- Height: 8-12 inches
- Weight: 7-13 lb
- Lifespan: 14-15 years
- Group: AKC Toy
- Best Suited For: Families with children, singles, seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
- Temperament: Happy, curious, playful, affectionate
- Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Papillon
A toy dog straight from Cuba, the Havanese is a lapdog, performer, and companion. Happy to be the center of attention at all times, this breed is curious, playful, and affectionate towards children, strangers, dogs, and all other pets. This breed will work to please everyone and are quick learners.
A perfect pet and a wonderful companion for the entire family, the Havanese does better in warmer climate (it is from Cuba, after all) and will spring into action at the first sign of fun. Let’s learn a bit more about this breed.
A toy dog straight from Cuba, the Havanese is a lapdog, performer, and companion.
This breed originated in Cuba, by way of Spain. An old breed, the Havanese was once a lapdog for royalty before making its way into the households of everyday people. The breed was once called Blanquito de la Habana, which translates to Havanese Silk Dog.
In the 1970s, a family from Cuba brought their Havanese to the US, but it can be hard to find a breeder near you. Expect waiting lists and expensive prices if you have your heart set on one.
An old breed, the Havanese is a descendant of dogs brought to Cuba from Spain. This breed could be related to the Tenerife, an ancestor of the Bichon family.
Because of its relatively recent introduction to North America, the Havanese was recognized by the AKC in 1996.
Food / Diet
Feed your Havanese a high-quality dry kibble. Instead of frequent small meals, you may choose to let your dog free feed (eat at its own convenience throughout the day).
This breed will work to please everyone and are quick learners.
The Havanese may be one of the easiest dogs to train due to its intelligence, but it still needs instruction.
Since this breed loves to make its owners happy, you’ll find that after some training, your dog will do as it is told. The Havanese likes to play games of search and find, and since it has an amazing sense of smell, will sniff out a treat anywhere you hide it.
Training must always be done firmly with consistency, so your dog knows what it is expected to do. You’ll be happy to learn that housebreaking your dog should be quick. Because this pooch loves to please you, you will often find that your dog doesn’t want to eat alone – you dog may stop eating if you leave a room in order to follow you, so you may have to plan to have your meals at the same time as your Havanese.
Both the male and the female Havanese weigh 7 to 13 pounds.
Temperament / Behavior
Even though it is a toy dog, the Havanese doesn’t bark excessively. They will bark at strangers until introduced and petted. This breed isn’t aggressive or territorial, and is always a pleasure to have around. Don’t be surprised if your pooch follows you around the house – it loves to be with you at all times.
Common Health Problems
The Havanese is susceptible to different medical problems. Once it gets older, this breed may suffer from cataracts. At any age, dander seems to be a problem due to dry skin and may require special medication to prevent and treat it. Genetic diseases that may present in the breed include luxating patellas and PRA.
Havanese dogs have a life expectancy of 14 to 15 years.
It may be small, but the Havanese has plenty of energy. It’s important to remember that exercise is important to prevent illness and health problems as your dog gets older. Your pup should partake in a moderate amount of exercise each day. Since it is so small, running around the house is usually as much as this pup needs. As well, take your dog out for regular walks and fresh air.
Friendly, loving and happy, the Havanese loves to play with its owners and other animals.
The American Kennel Club says this about the breed: “The National Dog of Cuba and the country’s only native breed, the Havanese is a small, sturdy dog with a friendly disposition. His wavy, silky coat is profuse, but remains extremely light, insulating and protecting the breed against harsh tropical heat.”
You’ll be happy to learn that the Havanese has fine fur that does not shed. The fur is usually a silky texture and thick to protect it from the sun. Because it got its start in a warm country, it doesn’t do well in cold weather, so when the temperature starts to drop, you’ll want to keep your dog inside.
Pearly in appearance, the coat grows to about six to eight inches long. The coat can be smooth, curly, and wavy, but most people prefer the wavy coat variety. You’ll need to brush your dog on a regular basis, otherwise the fur will knot… besides, brushing is another great way to remove dander build up.
These adorable furballs are too cute to ignore, so give your Havanese puppy lots of attention. And be sure to give your puppy some small stuffed animals or a squeaky toy, or chew toys are great. Puppies prize its toys – you puppy will probably take a few into its cage or crate to sleep with.
Photo credit: Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock