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Country of Origin: Cuba

Group: Companion and Toy Dogs

Section: Bichons and related breeds

Original Function: lapdog, performer

Todays Function: companion

Dimension Male: 20-28 cm

Dimension Female: 20-28 cm

Weight Male: 3-6 kg

Weight Female: 3-6 kg

Litter Size: 1-9 puppies, average 4

Life span: 12-14 years

Other Names: Bichon Havanais

Colors: Any color, including gold, cream, white, silver, blue and black

Living: The havanese is well suited to living indoors.



If never primped, clipped or altered in any way, the Havanese gives a rugged impression in a little dog. The legs are strong and allow for free and easy movement. The dark eyes and long tail are covered with long silky hair. The profuse coat varies from wavy to curly. The Havanese is a double-coated breed with soft hair, both on outer and undercoat. Adult coat reaches 6 to 8 inches, and has a pearly sheen. Some Havanese carry a short haired recessive gene. If two Adults with this recessive gene have a litter of puppies, it is possible that some of the puppies will be born with smooth coats. A Havanese with a short coat cannot be shown and is a serious fault in the show arena. Some have nicknamed the Havanese born with short coats Shavanese. Eye rims, the nose and lips are solid black on all colors except the true chocolate dog. The Havanese comes in any color, including cream, gold, white, silver, blue, and black. Also parti and tricolors. In North America, all colors are recognized, no preference is given to one color over another. Black and chocolate are preferred colors with many North American breeders. A chocolate Havanese must retain at least a 1 inch (2.6 cm.) patch of chocolate hair. Chocolates also have green or amber eyes. In some European Countries the black and chocolate dogs, were not always recognized. But the black dogs have been recognized for several years, and the Chocolate dogs are now recently recognized. The gait is unique, lively & "springy" which accentuates the happy character of the Havanese. Tail is carried up over the back when gaiting. The breed is of solid physical type and sound constitution. The Havanese gives a rugged impression of a little dog, it is sturdy, and while a small breed, it is neither fragile nor overdone.


This is a busy, curious dog; it is happiest when it is the center of attention. It loves to play and clown and is affectionate with its family, children, strangers, other dogs and pets ? basically everyone! The Havanese is willing to please and learn easily, but it tends to be vocal.


Although energetic, the Havanese can have its exercise needs met with a short walk or a good play session. It is not a dog that can live outside. Coat care entails brushing two to four times a week. This is a nonshedding dog, which means that loose hairs are caught in the outer hairs, tending to tangle, unless they are combed out.


For pets the coat can be clipped short for easier care. If the coat is to be kept long it needs to be thoroughly brushed and combed at least twice a week. There is a lotion available to prevent the hair from splitting. Clip excess hair from between the pa


Major concerns: none

Minor concerns: patellar luxation

Occasionally seen: PRA, otitis externa, cataract

Suggested tests: knee, eye