All About the Havanese!


Behavior common of the Havanese

The Havanese is playful and happy, and the breed makes an affectionate and loving pet. These dogs enjoy seeking attention and will often try to ‘show off’ for owners. Additionally, these dogs enjoy time spent with owners and may climb furniture and other objects in order to stay in view of their humans. Because of this desire for constant attention, the Havanese should not be left alone for long periods of time. As an indoor dog, the Havanese is most content and playful inside the home and when surrounded by its family. They will bark if strangers approach. This breed can make a decent watchdog but tends to want to meet new people- a trait that often makes them too friendly for the task.

This breed is a great choice for a family pet. They warm up to people quickly and are good with children. Children should be instructed in how to safely play with the dog before they are able to interact with each other. The Havanese gets along great with other dogs, cats, and pets, making the breed a perfect addition to animal-loving households. The breed is fairly trainable and eager to please, but these dogs are sensitive and should be trained with gentle correction and lots of praise.

Appearance of the Havanese

A small breed, the Havanese is 8 to 11 inches tall and weighs 7 to 13 pounds. This breed features a long double-coat with coarse outercoat and soft undercoat. These dogs come in a variety of colors, spanning shades of black, white, gold, brown, gray, or a mix of colors. These dogs have long facial hair and dark, almond-shaped eyes. Folded, medium-length ears rest high on the head. Their tails also feature long hair and arc over the back.

Grooming your Havanese

Most Havanese feature long coats, and these coats must be brushed regularly to prevent painful matting and tangling. The breed is hypoallergenic and does not shed, so more frequent brushing will not be required to prevent shedding. Short-coat Havanese require much less grooming and can get by with the occasional brushing. Short-coat Havanese may actually shed, so those concerned about dog hair would be better off with the long-coat version. Long-coat versions of the breed will require more frequent bathing as well. Special attention should be paid to the facial area and other areas that may come in contact with food or dirt and trap it. Regular dental cleanings and nail clippings are also required to keep dogs happy and healthy.

History of the Havanese

As the only native dog breed of Cuba, the Havanese is Cuba’s national dog. It is believed the Havanese arrived with Spanish colonists in the 16th century, but the breed nearly went extinct following the French, Russian, and Cuban revolutions. Remarkably, the breed was rebuilt in America from a very limited stock. The breed descends from the Bichon and is now rare in Cuba, though campaigns are underway to increase the breed’s population.