Nowadays, the new fad is to spend a great deal of money on what are being called "designer dogs"; these new trend-setting pooches are nothing but hybrids, or mixes, that result when different purebreds are mated together. Technically, the word "hybrid" means "of mixed origin" and is used to describe something that has parents of different genetic backgrounds and which often belong to a different species or, in the case of dogs, different breeds. While many hybrid dogs are quite attractive, the problem with these dogs is that their temperaments and characteristics are completely unpredictable; they could have any combination of traits found in their purebred ancestors. Before purchasing a hybrid, you should read up on each of the breeds that went into the cross; if anything about any of the breeds doesn't fit with your lifestyle, then you should not purchase the hybrid. It would be foolish to simply hope that a hybrid puppy encapsulated all the good characteristics, and only the good characteristics, of its parents.
The designer dog fad has gained in such importance that there is now a registry of hybrid dogs, called the American Canine Hybrid Club. It seems like one of the most popular breeds to be used in mixes to get designer dogs, besides the Poodle, is the Havanese; actually, Poodle and Havanese crosses are quite common. The Havanese is used in many crosses because the intention of the breeder is to breed a puppy with good looks, or other qualities, coupled with the incredible gentleness and sensitivity characteristic of the Havanese. A popular hybrid resulting from a Havanese cross is the HavaMalt, or a hybrid between a Havanese and a Maltese. If you purchase a HavaMalt, or any hybrid dog, be aware of the fact that not all mixes are 50% purebred to 50% purebred; in other words, not all HavaMalt hybrids have one parent that is a purebred Havanese and the other that is a purebred Maltese.
HavaMalts seem to have a blend of the personalities of both the Havanese and the Maltese; this little hybrid is sensitive, sociable and very gentle. These dogs are also extremely intelligent and excel at obedience training. Like the Havanese purebred, they are very sensitive to harsh words and behaviors, so you must be gentle in your interactions with them. Again taking from their Havanese origins, these little hybrids immensely enjoy the company of their humans, but also love the company of other dogs and other pets. They most often are happy-go-lucky dogs, showering affection and loyalty on their owners; they have a slight tendency to bark at strangers but do not show any aggression towards unfamiliar people. As for physical appearance, this may vary. They come in a wide variety of colors, though most are actually a combination of two or three colors. They have a double coat that is soft and wavy, while shedding characteristics may differ from individual to individual; since the Maltese doesn't shed, some HavaMalts don't shed either, while some shed lightly, like the Havanese.