Havanese Dog Breed Traits & Facts

The Havanese is a royal dog. He has an air of luxury. It is easy to see why so many Havanese owners fall in love with him. We love his beautiful silky hair and loving personality. He is a highly intelligent and energetic breed, making him an excellent companion and entertainer.

Although they make wonderful family companions, they may not be the right fit for all owners. They can be anxious if left alone for too long. They are hypoallergenic and are great for allergy sufferers .

Whether you are looking for the perfect Havanese companion or increasing your knowledge about all things dog, this breeder guide has it all. Let’s get started to see if this sweet little dog is the right companion for your family.

Havanese Dog

History

The Havanese, another breed derived from the old Bichon family ancestry is a genetic small white dog family. These beautiful, energetic lap dogs were exported by sea merchants around the globe. These dogs were very popular among royalty and the upper classes, who had them as a way to show their wealth.

It is thought that the initial ancestors were brought to Cuba by Spanish colonizers who claimed Cuba for themselves in the 1600s. Quickly gaining popularity with the Cuban Sugar Barons, they were bred with other small, aesthetically pleasing pups. Poodles were a breed that refined the breed and made it the dog we love today.

In the 1959 Cuban revolution, those fleeing the communist takeover by Fidel Castro fled to the United States with their lap dogs in tow. It is now thought that the majority of Havanese in America have descended from just 11 dogs brought from Cuba. The gene pool for it is extremely small.

The breed has been called many names along the way. The Velcro dog is a name that best describes his loyal and affectionate nature. It bonds to its owner like Velcro. He is a great family pet. And according to the American Kennel Club, he regularly ranks in the top 30 dog breeds in America.

Temperament

The Havanese is truly mans best friend. They are gentle and affectionate and thrive on human interaction. If you are looking for a loving, affectionate dog that will follow you everywhere and give you lots of attention, then you have found him. He is a great family dog and can do anything.

You might mistakenly think of him as a lapdog. This breed is extremely intelligent and will benefit from stimulation and structured interaction. This is not a pet that needs to be cuddled and fussed. This is great news for both you and your family. He will entertain you all day with his goofy behavior.

*If your dog is an independent, well-behaved dog who wants to be left alone, then this breed may not suit you. If he is left alone or allowed to run around the yard, he can quickly become anxious and stressed. If left alone for more than a few hours, most Havanese will experience separation anxiety. Because he is intensely dependent, he has the Velcro nickname.

The Havanese is friendly and open-minded with all. He is a wonderful family companion. They are great with children. They are fantastic with children, so if you’re too busy with adult chores, they will happily join the fun with the children for a game or two of hide and seek.

These pups can be very vocal around people in the yard such as the delivery man or other animals that pass by outside. This will give you an idea of who might be lurking around. Don’t expect him a flurry of aggression against any intruders. He’s more likely just to ask for a belly rub. Although he is not a good guard dog, he can be a great friend.

Size & Appearance

Havanese have a small stature and are classified as a toy breed of the AKC. Weighing in at just 7 to 13 pounds, he doesn’t weigh much more than a small dumbbell. In stature, he measures only 8 to 12 inches tall. His long, curly hair can either fall to his feet when it is fully grown. He appears larger than he is. He is actually quite small underneath all of that hair.

His breed expression reflects softness, intelligence and mischief. His eyes are large, dark brown and almond-shaped so he can probably get away with murder. His ears are long and floppy, below his jawline. The tail is arched forward and over the back. He walks with pride and has a springy gait.

Coat & Colors

The Havanese is a pedigree and has a long, silky , straight coat. It’s also very soft to touch. There are many varieties of this breed, including terriers and Poodles that have curly or straight coats. The long coat will have feathering hair along the ears, neck, and tail. This creates a sort of curtain. They can even become cords. Any coat that is not a long, straight jacket is disqualified from showing.

Contrary to popular belief, his long silky fur coat is not designed for warmth. It provides natural protection against heat and UV rays 1_ The breed was accustomed to humid, hot climates such as those found in Cuba. His long, thick coat should be kept neat.

They will allow you to choose as many colors as you like. You can get him in gray, white, black, black with tan, or sable. It doesn’t matter what color his coat is when he shows. All colors and patterns are allowed. The most popular color is white, along with other light colors.

