Havanese Breed Information and Facts

The Havanese breed is an old and well-liked breed, known best for their intelligence and affection – making them the ideal dog for any family and friendly home.  A recognized toy breed with the AKC, the Havanese is also a non-shedding and hypo-allergenic dog. Let's take a closer look at the breed information and facts you need to know about this dog breed.
A descendent of the Bichon family, the Havanese comes from dogs brought from Spain to Cuba.  While their ancestors are now extinct, the Havanese breed survived through the French, Cuban, and Russian revolutions before it finally became the preferred dog of Cuban families in the 1900s. Their natural intelligence and playfulness also led to the Havanese becoming a popular circus dog as it could learn new tricks quite easily and enjoyed the social atmosphere.  It was not until the 1970’s when this breed finally reached the US. Despite the late start, it quickly flourished as breeders and families recognized its potential both aesthetically and personally.  The AKC officially recognized the Havanese in 1996. 
While characterized as a toy breed, a Havanese dog is actually quite sturdy and has a lively gait.  They range from 8 – 11 inches tall and weigh in at 7 – 13 pounds.  Their long haired coat can range from wavy to curly to corded and can reach 6 – 8 inches in length.
Grooming Needs
When grooming the coat of a Havanese, owners can either trim it to keep it short and manageable or keep it long.  The longer the chosen coat, however, the more maintenance it will require.  Most coats will need to be brushed or combed thoroughly 2 times a week and shampooed at least twice a month.  There are also lotions available to prevent their soft and silky hairs from splitting.  
Havanese are known and loved as an excellent companion dog with a gentle and intelligent nature. You can just take a look at them to realize as much!
Along with their affection and intelligence, Havanese dogs develop a high level of responsiveness, curiosity, and playfulness.  They are great companions for children and even other dogs. These pups also become very attached to their families.  They are good watch dogs, but only with strangers. If they see a family member great a person, the pup will quickly do so as well. Above all else, Havanese love to observe and to learn and as a result are easy to obedience train.  
It is important to take note that Havanese are sensitive to the tone of one’s voice and will not respond or listen if it senses that the speaker is weak, non-assertive, or overly aggressive and menacing.  Owners need to be kind and calm with their Havanese. Owners should assert their authority early on with clear commands and praise for responsiveness from their dog.  While Havanese are not naturally "barkers", if they are not trained as a puppy, they might develop small dog syndrome or an aggressive streak that could lead to incessant barking.  Train your Havanese not to bark and they will quickly adapt as it is in line with their natural instinct. 
Training Needs
Havanese will respond very well to obedience training, as long as it is with a calm and confident leader who can display authority and praise.  Begin obedience training early on, along with heeling and barking training.  By stimulating and introducing a Havanese to training and mental exercises as a puppy, they will grow to be intelligent and loyal pets.  
Havanese do have one training are that is problematic. Alone time or crate training is especially difficult, as these pups are extremely social. Isolating them for more than 4 hours at a time can cause depression, so honestly evaluate whether you have the time available for this pup.
Activity Level
The Havanese has an average energy level compared to other toy dogs.  They require a daily walk, but otherwise can thrive in an indoor setting and don’t necessarily require a yard.  Most will seek out playtime with their families or with the other family pets.
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