so, the Labradoodle was born.


The Havanese is a “toy breed.” These dogs are very small, measuring between 8 and 12 inches in height and 7 to 13 pounds. They have distinct dropped ears and a wavy coat, and their tails curl upwards over their back. Often, this breed is actually longer than they are tall.

Alternatively, the Labradoodle can reach heights of 24 inches, typically measuring between 21 inches and 24. They tend to weigh between 50 and 65 pounds – substantially more than the Havanese! The Labradoodle can have one of 3 types of coat: hair, fleece, and wool, and they can come in caramel, chocolate, cream, apricot, parchment red, cafe, and chalk.

Aging Profile

Smaller breeds generally live longer than the larger dog breeds, but in this case that’s not true. The average life expectancy of both breeds is between 12 and 14 years.

However, the two breeds do differ in when they become fully grown. The Havanese will be fully grown at about one year old, whereas the Labradoodle will reach their full size between 12 and 18 months old.


Temperament plays a large part in deciding whether a dog breed is suitable, and luckily, both the Havanese and the Labradoodle have incredibly playful and affectionate temperaments. Both breeds have a very high-energy playful side as well as a more chilled-out and affectionate side.

They are also incredibly responsive, especially the Labradoodle who has inherited such traits from the parent breeds.


The Havanese is a very intelligent dog and can be trained relatively easily so long as positive reinforcement is used. They are very responsive and can usually pick up most tricks as long as treated with the right amount of patience and as long as they are not disciplined – they are incredibly sensitive.

The Labradoodle was bred to be an assistance dog, and so the parent breeds were chosen especially for intelligence and obedience. The result is that Labradoodles are one of the most intelligent hybrid breeds out there, and can very easily be trained and molded into a perfectly obedient and in some cases even helpful pet.


It is vital that grooming comes into consideration when choosing a dog breed. High maintenance breeds can cost families substantially more than lower maintenance dog breeds. Fortunately, both the Labradoodle and the Havanese simply require home grooming regularly and then professional grooming every now and then.

The Havanese will require a brush every 2 to 3 weeks and must be bathed every other week. Their coats must only be brushed whilst wet or damp in order to reduce irritation and make the brushing easier.

Labradoodles are slightly more high maintenance. They require brushing every few days, and will also need regular nail clippings and ear cleanings. However, these jobs are not particularly taxing and with the right amount of patience and care, this grooming routine could easily be done at home.


Most dog breeds are susceptible to few health conditions, often because of their lineage and genetics. The Havanese is prone to Legg-Calves-Perthes disease, luxating patellas, distichiasis, deafness and hypothyroidism, as well as eye conditions and heart problems. Labradoodles are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and von Willebrand’s disease.

However, with the right care and veterinary support, these conditions can be avoided and treated as needed.


Neither Havanese nor Labradoodle are particularly cheap breeds. They are incredibly desirable pets with great temperaments and are both very cute. For that reason, Havanese will cost the average household between $1,000 and $1,500 per dog, and Labradoodles will cost between $1,200 and $1,500.

For dogs from respectable breeders or pedigree dogs, these prices could be significantly higher. It largely depends on where the dog comes from, as well as their lineage.

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

Whilst the two dogs do have similar temperaments, they differ greatly when it comes to the households that they’d suit best.

The Havanese is an incredibly friendly dog, but they are very sensitive and cannot be left alone without developing severe separation anxiety. This makes them incredibly unsuitable for those who work regularly.

The Havanese’s sensitivity also makes them unsuitable for families with young children. They will not handle the lack of attention that occurs when young children are in the home, nor would they be able to cope with the amount of change that young children bring into a household.

They are, however, better suited than Labradoodles to small apartments or homes due to their size, and are very affectionate and cuddly pets. They perhaps best suit small families with older children, or single owners – especially those who are older.

Labradoodles, on the other hand, are very well suited to family homes. They love the attention of children and are incredibly playful. They can handle being left alone for up to around 8 hours so long as they are given enough food and drink during that time.

They cannot, however, be kept in homes or apartments that are too small. As a medium to large breed, Labradoodles will need more space on a daily basis than a small home or apartment would be able to give – even if they were exercised regularly.


Both the Labradoodle and the Havanese are hypoallergenic, friendly dogs that are easy to keep well-trained, and well-groomed, however, the two breeds are suited to two very different household lives.

For small homes and single people or couples, a Havanese is likely to be the best option. For those with larger homes, big families, or who work away from home on a regular basis, the Labradoodle is the pet for them.

Considering Other Breeds Too?

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

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