The Havanese, also known as the “Bichon Havanais” (or ‘Habanero’), and the “Havana Silk Dog”, the Havanese breed is thought to be descended from the Old World Bichon types of small companion dogs, such as the often-painted Italian Bichon of Bologna (the Bolognese) or the Maltese. Over the centuries, interesting variations developed into separate breeds around major port cities of the Spanish Empire. The Havanese breed is the Bichon of Cuba. All published theories of their origin and development seem based on speculation, but it is certain that they were always a small breed which was exclusively owned by the higher social classes.
The Havanese is a small, sturdy, short-legged dog. Its unique gait is exceptionally lively and springy, accentuating the dog’s happy nature. The coat is double, with both under and outer coat soft. The profuse outer coat is very long, reaching 6 to 8 inches in length, and ranges from straight to curly, with wavy preferred. The curly coat is allowed to cord. The expression is gentle.
Havanese have a quiet and gentle disposition, but enjoy rowdy play sessions. They are affectionate, preferring to be at their owner’s side or in the same room, and will alert their owner to approaching strangers. They enjoy the company of other Havanese. They are intelligent, easy to train and attentive to their handler. Havanese have an alert, gentle expression produced by the combination of large dark eyes, dropped ears, long fur and an endearing habit of tilting their head when listening.
Features of Havanese Dog
The Havanese is a companion dog that thrives on being with his family. He can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone, and does best when someone is home during the day to keep him company.
Although they generally outgrow this, it’s quite common for Havanese puppies (among other breeds) to eat their own stools. Scoop your puppy’s poop right away so he can’t indulge in this icky habit.
The long, silky coat of the Havanese is beautiful, but requires regular brushing and care. Many owners prefer to clip it short, but if you want to show your dog, you’ll have to let it grow long and invest a good amount of time in grooming, or money in paying a groomer. Another reason to keep it long: If you live in a warm climate, the long coat helps keep your dog cool.
The Havanese does well in all types of housing, from apartments to homes with large yards. But he’ll probably bark when he sees someone passing by the house or when he hears a strange noise. The good news is that he doesn’t bark just for the sake of hearing his own voice.
The Havanese loves to watch the world from up high, and will find his way onto the backs of sofas and tables to watch the day pass by.
Paper is a favorite toy for the Havanese, and this clever little breed will go out of his way to find it, even sniffing through the jackets of your guests. Toilet paper, which can give him hours of shredding pleasure, is a special treat. Toss him a roll, and your house will soon look like it’s been hit by Halloween pranksters.
The Havanese needs as much exercise as a larger dog. A long walk or an active game each day should do it.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.