The Canine Chronicles Directory
The Havanese has a double coat with soft hair on both the outer and undercoats.
The hair on a Havanese can range from wavy to curly. Although the coat may seem
too hot for warmer climates, it is light and reflects heat, which was adapted over
centuries of living in tropical climates. The long silky hair covers the eyes and
long tail. The hair helps to reflect the light out of their eyes. Some Havanese
develop smooth coats due to a recessive gene. However, they are unable to participate
in the competitive show rings. Some have nicknamed these dogs Shavanese. The coat
can be numerous colors or patterns which include: cream, gold, red, champagne grey,
black, blue, silver, chocolate, white, brown, brindle, sable, or mixed variations
of these colors. In North America, all colors are recognized, however in some European
countries black and chocolate colored dogs are either not preferred or not recognized.
The broad skull is slightly domed shaped. The planes are level and the stop is moderate.
The almond shaped eyes are rimmed with black. They are solid black in color except
in chocolate colored dogs. Their eyes are green or amber. The ears are set high
on the head and the teeth should meet in a scissor-like bite. The lips and nose
should be black except in chocolate colored dogs. They should have dark brown pigmentation.
The nose should be broad and square-like. The slightly arched neck is of medium
length and blends smoothly into the shoulders. The straight topline slightly rises
from the withers to the rump. The deep chest is broad in the front reaching the
elbows and the ribs are well-sprung. The abdomen is slightly tucked up. The forelegs
are well-boned and straight. The dewclaws can be removed. The well-boned hindlegs
are muscular and have a moderate angulation. The round feet have well arched toes.
The high set tail is plumed and loosely curls over the rump.
Havanese are charming, smart, playful, energetic and enthusiastic companions. They
are very loyal to their families. They are very social and need to have people around.
They get along with everyone including people, dogs, cats and other household pets.
They are rarely shy or nervous. They are excellent with children. They have a playful,
friendly temperament and are the only toy breed that will tolerate the often bumbling
play of small children. Due to this, their popularity worldwide has grown. They
are good watch dogs and will alert you when visitors arrive, but will quickly become
friendly with the new arrivals. They are very unhappy if left alone for long periods
of time, however another dog in the house sometimes helps alleviate the stress of
separation. They often follow their owners around the house and will even follow
them into the restroom although they are not possessive of their families. They
also are not aggressive or jealous of other dogs, pets or people. They love to observe
what is going on and hate to be left out of family events.
Height: 8-11" ; Weight: 7-13 lbs.
This breed is very hardy but occasionally can be prone to PRA, luxating patellas,
cataracts, dry skin and poodle eye.
Havanese are good for apartment living. They will do fine without a yard as they
are very active indoors. They are born to live in your home and not in a kennel.
This breed needs daily exercise.
About 14-15 years
This breed needs an occasional clipping for easier care. If the coat is kept long,
it should be brushed twice a week. Hair on the pad of the feet should be clipped.
Show dogs need more grooming. Begin from puppyhood clipping their nails and brushing
their teeth. Check eyes and ears often as they are prone to ear infections. This
breed does not shed and is good for allergy sufferers.
The Havanese is part of the Bichon family of dogs, which includes the Bichon Frise,
Maltese, Bolognese and Coton de Tulear. They were originally bred in Europe as lapdogs
for the aristocracy. In the 17th century, these lapdogs were brought to Cuba by
Spanish sea captains as presents for wealthy Cuban women. They quickly adapted to
the climate of Cuba and became known as Blanquito de la Habana (the Havanese Silk
Dog, which is now extinct). Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, they became
extremely popular with aristocratic Cubans. During the 19th century Cuban breeders
began to cross the Blanquito de la Habana with French and German Poodles. This resulted
in today's Bichon Havanese. Not only were these dogs companions as their predecessors
were, but they were also used to herd poultry flocks. In the 1950s, political unrest
had crippled Cuba and very few people still had Bichon Havanese. The breed would
have become extinct except for Mrs. Goodale of the United States. In the 1960s,
many Cubans began to immigrate to the U.S. to seek political refuge. Many of these
refugees settled in Florida and brought their pets with them. By advertising for
the breed in the newspaper, Mrs. Goodale was able to purchase 6 Bichon Havanese
with pedigrees - four females and one male. Later she was able to procure 5 more
males from Costa Rica. In the 1970s, with these 11 dogs, she began the first U.S.
breeding program of Bichon Havanese. Her first line appeared in 1974. Today, the
United States is home to over 4000 Bichon Havanese. The breed has not only grown
in popularity in the United States, but also in other countries throughout the world.
The UKC recognized the breed in the 1991, the AKC in 1996, and the CKC in 2001.
AKC Toy, UKC Companion Dog