Male vs. Female Havanese: Which Is Better?

Male and female Havanese dogs running

Havanese will always make a good family pet regardless of its gender. However, there are some important details that make male and female Havanese different, and these differences are important if you are looking for the perfect pet for you.

However, you must always keep in mind that you’re not looking for an ideal pet because it doesn’t exist. You are looking for the best one that would suit you and your lifestyle.

So, should you choose a male or a female Havanese? If you want an outgoing and protective Havanese that will never leave your side, then it’s best to get a male one. If you prefer a calmer, more mature Havanese who likes their alone time as much as you do, then it’s better to opt for a female one.

This is only a summary, and you will find in this article that there are many things that differentiate males from females. Read on below to look at them!

Male Havaneses


Height: 9 – 11.5 inches (22 – 29 cm)

Weight: 8 – 13 lbs (3.6 – 6.3 kg)

Puppy Price: $1,000 – $1,500

Lifespan: 14 – 16 Years

Build: Larger built with more muscle mass.


  • Intelligent, outgoing, and funny
  • More maintenance required.
  • More likely to bond with all family members.
  • Easily get distracted and harder to train.
  • More patient.
  • More attention seeking.
  • Easier to socialize with people.
  • Harder to train him to walk off leash and stay close to you.
  • More playful and energetic.
  • Less suspicious of strangers.
  • Likes being babied.
  • Very clingy.
  • More stubborn.
  • More aggressive.
  • Clumsy around kids.
  • Tends to protect a territory or whole family.
  • Matures slower.
  • Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
  • Loves to please his owner.
  • A bit messier.

Female Havaneses


Height: 8.5 – 10 inches (21 – 25 cm)

Weight: 7 – 12 lbs (3.1 – 5.4 kg)

Puppy Price: $1,000 – $1,500

Lifespan: 14 – 16 Years

Build: Smaller built with less muscle mass.


  • Intelligent, outgoing, and funny
  • Less maintenance required.
  • Tends to bond with one person in the family.
  • More focused and easier to train.
  • Less patient.
  • Less attention seeking.
  • A bit harder to socialize with people.
  • Easier to train her to walk off leash and stay close to you.
  • Can be slightly less playful.
  • More suspicious of strangers.
  • More independent.
  • Respects your time alone.
  • Less stubborn.
  • Less aggressive.
  • More cautious around kids.
  • Tends to protect an individual (her owner).
  • Matures quicker.
  • More likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
  • Slightly less desire to please her owner.
  • Cleaner.

Physical Differences


The male Havanese is typically about one inch taller than the females, and they can be at least a pound heavier than the females. They also tend to mature slower than females, and this affects their trainability.


Females are an inch shorter and at least a pound lighter than males on average. They’re also faster than males to mature, and this makes them easier to train.

Temperamental Differences


The Havanese breed generally starts off rather aggressive towards strangers as young pups. If left untrained, this aggression evolves to these guys becoming shy and suspicious of their surroundings and around other people and animals.

Another thing to take note of with male Havaneses is that they must be broken into their home. Housebreaking, for the Havanese in general, is quite an extensive and important process as without proper housebreaking training as pups, they’ll be significantly more difficult to train when they grow up.

Male Havaneses also tend to roam around and like to run around all day. Some owners claim that having a dog door helps as this allows them to enter and exit the home as they please.

It’s worth noting that giving your dog this kind of freedom involves training it with outdoor etiquettes, such as barking at neighbors. Since males are also more clingy, a potential issue people may have with them is that they tend to develop separation anxiety.

This means that these guys put a premium on companionship, and don’t like being left alone for hours. When they experience this anxiety, they tend to enter a sour mood and chew on things around the house.


The females on the other hand want to be pleased. For them to accept your companionship, you must do your work to please them. They want to be adored by their owners rather than adore their masters.

Female puppies often like to do things on their own and tend to blatantly tell you what they want. They are extremely stubborn and territorial, making them more aggressive than their male counterparts. They also experience mood swings making them a little unpredictable.

