The Havanese is a double-coated, small-yet-sturdy dog available in a wide variety of colors. The coat can be wavy, curly, or even corded. Even though the coat appears profuse, remember that this was a coat developed to be a light, airy sunshade in humid climates, so protection is still a must in colder climates. They are broad chested with an even topline. The tail curves over the back. Eye rims, nose, and lips are black on all colors except for the chocolate versions which have dark brown features. They are famous for their dancing gait. They dont walk as much as they prance. This feature is exclusive to this breed.
This breed originated in Cuba, descended from a now-extinct breed called Blanquito de la Habana, which was an all-white silky dog that had adapted to Cubas hot, humid temperature. This dog was interbred with poodles and bichon frise dogs in the 17th century to produce the Havanese. With political upheaval, many aristocratic cubans came to the United States, but not many were allowed to bring their dogs. Many of these Cubans settled in South Florida where a Ms. Goodale developed a breeding program in the 1970s after running an ad in the paper to find Cuban immigrants who had brought their pedigreed dogs with them. She acquired more dogs from Costa Rica to form a breeding foundation of 11 dogs. Her diligence paid off as this is now one of the fastest growing breeds in popularity with relatively few health problems.
Havanese are delightful companions that are gentle, have a high level of intelligence, and are eager to please. Their springy gait seems to suit their playful personalities. Even though they have the toy designation, they are sturdy dogs suitable for agility training and families with children. They are not prone to barking, even at strangers, though they will let owners know when they approach. They get along with other pets, love to perform, but are content with toys as well. They will follow their owners everywhere, if possible.
A Havanese puppy.
Breed Club Links: http://www.havanese.org
BaxterBoo Perfect Pairings: Coats and boots for cold weather. Double-sided pin comb by Pet Head.
White Havanese photos courtesy of Brad Saunders.
Have any great Havanese stories to share? Well, I do! I thought you'd enjoy seeing My Favorite Pup Jasmine in action to get an idea of how smart and fun these dogs can be with training. She and CJ Jackson were simply delightful to meet! Do visit her Facebook page and become a fan.