/Breed Introduction: Havanese Dog

Breed Introduction: Havanese Dog

The Havanese is a breed of Bichon type that is the national dog of Cuba. Havanese is developed from the extinct Blanquito de la Habana. The Blanquito descended from the also now extinct Bichon Tenerife. The Havanese shines its affectionate personality on everyone, including strangers, children, other dogs, and even cats. The Havanese family will get the lion’s share of his love; given the choice, he will stick like glue to its owner’s side. The Havanese is trainable and surprisingly energetic, and excel in dog sports and canine careers ranging from circus performer to assisting the handicapped.

Breed Origin


These dogs interbred and were isolated from other dogs by island life. Later, by trade restrictions imposed on Cuba by Spain, they began to develop into the Havanese we know today. Their signature coat was thick and silky, which helped insulate the dog from the tropical sun.

The renaissance of the breed began in the 1970s, when an American couple who bred dogs found a few descendants of Havanese. Charmed by their intelligence and affectionate nature, they began tracking down other Havanese and work to reestablish the breed.

However, most Havanese outside of Cuba today trace their ancestry to just 11 dogs, breeders are working to widen the gene pools of the American-bred Havanese. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1995.

Breed Characteristics


Males and females stand 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches tall, and weigh 7 to 13 pounds’

Although the Havanese is a small breed, he has a fair amount of energy to burn. A lengthy walk or an active game of fetch each day will keep him happy.

The Havanese coat is thick but silky, soft, and light, and it does not shed easily. The coat is long and ranges from straight to curly. It comes in white, black, black and tan, sable, gray, and a myriad of other colours and markings.

The Havanese loves to watch the world from up high, and will find his way onto the backs of sofas and tables to watch the day pass by.

The Havanese is an excellent family dog who is affectionate with everyone, including kids of all ages and other dogs and pets. But because they are so small, they might get hurt by accident, so it is especially important to teach kids how to interact with Havanese.