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Group: Toys (Group 1)
Club: Toy Dog Club Of Victoria Inc (Group 1)
Contact: Christina John
Phone: 0438 845 039

Brief History
The Havanese, previously known as the Havana Silk Dog, is the national dog of Cuba. They were introduced to the island in colonial days where seafaring explorers and traders, keen to garner the riches and curiosities of the New World, used lively little white dogs as bartering collateral. Wealthy plantation owners and the privileged of Havana crossed these Bichon and Maltese types blended with poodles and the local dogs to develop the breed. A pivotal moment in the breed’s history was when the well-heeled and well to do of Cuba’s society fled Fidel Castro’s Revolution to America in the 1960s; many took their little lap dogs with them. Americans embraced these charming dogs and established the breed into the beguiling characters we know today.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.
The average life span is 12 to 16 years.

Havanese are natural clowns with a cheeky disposition. He is a charmer, affectionate, gentle, playful, and intelligent. Sometimes described as ‘velcro dogs’; they stick close to their guardians as they adore their families, other pets and visitors. They have a zest for life, or as the French would say – “joie de vivre”.

General Breed Description
The Havanese is a sturdy little dog, low on his legs, possesses an abundance of long, soft, wavy hair and exudes immense charm.  The plumed tail is carried up over the back. His unique springy gait perfectly typifies his vivacious, spirited personality. Unlike most of his white Bichon or Maltese relatives, the Havanese comes in a vast range of colours where fawns, browns, greys and blacks are the norm.

Coat and Care Requirements
The long, soft coat of the Havanese, which resembles raw silk, needs to be groomed daily to be kept free of mats and tangles.  His coat is low allergy and low shed. Grooming can be performed by gently running a comb or pin brush over the dog while he is on your lap. Pet owners often choose to have their dog’s coat clipped to a short trim to reduce grooming time or employ the services of a professional groomer every few months. The Havanese should also be bathed on a regular basis to keep him clean and comfortable. The Havanese has moderate exercise needs. They will benefit from a brisk daily walk or a fun playtime with their owner in the backyard, as they are happiest when someone is with them.

Height be 19 to 21cms (9 to 10.5ins)

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Havanese is generally a healthy breedhowever health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include eye disorders, chondrodysplasia, deafness, heart murmurs, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (which affects the hip joint), and patella luxation.

Their small but sturdy bodies, adaptable nature, and social skills make the Havanese an ideal city dog, but they are content to be anywhere that they can command the attention of admirers young and old alike.  They are great family dogs, smart and trainable extroverts and natural trick dogs. Havanese are also excellent watchdogs and take the job seriously but will usually keep the barking to a minimum.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.  With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular, the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders