A little bit about the havanese

The Havanese is a shaggy little dog of ancient European lineage. The ancient Havanese breed has common ancestors with the Barbichon, Bichon and Maltese. It is felt the Havanese probably traveled with Mediterranean trading ships from Europe and the Canaries to the Caribbean islands.

In the 1700s the Havanese was bred and owned by rich landowners and the plantation aristocracy of Cuba. These little dogs were also clever at performing in circuses during this period of time after it lost its popularity in these prominent society circles of Cuba.

The Havanese has always been admired most for its intelligence and adaptability. It is an excellent companion dog. The Havanese migranted from Cuba to the United States in the 1950s and was admitted to the AKC in 1999.

Grooming the Havanese

The coat of a Havanese is long and silky and tangles easily. It can be wavy or slightly curled. Grooming will need to be carried out frequently. The double, wavy and profuse coat isn’t trimmed for normal purposes or the show ring except for nominal scissoring of foot hair. Havanese pets are either clipped or scissored down to a manageable length. The Havanese is seen in all colors from black to white.

You will want to achieve a loose, natural look for the Havanese. Brush through the entire coat to removing any tangles. Then comb the coat with a wide-toothed comb.

Brush along the back. When the Havanese shakes his hair it should fall nautrally in a parting. Do not try to make a perfectly straight part. A topknot can be tied up away from the eyes. Topknots are not usually used in the show ring.

Grooming Equipment Needed

You will need a pin brush, a wide-toothed comb and a slicker brush. The slicker brush is used on tough tangles, otherwise use the pin brush for normal daily brushing because the slicker brush can be too harsh on the Havanese coat.

Exercise Requirements

The Havanese exercise needs are easily met. A short walk, a romp a day with the kids in the backyard is about all it needs to stay in good physical shape.


The Havanese is sensitive, playful, friendly, accommodating, affectionate and comical. The Havanese is outgoing and adapts easily to adults. The Havanese gets along well with other pets. He is highly trainable. He does not respond well to yelling. He wants to please. The Havanese has a good memory and is quick to learn.


The Havanese is generally about 10 inches tall and weighs about 10 pounds. He is a sturdy little dog. He is not delicate or frail. The Havanese is quite athletic. The legs of a Havanese are usually short, straight and strong. Pigmentation of nose, lip and eye margins is always black or solid dark brown on chocolate brown dogs. He has a “happy” sort of a look with his drop ears, straight topline, high tail set and animated gait.

The Havanese is usually good with children of all ages. They are not frail and delicate so even smaller children can learn to handle a Havanese with ease.

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