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The Havanese is a small dog of the type bichon, which dates back to the 18th century. The havanese derives from the now extinct bichon Tenerife that was introduced to the Canary Islands by Spanish seafarers and at a later date to other Spanish colonies.

The Havanese we know was mainly bred in Cuba where it had arrived with the Spanish seafarers and Italian traders who needed to get in contact with the Cubans and thus offered the dog as a gift. The ‘small dog from Havana’ as it was called became popular in Europe in the 19th century both as a circus dog and as a royal dog.

Character and behaviour
A Havanese loves to lie in the furniture so it is a good thing that it does not shed. The coat must be long, wavy, and silky with curly tips. All colours are acceptable within the breed standard.

The Havanese is a playful dog that is gentle, easily trained, curious, and good with children and other pets. This breed is very social and outgoing. A Havanese will fit perfectly into all homes and a fine choice for families with other dogs or pets.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Havanese is 8-11 inches tall and weighs 7-13 pounds. The body must be longer than the dog is tall. Body and legs must be robust. The head is flat and broad. The muzzle is relatively pointed with a black nose. It has a scissors bite. The eyes are large, dark, and almond shaped. The tail is carried up over the back and it is curly.

What you should know about the breed:

  • The coat requires extensive grooming, but this can be avoided by cutting it short
  • The hanging ears need regular care in order to avoid infections
  • Needs daily walks and stimulation in order to thrive
  • Curious and intelligent
  • Does not bark that often, but will alert if necessary
  • Small and practical
  • Does not need much outdoor exercise
  • Longhaired coat
  • Is not a heavy shedder. Allergy friendly
  • Good with other pets and people
  • Does not like to be alone
  • Difficult to housetrain

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