It’s worth noting though that female Havaneses mature fast and tend to learn faster than the males. Although the sexual drive is generally stronger in males, the females also experience this and end up making them unpredictable in that aspect as well.

Females that haven’t spayed also show signs of being moodier than their male counterparts. They become moody and emotional while also becoming dominant and demanding of their owners’ time and attention. Their heat cycles are easily noticeable if they tend to experience more mood swings than usual.



Male Havaneses have a tendency to be harder to train due to them being more aloof at times compared to the females. You’ll often catch them treating training as something of playtime, which makes it harder for people without that much time to spend on training.

They’re also quick to lose focus, and one minute you’ve got their attention, and the next they’re already playing with a branch or chasing a rabbit.

Because they tend to be clingier than females, they are the most at risk when it comes to having separation anxiety. This can be remedied through training.


Female Havaneses are known to be trained much easier than their male counterparts due to their attentiveness. They’re also quicker to mature, so you can easily teach them even at a young age. Female Havanese are more willing to please their owners, especially if you have treats at hand.

Although not as clingy as males, females are still prone to separation anxiety, so be sure to train them properly when they’re young.

Health Differences


Hip Dysplasia is common in male Havanese. This is when there is a malformation of the hip socket, where the ball and hip socket don’t fit properly and they rub against each other instead. When left unattended, it can cause lameness and very painful arthritis. Hip dysplasia is genetic, so make sure you know the medical history of your puppy’s parents.

Patellar Luxation is the dislocation of the knee and males are more prone to this. This happens when their knee joint slides out of place, causing them to suddenly lift their leg in pain. This is usually self-remedied by kicking out sideways, but in major cases, surgery is required.


Chondrodysplasia punctata is characterized by abnormalities in the bones, skin, and eyes, and it’s almost exclusively occurring in females. Signs and symptoms can vary widely for different dogs, but affected ones will have abnormalities that will appear in x-rays as spots near their cartilages and the ends of their bones.

Another one is Retinal Dysplasia, where there is a malformation of the retina, and the two retinal layers do not form together properly.

There are a lot of known diseases that Havaneses can have. Deafness can be inherited in the Havanese breed and it can occur in one or both ears. In fact, a lot of Havanese puppies are born partially or totally deaf.

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease or LCPD/LCP disease is a disease that is dues to the spontaneous degeneration of the top area of a dog’s femur bone. This degeneration can cause the bone to die and collapse, leading to arthritis. Common symptoms include trouble walking, difficulty in stairs, or pain whenever the hip is moved.

Liver Shunt is a congenital condition where the blood is rerouted from the liver to the heart. This can result in toxins that remain in the blood entering the heart.

With Children


Male Havaneses tend to enjoy lazing around and being with children. This means that they like lying on your lap or by your feet and it’s one of their favorite places.

However, their lazy habit can turn when they perceive their child companion is in danger, and they become very attentive and protective of them.

It’s also worth noting that un-neutered males tend to be easier to live with children than un-spayed females as the males tend to be gentler, laid back, and patient. It’s also apparent that male dogs do well with children as they are playful and tolerant towards little kids.

There seems to be an issue of males and their sexual drive however, and it seems that they have a strong sexual drive that may cause them to do inappropriate things like hump children. This can be easily remedied through training.


The female Havaneses work well with children, especially because of their maternal instinct. This makes them more careful around children because they perceive children to be more fragile.

Although they don’t possess much aggression, it is worth noting that they will protect their owners no matter what. Females can also be energetic when they want to, but they usually keep to themselves, so they’re best with children who aren’t as energetic. They’re also good with younger children because they’re not as rough as the males when they play.

With Other Dogs


Male Havaneses are more sociable than females, and they are more accepting of other dogs and strangers. They do get into fights, especially because they are more territorial and dominant.

Although their fights may be frequent, they usually stop quickly. They also like roaming around, especially if they smell a female dog in heat somewhere near them.

