The 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 Havanese has a short upper arm with moderate shoulder layback and a straight topline that rises slightly from the withers to the croup. The plumed tail is carried arched forward up over the back. The unique springy gait is a result of the breed's structure and playful, spirited personality. These characteristics of temperament, coat, structure and gait are essential to type. Havanese are small dogs weighing seven to 13 pounds. The height ranges from 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches at the shoulder. The body is longer than tall; they have drop ears and a tail that curls over the back. Havanese generally mature at 1 year of age, although they reach their full size around 6 to 8 months.
Personality: Havanese are affectionate and happy dogs. They do not make good kennel dogs and prefer being with their owners. They are active dogs and enjoy learning tricks and playing games with their owners. Havanese are intelligent and trainable. They need socialization to prevent them from becoming timid with strangers.
The Havanese can be a good watchdog but poor guard dog because of the small size. Occasionally, one may bark excessively if not properly trained. The Havanese breed is ideal for a person who wants a small, active dog who does not require a large yard and can be contented with frequent walks and games of fetch. These dogs do not do well left alone for long periods.
History: The Havanese is an old breed from the bichon family. Originally, Tenerife dogs came to Cuba with Spanish farmers and noblemen in the early 1500s. These dogs developed into the Havanese with little, if any, outside influences. In Havana, the breed became a family pet. By the 18th century, Europeans vacationing in Havana discovered the Havanese. The little dog quickly became a hit among Spanish, French and British nobility. With Castro's revolution, some Cubans who fled to the United States brought their Havanese with them. These 11 dogs became the foundation stock for the Havanese of today.
The Havanese dog breed has won many admirers with his long, silky hair, expressive eyes, and cuddly size. Bred as a companion dog to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s, he’s earned the nickname “Velcro dog” because he sticks so closely to his owner’s side. But don’t write him off as just a lapdog; the Havanese is trainable and surprisingly energetic, and has excelled in dog sports and canine careers ranging from circus performer to assisting the handicapped. Read more at http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/havanese