Beaches, music, and cigars are not the only things to love about Cuba — it also gave the world Havanese dogs! Strong, cuddly, lovable, and loyal, these canines are perfect for ultimate dog lovers and first-time dog owners alike. They are gentle to kids and small enough to be a buddy in apartments. Learn more about this awesome breed in this post.
Havanese Dogs | The Cuban Dog That Loves A Lot
Havanese Dog Personality
It’s so easy to fall in love with Havanese dogs. They are some of the sweetest, most affectionate canines in the world. These fur babies will sniff you, cuddle with you, and be with you wherever you go. They are certainly excellent lap dogs.
However, this attentiveness can also pose a slight problem, as they don’t do well when they’re left by themselves for a long period. They may decide to climb on high places or play with their toys, but they can get bored very quickly unless you’re around. This demonstrates their immense loyalty, but can also pose a problem for the busy owner.
In addition, despite their small size, they can bark loudly. Fortunately, they do so only when they meet strangers. They can be a bit shy around people they don’t know, but it won’t take too long before they begin to warm up.
Havanese dogs are not only fun but are also easy to train. In fact, some of them are circus performers! They also make excellent therapy and guide dogs. They’re a fur ball of energy and very playful. There’s not a dull moment with them. This may cause you to ask, “Is the Havanese hard to potty train?” The answer is, unfortunately, that it may take some time to housebreak.
Size & Color
Havanese dogs belong to the toy dog group. A kind of Bichon Frise, they can grow between 8.5 and 11.5 inches, according to the standards of the American Kennel Club (AKC). At an average height of 11 inches at the withers, males can be as much as an inch taller than females. Overall, their bodies also longer rather than taller.
Their weight, on the other hand, leans toward the lighter side. A Havanese at full grown weight can range from 7 to 13 pounds, slightly heavier than a Maltese dog. Females usually weigh less, at around 12 pounds.
It’s harder to determine the future weight of Havanese puppies. However, you can use the four-fold trick, which assumes their weight upon 8 weeks is a quarter of their weight when they become an adult. Moreover, they will more likely inherit the size of their parents.
The colors of Havanese are varied and interesting. Take a pick from white to cream and champagne. You can also find a Havanese mix with red, fawn, and even black. They can also be chocolate, silver, and gold, as well as be sable or brindle. One thing’s for sure: regardless of their color, they’re adorable.
In general, the Havanese dogs are healthy, but they can also be prone to certain health conditions, including the following:
- Cataracts – Dogs are susceptible to eye diseases, especially cataracts, and the Havanese are not an exception. In their case, though, the condition is almost always inherited. The opacity can affect one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) of their eyes. The condition can or cannot progress. If the latter, it won’t cause severe vision problems.
- Dysplasia – Dysplasia refers to an abnormality of the growth and development of the joints. It may occur in the elbows and hips of Havanese dogs. Another condition, called chondrodysplasia punctata (CD), is characterized by the bowing of their legs. These dogs can have dysplasia with or without clinical symptoms, which means they can maintain their gait or don’t exhibit lameness.
- Legg-Perthes Disease – This is the disintegration or necrosis (death) of the head of the femur bone that is found on the dog’s hind legs. With its death comes the degeneration of the hip joint or the development of osteoarthritis. The exact cause is unknown, but it may be due to an injury that cuts off the blood supply to the femur head or hereditary. It can appear as early as 8 months.
- Deafness – Havanese dogs can also be prone to deafness, which can be congenital or acquired through an injury. Although it is hard to detect unless the dog undergoes a thorough physical exam, your dog may be significantly less responsive to your commands or voice as early as 2 weeks.
- Circulatory and Heart Issues – These dogs can develop heart murmur, mitral valve insufficiency, and portosystemic shunt. The latter refers to a blood flow abnormality that leads to the circulation of toxins as the blood coming from the digestive tract doesn’t go through the liver.
The average life span of a Havanese dog can be between 13 and 15 years, which is most similar to that of Bichon Frise. They are more likely to live longer than a Shih Tzu or a Maltese.
When it comes to exercise, they require walks once or twice per day, but they don’t need something very vigorous, since they are already active.
Food & Diet
Like most dogs, the Havanese dogs need high-quality protein dog food. They are better off being fed twice a day 1/2 to 1 cup of their food per serving. Note though that this is not a hard rule. It all depends on the level of activity, weight, health concerns, among other factors. A very active Havanese that weighs 10 pounds may need to consume more than 400 calories a day. However, if they are neutered or spayed, they have the tendency to gain weight fast, so you may have to serve them less per meal.
If you have Havanese puppies that come from breeders, it may be helpful to maintain the same diet until they reach 6 months old.
- Brush daily
- Bathe 1 or 2 times a week
- Trim nails 1 to 2 times a month
- Brush teeth 2 to 3 times a week
One of the most attractive physical characteristics of Havanese dogs is its double coat. They’re silky and gorgeous! However, this means that they can also be prone to matting and tangling, so you have to brush them every day. You may need to keep the hair near the eyes trimmed or tied.
They can also grow their nails very long, so trimming may be necessary at least once a month. Brushing or cleaning their teeth at least two times a week will prevent the formation of cavities and plaque. Is the Havanese hypoallergenic? They are in a sense, as they don’t shed a lot.
Some don’t want to bathe their dogs to avoid stripping the hair of natural oils, but the Havanese dogs can get dirty pretty fast. Once a week should be fine and can even do wonders to their coat and hair. However, they require good-quality shampoo and conditioner.
Price Of A Havanese Puppy
With their wit, beauty, charm, and trainability, Havenese dogs and puppies are not cheap. They can cost you anywhere from $1,000 to as much as $1,500. Those with AKC certification will be more expensive.
The Havanese dogs descended from the white dogs of Cuba called Blanquito De La Habana. They, in turn, are believed to have come from the Bichon of Tenerife Island. Both of them are already extinct.
Tenerife is also thought to be the birthplace of the Bichon, and the island was one of the very few allowed to dock and trade in Cuba. Sixteenth-century records suggest some of the passengers had brought along dogs with them. Meanwhile, despite the restriction, Cuba became a favorite holiday destination for the Europeans who eventually fancied the Havana dogs and brought them home.
The Havanese dogs first belonged to families of nobilities, then to the bourgeoisie of Cuba. Later, during the height of the Cuban revolution, many of these elites decided to leave to the United States and brought their dogs with them. The expatriates then re-bred the dogs. AKC recognized them as a breed in 1999.
The Havanese dogs are the national dogs of Cuba, which is not surprising considering their long colorful history in the country and their status as its only native canine.
How active and playful are the Havanese dogs? Just watch this fun video:
Aren’t the Havanese dogs the cutest? Even if they’re small, they’re tough and smart. They’re affectionate and sweet, making them awesome dog breeds for kids. Most of all, they live up to the dog code: Make themselves your ultimate best friend.
Do you own a Havanese dog? Share your cute stories and pictures in the comments below!