Havanese vs. Pomeranian: Which Breed to Get?

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Havanese vs. PomeranianYou might fancy the bold foxy-faced Pomeranian or the lively long-haired Havanese. Learning the vast differences between these breeds will help you choose the best one as a pet.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), both breeds are toy dogs, although the Havanese is slightly bigger. The Pomeranian has a rounded appearance and is mostly orange or red. The Havanese are known for their magnificent hair that can be curly, wavy, or straight.

Below, we cover the differences between the Havanese and the Pomeranian to help you decide the best one for your lifestyle.

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Havanese Vs. Pomeranian: A Detailed Comparison

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


The Havanese breed is native to Cuba, and the dogs were named after Havana, the capital city. Many believe that world-colonizing Spaniards brought the dog to Cuba’s shores in the 1600s. Others think that it was the Phoenicians that introduced Havanese to the rest of the world through Cuba.

The bichon frise and Maltese are the ancestors of the first Havanese. In other words, the Havanese is a bichon-type dog. It gained favor among Cuban nobility and wealthy farmers, with many owning them as lap dogs. Havanese history gets more interesting because archeologists believe ancient Egyptians worshiped the Havanese.

Breeders further refined Havanese by crossbreeding them with various Poodle mixes. Fleeing Cubans introduced them to the US in 1959 after the communists took over their country. After the 1959 event, Havanese grew in popularity in the US and then in the rest of the world.

The Pomeranian is a dog breed of the Spitz type named after the Pomerania region, an area in Northeastern Europe. The adorable Pomeranians descended from their much larger Spitz-type cousins in the Arctic region of Iceland. The Pomeranian, popularly referred to as the Pom, is the pocket-sized version of the much larger Spitz sled dogs. It hailed from the German Spitz breed, giving them the name Zwergspitz (dwarf Spitz) because of the size difference.

The Pomeranian caught the eye of royalty, such as Queen Victoria, who was smitten with the dog. Queen Victoria, a breeding enthusiast, was responsible for the Pomeranian reducing in size by almost half. Consequently, the smaller variety gained universal popularity.


Pomeranians are easily recognizable by their luxurious fluffy coats and prick ears. Havanese are 8.5 to 11 inches tall and weigh 10 to 16 pounds. Meanwhile, Pomeranians are smaller, standing at 6 to 9 inches with a weight of a mere 3 to 7 pounds. The tiny sizes qualify both as toy breeds by AKC’s standards.

Havanese are sturdy in structure, and they appear longer than they are tall. They have long, fluffy coats that can be curly, wavy, or straight and have a silky feel. Their double-coat comes in a variety of colors and markings, such as red, sable, golden, blue, cream, black, brindle, chocolate, white, and fawn.

Their double-coat is low-shedding making these pups perfect candidates for hypoallergenic dogs. However, spending time with a Havanese is the only way of knowing with certainty that they won’t trigger a reaction because no dog is completely hypoallergenic.

On the other hand, Pomeranians are dainty dogs with small but compact bodies. They have a fluffy double coat that extends to their necks and shoulders, giving them a glamorous ruff. Their tails plume beautifully over their backs. Their noses can be black, or the same color as the coats (self-colored), and they have dark, almond-shaped eyes.

Pomeranians aren’t hypoallergenic dogs. Owing to their thick coats, they’re moderate to heavy shedders. The most common coat colors are red and orange, but they can also be in almost any other solid color. Pomeranian colors include black, white, cream, blue, tan, and wolf sable.

Aging Profile

The Pomeranian and Havanese lead long and healthy lives of about 12 to 16 years. Havanese and Pomeranians can live well into double-digit numbers with proper medical care and nutrition. The breeds are susceptible to certain medical conditions. Both breeds attain adult size at 6 to 8 months old. Some problems both breeds are prone to include:

  • Dental issues: Small breeds are prone to dental problems because their teeth are crowded in their mouths. Without proper oral care, plaque and tartar can accumulate, leading to periodontitis.
  • Patellar luxation: A condition where the knee cap temporarily slips out of place. Also common among small breeds of dogs.
  • Heart issues: One common issue is heart murmurs.

Since Pomeranians are sometimes subject to “teacup” or “micro” breeding, they can have more health issues relating to breeding for extremely small sizes. This includes issues such as collapsing tracheas and very easily broken bones.


The Havanese and Pomeranians are lively dog breeds fiercely loyal to their owners. Each dog has a unique temperament, but most times, different breeds have attributes typical to them. Both breeds are highly affectionate and love spending quality time with family.

Regarding children, Havanese tend to do slightly better around small kids. This isn’t to say that Pomeranians won’t do well around kids, but it takes time and training for them to adapt properly. They are also more at risk of injury because of their size. For getting along with other animals, Pomeranians could also do with some training. They tend to overestimate their size and can go up against bigger dogs and other animals, which can be dangerous.

Pomeranians retain some of their wolf-like qualities, like a natural suspicion of strangers. This, along with their tendency to bark, makes them excellent watchdogs. Havanese are friendlier to strangers and are average barkers, making them less than ideal watchdogs.


Pomeranians are very intelligent and a bit smarter than the Havanese. But, an intelligent dog can also be a mischievous dog, and Pomeranians can be a little stubborn during training. Luckily, they are highly eager to please their owners and take to skills with ease. Havanese are also intelligent dogs that will understand commands and tricks quickly.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your pup by giving them treats and praise after obedience. The Havanese and Pomeranian are highly trainable because they love to please their family.


You owe your Pomeranian and Havanese a brushing session at least 3 times weekly, but daily brushing is advised. Regular brushing keeps your pup’s coat from tangling and matting, leaving it regal looking. Bathe your pup every 3 to 4 weeks as part of their grooming regimen.

The Havanese and Pomeranian have moderate grooming requirements. These include brushing coats as discussed above, daily teeth brushing, trimming nails, and cleaning tear stains under the eyes. If daily toothbrushing is difficult, brushing 2 to 3 times every week will suffice.

Other Factors

Lastly, here are some more things to consider when deciding between the two:

  • The Pomeranian is a moderate to heavy shedder compared to the low-shedding Havanese.
  • The Pomeranian is quite heat-sensitive because of their thick double coat, so keeping them indoors on hot days is advisable. The Havanese handles heat better but you must remain cautious on hot days.
  • Both breeds have moderate energy levels, which you shouldn’t underestimate because of their small sizes. About 1 hour of daily exercise and freedom to roam freely is enough for most of these pups.

Havanese vs. Pomeranian: Which Should You Get as a Pet

With all of the above said, consider getting a Pomeranian if:

  • You do not have small children or large animals that can injure such a small dog
  • You want a more alert watchdog
  • You have carefully proofed your home for such a little dog
  • Nobody in your household has allergies
  • You want a dog with very low exercise and space requirements

On the other hand, think about getting a Havanese if:

  • You want a sturdier dog that is a safer bet with children and bigger animals
  • You want a slightly more active dog
  • You need a low-shedder and a more hypoallergenic breed
  • You want a quieter dog that is not prone to barking


The Havanese and Pomeranian are great additions to your family, even as a novice owner.

Havanese are hypoallergenic dogs, and the Pomeranian is a relatively big shedder. Pomeranians can make good watchdogs because they are suspicious of strangers and tend to bark.

Considering Other Breeds Too?

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

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