Breeds 101: The Havanese

Today in Breeds 101 we look at the Havanese.

The Havanese are small but not to be underestimated. They are also very popular right now, coming in 24th out of the American Kennel Club’s 193 recognized breeds for 2018 (the most recent year statistics are available).

They are a member of the Toy Group, so they are a pocket-sized breed, standing about 8.5 to 11.5 inches at the withers (shoulders) and weighing only seven to 13 pounds each. That’s about the size of a cat.

Havanese have long lifespans of around 14 to 16 human years, which adds up to roughly somewhere between 84 and 94 in dog years.

Their coats can be any color or pattern, and show dogs are not allowed to have their coats trimmed (though they can wear ponytails or braids to keep their fur out of their eyes). The coats are fuzzy and double-layered, and a thorough grooming is required about twice a week. When given baths, their fur needs a blow dryer to dry properly.

According to the Breed Standard the ideal Havanese “is a small, sturdy dog of immense charm. The native dog of Cuba, he is beloved as a friendly, intelligent and playful companion. He is slightly longer than tall, with a long, untrimmed, double coat.”

The Breed Standard continues by stating that the gait should be “springy,” and the temperament “playful and spirited.”

In general, they are better suited to being indoor dogs, and prefer being with their people wherever they go. This means they can be especially prone to separation anxiety.

The Havanese was recognized by the AKC in 1996 after being developed in the US during the 1970s from a gene pool of 11 dogs.

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They are very good at sports, competing in events like agility and flyball, but can also make good therapy dogs as well.

The breed has been in the news lately – A Havanese won Best in Show at the 2019 Beverly Hills Dog Show, and one competed in the first-ever AKC Agility Premier Cup in late April.

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