The Havanese is cheerful and high-spirited and one of the most sturdy toy dog breeds. This toy dog loves to perform tricks to get attention. This breed is a member of the Bichon family which includes the Bichon Frise, the Coton de Tuleur, and the Maltese. The Havanese is larger than these other toy breeds. This breed has a soft long-haired coat that can be wavy, curly or straight. Most colors except black are acceptable with the most common being: white, brown, gold, champagne and grey. Havanese are approximately 8 to 11 inches tall at shoulder height and weigh from 7 to 13 pounds.
This breed is a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Toy Dog Group.
The Havanese originated in the Mediterranean area and are related to the Maltese and the Bichon family. This breed was a favorite of the wealthy class in Cuba and many were brought into the U.S. when their owners left during the Cuban Revolution. The breed is still fairly hard to find and was ranked 52nd out of 154 dog breeds on 2004 AKC registrations.
The Havanese is an adorable little dog who enjoys running around the yard playing with people and other pets. This breed is a great companion dog that loves people and loves to show-off. He has an amazing repertoire of tricks which he will perform to gain your attention. The breed is intelligent and attentive and responds well to obedience training which is necessary to keep him from becoming too bossy. These dogs love to be involved in all household activities and get along wonderfully with older children. Toddlers and young children are too rough to have a toy breed for a pet. Some dogs can be too barky and need early socialization and training to break them of this habit. Some dogs will excel at advanced obedience and agility competitions. This breed is entirely suitable for novice or first-time owners.
Havanese are quite active dogs and get lots of exercise in the house and the back yard. However they enjoy a daily walk. This breed adapts well to apartment living as long as it gets outside to run around a few times per day.
This breed’s coat needs regular grooming with a brush and comb about three times per week. You can apply a lotion to prevent split hair ends. Clip excess hair on the feet and between the pads. These toy dogs do not shed hair and may be good for people with allergies. Some people call this breed ‘hypoallergenic’.
Havanese have a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years and are generally quite healthy. Some health problems that can occur include: low thyroid, allergies and skin conditions.