The Havanese (sometimes called the “Havana Silk Dog”) is officially known as the national dog of Cuba. They feature a wiry coat in many different colors and gained popularity in the mid-18th century with notable admirers that included Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. Their cheerfulness, playfulness, intelligence and eagerness to please make the Havanese a popular choice as therapy dogs, assistance dogs for the hearing impaired, tracking, performance dogs, mold and termite detection dogs as well as companion dogs for families, apartment dwellers and allergy sufferers.
Origins Of The Havanese
The Havanese is known to have come from Cuba and was bred by the Spanish colonists of Cuba with the purpose of acting as companion dogs. They are thought to be the result of cross-breeding the now-extinct Blanquito de la Habana with various other Bichon types such as the Poodle.
Average Size Of The Havanese
Havaneses are classified as a small-sized breed. The recommended standard size for the Havanese male and female is 8.5-11.5 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 7-13 pounds.
Temperament Of The Havanese
The Havanese is renowned for their curious and affectionate character. They are usually friendly with strangers, which along with their small size can make them unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Havanese is also known to be highly intelligent and easily trained – making them a popular choice as circus dogs, assistance dogs or in competitive obedience or agility.
They are famous as being playful with kids and are surprisingly sturdy – meaning they are very suitable as a family pet. The Havanese is very companionable with other dogs and they will often become very good playmates.
Living Requirements Of The Havanese
The Havanese is happiest around their family and does not require a yard – so they can be highly suitable for apartment life so long as they are given daily exercise. They prefer warmer environments, and they will be less content if it gets too cold as their wiry coat is not designed to offer much protection against cold weather.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Havanese
Similar to lots of small-sized breeds, the Havanese is typically long-lived having a life expectancy of 12-15 years. The greatest health problems for Havaneses have frequently proven to be patellar luxation and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). They are also vulnerable to conditions such as cataracts, hip dysplasia and dry skin – but they are generally a very healthy breed.
Exercise Needs Of The Havanese
The Havanese loves pursuits which include playing games or running around the house. They have a medium degree of energy and this calls for exercise each day in the manner of average-length walks.