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Havanese Information and History


The Havanese is an old breed of the Bichon family. The earliest references to the ancestors of the modern Havanese go back to Plinius (23 to 79 B.C.) in the Mediterranean region, and the breed may have originated on the island of Malta. Dogs in both Spain and Italy played an integral part in bringing the Havanese to the New World. Also known as the Havana Silk Dog, today's Havanese descended from the dogs that found a permanent home in Cuba, where they were popular among the wealthy Cubans. After the Cuban revolution in 1959, many of these dogs ended up in the United States.

Today the Havanese is a happy, outgoing, sturdy, small dog. Combining an outgoing temperament with their trainability, Havanese are excellent candidates for obedience training.

Health Testing

The Havanese breed has no more health problems than any other breed. Fortunately, our parent club, the Havanese Club of America (HCA), has been impressing upon breeders to do health testing on their dogs before breeding them. We cannot guarantee perfectly healthy dogs, but we might as well rule out some of the problems that we know exist.
There are four health tests that are currently recommended by the HCA: BAER (hearing), CERF (an annual eye exam), patella (once after they are a year old) and hips (once after the dog is two years old). Verify the testing yourself. All you need is the dog’s registered name, AKC number or the CHIC number. You can research any of these health tests directly at www.OFFA.org. You can verify any CERF results directly on the CERF web site: http://www.vmdb.org/verify.html.

Miniature, Teacup or Imperial Havanese

Don’t be fooled by so-called “rare” Havanese that are advertised as “miniature” or “teacup” or “Imperial” Havanese. As cute as they may appear, there is a reason we are supposed to breed to the Havanese Standard, which says the dogs should be 8.5” to 11.5” tall at the shoulder. The Havanese breed is meant to be a sturdy, playful companion dog. A mini version of it has much higher risks of being unhealthy and living a shorter life. You may pay a lot of money for a “rare teacup” Havanese, but the chances of paying a lot more in veterinary bills is likely, too.

Havanese Hybrids

Havapoo, Havaton, Havachon, Cairnese, Cavanese, Dualanese, Havachin, Poovanese, Havashu and Hava-Apso are all just fancy names for dogs of mixed heritage, called “mutts” by many. A lot of the puppies are incredibly adorable and they all deserve to be in loving homes, but don’t pay a high price for a dog that isn’t a purebred. The Havanese breed has been around for hundreds of years and has predictability in personality traits, physical characteristics, etc. When two breeds are mixed, you can’t tell which genetic traits will be dominant. Will it be the Lhasa Apso or the Havanese? You may even end up with the worst of both breeds. If you want a mixed breed dog, please visit your local shelter or a rescue group. There are many dogs out there who need homes.

AKC Havanese breed standard

Click on the Havanese to go to the AKC web site and learn about;

1.) Havanese breed standard
2.) How to find a Havanese breeder close to you
3.) Havanese rescue groups
and much more


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