AKC Meet the Breeds: Havanese

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

The National Dog of Cuba and the country's only native breed, the Havanese is a small, sturdy dog with a friendly disposition. His wavy, silky coat is profuse, but remains extremely light, insulating and protecting the breed against harsh tropical heat. His coat, which comes in all colors, should remain untrimmed. The Havanese's popularity in the show ring has grown quickly, and they are also now high in demand as a family pet.

A Look Back
An old breed, the Havanese is a descendant of breeds brought to Cuba from Spain and could also be related to the Tenerife, an ancestor of the entire Bichon family. Once known as the Havana Silk Dog and the Spanish Silk Poodle, the Havanese evolved from its role as a pampered lapdog of the aristocracy into a family companion responsible for being a watchdog, child's playmate, and herder of the family's poultry flock.

Right Breed for You?
The Havanese is trainable and intelligent and possesses a naturally affectionate temperament, which makes the breed an ideal family pet. Although a toy dog, he remains energetic and requires some form of daily exercise. The breed's nonshedding coat makes it suitable for allergy sufferers, but regular grooming is necessary to keep the coat in top condition.

  • Toy Group; AKC recognized in 1996.
  • Ranging in size from 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Companion.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.


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