The Havanese is the national dog breed of Cuba and the country’s only native breed. Bred as a companion for centuries (favored among the nobles and aristocrats), Havanese dogs are hardwired to be people-loving. It loves the attention it gets when it puts on an amusing show for its audience.
This Bichon type breed may be a toy dog but it is sturdy. Moreover, it can suffer relatively fewer health problems and live around 14 to 16 years. This is a manageable breed ideal for different types of home—as long as it gets to be near the humans they love most.
Havanese Dogs and Puppies
What is a Havanese?
A Bichon type dog, the Havanese has the charms and traits ideal of a family pet. This tiny furball is indeed more popular as a home companion but it can also be trained to do work. It has to potential to be a therapy dog and an assistance dog, even as a termite detector. Get to know the breed better in this post and see if this is the breed you want for a pet.
Where does the Havanese come from?
The Havanese known today was primarily developed in Cuba. In fact, most of the Havanese in the U.S. today are related to the 11 Havanese dogs that were brought by wealthy Cubans who fled to the country during the Cuban Revolution.
As part of the Bichon family of dog breeds, the Havanese can trace its roots way back to the 1st century CE. It might have been related to the small, white dogs that were around in the Mediterranean at the time. Bichon breeds were favored among the wealthy in France, Italy, and Spain.
When the Spaniards established trade in Cuba, they brought with them Bichon type dogs. These dogs interbred and eventually came to be the Havanese.
What was the Havanese bred for?
The Havanese comes from a line of small companion dogs brought by the Spaniards to Cuba. The breed has been a well-known family companion throughout its known history and was particularly favored by the Cuban aristocracy. It can be said the Havanese was originally bred to be family pets—and it still is today.
What does a Havanese look like?
The Havanese has a small frame but it is not as fragile as it seems—it is actually quite sturdy. It weighs around 3 to 6 kg and stands at the withers between 9 to 11 inches. Yes, this breed is small but it has such a lively and spirited gait that makes it bigger than it seems.
What’s unique about the Havanese is its beautiful, soft, and light double coat just like its silk floss. This unique type of coat protects the breed from the tropical weather in Cuba. Because it serves as a protection from the warm weather, this breed needs extra protection in the winter.
The coat can be straight, curly, or wavy. It comes in a wide range of colors such as black, white, cream, gray, chocolate brown, silver, and so on. Colors can be solid or a combination of two to three colors in various patterns.
Coat colors vary but there are traits which are shared among all the Havanese. These are:
- Straight but not level topline that starts from withers to croup
- Plummeted tail arched over the back
- Dark brown eyes shaped like almonds
- Black eye rims (may be dark brown for the chocolate-colored Havanese)
- Dropped and folded ears
- Black nose (may be dark brown for the chocolate-colored Havanese)