The Havanese is a Bichon-type breed originating in Cuba, of which it is said to be the national dog. Small in size and cute in appearance, they make for fantastic companion pets.
The following physical features characterize these small, sturdy dogs with a longish built:
Head: Broad and rounded
Eyes: Large, almond-shaped, dark brown
Ears: Broad at its base, also being dropped and folded
Neck: Moderate in length and slightly arched
Tail: High set, arched to its back
|Other names||Havanese Cuban Bichon, Bichon Habanero, Havanezer, Havaneser, Bichón Havanés|
|Coat||Long, abundant, silky, soft, wavy, light|
|Color||Black, black and tan, black and silver, cream, gold, fawn, chocolate, gold, gold sable, gold brindle, red, red sable, red brindle, white, blue, blue brindle, chocolate sable, chocolate brindle|
|Average life expectancy (How long do they live)||14 to 16 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Small|
|Height of a full grown Havanese||8.5 to 11.5 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Havanese||7 to 13 pounds|
|Litter size||Approximately four puppies|
|Behavioral characteristics||Friendly, sweet, alert, intelligent, adaptable, funny|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Barking tendency||Moderately low|
|Climate compatibility||Can adapt to both warm and cold climates|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Minimal|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, ANKC, AKC, NZKC, UKC, CKC, CKC, KC (UK)|
They were said to have developed from the Blanquito de la Habana (little white dog of Havana) which is extinct at present. It was from time immemorial that seafaring merchants traded cute looking lapdogs like this breed and the nobility or aristocratic class was mainly the buyers. They were dogs which arrived with Spanish settlers after Cuba became a colony of Spain post-1492 when Christopher Columbus had arrived there. It remained in Cuba for about 300 years being a prized possession of the upper class. They were mixed with dogs like Poodle for further refinement. Their numbers reduced post the Cuban Revolution in 1959 when most of the aristocratic class escaped to the United States. However, it was the initiatives taken by the American dog fanciers that revived this breed. AKC gave it recognition in 1996, and as of 2013, it ranks 25th in terms of its popularity in the United States.
They are not the same, and the breeders created the Havanese Silk dog with the notion of retaining the originality of the breed as it was in the past. They intended to put in its physical attributes like long and straight forelegs, silky, flat coat small ears and a long muzzle. Many breeders had drifted apart from the Havanese Club of America and claim it to be separate from the Havanese. The AKC, however, does not give it a separate breed status and many Havanese Silk Dogs are registered under the name of Havanese.
They are cute, smart, gentle and affectionate, enjoying the company of its human family, loving to follow its master from one room to the other. This trait of theirs makes it difficult for them to stay alone for extended periods. The Havanese is also a perfect entertainer compelling you to break into peals of laughter with its funny antics. They have a curious side to their character, being watchful of their surroundings, though not aggressive with strangers. Most of them would greet a visitor in a friendly way, though some of them maintain initial reservedness, but shed off their inhibitions once they see their master interacting with the latter well. They also share a great rapport with kids alongside dogs as well as other pets. It is their friendly and soothing nature that makes them apt as companion dogs for empty nesters or those seeking a pal, therapy dogs for the physical or mentally challenged as well as signal dogs for people suffering from hearing impairment.
Training the Havanese is indeed a delight since they are obedient and always eager to please their masters. However, be a little firm while training it so that it does not get the upper hand.
The National Research Council of the National Academies suggests that dogs having a weight of 10 pounds need about 404 calories in a day. Select a good quality dry dog food devoid of any food colorings or additives. While adding homemade food alongside the readymade ones, make sure you add animal protein and carbs in sufficient amounts.