Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Ewokian
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Small and sweet, these soft, teddy-like dogs are always a big hit with young children and make wonderful family pets. They are an adorable cross between the Havanese and the Pomeranian. Highly-adapted to living with people, they are very dependent on their masters and are one of the least independent dogs about, often labeled ‘Velcro Dogs’ like their Havanese parent.

Pint-sized pooches that do not grow taller than 27cm, those looking for a small companion that requires little space should look no further. These critters also make great indoor pets because they do not shed a great deal and have quite low exercise needs. Their lush coats come in many different colours and only serve to add to their charm.

About & History

Though the name of the Ewokian may seem a bit unusual considering its parents are called the ‘Havanese’ and the ‘Pomeranian’, any Star Wars fan will be quick to educate those not ‘in-the-know’ that an Ewok is a small hunter-gatherer from the Star Wars world that is said to resemble a grey teddy bear, or, in this case, a hybrid dog breed! While the Ewokian is a relatively new designer breed with a small enough population size, their breed numbers are growing around the world thanks to their quirky looks and sweet natures.

The Havanese

The Havanese was originally bred in Havana, Cuba, where it was kept as a companion animal from the 1800s. They earned themselves the title ‘Velcro Dogs’ because they dislike being left alone and will follow their owners from room to room like a little shadow. The Havanese is a descendant of the Bichon family and was developed from dogs brought over to Cuba from Tenerife by sailors. As Cuba is a relatively isolated island, the dogs that were brought over quickly developed into their own separate breed.

Thanks to their elegant looks and flowing coat, they were admired by the upper classes and gained a reputation as being a desirable pet. The word spread, and soon aristocrats from all around the world were interested in the Havanese. While the Cuban Revolution almost led to the demise of this unique breed, several dogs were smuggled out by Cuban families that immigrated to the USA, securing their safety and ensuring the breed lived on.

The Pomeranian

Pomeranians are often compared to foxes, with their pointed ears, wedge-shaped faces and red fur. A Spitz-type dog, they are closely related to the likes of the Siberian Husky and the Akita Inu; and with their larger than life, confident personalities, it would seem that they are well aware of this fact! The first records of the Pomeranian are from the 1700s and they originated in Pomerania, a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.

The original Poms would have been taller than those we know today and it was Queen Victoria of England who played a large role in ‘shrinking’ the breed down during the 19th century. A clever little breed, while most are kept as pets nowadays, some individuals are used as therapy dogs and others participate competitively in activities, such as canine dancing and Flyball.


Of course, the first thing to discuss when writing an article on the Ewokian is the uncanny resemblance they bear to a certain fictional Star Wars character, the Ewok. Small, fluffy and with some (though not all) breed members having the classic erect teddy-bear ears, the name Ewokian would seem more than apt. Rarely growing to heights of more than 27cm, the Ewokian is a small breed with neat little features that include short limbs and a dainty, curled tail.

The fur of the Ewokian is quite long and plush and comes in an array of colours, such as white, fawn, red, cream, black and gray. While difficult to guarantee, many will be hypoallergenic and should not shed much, if at all.

Character & Temperament

When it comes to the personality of the Ewokian, it tends to match its looks perfectly! As soft on the inside as they are on the outside, this is a playful pooch with a heart of gold and not a bad bone in its body. Well-adapted to life with people of all ages, the Ewokian is highly-tolerant of children and will play patiently with them for as long as is required of them. They are equally good with other pets and do not have a developed prey drive so can co-habit nicely with smaller animals.

A breed that relies heavily on others for their happiness, the Ewokian needs to be around the action and will always be found in the same room as their owner. They do not cope well at all when left alone for too long so would not be suited to a home where the owners spend most of the day away from the house. In an inappropriate environment, it would not be unexpected for an Ewokian to develop separation anxiety and to become highly-stressed when their owner leaves them. This can lead to destructive behaviour, incessant barking and an altogether unhappy canine.


While not quite the Einsteins of the dog world, Ewokians makes up for this with their constant desire to please and their natural curiosity and zest for life. Though they may not pick up on a training task immediately, they will happily continue to try until they have eventually mastered what is being asked of them. As they can be sensitive, owners should avoid any harsh reprimands or criticisms when they get it wrong as this can lead to a dog becoming fearful during its training sessions. Instead, owners should heavily reward good behaviour, ensuring the dog strives to meet expectations.


Before the purchase of any dog, owners should educate themselves on the potential health issues that may plague them. This can give them an idea of the veterinary commitment they may need to make and should also encourage them to purchase pet insurance!

Patellar Luxation

While it is true that any dog can develop a luxating patella, it is typically the smaller breeds that inherit this condition. Signs will vary depending on how severely a dog is affected and there are four grades of this orthopaedic disease, with grade four being the most serious.

In the early stages, dogs may skip when running for a step or two. However, as the disease progresses, many will develop local osteoarthritis and will struggle more and more with their mobility. For some, surgical intervention can improve their prognosis dramatically.

Mitral Valve Disease

A degenerative heart condition that affects the mitral valve of the heart, most dogs will live relatively normal lives initially until the disease becomes symptomatic when they are middle-aged or older. At first, dogs may develop a quiet heart murmur and the condition may be picked up on a heart X-ray or scan.

We now know that there is a benefit to detecting this disease early on, as dogs can be given certain medication that prolongs the asymptomatic period. As the disease progresses, dogs typically develop a soft cough and may struggle to exercise as well as they used to. Most can be managed for months or years with regular monitoring and daily medication.


Though we typically think of ‘allergic dogs’ as those with itchy, red skin, it is also possible for dogs with allergies to develop other issues, such as ear infections, impacted anal glands and chronic vomiting and diarrhoea. For some unlucky individuals, their allergies may trigger all of the above symptoms.

While it is not always possible, the treatment of choice is to discover what exactly the dog is reacting to and prevent all contact with this allergen. More often than not, a dog is allergic to several things or it is not realistic to keep them away from what triggers them, for example, when they are allergic to grass or pollen. Due to this, many are managed with medication during flare-ups, which serves to make them comfortable and improve their quality of life.

Porto-Systemic Shunt

When blood bypasses the liver to go into general circulation prematurely, this can be due to a congenital shunt called a ‘porto-systemic shunt’. Diagnosis is not always straight-forward and typically includes a series of blood tests and imaging studies. Medical management can stabilise a patient somewhat in the short-term but surgery is generally advised for the best long-term prognosis.

Exercise and Activity Levels

A spirited dog that enjoys a quick run around, the Ewokian is no couch potato and will never say no to a game. However, these small dogs do not have high exercise requirements and only need a couple of short walks around the block or in the local park each day. Due to this, they make great city pets and they do not necessarily need access to a garden.


Though the cute coat of the Ewokian may look a little unkempt at times, this is actually what it is meant to look like, a fact which image-conscious owners may find a little disheartening. It is by no means a low maintenance coat and is so dense that it needs daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. It’s good practice to get young Ewokians used to grooming tasks, such as claw clipping and ear cleaning, from when they are puppies.

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