The Havanese is a small playful dog that dates back to 1500s Cuba. It’s a very social and affectionate breed that easily warms up to anyone.
This amazing dog has a remarkable personality that makes a great family dog. They are completely trainable, obey commands, and are able to learn tricks easily.
They are so smart that they can make up their own games and persuade their owners to play these games with them.
This breed can also be used as a therapy dog, especially if it has been well-socialized with people.
Table of Contents
- Breed Overview
- Characteristics of the Havanese
- Coat and Colors
- History of the Havanese
- Havanese Care
- Common Health Complications
- Diet and Nutrition
- Height: 8.5-11.5 inches
- Weight: 7-13 pounds
- Group: Toy
- Life Expectancy: 14-16 years
Characteristics of the Havanese
- Intelligence: Medium
- Kid-Friendly: High
- Tendency to Bark: Low
- Affection Level: High
- Friendliness: High
- Pet-Friendly: High
- Playfulness: High
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise needs: Medium
- Trainability: High
- Amount of Shedding: Low
Coat and Colors
The colors of the Havanese breed may have more than one color including but aren’t limited to, white, black, silver, fawn, cream, red, sable, tan, fawn, and gold.
Its coat can vary considerably from silky straight to wavy with ringlets.
History of the Havanese
The national dog of Cuba is the Havanese. It is an old breed and the only native breed that was locally developed in Cuba when its canine ancestors were introduced from Spain in the early 1500s. It is believed that the breed shares the same lineage with the bichon.
The Havanese were commonly owned by Cuban aristocrats and then later became popular among rich Europeans, including Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria.
Finding the breed in Cuba may seem like a lost cause as the island is covered with mixed-breed strays.
The dog has stayed in the U.S. since the Cuban revolution that took place in 1959 when there were only 11 Havanese left to save the breed from possible extinction.
It has since thrived in Europe and the U.S., and the dog gained recognition in 1996 by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
It’s absolutely important that the breed’s coat is frequently maintained due to its silky coat type. The breed requires once or twice a week of brushing.
More than twice if the coat is really long. If you don’t have the time to maintain your dog’s coat, then maybe this dog isn’t for you.
Many Havanese keepers prefer to maintain a shorter coat, hence the need for frequent haircuts. The cost of the Havanese gives them protection from the sun and they can withstand cold weather easily and hot weather as well.
The Havanese does not shed as much, despite its silky coat. Note that less shedding does not indicate that the breed is hypoallergenic.
This dog breed requires proper training. They are attentive and intelligent, hence the need for steady mental stimulation. You’d be improving their overall happiness if they get all the needed training they require.
Moderate exercise is required daily to keep your Havanese sharp and active. With proper space to burn energy, they don’t mind cuddling on your laps or spend their time playing indoor. They also do well in apartment living.
If you’re going for a small dog with an active but mild personality, then the Havanese should be on your top list. They do very well with kids, and bond well with other dogs.
The gentle temperament and friendly nature of the dog make them a very suitable breed for many family homes.
Despite their amazing demeanor, these breeds don’t do well if left alone for too long. They rely on companionship and are known to display separation anxiety.
They may also become destructive due to being bored or unhappy.
Common Health Complications
Good dog breeders focus on maintaining the highest breeding standards laid out by kennel clubs such as AKC.
Dogs are less likely to inherit health complications if bred by these standards. Nonetheless, some breeds may have some health issues that are inherited.
The following are some health conditions to watch out for:
- Patellar Luxation: This is characterized by a loose knee joint that can cause lameness and knee arthritis.
- Deafness: This is a congenital health condition that can affect Havanese.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Havanese is also prone to elbow dysplasia and may need surgery.
- Hip Dysplasia: While this is generally thought to be a health complication restricted to large dogs, the Havanese are can also experience hip dysplasia. This can cause significant pain and lameness.
- Hypothyroidism: The Havanese can also experience an elevated rate of underactive thyroid glands, and this may require treatment throughout the dog’s life.
- Allergies: The Havanese can suffer from skin allergies caused by fleas, pollen, and grass, causing the canine to excessively scratch and chew on itself.
Diet and Nutrition
Havanese needs to be fed twice a day with a today of one-half/a cup of dog food. Try not to leave out food for free snacking, else you may have an overweight dog.
This isn’t healthy as obesity can reduce the lifespan of your dog as well as causing other health complications.
You may want to discuss your dog’s dietary plan with your vet. Take into consideration the type of food your dog needs to eat, feeding schedule, and what exercise is required food your dog.
Make sure your restrict access to people feeding your dog. It would help to inform them not to feed your dog, unless you actually permit it.
If you enjoyed reading about the Havanese, then you might want to read about the following dog breeds;
- Bearded Collie
- American Bulldogs
- Bracco Italiano