We have always had the inquiry "what is the difference between a male and a female" Our response has always been "the cost of the spay vs cost of a neuter"
Recently, someone sent us a request for a girl over a boy because they stumbled upon the following article. This made us do some Google searching of our own and, frankly, made us want to add this page to our web site to dispute the mistakes in the blog. While the observations of this author may be correct in another breed of dog, we find that the majority of his observations are completely false and are not supported by our vets, owners, breeders or trainers. Additionally, these observations are not found on any other site, including AKC, to validate and back up his claims.
While we respect and will try not to change the mind of someone dead set on one gender over another, we do feel it is our job, as a professional, to point out misinformation to allow people to make an educated, informed decision when investigating adoption of a family pet . Many times people have experience a particular pet that had an issue. This does not mean it is a normal problem within the breed or gender. We hope the following comments on this article will help you in weighing your preference in adoption between a male and female Havanese. Our remarks are written in red.
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. Most people disagree there is a difference between male and female, In red I will make notes on why I disagree with this authors observations. My comments are based on almost 30 years of owning, raising, boarding, grooming and rescue of the Bichon breed of dogs.
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. I do not agree with this comparison
Male Havaneses ( Havanese is not pluralized. it is Havanese whether 1 or more) Overview
Height: 9 – 11.5 inches (22 – 29 cm) Weight: 8 – 13 lbs (3.6 – 6.3 kg) AKC standard does not differentiate size for a male as any different from female Lifespan: 14 – 16 Years
Intelligent, outgoing, and funny True of both genders
More maintenance required. – Maintenance for a Havanese is the grooming, and both genders are considered high maintenance because they must be groomed every 3-6 weeks. In all my years of ownership, I have found no health maintenance difference between either gender.
More likely to bond with all family members. – The breed was raised as a companion pet. Both male and female equally love family members. They seek attention and love and if one family member is busy, they will wander to another family member for that attention. If no family member is available they will self entertain and then try again later.
Easily get distracted and harder to train. – Havanese are smart and are people pleasers, Smart dogs are easily trained regardless of gender.
More patient. I have never seen an impatient Havanese, either gender
More attention seeking. Havanese, like other companion breed of dogs, want to be part of the family, regardless of what activity. If you are gardening, they want to be in the back yard with you. If children are playing, they will join in. If you are relaxing on the couch, they will sit with you.
Easier to socialize with people. Havanese are known and sought out because they love to socialize with people and with other pets. Gender is not a factor in this
Harder to train him to walk off leash and stay close to you. Havanese, in general, do not wander off far from their owner and thus stay close. However, it is not recommended to ever have any pet off lead. Any breed of pet can get distracted by something across the street and may run off and get injured or killed.
More playful and energetic. Havanese, like the Shih Tzu breed, love to play and interact. I have never seen a difference between gender on this matter
Less suspicious of strangers. Smart dogs are typically a bit cautious of strangers, however Havanese are noted for loving everyone they meet and are thus excellent therapy dogs
Likes being babied. Disagree with this phrase. Havanese love attention, but do not need to be ‘babied’. They are not considered a Diva dog like the Maltese or Poodle who insist on constantly being center of attention
Very clingy. Disagree with this. Havanese are companion oriented, however are also able to independently play if there is no one to play with them. Of the 4 Havanese breeds, they are most capable of staying alone and entertaining themselves while their family is away at work all day.
More stubborn. I have never thought of the breed as stubborn
More aggressive. Strongly disagree. Havanese and other Bichon Breeds should never be associated with the word aggressive. They are loving, friendly family pets. When with others they never seeking the Alpha position and easily allow a dominate dog or young child to take the lead or steal a toy or food.
Clumsy around kids. I do not even know what this author is trying to say here. Havanese, both gender, love kids and thrive in being part of a family activity. They will be right in the middle of an outdoor activity, or indoor activity. They assume they are one of the family and will fit right in whether a busy household or quiet one.
Tends to protect a territory or whole family. Havanese are not known to be a protection dog. At best, they will bark to alert family an arrival has come to give them attention or a squirrel is in the back yard. They assume everyone is there for them to play with.
Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals. Havanese love attention and companionship. They will get along with small breeds or large breeds of animals from rabbit to St. Bernard. Either gender does this.
