The Havanese is a small dog breed native to the country of Cuba. In fact it is the national dog of Cuba and is considered as one of the cuddliest and most adorable dogs in the world. It has a very energetic personality and is considered as a perfect pet and a family dog. They are often characterized with expressive eyes, a long coat and a very cuddly nature.
They are also very adaptable to any area and will fit right in no matter where you put them. The Havanese is also nicknamed as the “Velcro Dog,” because of its nature to stick closely to its master’s side. But the Havanese is not a mere lap dog, it is very intelligent and highly trainable. This has prompted a lot of people to use this dog in various dog competition canine challenges.
History & Origins
It is most likely that the Havanese descends form the Bichon dog of Tenerife. It is confirmed that this is dog that belongs to the Bichon group but later there were findings which confirmed that they most probably descend from the Bichon Tenerife dogs which were brought to Cuba on ships. The Bichon dogs were used with the Cuban royalty at first and became their companions, which is seen through many historical records.
So the modern version of the Havanese is actually related to the Blanquito de la Habana, an extinct dog breed directly descending from the Bichon dogs from Tenerife that were brought there. It is also believed that this breed was crossbreed with some other Bichon types and poodles as well which resulted in the Havanese dog that we have today. This dog is sometimes referred to as the “Havana Silk Dog.”
Havanese Characteristics & Temperament
The Havanese is a toy dog breed which has a great personality and temperament. They are very intelligent, vigorous and energetic. They are the most happy when their owner is happy and always create a high attachment to the person they spend most time with. They will often follow the owner everywhere he or she goes. They are quite good as house pets and will even enjoy the company of your children. They do not tend to bark a lot and are also fond of strangers and even like to show off and perform in front of people. It is fairly easy to train these dogs but like with other small dogs it is a bit hard to housebreak them.
Training should start when they are young as it is easier, but it is not impossible to train an adult dog, it will just take a little bit longer. They are mostly attached to a home and like spending time inside the house and prefer it that way. But they will run around if given a chance to stay outside. They do require exercise but thanks to its small size you do not need so much room to do so. Sometimes you can even do it in your household.
Appearance, Colors, Size
A typical he usual Havanese dog can grow up to be somewhere between 10 to 16 pounds in weight and can be 8.5 to 11.5 inches in height. Unique for their appearance is the topline that the dogs have. Their muzzles are full and they tapper slightly towards the nose. The length of the skull is also equal to the length of the muzzle and the length from foot to elbow is equal to the length from elbow to withers. The forecast should also be pronounced and when they stand in position their sternum should line up with the elbows, giving them a deep chest. They also have dark brown and almond shaped eyes, which gives them an expressive look on the races.
They have a soft, silky and lightweight coat. The coat is also profuse and wavy and something which is very much unlike with other double coated breeds, the Havanese do not have a course nor an overly dense coat. Their coats are very soft and light. As far as the color goes, there is a dispute that the original Havanese dogs were all white. But today, they are accepted in all kinds of colors with various kinds of markings as well.
If you have a Havense dog, that you are in luck as this dog breeds does not have any major health concerns for you to be concerned about. Actually, Havanese can live up to somewhere between 14 and 16 years of age. There are also only a few medical concerns that you will have to monitor and be careful about. What they usually suffer from is luxating patella, heart disease, liver disease, cataracts and retinal dysplasia. IF you have a white coated Havanse you might notice that your dog will tear up and create brown tear stains on their fur. It is an issue that also affects this dog breed as well.
Grooming & Shedding
A Havanse may require a lot of grooming due to its long hair. You can actually try and clip the hair and keep it shorter but if you live in a cold environment it is better to let it grow or also if you want to show up your dog. In that case regular brushing is needed and might be necessary more frequently than with other breeds. Baths are also necessary if you want to keep the coat as soft as possible and make sure to trim the hair above the eyes so irritation is prevented.
After a while you yourself will get to be pretty skilled in dealing with your grooming. But if you want to do more you can also hire a professional groomer as well. The coat of a Havanese is thick and silky and does not shed easily, so this is why you need to maintain your dog.
Havanese Price and Breeders
Getting your own Havanese is fairly easily. It is actually much easier than you think as this breed has become quite popular with many people. As a perfect house pet, this dog has won the hearts of many and is probably the best kind of a house dog that you can get. Buying one will cost you between 1,000 and 1,500 US dollars which is a fair amount for a dog of this size.
If you are keen in saving your money and rescuing a Havanese dog, there are ways to do that as well. Check out the pages of Havanese Club of America Placement and Rescue Service Committee and Havanese Fanciers of Canada Rescue so you get more information on how to find one.