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The Havanese at shows are glamourous and a joy to watch with their happy jaunty attitude and silky coat floating with them.  Unfortunately this charm has already led to the breed being in the hands of a number of irresponsible breeders. Despite the fact that the breed has only been recognized by the major registries (like those in Canada and the US) for a very few years, it is not difficult to already find the breed in rescues.  This has also led to a number of health issues as people who carelessly breed ignore problems in the parents.  Loving a breed or a dog includes showing concern for what happens to other dogs, please be conscientious about researching the breeder you choose to work with.  Better yet, contact rescues!  If they don't have a suitable dog available they can likely help point you to either responsible breeders or information on recognizing them.  The Havanese for all its beauty and charm seems already on the path that has done serious harm to other well loved breeds like the Cocker Spaniel and others, if you adore this little dog please do your part to prevent it.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Toy Height: 8.5-10.5 inches
Weight: 7-14 pounds Longevity: high teens
Colors: All colors and coloring acceptable with pigment dark and solid. Coat type: Profuse and very soft double coat
Recognized Registries: FCI, NCA, UKC, ARBA, AKC and others
Overall Appearance: Light framed, square built small dog with sturdiness. Somewhat rectilinear (longer in body than tall) with dropped ears. The most notable feature is the profuse, silky soft coat, long but not so as to touch the ground.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to high
General Nature: quiet but enjoys rowdy play, attentive and intelligent making them easy to train, affectionate, gentle and endearing
  with Children: Due to their small size not the best choice with small children but if the children are well mannered and closely supervised it is feasible
  with other pets: Generally good
  with dogs: Generally good
Socialization requirements: moderate to high if only to prevent shyness or tyrannical behavior from being overly indulged
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates that this is not a toy but an individual with attitude and personality. Good fit for a variety of lifestyles for all that
Temperament Notes: Gentle, affectionate, attentive and very intelligent. Tends toward softness and sensitivity.
Training requirement: moderate: socialization and basic manners
Trainer notes: While the personality of the Havanese leaves it delighted with a home that spends time playing and cuddling, the breed is quite talented and already making a mark in many rings of DogSports.  Attentive, alert, energetic, athletic and very intelligent the dog learns quickly when training is a play format, if only because the Havanese LOVES to play.  Definitely a super-fun training partner.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: Probably around the Middle Ages
Country of Origin: Cuba
Original Function: Companion of royalty and wealthy patrons
History: Developed with several other breeds noted for small size, long coats and dropped ears. Exact information is lost but apparently always the companion of the upper class.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: oversized, excessive coat, dentition issues,
Health Notes: eye problems, chondrodysplasia (bowed legs), luxating patellas, Legg-Calve-Perthes, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, liver problems, heart problems, deafness
Health Testing: CERF, OFA, BAER, Patellar Palpation, Blood Panels, Heart Evaluation
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!
  • How long have you had Havanese?
  • Why do you have Havanese (show, performance, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Havanese?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Havanese?
  • How would you describe the ideal Havanese home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Havanese?
  • How do you assist or help Havanese in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites: - National Havanese Rescue - Havanese Angel League Organization for Rescue (HALO) - Havanese Club of America Rescue Network

    Other Resources
    Breed standard: - FCI Standard of the Havanese adopted by ARBA - UKC Standard of the Havanese - Standard as per the Havanese Club of America

    Breeder Ethics: - Havanese Club of Canada's Code of Ethics - The Code of Ethics for the Havanese Club of America

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