At Classical   -   Co-Owned and/or Bred By

History of the Breed

As with most breeds, the origin of the HAVANESE is unclear.

It is believed that the HAVANESE of today are direct descendants from one of the Bichon groups originating in the Mediterranean area. There are several distinct groups of Bichon, including the Bichon Maltiase (Maltese), the Bichon Bolognese ( Bolognese), the Bichon Havanais (HAVANESE) , the Lowchen, the Coton de Tulear, and the Bichon Teneriffe (Bichon Frise).

Forenzo Fiorone, when writing the book 308 Recognized Breeds, states that the HAVANESE is a descendant of the Italian Bolognese, which were taken by the Italians to Argentina, and there crossed with a small South American Poodle, creating a new member of the Bichon family. The hypothesis advanced by Dechambre is different. He believes the HAVANESE is descended from the Maltese, brought to the West Indies by the Spaniards, and were at that time called "The Havana Silk Dog".

In the Encyclopedia of Dogs by Jones & Hamilton, it is written that the ancestors of the HAVANESE traveled to Cuba during the days of the Spanish Empire. The Lampton's Observers Book of Rare Breeds refers to the breed as follows: "Toy HAVANESE-sometimes described as a spaniel. A member of the Bichon group. Essentially a toy dog, long-coated and spirited. Believed by some to be a descendant of the Maltese and Teneriffe Dog. They are for the most part companion and trick dogs."

The Cubans believe that the HAVANESE originated in Cuba from an earlier breed known as Blanquito de la Habana. The HAVANESE was the pet of the colonial aristocracy until the beginning of the 20th century. For the most part, these little dogs were seen in the palaces and country estates of very wealthy families. As time went on, the HAVANESE was no longer only for the wealthy, but became the preferred dog of the Cuban family.

Many wealthy Cubans migrated to the United States in the 1960’s, some of them bringing with them their HAVANESE. Some of these dogs ended up being the foundation for a lot of the current day HAVANESE. The dogs were registered with the Havanese Club of America, and in 1996, became a recognized breed of the American Kennel Club. Some HAVANESE from Cuba are still being imported into Canada and European countries. They became recognized with the Canadian Kennel Club in 2000.

Description of the Havanese

The HAVANESE is a sturdy little dog, low on leg, with a long soft profuse coat with a plumed tail carried curled over the back. Their height ranges from 8 ½ to 11 ½ inches, the ideal being 9 to 10 ¼ inches. Their weight ranges from 7 to 14 pounds, the ideal being 8 to 12 pounds. The HAVANESE is longer than tall.

The HAVANESE is exceptionally bright and easy to train. They are an affectionate, happy dog with a lively, springy gait. A charmer, amiable, playful and even a bit of a clown. They love children and play endlessly with them.

A steady, self-confident nature combine to make the HAVANESE a lovable and loyal friend. He makes an excellent family member. HAVANESE don’t shed, but their coat requires very regular grooming. All colours, ranging from pure white to shades of cream, champagne, gold, black, blue, silver, chocolate or any combination of these colours including parti and tri. No preference is given to one colour over another.

The HAVANESE is very devoted to his family and must live as a member of the family and must not be kept as a kennel dog, confined to a basement or tied up in a backyard. They require daily outdoor exercise.