The Havanese is a toy breed that has won the hearts of dog lovers all over the world. It’s also known as the little white dog of Havana or the Havana Silk Dog, and is the national dog of Cuba. The Havanese has both a razor-sharp intelligence and charming silken locks, making them ideal companions for those who want their dog to be both biddable and beautiful.
They are natural lap dogs but they’re not couch potatoes – they’re playful and are prone to clowning around to make their owners laugh. The Havanese has an affectionate nature and enjoys spreading their love to strangers, family members, and even other animals. These dogs are wonderfully versatile pets and fit well into any family.
TemperamentThe Havanese is a frisky, playful little dog that loves to make friends. They tend to be outgoing and very social animals, always on the lookout for people who are willing to give them attention. They’re best described as social butterflies and will happily run to strangers to introduce themselves. Despite their affection toward new friends, they still enjoy the company of their owners and family members the best. The Havanese forms a deep bond with their owners, and may sometimes develop separation anxiety. They’re prone to following their owner around all day, like a furry little shadow. Some people even call them “velcro dogs” because they’re always stuck to their owner’s side. Despite being a toy breed, they have energy in spades and may tend to pester their owner for playtime. They get along well with children and the elderly, as they know how to be gentle and sweet. A well-exercised and well-socialized Havanese is a great family pet that loves to be the center of attention.
The Ultimate Guide to Havanese
The Havanese can trace its origins to the early 16th century in Cuba. Spanish settlers began arriving on the island and they brought Tenerife dogs as companions. Eventually, the isolation on the island would cause these dogs to develop into the Havanese as we know it. Named after the capital of Havana, these dogs were favored by the wealthy aristocrats who lived in the city. Their popularity was noticed by European travelers, who then brought some of the dogs back to their home countries of Spain, England, and France. The breed caught on in Spain first, something of a homecoming for the breed, but it quickly became popular throughout Europe by the mid-19th century. Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens were fans of the breed, and such famous and notable owners only made the Havanese even more desirable. The Cuban revolution can be credited with introducing the breed to the United States, and possibly saving the breed from extinction. Wealthy refugees brought over 11 dogs in the late 1950s, and most Havanese dogs today can trace their ancestry back to those 11 original dogs. Breeders have been working to widen the gene pool of the Havanese. The current popularity of the breed will hopefully help to ensure that it never comes that close to dying out ever again.
Key Characteristics of Havanese
The Havanese is a frisky, playful little dog that loves to make friends. They tend to be outgoing and very social animals, always on the lookout for people who are willing to give them attention. They’re best described as social butterflies and will happily run to strangers to introduce themselves.
Despite their affection toward new friends, they still enjoy the company of their owners and family members the best. The Havanese forms a deep bond with their owners, and may sometimes develop separation anxiety. They’re prone to following their owner around all day, like a furry little shadow. Some people even call them “velcro dogs” because they’re always stuck to their owner’s side.
Despite being a toy breed, they have energy in spades and may tend to pester their owner for playtime. They get along well with children and the elderly, as they know how to be gentle and sweet. A well-exercised and well-socialized Havanese is a great family pet that loves to be the center of attention.
Other toy breeds may be content to sit and watch the world go by, but not the Havanese. Beneath their silken coat is a surprisingly sturdy and athletic body. They love playtime and running around, and have moderate exercise needs.
They’re a small breed and don’t have the energy reserves to match actual working dogs, but they still require at least 30 to 45 minutes of exercise each day. This can be split into multiple shorter sessions of 15 to 20 minutes, depending on just how much energy your Havanese has to burn.
Due to their small size, they don’t need a huge amount of space in which to play. While they enjoy running around, it’s fine to do this on-leash, as they aren’t particularly speedy dogs. It’s also a good idea to keep the leash on for walks, as they have a surprisingly high prey drive and may take off after rodents or birds.
The Havanese is a double coated breed, with an outer coat as well as an undercoat; both are soft. This thick double coat tends to be long, and can be wavy, straight, or curly. Most Havanese owners opt to keep their dog’s hair cut short, as grooming them when their hair is long can be a tedious process.