Loves to please his owner. True equally of male and female
A bit messier. Havanese are non-shedding thus I do not know why anyone would use this term in describing a Havanese. If neutered early, you will be hard pressed to find the ‘boy parts’ in middle of tummy and your male Havanese may always squat to void same as a female. Further, either gender equally love to be in the back yard or camping if that is what the family is up to.
Overview Female Havaneses (again mis-spelled)
Height: 8.5 – 10 inches (21 – 25 cm) Weight: 7 – 12 lbs (3.1 – 5.4 kg) Lifespan: 14 – 16 Years Build: Smaller built with less muscle mass. Untrue Size of the Havanese is determined by the size and build of parents/grand-parents, etc. and has nothing to do with gender. AKC does not note any difference between genders in it’s description of the Havanese.
Temperament Most of my observations were noted above
Intelligent, outgoing, and funny
Less maintenance required. See notes on Male
Tends to bond with one person in the family. Disagree.
More focused and easier to train. Both genders equally easy to train
Less patient. Disagree.
Less attention seeking. Both genders will go off and play independently if they find there is no one around for them to play with
A bit harder to socialize with people. Disagree
Easier to train her to walk off leash and stay close to you. See above notes
Can be slightly less playful. Disagree. Any difference you might note on playfulness is not gender related. Like human children, some Havanese are more outgoing and playful, some more quiet and calm. This is typically based on breeding lines (parent/grand parents) but it can also be affected by the home they live in. If your home is more loud and busy your Havanese will follow that personality. If your home is quieter the Havanese will be more quiet.
More suspicious of strangers. See notes on Male
More independent. See note above. All Havanese have a bit of an independent streak which makes them less needy or clingy. They are happy to find something to do on their own if their human family is not around to entertain them.
Respects your time alone. True of both genders. Havanese are very intuitive which is why they make excellent therapy and emotional support dogs.
Less stubborn. See notes on Male
Less aggressive. See notes on Male
More cautious around kids. See notes on Male
Tends to protect an individual (her owner). See notes on Male
Matures quicker. I have not observed this to be so. Havanese are noted to be "clown-like" and tend to always have that puppy personality even in senior years as they are very outgoing. I have noted this to be the same regardless of gender.
More likely to get along with other dogs or animals. Both genders do this equally.
Slightly less desire to please her owner. Disagree. Havanese, regardless of gender, love to please their owners which is why they are easy to train with positive reinforcement
Cleaner. See notes on Male
Other false claims they we frequently hear: Boys mark territory:Any pet, not neutered will have tendency to mark territory. It is the hormones that make them feel the need to do this, therefore gender is not the problem. If you neuter your pet, which is required if you adopt from Fuzzypups! this should not be a problem. However, even best trained dog may have a lapse in training. If you find your pet starting to potty inside rather than out, treat it as a training issue and immediately begin to address the matter. Your pet will quickly remember his/her manners. Girls urine burn the lawn: We have not seen this to be a problem in our small dogs. Our landscaper told us that if we see a spot start to turn, just water more frequently. Further, if a concern, small dogs only need a small space to defecate in. Find a portion of your yard you can set up with pea gravel and train your pet to use this location as his potty park.
In conclusion – while I respect this author’s and anyone else's right to have an opinion on the difference between a male and female dogs. I am in total disagreement in his assessment on matters where the Havanese, Bichon Frise or Coton de Tulear is the subject. My observations are based on almost 30 years of daily contact and with interviews with owners over many years and generations of placement of puppies and adult rescues through Fuzzypups! In adoption of a Bichon of any sort we feel you will find either gender to be an excellent family pet for those wanting a lively, inter-active, loving and devoted family member. We feel the only difference between a male and a female is the cost of a neuter vs cost of a spay and risk of one over the other. Whether you are a small or large family or single individual wanting to add a devoted 4-legged family member to your household, Havanese with their intuitive and intelligent personality are wonderful regardless of gender.
To protect our breeding program and our breeding rights, our puppies are placed with limited AKC registration. We require a neuter on all puppies. Our puppies are intended for pet homes only. We will NOT place a puppy to be used for breeding. If you want a dog to breed or show, contact an AKC show breeder. Expect to pay 2-4 times a pet price for a dog to breed or show dog.