An overwhelming number of people think very highly of the Havanese breed. Their gentle nature, playfulness and friendliness has earned them respected places in the hearts of many dog owners; it is perhaps one of the most liked of registered breeds. Despite this positive reaction to the breed, though, there have been some complaints about the Havanese, as of course each dog has its negative points and each owner looks for different things in their canine companion.
For one thing, the Havanese becomes EXTREMELY attached to its human owners and wants to be included in all family activities. If you are looking for an independent dog that can entertain itself, this is not the dog for you. What's more, this extreme attachment can lead to the dog's experiencing and expressing separation anxiety; the Havanese demands almost constant human companionship and will be very lonely and unhappy when not with their humans. They usually can't go more than a few hours alone before they start showing their unhappiness; they will bark, much to the dismay of the neighbors, and they will chew, much to the dismay of the owners of the chewed objects. If you work long hours or are often out all day, you should stay away from the Havanese.
Though Havanese are friendly and affectionate towards their owners, they may be wary of strangers; indeed, one of the breed's original functions was to act as a watchdog, especially for the children of wealthy Cuban aristocrats. You must dedicate time and energy into widely socializing the breed to new people, sights and sounds or they will become excessively shy and fearful, two traits that can potentially make a dog an unpleasant companion. One of the main complaints regarding this breed is the amount of time that must be put into grooming their long coat. You must brush the coat frequently, or it could develop mats; matting is painful to dogs and also constitutes an open invitation to bacteria and insects, putting the dog's health in danger. Mats around the anal and genital areas can cause problems when the dog has to go to the bathroom and could actually trap feces and urine, increasing the health risk, even to the family. You must be able to groom your Havanese regularly or have the resources to send him to a professional groomer.
This breed, along with others such as the Maltese, Bichon Frise and Bolognese, are difficult to housebreak and this is a major complaint, especially for first time dog owners. You need quite a bit of patience, understanding and time to housebreak these dogs; you must be consistent and your best option is crate training. Many owners report success with the use of a doggy door. Lastly, those owners who have set their heart on the breed complain about the exorbitant price of Havanese puppies. When they were more uncommon, it was not unheard of for the price tag to be two thousand dollars or more; now that they're more common, the price has gone down, but is usually not less than one thousand dollars.