The havanese, a little dog to look at

After reading through an article that contained the list of the 10 most popular dogs of 2007 from the American Kennel Club, I came upon a little dog I had never heard of before. Of course, it didn’t make the Top Ten, in fact it was way down the list, but apparently gaining in popularity through publicity from their celebrity owners like Barbara Walters. Maybe you haven’t heard of them either. I’m talking about the Havanese.

This little dog (7 to 14 pounds) sounds like an ideal dog for many people and families. Even those in apartments may be able to have one of these little dogs as a companion for themselves and their families, for they seldom bark and are known to be good apartment dogs. Another plus for the Havanese, though long haired, is that they are said to be non-shedding, hypo-allergenic, just like Poodles and Bichons. But, it does catch dander in their coat and needs to be brushed out regularly.

The Havanese are great little dogs for the whole family because, unlike many small dogs, they don’t get nervous and upset around children. In fact, they are known to be great around kids, as well as adults.

They are healthy little dogs, that are great with children, when obtained from a reputable breeder which is always the best way to find your new dog, no matter what breed. If you want a small, purebred dog, this one sounds like a winner to me.

Though the Havanese dog originated in the western Mediterranean regions, it is most associated with Havana, Cuba. Developed from the Bichon Tenerife, it was introduced to the Canary Islands and to other islands and colonies of Spain. Even though the Havanese are known as the “Little Dogs From Havana”, they briefly became popular in Europe during the 19th century as a circus and trick dog and a court companion. And after the revolution in Cuba, the little dog almost died out because their upper class Cuban owners had to flee and seldom were able to take their dogs with them. As they were one of many symbols of the aristocracy, needless to say no one was interested in maintaining the breed in Cuba.

Their comeback in this country started with only 11 dogs in the 1970’s and through dedicated breeding they have been recognized by many major kennel clubs and now is one of the fastest growing registration of new dogs in the American Kennel Club.

The three types of the Havanese coat are the smooth, the curly, and the wavy, which is the preferred coat type and the type most uniquely Havanese. Their hair is long, soft, and full. The Havanese can be in all coat colors and patterns, but must have a black nose and eyerims, except in chocolate colored dogs, where brown coloration is allowed.

Because this little dog is rather energetic, short walks twice a day with his plumed tail curled over his back should be enough exercise for him.

If you are like me and had not heard much about the Havanese, you may want to look into this breed as your next “best friend”.