The Havanese is very affectionate, gentle-natured, playful, sociable, sensitive and intelligent. Havanese enjoy the company of all other animals and people and generally get along well with everyone. They are good with children, provided they are not pestered and have their own space to which they can retreat. Havanese are able to learn quickly and are eager to please their owner, making training reasonable straightforward. Havanese are sensitive to the intonation in their handlers voice and harsh words are likely to have an adverse effect on them. These small, cheerful dogs make lovely companions for people of all ages and are ideal for apartment living.
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Havanese do not shed hair, but do require a considerable amount of grooming. They should be thoroughly brushed and combed at least twice a week and the eyes should be checked regularly. Some owners choose to have these dogs clipped for easier care. The excess hair between the pads of the feet should be trimmed and the feet can also be clipped to a round form. Because Havanese do not shed hair it is best to remove the dead hairs with a brush.
Havanese have an average demand for exercise and are happy with short regular walks and opportunities to play in the garden or backyard. Havanese tend to adapt themselves to the family activities, which they enjoy being included in.
It is thought that the Havanese evolved from either the Bolognese crossed with small poodles or the Maltese and were bred as companion dogs. This breed was relatively unknown until the early 1970's and in recent years has been exhibited in most large European and Scandinavian shows. This breed was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1995.
General Appearance: Cheerful, soft and small.
Color: Any color is accepted, except for black as some countries do not recognize this color.
Coat: Long, soft, light in texture and is ideally wavy.
Tail: Set high and plumed with long, silky hair. It is carried over the back, but is neither tightly curled or lying flat on the back.
Ears: Set high, medium length and hanging by the cheeks.
Body: The body is slightly longer than it is tall and the topline is straight but not level as it rises slightly from the withers to the rump. The chest is deep and rather broad reaching to the elbow. The ribs are well sprung and the loin is well-muscled.
- Some Havanese tend to bark frequently and should be taught from a young age not to so, before it becomes a habit.
- Havanese are known as the national dog of Cuba.
- The Havanese was used widely as circus dogs, with their ability to learn quickly and eagerness to please their handler.