|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The Havanese is a sweet ball of fur, it has mysterious origins and it is thought to be one of the best companion dogs.
The Havanese is a very sweet dog with a distinguishing long, silky, colorful coat. Its origins are still partly shrouded in mystery. It is believed that merchants were the first to bring the Havanese to the island of Cuba, as gifts to the colonial aristocratic and wealthy families.
It was a very much loved and protected dog. You would never see it wandering around the streets. On the contrary, it has always been kept inside mansions or in their backyards. Only on special occasions it would go out to the streets of Havana with its owner.
Even though it is small, this dog is robust, agile and solid. The Havanese is deemed to be one of the best companion dogs due to its lively and joyful temperament. It is very sociable with everyone, even with strangers.
It loves playing and children love it. It is not an aggressive dog, but it knows how to set the limits. It does not tolerate being alone and although it loves its family and owner, it can adapt to other people if necessary. It also gets along very well with other pets.
The history of the Havanese is full of charm and it is partly surrounded in mystery. This breed was recognized by the AKC and the FCI, standard N° 250. The Havanese is native of the island of Cuba and it belongs to the Bichon family, whose ancestors were portrayed for the first time in the Middle Ages.
During the Renaissance in Europe, they were very popular, and you could find them along the Mediterranean Basin. Frequently, these dogs were painted next to ladies of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie.
The most accepted hypothesis about its origins suggests that the Havanese breed was introduced in Cuba by sailors coming from Canary Islands. The dogs were given as gifts to the ladies of the colonial aristocracy to gain the support of the wealthiest families.
When exchanging the dogs among themselves, merchants might have created specimens of different coat colors and, apparently, this mix of colors has resulted in the Havanese breed as we know it today, whose range and shades of color may vary.
Havanese Dog or “Lapdog”
Rarely seen on the streets, the Havanese was protected by wealthy landlords in their country houses and in their inner backyards. Only for special occasions or on Sundays afternoon, the high-class ladies crossed the streets of La Habana with these dogs, also called “lapdogs”.
During their most successful time, these dogs were bred but the puppies were not sold. They were offered as a sign of respect and every puppy was carefully bred.
However, throughout the years, the breeding of the Havanese has been diminishing. The Cuban revolution in the ‘60s made many wealthy Cuban families flee into exile, and few of them run away with their dogs, which were left with friends or family.
The breed started to increase in number since 1974, when the American breeder Dorothy Goodale, who was looking for a small, smart and calm dog breed, found out about the Havanese. She got the address of an exiled Cuban family, from whom she was able to buy six dogs.
A year later, she managed to recover 5 more dogs. In 1979, the American breed register was founded, and now it is a member of the American Kennel Club. Meanwhile, in Cuba there was a campaign to protect the breed, and in 1991 the Bichon Habanero Club was founded.
Since the ‘80s, the breed has been slowly spreading through the United States, England, Canada, South Africa, India and New Zealand. Even in Australia, this breed has been gaining popularity.
Havanese: Physical Characteristics and Appearance
The Havanese is a small-sized dog, but you must not think it is delicate. It is not a light-footed dog, on the contrary, it is robust, solid and balanced. Its appearance goes from funny to sweet and it has a lively and caring expression, always glowing with happiness.
The body of a Havanese is longer than it is tall. The legs are short and it has a lot of silky wavy hair that covers almost its entire body. The head is wide with a forehead hardly rising. It has a relatively marked way of standing.
Havaneses: “A Soft Appearance”
The muzzle is slightly more narrow near the nose, but not snipey. The nose is black or brown. The eyes are almond-shaped, big, dark colored and they have a soft expression.
The ears, set relatively high, are slightly rounded on the extremity and they are covered with hair in long fringes. They softly fall along the cheeks.
The neck is of a medium length, and the tail is carried high, curled and it is covered with hair.
A Havanese height may vary between 21 and 29 cm and it can weigh between 8 to 17 lb (4-8 kg). It has a gait characterized by the straight position of the forelegs and an impulse given by the hindquarters. It is fast and bold.
The Havanese has a silky coat that can be 5-7 inches (12 to 18 cm) long. It is straight or wavy. The trimming is mainly done on the forehead and the legs. The coat is colorful.
The Havanese might be only of one color or it can be a mix ranging from cream or champagne, till golden, blue, tobacco, havana-brown, black and chocolate. The colors are combined in different ways to breed dogs with two or even three colors, it is hardly completely pure white.
It is the companion dog par excellence. Lively, joyful, carefree and very smart. The Havanese is friendly and it loves playing. Tireless, it loves to be outside and it is a great companion dog. In addition, it is suitable to be with children because it loves to play with them.
It is a good and sociable dog, even with strangers, with whom they are also well educated. We can say that Havanese do not tolerate being alone. Only few times they tend to shut themselves off, they do this to get your attention if they think you are not given them enough. It usually barks of happiness in front of anyone, but if ordered by the owner, it immediately stops.
It has a balanced character and it loves to be with its family, it gets really attached to them. However, the Havanese can adapt to be with other people if their owners are not present. It is a dog that loves to discover new things and travel.
It is always loyal, loving and obedient with its owner. It needs an active and joyful owner, who is willing to take some time to play with it. The Havanese adapts to other animals, no matter what type of animal. Usually, it easily creates a bond of respect and friendship with them.
Havanese: Health and Lifespan
This breed has an average lifespan of 13 – 15 years. Typically, the Havanese does not have serious health issues, they are healthy and strong dogs. The dogs used with a reproductive purpose have to be checked to detect a possible progressive retinal atrophy.
Cataracts is an eye condition that may affect dogs over eight years old, and rarely, it can appear in younger dogs. However, because it is an easily identifiable disease (you can see a white spot in the center of the eye) it can be easily treated with surgery.
This breed may also suffer from other diseases such as eclampsia, a typical condition that occurs during birth. It is caused by low calcium levels in the blood of the dog mum that usually occurs during the lactation period.
Irresistible, literally: they are fluffy as a cloud, the Havanese puppies are very charming and they may have a funny appearance but they can also be very sweet, like few things in the world.
Their abundant coat covers almost the entire body, from the head to the tail. This gives the Havanese much more character.
Buying a Havanese puppy might be beneficial to the whole family: in fact, we are talking about a dog that from the very beginning of its life is full of joy, and consequently, it can only do good to everyone around it.
It needs to go out often, due to its lively personality. But it is a dog that can stay at home: you won’t have many problems with it!
Havanese: Puppies For Sale, and Price
If you are looking for a Havanese puppy, you need to be careful with genetic and hereditary diseases that it may have. That is why you should not go with inexperienced people, it is better to go to qualified breeders that you may find in England, the United States, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, India, and South Africa.
A Havanese dog is expensive, it costs around 700 and 1100 dollars, or 600-1000 English pounds. You can always ask for the pedigree, which is essential: it allows you to check the purity of the dog’s breed. An animal with pedigree has certain characteristics of its breed that differentiate it from the rest.
Now that we have mentioned the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is certainly waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Sussex Spaniel
- Japanese Spitz
- Irish Wolfhound
- English Mastiff
- Scottish Deerhound
- Kai Ken