THE HAVANESE

boston terrier dog breed

The gentle and friendly Havanese with their soft coats and bright eyes are a favorite of apartment-dwellers. But this lively and intelligent “Dog of Cuba,” who is gaining popularity, was once nearly extinct.

Brief History

The Havanese is from a bloodline called the Barbet, now known as the Bichon family, descended from the Mediterranean area as far back as 600 B.C. Relative breeds include the poodle, the water spaniel, and the Portuguese Water Dog.

There is some dispute between dog historians about the origin of the Havanese. Some theorize that they descended from the Italian Bolognese and the South American Poodle. Others think their origin lies within the Maltese and that they were transported to the West Indies.

Cubans agree that the Havanese were brought by sailors as gifts intended to charm señoras in the early 1800s. The puppies were goodwill ambassadors, encouraging trade between the sea captains and wealthy Cuban families. The Havanese became a fixture in the homes of well-to-do citizens.

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 endangered this dog, as the population was forced to flee the country. They left pets behind in the care of friends and servants. A couple of families managed to smuggle their dogs out of the country. These were the first Havanese to arrive in the United States.

In 1974, the Goodales of Colorado began searching for a dog to enhance their breeding career. They wanted an intelligent companion dog, and in their search, they discovered an article about the Havanese in a Spanish magazine. They tracked down the Cuban families who had spirited the dogs out of the country and acquired six dogs from them. They expanded their search and located six more Havanese from a Cuban devotee in Costa Rica. Through their efforts with four bloodlines, they kept the breed from becoming extinct.

Five years later, the Goodales helped to found the Havanese Club of America. The United Kennel Club recognized the Havanese in 1991, and five years later, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Physical Features

According to the AKC breed website, the Havanese has, “a curled-over tail and a gorgeous silky coat, which comes in a variety of colors.” The Havanese has a sturdy body that is longer than it is tall.

Average Height:

8.5-11.5 inches

Average Weight:

7-13 pounds

Life Expectancy:

14-16 years

Temperament

The Havanese is a fun animal and has a reputation for being a canine clown. They are intelligent and sturdy enough to compete in dog sports such as obedience and agility.

Special Needs

The Havanese is active and needs a sufficient amount of exercise daily. Their coats need regular brushing, although some owners like to let the hair grow in plaits.

Possible Health Concerns

Havanese can be prone to the following:

  •  Hip dysplasia
  •  Chondrodysplasia
  •  Elbow dysplasia
  •  Cataracts
  •  Legg-Perthes disease
  •  Mitral valve insufficiency
  •  Patellar luxation
  •  Deafness
  •  Heart murmur
  • Portosystemic shunt
the havanese

Exercise

The Havanese is a toy dog, but these animals require more exercise than some of the couch potato breeds. This lively, fun companion will keep you busy throwing a ball or even playing chase with a wad of paper. They enjoy climbing, and you may often find them on the back of your couch.

Nutrition

Because Havanese are keen-witted, they can quickly con their owners into feeding them only tasty table food. It takes a savvy owner to keep a Havanese on a strict diet of balanced kibble with some added meat or fish or steamed veggies.

The Havanese is a high-spirited and sweet companion. Knowing one will make you grateful that the breed is still around.

havanese

Liked this post? Subscribe to our newsletter!

5 Reasons Your Pet Needs Insurance

If your pet is sick, how are you going to pay for it?

5 Diseases You Can Get From Your Cat

Did you know you can get diseases from your cat? Read this article and find out how.

What is the Age of Cats in Human Years?

Have you ever wondered what is the age of cats in human years? Here’s your answer.

How to Adopt a Maine Coon Cat

How to Adopt a Maine Coon Cat The Maine Coon Cat is one of the oldest breeds native to...

Common Health Problems in Birds

If you have a bird it’s important to know the health concerns they may face.

Amazon Parrots as Pets

Amazon Parrots as Pets There may be more than 350 different types of bird species...

What Are African Grey Parrots?

What Are African Grey Parrots? One of the most distinctive breeds of parrot is the...

What Are Bearded Dragons?

What Are Bearded Dragons? The Bearded Dragon is like a primeval character that would...

5 Reasons Your Pet Needs Insurance

If your pet is sick, how are you going to pay for it?

A Guide to Pet Wellness Programs

Are pet wellness plans worth it? Taking your pet to the veterinarian for an annual checkup is the best way to catch problems before they become severe. Learn about pet wellness plans, including those from Banfield Pet Hospital, VCA, and National Veterinary Associates.

How do I Find Veterinarians Near Me?

If you have a pet (or several) you’ve likely asked yourself, how do I find veterinarians near me? If you’re about to search for “local vets in my area,” rest assured that we have done the work for you, and all you have to do is call.

Kidney Failure in Cats

Read this article to learn about kidney disease and kidney failure in cats. Know the signs of kidney failure in cats and call a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Breathing Problems in Dogs and Cats

There are a number of reasons why your pet may be experiencing breathing problems, read this article for some possibilities.

Cat Health: A Checklist

In this article find a checklist for cat health. You’ll learn daily, weekly and monthly tips for cat healthcare. And call a local veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Common Illnesses in Dogs and Cats

Watch out for these common illnesses in dogs and cats, including skin conditions, upset stomachs, urinary tract infections, and arthritis.

Upset Stomach in Dogs and Cats

It can be scary when your dog or cat experiences vomiting or diarrhea. In this article learn the signs and symptoms of upset stomach in dogs and cats. As well as remedies for upset stomach in cats and dogs.

Dog Health: A Checklist

Keep track of your dog health with this checklist. Covering everything you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

You may have asked yourself: is pet insurance worth it? Veterinarians and pet health experts say yes!