Exercise Requirements

This dog is small. Unlike many toy breeds, the Havanese has a moderate exercise need, meaning 30 to 60 minutes of walkies and playtime per day. Because of his small size, he is able to get the exercise he needs at home and in the yard. He will also enjoy a game of fetch, chase, or rough and tumble without having to spend too much time.

His adaptability to play and exercise anytime at any place makes him a great choice for families. No matter if you’re a busy couple or a young family, the Havanese is the right choice for you. The Havanese is perfect for retired couples or anyone who has more time. When the weather is bad, or you really don’t have the energy to leave the house, having some interactive toys on hand will keep your pup busy.

Living Conditions

The Havanese great choice for apartment-dwellers. He is calm and happy in a calm environment with lots of cuddles. He will do well in an apartment as long as he is close to you and receives the fuss that he gets from his water tap. Make sure your yard is secure. He isn’t likely to wander far from his master but he has a strong prey drive. He will chase small furries.

His playful and calm nature makes him love children. He is small enough to not pose a danger when knocking them over. You should supervise your children to ensure that the Havanese is not pushed or squeezed around. Some people believe he’s best suited for older children. Others say he’s a strong and sturdy dog. It all depends on your personal preference and how excited your children are.

He will live happily with his existing pets. He is eager to please and will make sure everyone is his friend, cat or dog. If you have small animals like gerbils and hamsters, be aware of their prey drive. They might be considered fair game by him for a chase-and-chomp session.

Training

The Havanese thrives in human interaction. He is a master pupil. He is a curious, intelligent and eager learner. He’s a quick learner and is happy to follow simple commands like sit, lie down, rollover. He can also perform acrobatics like dancing, walking and jumping. He’s also capable of agility training and will be a great athlete.

This character aspect makes him a great choice for newbie dog parents The Havanese can become sulky if they are scolded. Use positive reinforcement as your main training method. To motivate him, he will use praise, toys, and treats.

Training doesn’t have to be about tricks. socialization is essential. It will teach him how he behaves with other dogs and help him feel confident so that he doesn’t fear his shadow. Toy dogs can feel very intimidated by the big world if they aren’t allowed to experience it. You can choose different sizes and breeds of dogs to be his friend to ensure he is comfortable with all possible situations. You might not pair him with a Mastiff.

The Havanese will likely suffer from separation anxiety if left alone. This is why you need to be aware of it in your training. As a puppy, you should only leave him alone for a short time. Then gradually increase your absence to a few hours to get him used to having company. Crate training is another great way to give him his own space and calm his anxiety.

Health

The expected lifespan for a Havanese is 14 to 16 years. Be grateful for his continued companionship. Regular veterinary visits, regular exercise and healthy diet are the best ways to keep him healthy. It’s important to make sure your bunny is happy!

Overall, he is relatively health as an breed, with only a few health issues. Here are some of the most common conditions that affect Havanese dogs. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, it is a good place to start.

Legg Perthes disease: This deformity affects the hip ball joint. A decrease in blood supply to the Femur bone leads to its death and collapse. This can cause deformity, pain, or sometimes lameness in your legs. Although it is not known if the disease is an inherited condition or if it is caused by injury, treatment can be done.

Patellar luxation: This, essentially, is the term for a dislocated knee, and it can be common in toy and small-sized dogs. The scientific name for the knee is the patellar. The kneecap can move around in pain, and it can float around during movement.

Eye conditions: This breed is susceptible to many eye problems. They are most commonly affected by progressive retinal atrophy. This is slow-onset blindness. Cataracts are cloudy spots that can reduce vision.

Cardiac Conditions: Mitral valve disease is the most prevalent concern. Affected dogs develop a heart murmur. The valve becomes thicker over time and reverses blood flow to the heart. This decreases the efficiency of the heart and eventually leads to heart disease.

Nutrition

The Havanese will consume a quarter to one cup of food each day, depending on their size and weight. You should also consider his exercise habits. He may need twice as much food if he’s a wire. Every dog is different, so be sure to consult his food packaging for tailored advice and read our Havanese dog food guide.

