Breed Group: Toy Group
Shoulder Height: 9-11 in.
Weight: 7-14 lb.
Life Span: 12-14 years
Colors: Black, silver, tan, brindle, chocolate, cream, fawn, gold, sable, red, white
- The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba; it is sometimes referred to as the Havana Silk Dog.
- The coat is known around the world for being exceptionally soft.
- They supposedly came from the Bichon breeds that originated on Malta and accompanied the Spanish colonists.
- The breed became popular following the Cuban Revolution. However, only eleven breeding dogs were to be found in the United States; with most of the original stock slaughtered in the war, the Havanese became extremely rare. The AKC only recognized it in 1996 when population numbers rebounded thanks to careful breeding.
A breed that was threatened with extinction seventy years ago, the Havanese has made an enormous comeback and continues to rise in popularity as a companion dog. Between 2012 and 2013, the breed jumped three spots in the AKC’s most popular breeds list and the rise is expected to continue.
This is primarily because the Havanese is the ideal family pet. It is extraordinarily smart, especially in a group that does not produce the smartest breeds, and as a result is easily trained. It also has a tremendous amount of energy and loves being in contact with people; it is quite friendly with other dogs and strangers. However, its constant need to be with someone means that it does not do well in isolation.
Havanese do not bark very often and their exercise needs can be met inside the house or yard because of their size. They thrive in any environment and are actually rather simple to groom despite their traditionally long coat. If you have need for a good companion, this is the breed for you.
Havanese are toy dogs that look and are built like herding dogs. This means they are sturdy and generally healthy dogs who can live happily for a very long time.
- Careful breeding is the primary reason for this — every Havanese breeder is required to be a member of the Havanese Club of America, a private organization that sets very strict rules about the quality of the animals.
- The most common killer of Havanese individuals is liver disease. Heart disease is also a fairly common issue.
- Hip dysplasia is a problem that occasionally pops up, but is slowly being eradicated by breeders around the country.
- The overall youth of the breed in the United States means that there are very few notable dogs here. Several celebrities do own some, however. Venus Williams, the tennis player, is a famous Havanese owner. Daniel Tosh, an Internet commentator and comedian, owns two Havanese. Actor Robert Pattinson is an avid Havanese admirer as well.
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