The Havanese is a small, hardy, short-legged puppy. Its distinctive gait is extremely lively and elastic, accentuating the puppy’s happy character. The jacket is double sided, with both outer and under coating soft. The profuse outer coating is very long, reaching 6 to 8 inches in length, and ranges from straight to wavy, using wavy preferred. The curly haired coat is permitted to cord. The expression is mild.
That can be a busy, inquisitive dog; it’s happiest when it’s the middle of focus. It loves to play and clown and can be affectionate with its loved ones, strangers, children, other dogs and pets — essentially everybody! The Havanese is ready to please and understand easily, however, it will be outspoken.
|• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: patellar luxation
• Occasionally seen: PRA, otitis externa, cataract
• Suggested tests: knee, eye
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
|The Havanese is among those barbichon (later shortened to bichon) family of little dogs appearing from the Mediterranean in early times. Spanish dealers attracted some of those dogs together as presents for Cuban girls, permitting them to set up trading relationships. Back in Cuba, the small dogs were pampered because the special pets of the wealthy. They became famous as Habeneros, and eventually a few found their way back to Europe, in which the strain was known as the “white Cuban.” They became rather popular, not just as pets of their elite but also as performing dogs. Their popularity as pets waned, however, and their stronghold stayed in the circus, in which they played throughout Europe as trick dogs. Finally the strain declined in numbers to such an extent that it had been nearly extinct not just in Europe but also in its own native Cuba. Some stayed in Cuba, however, and three households using their Havanese left Cuba for the USA during the 1950s and 1960s. Most present-day Havanese descend from these types of dogs. The strain has slowly sparked focus from pet fanciers and pet owners, and in 1996 the initial Havanese entered an AKC show ring which has been approved for routine recognition for a member of the toy band at their first day of 1999. The Havanese is also referred to as the Havana silk puppy.|