At A Glance

Size: Small

Weight: 7 - 13 lbs.

Height: 8" - 12"

Life Span: 14+ years


Also know as: Bichon Havanais, Havana Silk Dog

Group: Toy

Origin: Mediterranean Region / Cuba (1700s - 1800s)

Today's Role: Companion Dog

History and Facts: The Havanese is a direct descendant of the Bichon lapdogs brought to Cuba in the 1800s and 1900s. As Cuban tastes in dogs changed, the breed became nearly extinct until the 1960s, when Cubans with Havanese pets began immigrating to the U.S. An American breeder took a liking to the breed and advertised in Florida newspapers to obtain enough dogs for revitalization.

Temperament / Behavior
Eager-to-please breed that is gentle and affectionate, the Havanese is highly trainable and constantly seeks approval from its owner. This breed will fetch your slippers and other objects -- if you show them how. The Havanese is extremely social and likes to be at the center of activity. Like cats, this breed prefers to perch on furniture or high ledges, so it has a clear view of everything that's happening. Havanese are not prone to barking, but will alert you to the arrival of a stranger or an odd noise.

Breed-Related Health Concerns
Lengthy life expectancy can result in typical health problems of elderly dogs, including: cataracts; luxating patellas; poodle eye; dry skin. Long-haired varieties are prone to ear infection.

Special Needs
Exercise: The Havanese does not require much exercise, and is content with indoor living.

Grooming: While they do not shed, the long-haired Havanese varieties should be groomed at least twice a week. In addition, keep hair inside the ear closely cropped to reduce the risk of ear infection. Short-haired varieties ("Havanese" that are originally bred in Havana) do shed and also need to be brushed regularly.


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