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Havanese


General Information - Havanese


Group:
Toy

Size:
Small

Lifespan:
12-14 years

Exercise:
Moderate

Grooming:
Very high

Trainability:
Easy

Watchdog Ability:
High

Protection Ability:
Very low

Area of Origin:
Cuba

Date of Origin:
Ancient times

Other Names:
Bichon Havanais, Havana Silk Dog

Original Function:
Lapdog, performer



History

The Havanese is one of the Barbichon (later shortened to Bichon) family of small dogs originating in the Mediterranean in ancient times. Spanish traders brought some of these dogs with them as gifts for Cuban women, allowing them to establish trading relationships. In Cuba, the little dogs were pampered as the special pets of the wealthy. They became known as Habeneros, and eventually some found their way back to Europe, where the breed was called the white Cuban. They became quite popular, not only as pets of the elite but also as performing dogs. Their popularity as pets waned, however, and their stronghold remained in the circus, where they performed throughout Europe as trick dogs. Eventually the breed declined in numbers to such an extent that it was almost extinct not only in Europe but also in its native Cuba. A few remained in Cuba, however, and three families with their Havanese left Cuba for the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. Most present-day Havanese descends from these dogs.

Temperament

The Havanese is gentle and responsive and enjoys pleasing people. They become very attached to their families. Havaneses are social and cheerful and get along with everyone including dogs, cats and other pets. This breed is very affectionate and intelligent and learns well.

Upkeep

Although energetic, the Havanese can have its exercise needs met with a short walk or a good play session. It is not a dog that can live outside. Coat care entails brushing two to four times a week. This is a non-shedding dog, which means that loose hairs are caught in the outer hairs, tending to tangle, unless they are combed out.