As the national dog of Cuba, the Havanese is a descendant of the Old World Bichon- type dog. It is believed that it was cross-bred with other Bichon types, including the poodle to create what is now known as the Havanese. Sometimes referred to as “Havana Silk Dogs” this was originally another name for the Blanquito de la Habana (“little white dog of Havana”).
The Havanese is a small sturdy dog with enormous charm. He is slightly longer than tall, with a long, untrimmed, double coat. Weight can vary greatly, but most are from 7 to 13 pounds and heights range from 8.5 to 11.5 inches. He is friendly, responsive, alert, intelligent and a playful companion. He gets along with people of all ages and all kinds of other pets. He is a good watchdog as he will alert to unusual activity.
He is an eager and quick learned when it comes to training. He is a natural clown; the breed in the past has been trained for the circus. He learns all kinds of cues and tricks with pleasure as long as he is taught with positive reward-based methods. Because of their cheerful and readily trained nature, they are used for a variety of jobs involving the public, including: therapy dogs, assistance dogs (signal dogs for the hearing impaired), tracking, mold and termite detection.
They also compete in a variety of dog sports: Dog Agility, Flyball, Musical Canine Freestyle and Obedience Training.
Havanese as Pets
He is an ideal family pet. Although a toy dog breed, they remain energetic and require some form of daily exercise. They are highly adaptable to almost any environment, and their only desire is to be with their human companions. Because of their strong social needs, Havanese will not thrive in an environment where they are isolated for several hours each day.
The breeds’ non-shedding coat makes it suitable for allergy sufferers and regular grooming is necessary to keep the coat in top condition.