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Havanese are small, yet sturdy dogs. The coat
is long, silky and profuse, yet very light
and soft. The Havanese breed is of the Bichon
Type and is described as being playful, alert
It is believed the Havanese breed originated
in Tenerife - the largest of the Canary Islands.
Tenerife was one of the only ports open to
Cuba for trade due to the draconian trade
restrictions imposed by Spain on its colonies.
Ship's logs from the sixteenth century are
the earliest known records of the Havanese
breed. These charming lap dogs made their
way to Cuba and where they became a favorite
In the eighteenth century, wealthy Europeans
traveled to Cuba, where even though there
were restrictions, the island country prospered
on its own and became a popular vacation spot.
The Europeans were quite taken by Havanese
and took them back to Europe with them. By
the mid-eighteenth century, the breed was
quite trendy in Spain, France and England
- even Queen Victoria owned two and Charles
Dickens owned one.
During the 1960s as many wealthy Cubans migrated
to the US, a few Havanese made the journey
with them. Since there weren't many, these
dogs were rare and almost became extinct.
The survival of the Havanese can be credited
Dorothy Goodale - a dedicated breeder who
made it her “...dream to restore this
rare breed to the former glory that it enjoyed
in its native land of Cuba.”
The Havanese Club of America (HCA) was founded
in 1979 to help gain AKC recognition. In 1996,
the breed was admitted into the AKC and the
HCA is the AKC Parent Club for the Havanese
The height of a Havanese is between 8-11 inches
Weight: The weight of a Havanese
is between 7-13 pounds (3-6 kg)
Coat Type: The Havanese's
coat is like raw silk floss, profuse, but
extremely light and soft. Double-coat which
protects against the heat and sun's rays.
Coat can be wavy or curly. Long hair can mat,
therefore, regular brushing is recommended
All colors of the Havanese
coat are acceptable - can be a single color
or a combination of colors.
Temperament: The Havanese
is playful, alert, friendly, intelligent and
easy to train. Havanese love being 'part of
the family' and they are excellent with children.
They do well living in an apartment (which
still has enough space for them to be active)
and a daily walk is sufficient for exercise.
Havanese make a great companion dog and are
also make a great watch dog.
Health Problems: The Havanese
is generally a healthy breed. Some may be
prone to health issues which include: cataracts,
PRA, dry skin and patellar luxation. Life
expectancy for the Havanese breed is between
14 - 15 years.
• Havanese are the only
native breed to Cuba and is their National
• Havanese dogs were once called
the Havana Silk Dog or the Spanish Silk Poodle.
• The Havanese breed was recognized
by the AKC in 1996.
dogs were once widely used as circus dogs,
likely because the breed is easy to train,
learn tricks and because of the way they love
to please an audience.
dogs are a non-shedding, hyper allergenic
breed. Note: There are short-haired Havanese
which do not fall into this category.
AKC: Toys Group
ANKC: Group 1 - Toys
CKC: Group 5 - Toys
FCI: Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs; Section