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Breeds Home > Breed List > Havanese

Havanese Breed Information


Recognized By: ACR , AKC , ANKC , APRI , ARBA , CKC , CKC , FCI , HCA , KCGB , NKC , UKC
AKA: Bichon Havanais, Havana Silk Dog, Bichon Havanese
Mispellings: Havaneese, Havannese, Haveaneice, Havenase, Havenese, Havenesse, Havennnese, Havernese, Havineese

Living with a Havanese

Temperament: The Havanese are playful, alert, gentle, responsive and intelligent dogs. They should have a sweet temper and never display signs of being quarrelsome. The Havanese should never show signs of shyness or aggression.

Family Dog: The Havanese is a wonderful family pet. It is a small dog yet not fragile like some toy dogs and thus sturdy enough to hold its own around children. Small children should be supervised when playing with any dog. The Havanese are very sociable and get along well with other pets.

Shedding: The Havanese sheds very little.

Grooming: If not being used in Show the coat of a Havanese can be kept short for easier maintenance. If the coat is kept long it should be brushed 2 - 3 times per week. The excess hair on the bottom of the feet and between the pads needs to be trimmed regularly. The eyes and ears of a Havanese need to be cleaned regularly. As with most dogs the nails should be trimmed regularly and the teeth should be brushed at least weekly.

Training: The Havanese are easily trained with proper techniques. They are extremely sensitive to the tone of your voice. Thus it is very important to maintain a level tone when training a Havanese so as not to upset them which will make training very difficult.

Barking: Some Havanese do tend to bark a lot but with proper training at a young age this can be minimized.

Exercise: The Havanese should have a daily walk or time for proper exercise.

Living Conditions: The Havanese will make a great apartment dog. The can be very active inside because of their size.

Havanese Appearance

Appearance: The Havanese is a small yet sturdy dog and should never appear fragile. A Havanese is covered in long, silky, wavy hair.

Size: A fully grown Havanese should be between 8½ to 11½ inches tall and weigh around 7 - 13 pounds.

Companionship: The Havanese makes a wonderful companion dog. They are very loyal and become easily attached to their human families.

Head: The Havanese should have a soft and intelligent expression.

Eyes: The eyes of a Havanese are large, almond-shaped and dark brown in color. They eyes should be spaced widely apart. The eye rims should be black in color in all Havanese except the chocolate-colored where the eyes may be lighter in color and the eye rims chocolate brown.

Ears: The ears of a Havanese should be of moderate length and set high upon the head. They should be wider at the base and have a distinct crease in them. When the Havanese is alert the ears will be lifted at the base creating a shallow arc from the outer rim of the ear across the back of the head.

Muzzle: The muzzle of a Havanese has a rectangular shape. The nose is square in shape. The nose and lips of a Havanese should be black in color except in the brown coated Havanese where they should be of a dark brown pigment. The Havanese should have a scissors bite.

Neck: The neck of a Havanese should be of moderate length and proportionate to the body. It should be slightly arched and blend in naturally to the shoulders.

Body: The body of a Havanese is slightly longer than it is tall thus creating a rectangular proportion instead of the square proportion present in some breeds. The topline of the Havanese should be straight and rise slightly from the shoulders to the rump. The chest should be deep and broad.

Forequarters: The shoulders of a Havanese should be moderately laid back. The upper leg is short with ample angle between it and the shoulders allowing the front legs to be positioned under the body. The elbows should be straight and tight with the body. The legs should appear straight from any direction.

Hindquarters: The rear legs of a Havanese are well-boned and muscular. They should be parallel to each other when viewed from the rear. The rear legs should elevate the rump slightly higher than the front shoulders. The rear dewclaws should be removed.

Gait: The gait of the Havanese is lively, elegant and springy. It should give the look of agility.

Feet: The feet of a Havanese are round and should not turn either in or out. The toes should be well-arched. The pads and nails can be white, black or pink. Chocolate colored Havanese may have brown pads and nails.

Tail: The tail of a Havanese should be plumed with long silky fur and carried over their back. It should be carried freely and not tightly curled over the back. The tail of a Havanese should never be docked.

Color: The Havanese can be any solid color or combination.

Coat: The Havanese has a double coat that is soft and light in texture with a pearly sheen. The outercoat is somewhat thicker and heavier than the undercoat. The coat of a Havanese is ideally 6 to 8 inches long and wavy and very protective against the heat. The coat should not obscure the natural lines of the dogs figure. The fur above the eyes is believed to help protect the Havanese against the harsh sunlight in its native land of Cuba. It is important to note there is a possibility of a short-haired Havanese. This is a recessive gene present in the Havanese and is a rare occurrence. Short-coated Havanese are not permitted to be shown.

Havanese Facts

Category: Toy

Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of a Havanese is 14 - 15 years.

Characteristics: Havanese are very curious dogs. They love to sit up high and watch what is going on around them. Havanese make wonderful watch dogs and will promptly alert you when a guest arrives. Havanese are very in tune with the human emotions and live for your every word.

Havanese Health

Health: The Havanese is prone to PRA, cataracts, luxating patellas, poodle eye and dry skin.

Litter Size: The litter size of a Havanese can range from 1 to 9 puppies with 4 being about average.

Havanese History

History: After the French, Cuban and Russian revolutions the Havanese were almost extinct. Native to Cuba, the Havanese is now very rare to the island. The breeds increase in popularity has increased it numbers somewhat especially in the United States. They were originally kept as pampered lap dogs of the higher class aristocrats in Cuba during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Havanese is believed to come from the Bichon family of dogs. In the 19th century it is believed that the Cubans crossed the French variety of the Poodle with the existing Blanquito, also called the Havanese Silk Dog which is now extinct, to create what was called the Bichon Havanese. The Bichon Havanese was bred in Cuba through the 20th century and was the most popular pet of Cuban households. The Havanese was first bred in the United States in the 1970s and was not officially recognized by the AKC until 1996. Today the Havanese is kept as a family pet.

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