If there were one dog to mirror the spunk and energy of Cuba, it would be the Havanese. This breed is perfect for just about any family and is loyal to a fault. Read more about this small yet highly spirited dog in the Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Havanese.

History & Background: Just like the cognate for the name of this dog, the Havanese hail from Havana, Cuba where they were derived from the Blanquito de la Habana or the  “The Little White Dog From Havana.” The Havanese is actually the national dog of Cuba and is the only breed that originated from this country. It’s thought this breed was mixed with other Bichon types, including the poodle, to create what is now the Havanese. Even though this breed hails from Cuba, it’s ancestors can be traced back to Spain. This dog has been known by many names such as the Havana Silk Dog and the Spanish Silk Poodle.

Even though this dog is a part of the toy family, it’s not just a lap dog.  Havanese used to be guard dogs and herders for poultry flocks, watchdogs and playmates for children in Cuba. This dog has gained a lot of popularity in the show ring in past years and as of 1996 was recognized by the AKC.  

Height: 8½ to 11½ inches tall at the shoulder

Weight: 7 to 13 pounds

Coat: The Havanese sports a double coat, however it is unlike most breeds with this trait. This dog’s outer coat, which on most is coarse and dense, is soft and light. Overall, a Havanese’s fur is abundant, long, wavy and should be silky to the touch. This dog’s coat is functional, too. The Havanese coat is built for the tropical climates in which it originated. The lightweight coat is used as a sunshade for hot days.

A Havanese’s coat can come in a few different variations. For example, sometimes the coat can appear frizzy or “cotton-like” or sometimes can be too silky and be oily-looking. Dog show associations don’t prefer these variations. However, one they do recognize, and which is less common, is a corded coat.

Color: Because there is no way of truly knowing what the Havanese color and markings might have been originally, all colors, color combinations and skin colors are accepted.

Appearance: The Havanese is a Bichon type toy breed. This dog is small, yet isn’t a frail looking but sturdy. This dog is slightly longer than tall; it’s back rising slightly toward the tail.  The tail itself is curved up toward the back in a plume but never actually touches the back. Havanese have a full, tapered muzzles and small black/brown eyes with black rims. This dog is best known for it’s springy, lively gait that is almost more of a bounce than a run.

Temperament: This dog is extremely playful, curious and full of life. The Havanese is very intelligent and highly trainable. This is a great dog for families or just about any owner. A Havanese will be a very loyal, people-pleasing companion dog. This dog doesn’t need a lot of exercise like a lot of other toy breeds and is content in just about any circumstance. The only thing a Havanese truly needs a lot of is affection and attention.  In fact, the only negative environment for a Havanese is one which causes the dog to be alone for long periods of time.

Health: Most Havanese tend to live 14-16 years. Havanese sometimes suffer from luxating patella, liver disease, heart disease, cataracts and retinal dysplasia. On a minor level, the Havanese usually tear and have tear stains. Best Bully Sticks might suggest using Naturally Tearfree Canine 100% Organic Herbal Powder.  It is a blend of 100% organic natural herbs in powder form. Sprinkle 1/2 a teaspoon on your dogs food once a day for 3 consecutive days and watch those dirty-looking brown streaks disappear.

Product Suggestions:  Best Bully Sticks thinks this energetic yet docile little dog is a perfect match for the Premier Busy Body Roly Rope Dog Toy. This fun rope toy is durable enough for a long lasting toy experience and encourages play through the added benefit of random treat dispenser. To fill the Busy Body Roly Rope Dog Toy, use Halo Liv-a-Littles which come in Chicken, Beef and Salmon flavors!

Do you own or know a Havanese? Tell us your Havanese story in the comments section!