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The Havanese Breed

Havanese are amusing little clowns and make delightful companions for many people. Their beguiling personality brims with a mixture of clever and comic. Life with a Havanese can be amusing, jolly, and just right down fun. They are lovers and little entertainers wrapped up in a bundle of fur.

Even though the Havanese are small and considered a Toy breed, they are not meant to be tiny, fragile dogs. They may be small in stature but are muscular, and very lively with great stamina. They are always ready to join in any and all family activities. They are excellent jumpers and very nimble; many succeed well at agility and other dog sports. Although the Havanese may excel in many pursuits, the breed is first and foremost a companion dog

Raising and Training can be a joyful bonding experience for both you and your Havanese. We recommend all dogs attend basic obedience classes as a puppy. As a breed they are active in agility, obedience and show. They excelat dancing with dogs and make excellent trick dogs. A well trained Havanese is a joy to live with. They are relatively quiet pets but can be quite active indoors and outdoors.

The Havanese is a sturdy, small, longhaired, drop-eared companion dog; 21-29cm tall (8.5-11.5 inches) covered with a long, ideally wavy, untrimmed coat. His plumed tail is carried over his back. He is an affectionate, happy dog with a lively springy gait. The Havanese have large dark almond shaped eyes with a gentle expression. The Havanese come in a great variety of colours, patterns and markings. This rainbow of colours is one aspect distinguishing the Havanese from his predominantly white cousins and adds to the beauty and charm of the breed


This is something you will have to commit to. A matted Havanese is an unhappy Havanese!

Most people clip their dog off or send them to a groomer every 6-8 weeks. Though this doesn’t mean you don’t get to skip coat care. They need a weekly brush out followed by a comb through. They also require regular nail trimming and pad trims, as they have fur that grows between their toes that can form painful knots.

Havanese are considered low dander or hypo-allergenic breed. Though some very sensitive people are still allergic to them. They don’t shed thus limiting the dander problem. Not shedding though does means quite a lot of coat care. A daily 10 minute comb through or a weekly hour on the table is required.

Remember with the Havanese, non-shedding does not mean no grooming or no maintenance. A clean and matt free dog is a happy and healthy dog. Regular brushing will maintain a healthy coat and a happier Havanese.

History of the Havanese

The Havanese (“Habaneros” in Spanish) is also known as the Havana Silk Dog. These little “charmers” are a part of the Bichon Family and are descended from the same bloodlines that produced the Water Spaniel, Poodle, and Portugues Water dog. It is believed that during the days of the Spanish Empire they were brought to Cuba by sea captains to be sold to wealthy Cuban families as well as given as gifts to win the favour of wealthy senoras.

The breed is thought to have developed without outside influence and evolved unique adaptations for the hot cuban climate. It is a remarkably heat-tolerant dog, due to its unique coat. The coat is like raw silk floss, profuse, but extremely light and soft, and insulating against the tropical sun. In its native country, the coat was never clipped for this reason, and the hair never tied into a topknot, as the Cubans believe the hair protects the eyes from the harsh sun. It loves the water and is an accomplished swimmer.

By the mid-eighteenth century, they became very popular in Europe. Queen Victoria is said to have owned two and Charles Dickens had one called Tim, which was much beloved by his seven children. After the Cuban revolution, the Havanese began to die out except for a handful of them who found their way to the United States where they have slowly but steadily been rebuilt. All the Havanese in the world today, except for those from the “iron curtain” countries and those remaining in Cuba, stem from those 11 immigrants. Throughout their travels, the Havanese type has remained virtually unchanged from that of the dogs in the eighteenth century.