The fluffy coat, cute look, and friendly nature make the Havanese a great companion dog. Here you can find out what distinguishes the popular dogs and makes them so unique.
History of the Havanese
As the name suggests, the Havanese originally come from the Cuban capital Havana. The first similar dog breeds existed in the western Mediterranean area as early as antiquity. Spanish and Italian sailors brought their little bichons to the Caribbean island in the 15th century. The breed as we know it today slowly developed there. The dogs served there as companion dogs for the aristocratic circles and were intended as gifts for high-ranking guests.
In the 19th century, some Europeans brought the cute dog back home from their travels. Even Queen Victoria owned a representative of the breed at times. As the century progressed, the dogs’ popularity declined and few families in Cuba continued to breed them.
After Fidel Castro came to power, the aristocrats fled the country with their dogs. With only eleven dogs left, they continued to breed in the USA and had to expand the gene pool. The breed got its name because of its origin and the unique Havana brown coat coloration that is common. Internationally, the breed is classified in the FCI group 9.1 Bichons and related breeds.
Essence and Character
The Havanese is an inquisitive and friendly family dog who likes to make his family happy. He is uncomplicated and adaptable as well as open-minded towards other people and animals. For this reason, the breed is suitable for beginners and makes a great everyday companion. The fluffy dogs get along great with children and love to play. They are intelligent and skilled, so they can learn small tricks in no time. As good companion dogs, they like to be the center of attention and definitely don’t want to be left alone. They prefer to follow their people everywhere and at all times. Unlike some other small dog breeds, the Havis are not barkers and rarely bark in greeting.
Getting a Havanese
What do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?
Before you get a Havanese, you should ask yourself whether you have enough time to care for and occupy the little one. Due to its small size, it can easily be kept in a smaller apartment but needs a lot of exercise. As with any other dog, daily walks are the order of the day with the little Cuban. A big advantage compared to other long-haired dogs is the odorless coat and the lack of shedding. In terms of character, he is a good beginner’s dog but does not like to be alone. If the dog moves in with you, he would be happy about a holiday with the dog, because he loves to be with his people everywhere.
Education of the Puppy
Once you have decided on a Havi, it is important to find a reputable breeder. It is best to look for one who is affiliated with the Association of German Small Dog Breeders and has experience with breeding. Here you can follow the development of the puppy from the beginning until he moves in with you. You can expect a price between 1000 and 1500 euros for a purebred puppy with a health check and vaccinations. If you are lucky, you will also find a good-natured Havanese in the animal shelter who has gotten into trouble through no fault of his own. Here you pay a lower price and do something good at the same time.
You don’t need any special knowledge or experience to raise a Havis. The small dogs are very friendly and usually try to please their owner. You still have to be careful not to let the cute wide eyes and the plush fur of the puppy “wrap you around your paw”. In order to support and encourage the friendly nature of the Havanese, he needs a loving and non-violent upbringing. Consistency is absolutely essential so that the dog knows exactly what you are asking of him. Early socialization and getting used to strangers and animals are also very important. Attending a puppy school and later a dog school is recommended so that the little one comes into contact with other dogs and obeys them.
How Do I Keep a Havanese?
Activities with the Havanese
Even though the Havanese looks like an easygoing “lap dog,” he needs a lot of exercises. He likes to be the center of attention and loves it when everyone engages with him. It is not without reason that many circuses use the breed as an attraction. The little rascals enjoy learning new tricks and show them off proudly. It doesn’t matter whether it’s ball games, throwing sticks, or intelligence games – the active dogs are always there with fire and flames. Daily walks are of course mandatory. The dog is also happy to be busy in the house. In summer you should give the dog the opportunity to splash around in a lake and cool off. If you would like to do dog sports, you must not overwhelm the lively Havanese, but you can easily inspire him to do agility or dog dance.