Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
Havanese puppies are a lot of fun. They are smart and easy to train. These little dogs are frisky enough to be involved in agility and obedience competitions, yet calm enough to make good therapy dogs.
If you have decided to bring a Havanese into your life, you will need to make a lot of decisions in the next few days. The first will be picking a name for your new puppy. How about something authentic?
Havanese may have originally come from the Mediterranean; there are a lot of questions about the origin of the breed. More recently, however, we know that they came from Cuba, and they have been natives of Havana for about 500 years. Although there are a lot of interesting names from Cuba, most of them are long and not appropriate for your new puppy. In this article, I've assembled some great ones to try.
Cuban Place Names
|Cities and Provinces||Towns and Areas||Mountains|
Zapata (Zapa) - a peninsula
Cuban Boy and Girl Names
Any of these traditional Cuban names would work very well for a Havanese puppy.
- Cuban Boy Names: Alex, Anton, Arlo, Carlos, Cedro, Ché, Chumo (the twin, if only two puppies are born in a litter) Cisco, Elon, Fidel, Jorge, Juan, Martin, Miguel, Pedro, Rafi (short for Rafael), Ramon, and Tomas.
- Cuban Girl Names: Angel, Carmen, Charo (a flower), Cheena, Coro, Estell, Judi, Lola, and Norma.
More Havanese Names
Although some small puppy names are appropriate for a Havanese, there are a lot of lists out there that really just cover small dogs. They are not for these little Cuban dogs at all. If you want something unique, try one of these:
- Male puppies: Blanco (for a white puppy), Blando (fluffy or huggable), Castro, Chico (a boy), Costa (you can use this if your dog is from the coast), Danté (especially if your puppy is a little devil!), Dino, Feliz (happy, and this word would actually work for a boy or a girl dog), Mambo (a Cuban dance style), Mano (slang for little brother), Migo (from amigo, a friend), Milo (from milagro, a miracle puppy), Mojo, Paco, Pancho, Pueblo, Rico (rich), and Tio (uncle).
- Female puppies: Blanca (for a white Havanese), Bolo (cake, a version of sweetie), Chacha (Cuban dance music), Chica (a pretty girl), Dolce (sweetie), Coco (coconut), Pedra (precious stone), Salsa (Latin music), Santa (saint), Rica (rich), Rumba (Cuban dance music), and Tia (auntie).
General Naming Guidelines
You could also consider naming your new puppy "Cuba"—but that's a little too common among Havanese. There are a few rules when should remember when naming your puppy:
- Don't give your new Havanese a name that sounds like one of his training commands. If you use are going to train him in English and you give him a name that sounds like one of his basic commands, he is going to get confused and not perform when he should. None of the dog names I have suggested in this list sound like any commands, but if you use something else not here, make sure it does not sound like a training word.
- Always choose a name that has one or two syllables. A lot of great Cuban words have three or more syllables but if you notice you'll see that I always give you a two-syllable nickname. If you stick your dog with a name like “Amigo” you can call him Migo; don’t get mad at him if he just stares when you try to use the long version of that word and he is not even able to understand.
- Give your dog a name that commands some respect. Stay away from the dog names I would not use. You might think it is funny to name your dog “Scooter” after he has diarrhea, or “Barfy” after an accident in the car. It will not be funny later when you are out at the dog park with your new Havanese puppy, and names like “Scooter” get old fast.
- Do not brand your new Havanese with one of these overused dog names. Your little dog has a noble history and he is an individual. Every Havanese deserves a unique name!
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Questions & Answers
Question: I am getting a female Havanese Puppy in a few weeks. What do you think of the name Cha Cha?
Answer: Have fun with your new puppy. That sounds like a good choice of a name since it is two syllables, and ends on a high note that the dog will probably respond to.
Question: I really like the name Hemingway for my Havanese dog. Is it too long?
Answer: Hemingway is not a good choice since it is so long. Try to think of what nicknames you can use, and if you find a good choice then name your Havanese puppy Hemingway but call him using his nickname.
Question: I just adopted a special needs Havanese puppy. She was named Petunia-not thrilled on that one. I do like Violet for her, Vi for short. I know it's far from Cuban, but what are your thoughts?
Answer: Vi sounds great. Petunia is not a good name for a dog since it is much too long for a dog to respond to during training.
Question: What do you think of Nilla for a cream/tan colored female Havanese?
Answer: Nilla is a great choice.
The name has two syllables, ends in a high note, and your new Havanese is going to love it.
Question: Is Rose a good name for a Creamy Brown girl?
Answer: What about using a Spanish version of the name since she is a Havanese? Rosa is actually a great choice. It is two syllables, ends on a vowel (an up note), and will make calling or training your dog much easier. "Rose" is a much harsher word.
Question: Is Hurshei a good name for a male puppy?
Answer: That sounds like a good choice, especially for a little chocolate brown puppy!
© 2013 Dr Mark
Deby on July 17, 2019:
We named our female Havanese
Ramona from Havana
Jim on March 09, 2019:
Our Havanese is named Oscar after an old great uncle not a grouchy puppet.
Jo Anne Via on February 22, 2019:
I named my male havenese CUBI - SINCE THE ORIGINALLY CAME FROM CUBA.
Eiddwen from Wales on June 09, 2013:
Yet again so interesting and voted up plus shared.
angryelf from Tennessee on June 07, 2013:
A dog's name should always have a special meaning to the owner :)