HISTORY AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HAVANESE BREED
Country of Origin: The Havanese, also known as the Havanese Cuban Bichon, Bichon Havanais,
Bichon Havanes, Havaneser, Havanezer and Bichon Habanero, originated in Cuba. The Havanese
originated by way of the Blanquito de la Habana or the Havanese Silk Dog, which is now an extinct
breed. However, the Blanquito de la Habana could not have existed were it not for the Bichon
Lapdogs that arrived in Cuba fro Europe in the 17th century. It was the acclimatization of the
Bichon Lapdog that made way for the entirely white silky haired Blanquito de la Habana. The
Cubans created today's Havanese by crossing the Blanquito de la Habana with both German and
French Poodles, while keeping a higher content of the Blanquito apparent in the breed. The 19th
century was the birth of the Havanese and by the 20th century, the Havanese was the preferred
family pet in Cuba. Breeding of the Havanese in the United States did not begin until some time in
the 1970's after many Cuban families migrated in the 1960's. Mrs. Goodale, a United States
breeder sought to prevent the breed from extinction. Mrs. Goodale posted managed to collect 11
papered Havanese from various immigrant Cuban families to begin her breeding program. Mrs
Goodale's Havanese lines first appeared in 1974 and the Havanese began receiving recognition
with registries in 1991.
Size: The Havanese will typically reach heights of 8-11 inches, and an average weight of 7-13
Coat: The coat of the Havanese has several varieties for choose from. In addition to the
short-haired Havanese, there is also the possibility for wavy, curly or even corded hair. The
Havanese exhibits a soft double coat on both the outer and undercoat. The coat can grow to
lengths of 6-8 inches and will feature a pearl hue and it feels like raw silk to the touch! The coat
of the Havanese can appear in virtually any color including parti, tricolors, silver, blue, black,
cream, gold and white.
Character: The Havanese is very intelligent, happy-go-lucky, lively, and playful. They are quite
affectionate and will become extremely attached to it's human family. The Havanese are not
known to be excessive barkers. When taught at a young age not to bark unnecessarily, the
Havanese is an excellent watch dog. As long as the Havanese is properly socialized, they are
known to be very friendly with welcomed strangers as well as other animals. The Havanese are
also revered for their good nature with children.
Temperament: The Havanese is a very intelligent breed that will be quite easy to train. The
Havanese responds very well to positive reinforcement and pleasant tones of voice. It is
necessary to maintain a pack leader relationship with your Havanese to prevent Small Dog
Syndrome. However, they will not respond well to unnecessary harshness.
Care: The coat on the Havanese should be brushed/combed thoroughly at least twice a week. The
Havanese is non-shedding and considered a good hypo allergenic dog. Excess hair around the
pads of the feet should be clipped.
Training: The Havanese is eager to please, but positive reinforcement works best. They are
particularly sensitive to the tone of your voice. It was not uncommon for a time for Havanese
dogs to appear in circus acts. This is attributed to their eagerness to please as well as their high
level of intelligence.
Activity: The Havanese is good for apartment life. They are playful and are active indoors. The
Havanese do not require a yard to play but do need to be taken on daily walks. They have an
average demand for exercise.