The national dog of Cuba originates in the tropical Caribbean country, descended from various Bichon types and developed as a lap-dog for the aristocracy. Small, intelligent, and gentle, these dogs make excellent companions for all ages. The epitome of a companion dog, Havanese bond strongly to their human family, and consequently do not do well in an isolated lifestyle.
The dense yet lightweight, silky coat is non-shedding; ideal for those who suffer allergies. Because the breed originated in the tropics, they thrive comfortably in hot climates, and they easily become chilly in cold climates such as here in Maine (where leaving the coat long in winter is important). Grooming is needed, and while they look dashing with various haircuts they can wear their coat untrimmed year-round.
Havanese are energetic and cheerful, and do require exercise. Their bouncy gait is a signature of the breed. They are easily trainable and happy to please their human companions.
Recognized by the AKC in 1996 and categorized in the Toy Group, Havanese range from approximately 8.5 to 11.5 inches tall at the shoulder, and typically live to 14-16 years.