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Bichon Havanese


Havanese, brief  |  Havanese, Introduction  |  Havanese Dog Breed Quick Facts  |  Appearance
Size and Weight  |  Coat and Color  |  Grooming Needs  |  History  |  Health  |  Personality
Activity Requirements  |  Trainability  |  Behavioral Traits

Havanese, brief

The breed comes from the Western Mediterranean region and has developed along the Spanish and Italian coastal region. It would seem that these dogs were imported early in Cuba by ocean navigating Italian captains. Erroneously, the most frequent brown colour of these dogs (tobacco) gave birth to the legend which would mean it to be a breed originating from Havana, capital of Cuba. The political events however have led to the total disappearance of the old blood lines of the Havanese in Cuba; apparently a few dogs could be successfully smuggled out from Cuba; their descendants have survived in the U.S.A. The Havanese is a sturdy little dog, low on his legs, with long abundant hair, soft and preferably wavy. His movement is lively and elastic. Exceptionally bright he is easy to train as alarm dog. Affectionate, of a happy nature, he is amiable, a charmer, playful and even a bit of a clown. He loves children and plays endlessly with them. Undercoat woolly and not very developed; it is often totally absent. The topcoat is very long (12-18 cm in an adult dog), soft, flat or wavy and may form curly strands. All grooming, the usage of scissors to even out the length of the coat and all trimming is forbidden. Exception: tidying up the hair on the feet is permitted, the hair on the forehead may be slightly shortened so that it does not cover the eyes and the hair on the muzzle may be slightly tidied up, but it is preferable to leave it in natural length. There are two varieties of colour. Rarely completely pure white, fawn in its different shades of light fawn to havana-brown (tobacco colour, reddish brown), patches in those colours of coat; slight blackened overlay admitted. Admitted colours and patches (white, light fawn to havana-brown) with black markings. Black coat.
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Havanese, Introduction



The Havanese, also known as the Bichon Havanais, the Havana Silk Dog, and the Bichon Havanese, is a breed of dog in the Toy Group. The little intelligent and sensitive Havanese is best described as a friend to all as this breed gets along with all animals and people of all ages. The average Havanese stands 8 to 12 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 7 and 13 pounds. Their long silky coat requires regular brushing, but the coat itself does not shed much.



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Havanese Dog Breed Quick Facts

Adaptability
Affection Level
Apartment Friendly
Barking Tendencies
Cat Friendly
Child Friendly
Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Health Issues
Intelligence
Playfulness
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Appearance


The Havanese is a small dog, but a sturdy dog, covered with long, silky, wavy hair. They come in all colors of the canine rainbow. The long facial hair is designed to protect the Havanese from the harsh light of the tropics, where the breed was developed. They have dark, almond-shaped eyes that wear an intelligent, yet playful expression. The nose is broad and squared off and the teeth should meet in a scissors bite. Ears are medium-length, set high on the head and have a distinct fold. The tail is set high on the body and is plumed with long, silky hair. It should arc forward over the back, but not curl. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried loosely curled over the rump and the plume may fall straight forward or to the side of the body.
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Size and Weight

The ideal height for a Havanese is between 9 and 10.5 inches, although anywhere from 8.5 to 11.5 is acceptable by breed standard. While there is no weight requirement, the breed typically weighs anywhere from 8 to 14 pounds.
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Coat and Color

The Havanese wears a thick, soft, silky coat that doesn't shed easily. Some have straight hair, some have curly hair, but wavy hair is the ideal for show dogs. Havanese come in many colors of the canine rainbow including black, white, black and tan, sable, or gray. They may be speckled or parti-color. There is no preference given to any particular color or markings. The length makes the coat appear heavy, but the coat is light and designed to reflect heat.
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Grooming Needs


The coat of the Havanese may be clipped or kept long. Show dogs must have long hair, but family dogs can be trimmed short for no-fuss grooming. Long-haired Havanese require daily brushing to remove tangles and prevent mats. They also require frequent bathing to keep the coat clean. It's not uncommon for a Havanese to get a weekly bath. Tear stains are common on the face of a Havanese, and the face should be wiped daily with a damp rag. Teeth should be brushed several times per week. Small dogs are prone to dental problems, and regular brushing can help prevent bad teeth later in life. Trim nails monthly and check the ears regularly for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ear with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser.
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History

The Havanese is originally from Cuba and it is the only native dog breed of this country. The Havanese was created sometime in the late 1800's to early 1900's, and their ancestors include the Bichon. This breed was developed solely as a lap dog and human companion.
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Health

The Havanese is a long lived healthy breed with an average life expectancy of 14 to 15 years, and health risks associated with the breed include eye disorders and dry skin.
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Personality


Havanese pack a lot of personality into a tiny little body. They are spunky little dogs who enjoy being the center of attention, but they don't demand it like some other toy breeds. They'll simply do their best to charm and entertain a person in order to get a reaction. Havanese are good with children and are sturdy enough to withstand living with a clumsy toddler. They are easy to train and travel well, and they will want to come with you wherever you go, because they hate to be left alone. They were bred in Cuba to be companion animals and are just as well-suited for empty nesters as they are large families. As long as the Havanese has a loving family to call his own, he'll be a happy dog. 

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Activity Requirements

Though they have energy to spare, Havanese don't require too much exercise to maintain an even temperament. A couple of daily walks and time to play, either indoors or outdoors is good enough. This is not an outdoor dog – Havanese are inside dogs and you may have to pick them up to get them to go outdoors. Their size and low activity requirements make them ideal apartment dogs and they are better suited for city life than country living.
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Trainability

Havanese are highly trainable dogs and can often be found performing in the circus. They will do anything for attention, and when training is conducted with positive reinforcement and treats, a Havanese catches on quickly. Harsh discipline will get you nowhere – a Havanese will shut down completely if his trainer yells or pulls. Early and frequent socialization is important. Though Havanese like attention and are generally good around new people, they can sometimes be overly protective and wary of strangers. Teaching them early on that new friends are good can save a lot of eardrums from a Havanese bark. This breed is difficult to house train and requires up to a year of crate training. Some Havanese never quite catch on, so if possible, a doggy door may be necessary.

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Behavioral Traits



Barking is a common complaint of Havanese owners. Many report their dog's favorite spot to be a perch where they can look out the window and announce what is happening outside. Early training is important so that your Havanese obeys commands to cease barking. Separation Anxiety is another common problem with Havanese. They are companion dogs who are highly dependent upon the people they love. People who are not home very often would be doing this breed a disservice. They are best suited for retirees or families with a stay at home parent.


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