Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Havamalt (Maltese & Havanese Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Havamalt dog standing in grass

Height: 10-12 inches
Weight: 10-17 pounds
Lifespan: 12-14
Colors: Black, white, cream, gray, and red
Suitable for: Families with kids looking for a small playful dog
Temperament: Affectionate, alert, and playful

Havamalts are toy-sized designer dogs that are a result of crossing and purebred Havanese and a purebred Maltese. Their exact origin is unknown but they are believed to have initially been bred in the 1980s or early 1990s.

Standing less than a foot high when fully grown, the Havamalt is slightly built and has a long, luxurious coat that is usually, though not always, white.

They have a playful and happy personality and are the type of dog that will never say no to a cuddle. They are gentle with kids, and other animals alike and are well suited to apartment or inner-city living.

Divider 1

Havamalt Puppies

Havamalt cute puppy
Image: michaelheim, Shutterstock

Being one of the earlier designer breeds to make an appearance in the US, it is now entirely possible that your new Havamalt puppy will be a second or third generation Havamalt. Meaning there are now Havamalts being bred that have Havamalts as parents, rather than a Maltese and a Havanese.

While this is ultimately good for the development of the breed and will help in solidifying standards in temperament and appearance, it can create problems if unscrupulous breeders start breeding from closely related Havamalts. While this is unlikely to happen with dogs bred by a reputable breeder, it is always worth making sure that you know who your new puppy’s parents are.

It is also a good idea to ask to see the health certificates of your puppy’s parents and to personally visit and inspect the kennel before you buy your puppy.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Havamalt

1. The Havamalt is hypoallergenic.

Havamalts, like their parent breeds, do not shed very much hair and as such are considered to be hypoallergenic, which means that they may be a good dog for somebody who suffers from dog allergies.

Although, as the proteins that cause the allergic reaction can also be found in a dog’s dander, saliva, and urine, no dog can ever be truly hypoallergenic. Meaning that while they don’t drop much hair, Havamalts may still be problematic for some people. In fact, the only real way to see if a dog, or dog breed, will affect somebody is to have them spend some time with the dog.

2. Havamalts don’t like to exercise outside.

While some dog breeds love going outside for a romp and a play on the grass, Havamalts prefer staying inside. They only have short little legs, don’t need long walks, and they’re able to get all their daily exercise while playing indoors. So, their desire to stay and play inside probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

Despite their reluctance, it is a good idea to get them out of their comfort zone early in life, as meeting other dogs and people will help with their socialization and can also be a good source of mental stimulation.

3.  These pint-sized pups make quite good security alarms.

While the Havamalt is extremely unlikely to be any threat to an intruder, these confident and alert dogs do have a loud yapping bark.  And when it comes to warning their owner of any perceived danger, they won’t hold back.

Parent Breeds of the Havamalt
Image Credit: (L) Dorotthya Mathe, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Divider 3

Temperament & Intelligence of the Havamalt 🧠

Havamalts are smart, cheerful little dogs that always seem to be in a good mood. They love people, bond tightly with their owners and genuinely want to be with them all the time.

While they are very sure of themselves around their family, Havamalts can be reserved around new people or animals, which can be mostly overcome with adequate socialization and exposure to new things.

Havamalts are smart dogs and will quickly pick up on their owner’s moods and feelings. They are also well known for their playful and attentive nature and love nothing more than to curl up on the couch with their family. If left alone for long periods, however, they tend to withdraw and can develop separation anxiety.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Yes, Havamalts are excellent family dogs but may not be the best dog for a family with toddler-aged children. They have a low tolerance for rough play and don’t like to be poked and prodded, and if pushed too far by a small child may become a bit snappy.

Havamalts don’t need a lot of living space, or a house with a yard, and will be quite happy in a small apartment. Some Havamalts are a bit yappy, though, and if your puppy is like this, you will need to address the issue early, or you may find it quickly becomes an issue.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Yes, Havamalts get on well with most other pets. They can be a bit hesitant to engage with or even approach animals they don’t know. Thus, when you decide to introduce a new pet into your household, you should expect that it may take a while for your Havamalt to accept them fully.

Havamalt mixed white dog
Image: Pikist

Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Havamalt:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Havamalts are considered to be toy-sized dogs and as such don’t require large amounts of food. Nonetheless, it is important to feed them a nutritious and well-balanced diet to ensure they stay fit and healthy.

You should take care to find a dog food that has been specially formulated for small dogs and avoid any food that has kibble that is too large for them to eat easily. Should you decide to feed your Havamalt with wet or canned food, you will find that the fur around their face becomes quite messy and will need very regular cleaning.

We recommend feeding your Havamalt twice a day. Once in the morning and again in the evening, breaking their daily ration of food in half and spreading it equally between the two feeds.

Maintaining a regular feeding schedule helps your dog to develop a routine. The advantage of that being that if your dog eats on a schedule, they will also likely develop a schedule for when they need to toilet.

Exercise 🐕

For their size, Havamalts are quite active dogs. They don’t require long walks outside as they can generally get enough exercise playing around inside. That said, it is important to get them out for a short stroll when you can as it helps with their socialization and can also be quite mentally stimulating.

Havamalts enjoy playing games and may like a light round of tug of war with a toy or a short piece of rope. However, you’re unlikely to find that they want to play a long game of fetch in the park or chase a frisbee around outside for very long.

Training 🦮

The Havamalts are quite intelligent and usually eager to please their owners. They love learning new tricks, and training is a great way for them to spend time with you and can be mentally stimulating activity.

Like many dogs, Havamalts don’t respond well to aggressive or forceful training methods. The best form of encouragement is to praise and reward them with a hug, a short play session, or a treat when they get something right.

As mentioned earlier, in addition to obedience training, Havamalts need to be socialized while they are young. This can involve getting them used to new people, dogs, and other animals. As well as taking them out into the world to hear and experience a wide range of sounds and smells, and also introducing them to all the noisy equipment and appliances in your home like the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, and television.

Havamalt Maltese Havanese dog close up
Image Credit: Pikist

Grooming ✂️

Havamalts are quite high maintenance when it comes to grooming. Although they rarely shed, they do have a long silky coat that will need almost daily brushing to ensure it remains tangle-free and looks its best.

Their coats can mat up quite quickly if they don’t get very regular brushing. When that happens, you may have no alternative other than to take them to a professional dog groomer to have their coat clipped.  Of course, many owners prefer to keep their dog’s coat clipped at all times, as this helps to reduce the amount of grooming that they need.

Havamalts will also require bathing every few months, and it is best to avoid doing it more regularly if possible, as even delicate dog shampoo can fry out their skin.

In addition to maintaining their coats, Havamalts will need their teeth cleaned, and nails clipped quite regularly.

Health Conditions ❤️

While Havamalts are generally healthy dogs that don’t suffer too many problems in life, there are a few things that you need to look out for. These include:

Minor Conditions
  • Eye infections
  • Ear infections
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
Serious Conditions
  • Canine hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism

Divider 5

Male vs. Female

With whole dogs (i.e. those that haven’t been neutered or spayed) you may find male dogs to be slightly more relaxed and friendly than females, who can at times be more independent and territorial.  However, once neutered or spayed, you will find that there is little difference between the temperaments of male and female Havamalts.

Divider 3

Final Thoughts

The Havamalt is a happy, alert, and cheerful little dog. They are great pets for families with older children as well as people that live in inner-city housing or apartments.

They are quite easily trained and are great companions that love spending time with their owners. They don’t need a lot of exercise, and aside from their regular grooming requirements, they are easy dogs to care for and could be a good choice for a novice or experienced dog owner alike.

Related Reads:

Featured image credit: Pikist

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database