Havanese vs. Morkie: Which Breed to Get?

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Havanese vs. MorkieSmall dog breeds are incredibly popular for a huge range of reasons; they’re cute, they are often very friendly, and they’re perfect for people who don’t have the space or expertise for a larger dog breed.

Two particularly popular ones that people often debate are the Havanese and the Morkie.

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Havanese vs. Morkie: A Detailed Comparison

Let’s look at the two side-by-side to help you pick between the two.


Havanese dogs have a long history, one which dates as far back as the early 16th century in Peru.They developed from the Tenerife dogs which were taken to Cuba with farmers and migrants. During Castro’s revolution in Cuba in the 1970s, some of those who ran away to America brought their Havanese with them, leading to the American KEnnel Club’s official recognition of the breed in 1996.

They are one of the several different types of bichon breeds.

On the other hand, Morkies are a very new breed. They have been traced back to the 1990s, when it is likely they were bred in North America in order to create incredibly friendly, cute, and affectionate dogs. These traits are well sought after and often contribute to the development of designer breeds.

Being a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire terrier, the Morkie has some bichon blood too.


The Havanese are known for their small size, and it is often this that sells them to most people. They are, on average, between 8 and 12 inches tall and weigh between 7 and 13 pounds. They’re often longer than they are tall with dropped ears, a tail that curls over their back, and a soft, wavy coat. The Havanese are well loved for their cuteness.

Likewise, Morkies are incredibly small breeds. They are typically between 6 and 8 inches tall, and they can weigh around 7 to 13 pounds. Their coats can be brown, black or white, or a mix of all of the above, since they get the colors from the two parent breeds: the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier.

Their coats are best when kept short, and they can have either pointed or floppy ears, again dependent on the lineage of the puppy.

Aging Profile

Small breeds tend to have longer life expectancies than larger breeds, and that is the case with both the Havanese and the Morkie. Havanese dogs can live as long as 12 to 15 years, and Morkies have an average life expectancy of 14 and a half years.

Both breeds are fully grown by a year old, with Havanese dogs reaching full maturity at 12 months. Morkies are fully grown at around 10 months old.


Temperament plays a huge part in the decision of whether or not to adopt a certain breed and a certain dog. It determines what kind of relationship an owner and their family will have with the dog, and whether the two are a good combination.

Some people assume that smaller breeds like the Havanese and the Morkie are going to be perfect lap dogs or that they’re going to have “small dog syndrome” and be very reactive – but neither of those is particularly the case.

The Havanese are known for a few key personality traits. They are incredibly playful and affectionate and are incredibly high-energy dogs, so whilst they love a cuddle, they also require a lot of walking and playing to keep them occupied. They are also a very sensitive breed, and this can cause a lot of issues if not handled correctly.

Likewise, the Morkie is a great lap dog sometimes and is affectionate and sociable, but has the characteristic Yorkshire Terrier feistiness. It is also very energetic. So with the right amount of attention and play, they’ll be very happy to cuddle up with you.

But just like the Havanese, they can be very sensitive dogs too.


For people looking to train their dogs, be it for general obedience or for shows, intelligence can be really important. Stubborn dogs, or less intelligent breeds will be harder to train than others.

The Havanese are relatively intelligent, and most people will find them easy to train, especially if met with positive reinforcement. However, on the other hand, they do not handle discipline well and can often act out if disciplined at all.

Morkies are also a very intelligent breed, and just like the Havanese, they respond incredibly well to positive reinforcement. Provide them with treats, and they’ll quickly learn any tricks that owners want to teach them!


Grooming a dog is incredibly important, and naturally, some breeds require much more rigid grooming routines than others. When it comes to the Havanese and the Morkie, both are medium-maintenance breeds.

The Havanese needs to be brushed every 2 to 3 weeks, and they should be bathed every other week – or just when they appear dirty or begin to smell. They should always be brushed when damp and will require some dental hygiene on a regular basis, either through dental treats or through regular teeth brushing.

Morkies, on the other hand, require daily brushing and regular eye, ear, and teeth cleaning. They will need bathing every couple of weeks and may need hair trimming near their eyes relatively regularly to keep their sight clear.


Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to specific health conditions due to their lineage and the way that breeders pick and breed for certain traits. These can often be avoided or dealt with so long as owners work alongside vets to best care for their pets.

The Havanese, for example, are particularly susceptible to Legg-Calves-Perthes disease, luxating patellas, distichiasis, deafness, hypothyroidism, eye conditions, and heart problems. Morkies are also susceptible to similar conditions, including eye, ear, and oral health issues, collapsed trachea, reverse sneezing, hypoglycemia, portosystemic shunts, and luxating patellas.


When buying a dog, there are a lot of costs involved, the biggest of which is the cost of buying the puppy itself. Since Havanese and Morkies are popular breeds, and Morkies are “designer breeds,” they cost a fair amount.

On average, Havanese dogs can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $1,500, and Morkies can cost between $450 and $2,500. The higher end of these prices will be for Pedigree dogs or those from reputable breeders. The cheaper option for those interested in these breeds would be to adopt from a rescue shelter.

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

All of these characteristics are incredibly important when it comes to deciding between a Havanese and a Morkie, but there are other important things that should be considered when debating between the two breeds, too. One of the most crucial points to think about is whether or not your living arrangements work with the breed.

With both breeds, there are elements of their personality that work better for certain households. Both the Havanese and the Morkie require a reasonable amount of exercise and playtime due to being high-energy dogs. This makes them less suitable for older people, those with disabilities, or those with little spare time.

Without the right amount of exercise and play, both breeds may become bored and restless, and this could manifest as misbehavior.

Both breeds are also unsuitable for those who work a lot, or who are often away from home. The Havanese are closely related to the Bichon family and share the breed’s infamous sensitivity. Morkies also suffer from this, and both breeds tend to get very attached to their families to the point of suffering from separation anxiety. With Morkies, this can occasionally be trained away.

This sensitivity also makes both breeds poorly suited to families with young children. The dogs will notice any change in schedule, or if owners favor their child over their dog, and may take this very poorly. This can result in acting out, depression, and other problematic traits.

It’s also important to consider whether or not the dog is suitable for the family’s needs and personal preferences; for example, if someone in the family has a dander allergy, the Havanese would be most suitable as they are hypoallergenic. Morkies on the other hand do shed less than other breeds, but may still cause a reaction.


For families looking for a small lap dog, both breeds would be suitable so long as the dog gets adequate exercise. The two breeds differ in maintenance and health, and for those looking for lower-maintenance dogs, the Havanese breed would be better suited.

However, it is important to note that each dog’s traits will differ, even within a breed.

Considering Other Breeds Too?

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

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