Can Havanese Swim? | Get the Facts from Canine Pals


Can Havanese Swim? | Get the Facts from Canine Pals

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on May 10, 2023.

In this article, we will delve into: “Can Havanese dogs swim?” and provide expert insights from two personalities, the American Havanese Club and the American Kennel Club.

The answer to “Can Havanese dogs swim?” is a bit complicated. While Havanese dogs are known for their agility and love for water, they are not natural swimmers.

According to the American Havanese Club, “Havanese dogs may enjoy wading in shallow water, but they are not bred for swimming and can easily become exhausted.”

The American Kennel Club also states, “Some Havanese may be good swimmers, but it is not a common trait of the breed.”

Can Havanese Swim? | Get the Facts from Canine Pals
Can Havanese Swim? | Get the Facts from Canine Pals

Havanese Breed Overview

Havanese dogs are a small breed of dog that originated in Cuba. They are often called the “Havana Silk Dog” due to their long, silky hair. These dogs are typically between 8-11 inches tall.

They have large, dark, almond-shaped eyes that exude a cheerful expression. The Havanese breed comes in various colors, including white, black, chocolate, silver, and cream.

One of the distinctive features of the Havanese dog is its luxurious coat. This breed has a long, silky-to-touch coat.

Some owners and breeders say their fur is hypoallergenic and sheds very little, making them a good choice for people with allergies. However, because of their long coat, they require regular grooming to prevent matting.

Havanese dogs are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are very affectionate and playful and make great family pets.

The Havanese are also highly trainable and are sometimes used as therapy dogs due to their gentle nature. Havanese dogs love attention and thrive on being around people, making them wonderful companions for children and adults.

The Havanese breed has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century. The Havanese dog is believed to have been brought to Cuba by Spanish settlers, where they were bred as companion dogs for wealthy families.

Over time, this dog breed became popular with the working class and was used as a companion. In the 1900s, the breed was nearly extinct due to political unrest in Cuba, but a few dedicated breeders saved the breed from extinction.

Today, Havanese dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club and are popular as show dogs and family pets. They are an intelligent, friendly breed with a charming personality and a gorgeous coat, making them an excellent addition to any family.

Havanese Dog Characteristics

Characteristic Description
Size Small, typically weighing between 7-13 pounds
Coat Long, silky, and hypoallergenic
Temperament Friendly, playful, and affectionate
Exercise Needs Moderate exercise needs
Lifespan 12-15 years

Can Havanese Dogs Swim?

We contacted the American Havanese Club and the American Kennel Club (AKC) for expert opinions to gain further insights into the Havanese breed.

According to the American Havanese Club, dogs are generally not known for their swimming abilities. While some Havanese may enjoy the water and may even be able to swim short distances, they are not a dog breed typically associated with swimming. This is because of their size and non-water-repellent coat, which can make swimming more difficult.

The AKC echoes this sentiment, stating that Havanese dogs are generally good with water but not natural swimmers. The AKC recommends that Havanese dogs be supervised around water, as they may not be able to stay afloat for extended periods and can tire quickly.

That being said, a few factors can affect a Havanese dog’s ability to swim. The first is their temperament and personality. Some Havanese dogs may naturally enjoy the water and be more confident swimmers than others.

The second factor is training. With proper training and socialization, some Havanese dogs can learn to enjoy the water and even become skilled swimmers. It is important to note that swimming should always be done under supervision to prevent accidents.

Havanese puppy
Havanese puppy

Factors that Affect a Havanese Dog’s Ability to Swim

Factor Description
Body Type Havanese dogs have small bodies with short legs, making it difficult to stay afloat.
Health Conditions Certain health conditions, such as respiratory problems, can affect a Havanese dog’s ability to swim.
Experience Exposure to water and swimming at a young age can improve a Havanese dog’s ability to swim.


Havanese puppy
Havanese puppy

Precautions for Havanese Dogs and Water Activities

When engaging in water activities with your Havanese dog, it is essential to take safety measures to prevent accidents and ensure your dog’s safety. Here are these safety tips to keep in mind:

  1.  Use a life jacket: Even if your Havanese is a confident swimmer, it is still a good idea to use a doggie life jacket. A doggie life jacket can help keep your dog afloat in case they become tired or disoriented.
  2.  Stay within arm’s reach: Always keep your Havanese within arm’s reach when swimming or playing in the water. This will allow you to quickly intervene if your dog starts to struggle or becomes tired.
  3.  Avoid strong currents and rough waves: Strong currents and rough waves can be dangerous for dogs, especially toy dog breeds like the Havanese. Stick to calm waters and avoid areas with strong currents or rough waves.

When training your Havanese to swim, patience and positive reinforcement are key. Here are some training tips to help your Havanese become a confident swimmer:

  1.  Start in shallow water: Begin by introducing your Havanese to shallow water where they can touch the bottom with their feet, which will help them feel more confident in the water.
  2. Use positive reinforcement: Reward your Havanese with treats and praise when they enter the water and start to swim, which will help them associate the water with positive experiences.
  3. Take it slow: Take your time with the process. Allow your Havanese to progress at their own pace, and always end training sessions positively.

By training your Havanese to swim and following safety measures when engaging in water activities, you can ensure that your furry friend has a safe and fun time in the water.

Other Water Activities for Havanese Dogs

If your Havanese dog is not comfortable swimming or you prefer to engage in water activities that do not involve swimming, there are still plenty of alternatives you can explore. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Paddleboarding or kayaking: Many Havanese dogs enjoy riding paddleboards or kayaks with their owners. A great way to have fun together while enjoying the water.
  2. Water play: Havanese dogs often enjoy playing in the water, even if they don’t necessarily want to swim. You can fill up a kid’s swimming pool or use a sprinkler to create a fun water play area for your dog.
  3. Dock jumping involves having your dog jump off a dock into the water. While this can be a more advanced activity, some Havanese dogs may enjoy the thrill of jumping into the water.
  4. Canoeing or boating: Havanese puppies and dogs can also enjoy rides in canoes or boats if they are adequately secured, wear a life jacket, and are supervised.
Havanese dog
Havanese dog

Conclusion to Can Havanese Swim?

In summary, while Havanese puppies and adult dogs are not known for their swimming abilities, there are always exceptions to the rule. With proper training, swimming lessons and supervision, some Havanese dogs can learn to enjoy the water and become confident swimmers.

As with any dog breed, it is vital for Havanese owners to know their dog’s abilities and limitations and always to take safety precautions when around water.

When engaging in water-related activities with your Havanese, always remember their safety and their limitations. Not all Havanese dogs will enjoy every activity, so paying attention to your dog’s body language and behavior is essential to ensure they are comfortable and happy.

By exploring alternative water activities, you can still enjoy time with your furry friend while keeping them safe and happy.

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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Havanese Information.
[2] Havanese Rescue Inc.
[3] American Havanese Club


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page