We wanted very much to find an older puppy so that we could be assured a good fit for our kids. They were a bit timid around jumpy hyper dogs, so it was important that we found a dog with the right temperment for our family. We had searched petfinder for months, and met countless dogs who the kids wouldn't even bend down to pet because they were too scared. The moment we ment Baxter my husband and I looked at eachother and said....yep-- this is the one.
Baxter didn't jump up on them, and let them come right over to pet them. He licked their hands, let them pick him up and hold him, played with them but in a non agressive way (no nipping even.) He barks very rarely... only if he hears a noise at night when it's quiet---and even then he quiets as soon as I tell him "Thanks Baxter. It's ok." We had to train him with the bell system for potty because he didn't bark to be let out.... now he rings the bells to go outside. People comment all the time that he is so calm when they come to the door. He never barks when someone knocks at the door.... although he will bark when he hears the mailman (but again, will quiet when I acknowledge him.) He is a very good watch dog in that sense... he can sense who is a welcome (expected) visiter and who is coming up to the house in another sense.
As gentle and calm as he is, he is also very playful and LOVES to be outside. He likes to play fetch, chase a toy on a pole, and loves, loves, loves to be walked. On the same token, if it's raining and we skip a day of walking he doesn't have extra pent up energy and misbehave because of it. We like to exercise him, and I personally think it's part of the reason he is such a well behaved dog, BUT Hav's don't NEED tons of exercise like other breeds who you'd need to walk daily rain or shine.
He likes to cuddle and loves to please---which makes any training so easy. He has gone through short adolecent phases where he will test limits (went through a very brief 'mouthing' phase with my youngest, but responded quickly---less than a week to reprimands and has not done it since.) He isn't a huge chewer...does not ruin furniture and such, but will definitely grab the kids toys if left out. He responds well to the "drop it" command though after repeated training. He is not crate trained, but has his little spots where he likes to den (on his dog bed by the window....sometimes he goes behind the curtain.... very cute)
and he sleeps in a dog bed at the foot of our bed.
He's the only hav I know, so I can only answer questions with my experience from him. I will say I met a hav at the vet yesterday who was very snappish (her owner suggested I pick up my dog before they brought her out because she doesn't get along with other dogs or children.) So you never know... but generally from what I've read Baxter fits all of the common hav traits. Good luck in your search!