BY MOLLY | EVERYTHINGSHIHTZU.COM
People often confuse Shih Tzu and Havanese with each other, which is understandable. These two silky-coated breeds have a lot in common, including their affectionate and playful natures.
However, these pups are two distinct breeds with qualities all their own.
A Havashu is a mix between a Havanese and Shih Tzu, also known as a Hava Tzu or Havatzu.
The Havashu maintains the playful disposition of both of its parents, but it is often more trainable than the usually stubborn Shih Tzu. Havashu make lovely companions and adore to be around people.
If you plan to add a Havashu to your family, you can expect to get some traits of both the Shih Tzu and Havanese breeds; this is true for any mixed-breed.
The combination of the different qualities and characteristics creates a unique pooch with an individual personality and friendly nature.
This Shih Tzu is said to originate from China or Tibet, while Havanese were popular pets for the rich in Cuba during the 1800s.
The Havashu is a more recent designer-mix of these two pups that have been around for about 35 years or so, although its exact origins are unknown.
If you're considering getting a Havashu, this sturdy little dog makes an excellent choice for a new dog owner or a seasoned canine expert.
Here are some things that will help you tell a dog is a Havashu:
The Havashu weighs between 7 and 15 pounds and stands roughly 8 to 12 inches tall. Females are usually slightly smaller than males.
Its coat can be multi-colored in shades of white, gray, black, or tan, and its hair is generally long and silky, very similar to both of its parents.
However, the coat's texture depends on what parent your Havashu takes after the most. If your furry friend's hair is more like that of her Havanese parent, it will be softer and wavier than the denser Shih Tzu coat.
The Havashu makes excellent family pets thanks to their loving nature and desire to play.
They are also very accepting of children and other pets, including smaller animals (you won’t have to worry about this pup making a snack of the family hamster) and cats.
These pups absolutely love to be around their families as much as possible, which means they demand a lot of attention.
Because these friendly pups don't like to be alone, they can often be prone to separation anxiety. If your schedule takes you away from home frequently or calls for a lot of travel, this might not be the best dog choice for you.
Even though small, Havashu are energetic pups that need several walks a day. In addition to their daily walking adventures, these peppy dogs also like to engage in bunches of playtime.
If you have young children, this could be a match made in heaven; your pup and kids can wear each other out while you can get some rest!
Your Havashu pup must get the exercise she needs, so she stays adequately stimulated.
Bored, antsy dogs lead to mischief-makers and things like chewed-up furniture and potty accidents in the house. Havashu pups tend to get a bit hyperactive if you don’t provide them with ample activity opportunities.
Havashu often inherit their Havanese parent's trainability, which is lucky for you.
Havanese were once used as circus dogs and are one of the most manageable toy groups to train. Therefore, the Havashu is eager to please and often respond well to training.
But, an early start is highly recommended, especially if they inherited some of the Shih Tzu stubbornness (which is very likely).
Havashu require an occasional bath and have long hair that needs daily brushing to avoid painful matting and other issues.
It's also essential to keep the hair around the eyes clean and trimmed back to prevent irritation that can lead to eye problems.
If your pup's coat is on the wavier side, you might be able to get away with brushing your dog every other day.
This pup doesn't shed too much, so it can be a good choice for allergy sufferers. However, every dog is different, so make sure you get to know the actual pup you're bringing home if you have bad animal-related allergies.
Like with all breeds, regular dental care and nail clippings are important. It's also vital to keep the ears clean since dirt can accumulate quickly in the Havashu's floppy ears.
Havashu are sturdy little dogs. As with most mixed breeds, the Havashu is bred in a way to eliminate the problems that the parent breeds typically face.
However, both Havanese and Shih Tzu are prone to a condition known as luxating patella (when the knee-cap slides in and out of position) and several eye issues.
Therefore, it's vital to keep up with proper eye care, and you should limit how much jumping your pup does on and off high places like the sofa or bed.
Plus, Havashu can develop problems with joints as they age, so make sure your dog maintains a healthy weight and gets ample exercise to avoid problems with obesity that can exacerbate joint issues.
A Havashu has an average lifespan of approximately 13 to 17-years-old. Of course, every dog is different and how long your pup lives will depend on many factors, including her overall health, proper care, and any underlying conditions that might be present.
Depending on where you get your pup, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1,200 or more.
If you get your dog from a breeder, make sure the breeder provides all of the proper paperwork, answers all of your questions, and makes you feel comfortable with the process.
If a price for a Havashu seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If the dog you find is toward the lower end of this price scale, it is very likely that it is not an actual Havashu and could potentially end up with more health problems -- costing you more money down the road.
Steer clear of puppy mills, questionable deals, and anyone who is unwilling to answer all of your questions concerning the dog.
You may want to check with your local shelters to see if you can find a Havashu up for adoption. It's very unfortunate but all types of dog breeds gets surrendered to rescues everyday.
Overall, the Havashu is a friendly, intelligent breed that is ideal for families with children or other pets. It's also an excellent choice for apartment living due to its small size and is sure to be a faithful friend to its owner.
Just make sure you have the time to give this pup all of the attention that she demands and deserves!