If the trend toward small hybrid dogs that resemble a teddy bear is not one that strikes your fancy, then the Havatese, a cross between a Havanese and a Maltese, may make you give up stuffed animals altogether. The words “adorable” and “cute” and “fluffy” have met their match in this mix-up pup, which, if stationary for long enough (and wearing the typical short haircut), could easily be mistaken for something from Build-A-Bear.

But even skeptics will be hard-pressed to ignore a Havatese if they ever meet one. The Havatese dogs we’ve met thus far have been lovely companion animals.

Breed Facts

The Havatese is an affectionate, friendly mixed breed who bonds with his family and is comfortable with strangers. This is an easy dog to live with — he is as equally happy in an apartment as he is in the country. He is good with children and other pets, as long as the pets are introduced slowly.

However, if you don’t like brushing a dog, don’t get a Havatese. In those whose hair is kept long, daily brushing is necessary, and sometimes more often. Even when the coat is kept short, mats can develop, so brushing is also needed.

The Havatese has a wealth of energy, indoors and out. Daily walking for your Havatese is essential, of course, but even with sufficient exercise, a Havatese tends to be very energetic inside the house. He’s always ready to chase a ball or bombard the cat, and he rarely sacks out on the couch for long. An interactive owner is best, and patience may be needed when you’ve thrown the squeaky toy for the 30th time that day.

The Havatese can inherit health problems from either parent. These include congenital deafness, patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (interruption of the blood supply to hip joint).

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