While dry and unappetizing to humans, high-quality kibble will offer a well balanced diet that meets all his nutritional needs. Always buy kibble that is specifically designed for a toy or small breed dog, especially as a small breed puppy. To prevent any disease, the crunchy pieces can be broken down into small bite-sized pieces and used to massage his gums. Havanese can get bored easily and will eat any amount of kibble. To give your pet some flavor and moisture, you can add warm water or low sodium broth.

The Havanese is prone to obesity. Many of them live a lap-dog lifestyle and don’t get enough exercise. They don’t have the self control to say no and regulate their food intake. Be sure to restrict them to the recommended food allowance and not feed them free.

Grooming

If you choose the long-haired, pedigree Havanese, expect to be a grooming master. You can get one for as little as $50. To prevent matting and knots, their silky hair will need to be brushed daily. A slicker brush can be used at home to stimulate hair follicles. It also promotes natural oils that make hair shiny. To avoid irritation of the eyes, you can have the fringe of a Havanese tucked above your eyes using a clip. It’s super cute!

Short-haired Havanese need only a quick brush once a week. Their coat will be shiny and clean. The Havanese can be brushed long or short. They are a light shedder, which means there will be fewer furballs throughout the year. Another reason he is so popular is his ability to shed light. Many owners will elect to shave their pups down with clippers during the summertime.

When it comes to bathing your Havanese, every 8 to 12 weeks should be ideal. You can keep them clean by not bathing them too often unless they have been smothered with mud or rolled in unsavory substances. You can wash off the natural oils in your coat that no shampoo can replace.

If you begin your Havanese’s grooming routine early, you should be capable of clipping his nails at home easily. If he is active enough, his claws will naturally wear down. However, if they start tapping on hard floors while he walks it could be an indication that they are too long. Brush your teeth at least once a week to prevent periodontal disease.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

The Havanese breed is very popular in America so it shouldn’t take too much to track down a puppy for your family. It is important to locate a reliable and trustworthy breeder before you decide when you want your Cuban companion. They will most likely have a waiting-list if they are as good and reliable as they claim to be. The average price of a Havanese puppy from a reputable breeder is $1,000.

Good communication is a sign that a breeder has experience. From the moment you contact them to place an order for a puppy, they will walk you through the whole process, from the first contact to purchase it, until the time of the pup’s birth and collection. It’s a good idea to meet the parents as well as the puppies in order to get a feel of your pup’s temperament. Trusted breeders will provide health certificates to prove the health of their puppies. A great place to start your search is with the AKC’s list of registered Havanese breeders.

A poor breeder or worse, a puppy-mill, will try to entice customers with low prices and vague information about the parents and pups. Poor communication and pressured sales are all indicators of irresponsible breeders. Do not buy a puppy from a mill. While you won’t save a life, you will be feeding the puppy mill industry and fostering a poor dog. Make sure you are prepared to bring your dog home with the perfect Havanese name.

Rescues & Shelters

If you have never owned a dog or are unsure about purchasing a puppy, the adopt approach is a good option. A middle-aged Havanese could be available that doesn’t require puppy-training. You can also give an older dog a loving home.

If you’re thinking of rescuing a Havanese please first visit the local rescue shelters. If someone regrets an impulse purchase, even beautiful pedigree breeds could end up here. You can make friends with staff to find a Havanese at another shelter if there aren’t any. There are dedicated Havanese shelter organizations that specialize in rehoming Havanese. Rescue websites such as Havanese Rescue and Havanese Org are a great place to begin.

As Family Pets

  • Havanese are suitable for all types of families.
  • He is happy to kick back or go all out on a short adventure.
  • He is an active toy breed who needs 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise.
  • Ideally, he needs a home worker or a so he isn’t alone for long periods.
  • His nickname is Velcro and will be your shadow everywhere you go.
  • He is great with kids and in multi-pet households.
  • The Havanese is friendly with everyone and is not a guard dog.
  • He is intelligent and trainable, making him a great option for first-time owners.
  • He is well suited to apartment living.

Final Thoughts

The Havanese is a people-pleaser who loves cuddles and fuss. He/she is a great lap dog and will always be there for you. You can find your fur baby here, or you can add another member to your family. This pup is perfect for retired couples who have time to spare.

But, if your dog is more independent, this may not be the right breed. The Havanese are independent. They are full of love and will give you a lot of it. He is a perfect family pet. It is easy to see why he was the preferred lapdog for so many people. He still remains popular today.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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