The Havanese are the only breed considered native to Cuba. They are part of the Bichon family and are also known as the Havana Silk Dog. When the Cuban revolution turned the island into a communist state, 3 of the upper class families who fled to America and Europe had these pooches in tow. Although relatively new to the AKC, the Havanese is quite an old breed. The Havanese has been a recognized AKC breed since 1999.
The Havanese has become a very popular breed in the United States and their charming, friendly, playful personalities may have a lot to do with this. The Havanese were once just a pet of the upper class and were considered lap dogs. They have now been recognized for their intelligence and friendliness and are very popular pets for families and are now being used as therapy dogs and they make great circus dogs.
The Havanese are a small sturdy dog of many colors and marking patterns. The desired size range is 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches, and they weigh approximately 7-13 lbs. Their lifespan is 10-15 years. They are not known to be big barkers, they will alert you when someone is at your door, but are eager to greet and friend new people. They are also friendly with other animals and are not known to be aggressive. One of the most desired traits of the Havanese are their non shed coat which is allergy friendly, however they do require grooming. Havanese need a lot of attention. They do not do well in kennels and if left alone all day. They prefer to be with their human companions and are happiest when not left alone. They are easily trained and love to learn new tricks.
The Havanese have a springy gait and love to bounce around like a rabbit. They definitely keep you entertained. They have a cheerful, almost mischievous expression, and are very alert. They are considered a friendly, playful, and intelligent toy breed. The Havanese also love to perch themselves on the top of a chair or couch like a cat. My dogs favorite spot is on top of the sofa or chair so they can watch out the window.