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Havanese Exercise Guide: All FAQs Answered (Vet-Approved)

Determining the correct amount of exercise for a small dog isn’t always so straightforward. I receive many messages from Havanese owners asking if they are exercising their Havi too much or too little. Today I’m going to clear the confusion and explain everything below.

Havanese are an energetic breed and despite their size, still need moderate exercise. Adult Havanese need a minimum of 45-60 minutes of dedicated exercise per day. Additional playtime is encouraged and will supplement daily walks.


Do Havanese Need a Lot of Exercise?

While Havanese do not need huge amounts of exercise, they are an energetic breed for their size, so a moderate amount of exercise is suitable.

Adult Havanese benefit the most from around 45-60 minutes of dedicated exercise a day, with additional playtime during other times.

Dedicated exercise counts as taking your Havanese out to the dog park for a walk, run, and some fetch. Additional playtime within the home can also be some fetch, tug of war, or even hide and seek (great fun).

What About Havanese Puppies?

So far we’ve been talking about Havanese adults and their exercise needs, but what about young puppies?

Havanese puppies do not require as much exercise as Havanese adults. In fact, for the first couple of months, general exercise/playing around the home will suffice.

After 2 months, you can start taking your Havanese outside for dedicated walks.

Puppy AgeDedicated Exercise (PER DAY)
2 months10 minutes
3 months15 minutes
4 months20 minutes
5 months25 Minutes
6 months30 Minutes

This is known as the 5-minute method. For every one month of age the puppy has, they are exercised 5 minutes per day. This was created by a team of professionals and veterinarians as a safe way to exercise a puppy without injuring their developing joints and bones.

Although this is more important and relevant for large breed puppies, it still makes sense to follow it with small breed puppies too.

Do Havanese Like To Walk?

Havanese like a range of exercises, and those pushing into their senior years will usually prefer a steady-paced walk, rather than flat-out sprints.

Puppies and young adults, however, will always find a way to sprint and run around. Havanese are surprisingly quick for their small size, and they don’t mind showing that off!

It’s definitely advised to take caution with their joints, but most Havanese will appreciate and benefit from some fast high pace exercise in addition to some casual walking.

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How Often Should You Walk a Havanese?

Many owners walk their Havanese once per day in the morning before the day starts. This is a good idea as it can settle your Havanese and expend some of their energy first thing.

If you want to walk your Havanese twice per day, that’s fine too, but just be sure not to walk too far each time you go. A healthy adult Havanese will have no problem walking 2-3km per walk if the pace is easy.

Be sure to keep an eye on your Havanese and if you notice her tiring, slowing down, or refusing to go further, then it’s a good indication that the walk was too far or intense.

How Far Can a Havanese Walk?

Adult Havanese (over 14 months) will have no problem walking 2-3km per walk if the pace is easy. Extra caution should be taken with puppies and seniors as their joints are likely fragile.

How far your Havanese can go really depends on their age, health, walking surface, and weather conditions. Always use good judgement and take into consideration these things before setting out for long walks.

But as explained earlier 2-3km per walk (twice a day) should be handled easily by most healthy adult Havanese in ideal conditions.

Best Exercises For a Havanese?

To get a sense of what Havanese like the most, we asked 44 Havanese owners from online forums, groups, Reddit, and of course, the dog park.

Our question to the owners: What kind of exercise does your Havanese like the most? And here’s our responses…

Exercise TypeHow Many Havanese Preferred It
Fetch (running/sprinting)16
Steady walking8
Playing with other dogs10
Tug of war4

Although not the most scientific survey we’ve carried out, it clearly indicated that Havanese enjoy fetch (fast pace running) the most, followed by playing with other dogs which is usually also fast pace.

We agree that fetch is a great option as it’s simple, it’s mentally stimulating, and of course, it will keep your Havanese fitter for longer. Just be sure to consider her joints and avoid over-exercising her.

Some Havanese are prone to IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) which is a painful spinal condition that can develop from excessive heavy impact (jumping, landing, or running).

FAQ Summary

How much exercise do Havanese need per day?

Healthy adult Havanese need around 45-60 minutes of easy to moderate exercise per day. Despite the Havanese’s small size, they are an energetic breed and thrive on plenty of activity. Additional playtime on top of their walk is recommended.

Havanese love to walk and run. Walking is great for all ages while running should be reserved for healthy adults only (to preserve joints). Hiking is another interesting and stimulating form of exercise. Always keep in mind walking surface, distance and weather.

Puppies should follow the 5-minute method. Meaning they exercise for 5 minutes per day, per month of age they have. At 2 months, they exercise for 10 minutes per day, 3 months will be 15 minutes per day, and so on until they reach the adult level.

2-3km per walk is ideal for most Havanese with no health issues. In many cases, Havanese could go for two of these walks per day. Puppies and seniors should not walk as far due to fragile joints.

At an easy pace with plenty of breaks, a healthy adult Havanese could walk for 3-5km in one go at a maximum. It’s important to remember their little legs have to work extra hard just to keep up at a regular pace. These are durable little dogs, but preserving joint health is crucial.

Recommended articles:
Are Havanese a Healthy Breed? (plus tips)
Are Havanese good for first-time owners?

Thank you for reading! Check out more Havanese articles >>


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.