The males are also more likely to accept new additions to the household, even if it’s not a dog, but they get along best with females and neutered males. They can get along with other pets as long as they are properly integrated, so make sure to have them socialize even as a puppy.

Overall, the males are generally more outgoing and will socialize outdoors more than the females.


Female Havaneses tend to be shyer than their male counterparts, and they are usually reserved especially if there are strangers around. They also like spending their time alone most of the time.

Females are intelligent, so they wouldn’t get into fights as easily as males because they don’t have the same need for dominance as males. However, when they do get into fights, they’re typically more dangerous than males since they don’t stop that easily.

This aggression can be remedied by letting them socialize at an early age as part of their training so that they’re used to encountering new dogs and strangers.

Which Is Better for a Family?

When it comes to the Havanese, the consensus for this breed is that they are wonderful for families. Not only are they compatible with families with children, but they’re also known for their keen eyes, making them adept guard dogs.

One issue most owners face when it comes to this breed is that they notice that they need to be broken in at a young age. If left untrained in terms of housebreaking, they are significantly harder to train as adults.

Havanese owners also claim that the separation anxiety makes it difficult to do tasks for long periods of time, as these dogs tend to show signs of grumpiness after being left alone for a few hours.

Advantages of Male Havaneses in a Family Environment:

  • More outgoing, perfect for active families.
  • Energetic and hyper.
  • Very protective.
  • Best with female pets.

Advantages of Female Havaneses in a Family Environment:

  • Reserved and quiet, perfect for a more laid back family.
  • Calm and serene.
  • Maternal instincts make them protective of children.
  • Best with male pets.

Of course, gender doesn’t matter as much as their history and temperament, but you can see that each gender does have its advantages that different families will like more.

If you want a more sociable and active dog that will love outdoor activities, then it’s best to get a male. If you want a dog that will stay with you on the couch on rainy days and respect the times when you want or need to be alone, get a female.

Which Is a Better Guard Dog?

Although the breed isn’t aggressive, the Havanese is still a good watchdog, especially because they are very observant. Many people underestimate their size, but they will always do everything they can to protect their owners.

They’re also quick to bark whenever something is amiss in their territory. One thing to consider when looking at the gender of your guard dog is what type of guard dog you’re looking for. Take a look down below to see the difference between male and female guard dogs.

Advantages of Male Havaneses as Guard Dogs:

  • More territorial.
  • Best as a personal guard dog, clingy to one person.
  • Barks more.
  • Very protective of their owners.

Advantages of Female Havaneses as Guard Dogs:

  • Cautious around strangers.
  • Best as a family guard, tends to bond with all members of the family equally.
  • Keen sense of sight.
  • Very protective, especially of children.

Although they’re not the best guard dogs, Havanese is still a good choice as a watchdog. They will always let you know whenever someone is on your property without your knowledge.

If you want a personal guard that can wake you up when they sense something odd, get a male Havanese. If you want a dog that is always cautious of strangers no matter where you are and are better in looking out for you, then get a female.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Havanese breed is a remarkable choice of dog to be a house pet. Their temperament allows them to be relaxed at home, as well as properly conduct themselves around children and guests. They are also easy to train, especially the females of the breed.

The fact that they’re easy to train makes their issue of having to be housebroken at a young age quite easy as it is not difficult to train them. They’re also generally healthy for some diseases that were mentioned in the section above. This breed also socializes well with other dogs and people, making it easy for them to be brought to occasions.

The Havanese dogs aren’t quite fit for families that have to be out and about as they tend to develop separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time, making them grumpy and destructive.

Families that don’t have a lot of time on their hands also tend not to housebreak their dogs at a young age, making the dog hard to train later on.

So, this breed may not be the right choice for families that don’t have time to train their dogs and want to acquire one at a young age. This issue however can be avoided if one adopted a well-trained Havanese dog at an older age.

1 comment

Jaxon July 1, 2022 - 8:53 pm

Our Havanese girl is the exact opposite of that.


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