The Havanese breed has no more health problems than any other breed. Fortunately, our parent club, the Havanese Club of America (HCA), has been impressing upon breeders to do health testing on their dogs before breeding them. We cannot guarantee perfectly healthy dogs, but we might as well rule out some of the problems that we know exist.
There are four health tests that are currently recommended by the HCA: BAER (hearing), CERF (an annual eye exam), patella (once after they are a year old) and hips (once after the dog is two years old). Verify the testing yourself. All you need is the dog’s registered name, AKC number or the CHIC number. You can research any of these health tests directly at www.OFFA.org. You can verify any CERF results directly on the CERF web site:http://www.vmdb.org/verify.html.
Miniature, Teacup or Imperial Havanese
Don’t be fooled by so-called “rare” Havanese that are advertised as “miniature” or “teacup” or “Imperial” Havanese. As cute as they may appear, there is a reason we are supposed to breed to the Havanese Standard, which says the dogs should be 8.5” to 11.5” tall at the shoulder. The Havanese breed is meant to be a sturdy, playful companion dog. A mini version of it has much higher risks of being unhealthy and living a shorter life. You may pay a lot of money for a “rare teacup” Havanese, but the chances of paying a lot more in veterinary bills is likely, too.
Havapoo, Havaton, Havachon, Cairnese, Cavanese, Dualanese, Havachin, Poovanese, Havashu and Hava-Apso are all just fancy names for dogs of mixed heritage, called “mutts” by many. A lot of the puppies are incredibly adorable and they all deserve to be in loving homes, but don’t pay a high price for a dog that isn’t a purebred. The Havanese breed has been around for hundreds of years and has predictability in personality traits, physical characteristics, etc. When two breeds are mixed, you can’t tell which genetic traits will be dominant. Will it be the Lhasa Apso or the Havanese? You may even end up with the worst of both breeds. If you want a mixed breed dog, please visit your local shelter or a rescue group. There are many dogs out there who need homes.