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Breed Notes

The Havanese or Havana Silk Dog is a Cuban breed believed to have come from Europe with either Spanish explorers or Italian sea captains. Its true ancestry is unknown although it is believed that the Bichon Frise or Maltese may be included. It became a favorite of wealthy Cuban families and almost became extinct during the Cuban Revolution. Smuggled out of Cuba, it is making a comeback today. It is recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, by the United Kennel Club in 1991, and the American Kennel Club in 1995.
The Havanese is a happy, affectionate breed that is a loyal and loving companion for its family. Naturally clowns, they have been used as circus performers. They might be aloof toward strangers.
The head of the Havanese is medium in length, proportionate to the size of the body. The skull is broad and rounded with a moderate drop off (stop) to the muzzle. The length of muzzle equals the length of the skull to the occiput. A scissors bite is preferred. The eyes are large, almond shaped and dark. They may be light dependent upon coat color although the dark eye is preferred. They are gentle in expression. The ears are dropped with a gentle fold. They are covered with long featherings. The nose is black except in chocolate dogs where it is brown. The neck is of moderate length. The legs are well boned and straight. The feet are compact. The gait is unique and "springy." The topline is straight with a slight rise over th croup. The tail is set high and carried in a plume over the back. It is covered with long silky hair. The coat is double and soft. The outer coat is long and profuse, reaching a length of six to eight inches on the adult. it may be straight or curly although a wavy coat is preferred. Curly coats may cord. All colors form pure white to shades of cream, champagne, gold, black, blue, silver, chocolate or any combination thereof is acceptable. Any trimming is prohibited for show purposes. The average height is between eight and eleven inches. The average weight is between seven and thirteen pounds.

Name withheld by request of San Diego, California writes:

Best dog in the world, heaven on earth, an angel.
I can't believe it took me so long to discover this breed. He is smart, funny, sweet, gentle and very affectionate. He loves to ride in the car, go on errands, adapts to all situations, loves agility. The ONLY drawback is the careful attention to the show coat if you are going to keep it long. Many hours of brushing is required each week. I am allergic to dogs and this breed does not bother me at all. There is NO SMELL at all. Mine is currently fourteen months old and I just love him to death ... can you tell?!

mmancuso@stny.rr.com of New York writes:

The perfect small dog.
This is my third attempt at dog ownership and I think I finally got it right with my Havanese. He is sweet, playful, smart and great with children. He is not yappy like so many small dogs, he never barks for attention. He does, though, bark as a warning when he sees something out the window. I keep his hair short and have him groomed every ten weeks or so. I would definitely recommend a Havanese for someone who has children and wants a small dog that does not shed.

dvsol@interlog.com of Canada writes on 3/27/01:

Intelligent, loyal, friendly and calm but with lots of energy when needed.
My Havanese is definitely the most wonderful dog I have ever had and I have owned over 5 dogs. He is exceedingly friendly, very easy to train and calm but energetic. He loves agility and doing things with me but will sit waits passively when I am busy. He is affectionate, loving and loyal but friendly with strangers. He is great with other dogs shows no fear but at the same time is not aggressive or yapy.

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