Löwchen vs. Havanese: Which Breed to Get?

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Löwchen vs. HavaneseLöwchen and Havanese have long been two of the rarest breeds in the world. These small dogs are now gaining more popularity, mostly thanks to their playful, loyal, and entertaining personalities.

If you are considering adopting a small dog, but are unsure which one is best for you, check out the following sections.

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Löwchen and Havanese History

Löwchen, or the Little Lion Dog, has a German name, but its origins are still highly debated. Some claim that the Löwchen is, in fact, related to Poodles, so its history is tied to Northern Europe.

Other voices state that it is related to the Bichon Frise, so it may have originated in the Mediterranean area instead. Some breed enthusiasts even claim that this pooch comes from farther away, such as Russia or even Tibet.

Regardless of its origin, the Löwchen has a rich, long history. It was depicted in many paintings in the 16th century, and it was usually the pet of choice for royal families and nobility.

The Havanese is the native dog of Cuba. It is believed that its ancestors were brought to Cuba from Spain in the 1400s. Similar to the Löwchen, the breed gained popularity among the aristocrats in Cuba. It has also gained fame among wealthy Europeans, including Queen Victoria of England.

Both breeds are considered rare because they had been close to extinction. For instance, it is believed that there were only 11 Havanese left during the Cuban revolution in 1959. Similarly, only about 60 Löwchen dogs existed in the early 1970s.

Löwchen vs. Havanese: What Are the Breeds Like?

Below, we’ll take a look at what these two breeds are like.


Löwchen, or the Little Lion Dog, lives up to its reputation. Most of these pooches have a lion haircut, which makes them easy to recognize among other small breeds. They are sturdy but exceptionally cuddly and soft. They usually weigh a maximum of 15 lbs and reach up to 12”-14” at maturity. The coat colors are quite varied, ranging from black to blue, chocolate, cream, and even gold or red.

The Havanese dogs have long, silky, and luxurious coats. Despite that, the body is quite small – reaching between 7 to 13 lbs at maturity, and up to 11”. In terms of appearance, Havanese are quite unique – as they mature, their coat usually changes color, either lightening or darkening, depending on genetics. Because of this, it’s quite difficult to estimate how your Havanese puppy will look as an adult. Some of the common coat colors include cream, chocolate, black, gold, red, and white.

Life Expectancy and Aging Profile

Both Löwchen and the Havanese are small breeds, so they have quite a long lifespan. In general, they live 13-15 years, but longer is also possible with proper care and nutrition. Both breeds are usually fully mature at around 1 year old.


If you are looking for an easy-going breed, choosing between these two is tough. Both breeds are friendly, funny, and very welcoming when it comes to other pets and family members. Thanks to this, they can easily adapt to just about any household.

Havanese are well-known for their loyalty and affection. This is why it’s a top choice for many families, but also seniors and single-person households. They make quick friends with other pets in your life, so they are very adaptable and suitable for any lifestyle.

Löwchens can be a great watchdog as they have a barking tendency, especially when strangers are around. However, if you socialize your puppy at an early age, they will become friendly and outgoing. Thanks to high activity levels, Löwchens may be a bit nippy – it’s best to offer a chewing toy if they tend to bite, as this will help eliminate this habit.


When it comes to intelligence, both breeds are highly trainable and love making their owners happy. Havanese can happily pick up all kinds of tricks and perform them whenever you ask.

Löwchens want to please you – which means they are easily trainable, too. However, compared to a Havanese, they usually are a bit more vocal and may need a bit more socialization during puppyhood – however, there’s nothing that patience and positive training techniques can’t fix.

Löwchen vs. Havanese: Which One Is Easier to Keep?

Next, we’ll look at which breed is easier to keep.

Required Living Space

Löwchen and Havanese are small dogs, so they don’t need much space. These breeds are ideal for apartment or house living and will be happy regardless of whether you have a yard or not. They are loving dogs and will prefer to be with you all day anyway.

Thanks to their temperament, these breeds are ideal for any household and owner, whether it is a senior, a family with kids, or a single-person household, as long as the pooch doesn’t have to stay on its own for a long time.


Löwchen and Havanese dogs are both hypoallergenic, which means that they don’t shed much. However, thanks to their coats, they will still need regular, robust grooming to make sure the hair doesn’t get tangled or matted – otherwise, it can be very painful for your pooch.

The Löwchen’s coat grows out quite quickly, so you will need frequent grooming appointments, or you can pick up the skill and trim its coat by yourself. The easiest haircut is the puppy trim – which means all hair is kept short and equal; at the same time, most owners prefer the lion clip, which gives the Löwchen an easily distinguishable look.

The Havanese also needs frequent brushing, ranging from daily to 2-3 times per week, depending on how long the coat is. As with the Löwchen, you can opt for a shorter haircut to make grooming quicker and easier.

As with any dog, the Löwchen and the Havanese have regular grooming needs. You should check and clean their eyes, and ears, trim their nails when necessary, and bathe them if required. Regular teeth brushing is also a must to maintain oral health.

Walking and Exercise

The two breeds may be similar from many perspectives, but the energy level is one aspect that sets them apart. The Löwchen is quite active, and not necessarily a lapdog. In fact, these pooches are quite energetic, so you should provide plenty of playtime and exercise each day to keep them stimulated and entertained. Thanks to the small size, they can get plenty of exercise inside too, not necessarily outside.

The Havanese is less active, and usually needs only about 30 minutes of activity per day. A couple of walks per day should be enough to keep your pup healthy. Other than that, it is the perfect lapdog – and great for owners who are not very active, or for seniors.

Löwchen vs. Havanese: How Much Do They Cost?

Löwchen is a rare breed, so the cost can be quite high. At a reputable breeder, a Löwchen puppy may be priced around $5,000. Adopting from a shelter may be a less expensive option, but this depends on the availability in your area.

Havanese are also a relatively rare breed, but the cost is much lower than in the case of a Löwchen. You should expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 for a purebred Havanese puppy. The price may differ significantly based on your location and the popularity of the breed in your region.

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

It is not easy to choose between the Löwchen and Havanese – they are quite similar in terms of personality and intelligence, but some of the defining factors are your personal preference, budget, and lifestyle.

Both breeds are hypoallergenic as they do not shed much. However, you still need to be willing to spend considerable time taking care of their luxurious coats. Also, while both are great with kids and other pets, early socialization and training are highly recommended.

The Löwchen is quite vocal, but this makes it a great watchdog. It is playful and energetic, but this doesn’t translate into much effort on your behalf due to its small size. Whether you live in a studio or in a large house, both breeds are great choices, as they can adapt to just about any living space.

If you are considering any of these two breeds, you need to keep in mind that they do not do well on their own. As a result, you should have plenty of free time to spend with your pooch, or other family members can stay at home when you need to go out.


Löwchen and Havanese are two rare breeds worth considering if you are looking for a small-sized pooch. They are loyal, loving, and easily trainable, especially in puppyhood. With a bit of patience and positive training techniques, both breeds have all it takes to become great, well-mannered family members.

The Löwchen is slightly more active than a Havanese, which usually loves spending time napping with you. At the same time, the Löwchen has great watchdog qualities and can be easily trained. The Havanese is intelligent and deeply devoted, and it makes quick friends with anyone in the family – kids, pets, and other adults alike.

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