The coat of the Havanese needs to be brushed daily if kept long, and should be brushed three to four times a week even when cut short. Their hair is so soft that it gets tangled and matted very easily, so this brushing should not be skipped.
This breed is especially prone to tear stains – which are most often only an aesthetic issue, but excessive tear staining may be a symptom of an eye condition. It’s a good idea to wipe the area around the dog’s eyes regularly to prevent tear stains from forming.
Baths can be done every two to four weeks, depending on how dirty your Havanese gets – dogs that have more outdoor play time will tend to need more frequent baths. Like most other small dogs, the Havanese should get their teeth brushed three to four times a week, or even daily. This will help prevent tartar buildup and bacteria from causing tooth and gum issues. Nail trimming can be done every two to four weeks.
The Havanese tends to be a very smart and clever dog. They pick up on training quickly, and because they’re so happy when their owners are happy, they’re typically very easy to train.
One area of difficulty is toilet training – small dogs in general have more difficulty with toilet training due to their small bladders. It’s a good idea to start toilet training very early, ideally as soon as your Havanese comes home with you.
The Havanese responds best to positive reinforcement in the form of treats, toys, or praise. They’re highly sensitive to their owner’s emotions, so getting frustrated or angry may just make them shut down or become uncooperative. It’s much easier to simply reward them when they do the right thing.
Many Havanese dogs are perfectly content to be lap dogs, but those with more energy than usual can go through agility and obedience training. While the Havanese is small, they’re more athletic than they look – and they’re more than smart enough to be able to complete challenging agility courses.
|Havanese Lifespan And Health Issues||
Havanese dogs are generally healthy and can live for up to 14 to 16 years. The Havanese may be prone to:
|Havanese Size and Space Requirements||
The Havanese is a small breed that doesn’t take up much space. They typically only weigh between 7 to 13 pounds, and stand between 8.5 to 11 inches at the shoulder. There’s no difference in size and weight between males and females.
Their small size allows them to fit into nearly any type of household. They’re a favorite for apartment owners, as they don’t need a great deal of space in which to run and play. It’s still good to bring your Havanese outdoors, though they are perfectly happy with shared outdoor spaces such as parks.
It’s not advisable for a Havanese to be kept as an outdoor pet. Most Havanese will need to be part of family activities, and may become moody if left alone for very long.
- The Havanese loves paper, and will happily munch on any scrap they find.
- They are not very vocal normally, but may bark at strangers as they pass by – they’re not aggressive, they usually just want attention.
- The Havanese enjoys watching the world from heights, and may climb up furniture.
How can I take good care of my Havanese or Puppy?
While there is little risk of a Havanese ever causing serious harm to another person or dog, it is still important to socialize them. Early socialization will help your Havanese puppy to learn proper canine manners and household rules. Doing this when your Havanese puppy is 8 to 12 weeks old will help them become a well-adjusted and gentle adult dog.
Havanese puppies should be given high-quality, premium dog food. Havanese dog food is usually specially formulated for small breeds. Small meals 3 to 4 times a day is ideal for most Havanese puppies, since their stomachs are small and cannot handle their entire daily food intake in one go. Your veterinarian may have more specific recommendations for your Havanese depending on their health and activity level.
Your Havanese puppy will have to get a number of vaccinations in the first month or two that they are with you. These vaccinations are crucial to prevent transmissible dog diseases and bacteria from harming your Havanese dog. Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with the correct schedule of vaccinations for your area, depending on what diseases are most common.
Most Asked Havanese Questions
+How Much do Havanese Puppies Cost
Most Havanese puppies for sale will cost between $1000 and $2500. It’s a wide range due to some Havanese being bred to be show dogs. Before a Havanese puppy is released to new owners, an ethical breeder will have them go through numerous health checks and genetic tests. Only get Havanese puppies from responsible breeders to give your Havanese the best chance of success in life.