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National dog of Cuba with a silky textured coat


Named after the Cuban capital city of Havana, this member of the Bichon family is the national dog of Cuba and it is thought that it was taken from the Mediterranean to Cuba by Spanish or Italian traders during the 1600’s. There, the little dogs became well adapted to the island life and favoured by Cuban nobility. The breed reached the height of its popularity in the 1700-1800’s. To further refine the little dogs, the Havanese Silk dogs were crossed with an en vogue Poodle, and other popular companion dogs of the time. The breed became more widely known when the Communist regime took control of Cuba and many people fled to the USA taking their dogs with them. Due to conflict and war within the island that lasted decades, the Havanese breed’s popularity declined. In the 1960’s, many Cubans, including poor and aristocrats, fled the country, leaving their precious dogs behind to perish. It was believed that the breed was wiped out within the island of Cuba. However, some claim that a few remaining specimens were smuggled out of the country to the United States by Cuban refugees. The little dogs caught the attention of American dog fanciers who developed an interest in reviving the breed from only 11 dogs in the 1970’s.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE

OTHER NAMES – Bichon Havaneis, Blanquito De la Habana, Havana Silk Dog


Happy dogs with a zest for life, they adore their family, bonding closely with them. Their greatest desire is to live at home as part of the family, Havanese need companionship to thrive. This breed is very good with children, especially older children who can appreciate their small size and play with them appropriately. They love their toys and can be very entertaining involving their humans in games of their own devising. Havanese mix well with other dogs but may be tempted to chase smaller animals, but are not an aggressive breed. The Havanese enjoy obedience training or any pastime in which they can participate and be with their owner. They are easy to house train as they are very clean by nature. The Havanese is the ideal family dog for families where at least one of the household usually stays at home when everyone else is out. If left on their own, these little dogs suffer from separation anxiety. They are good watchdogs and would always be quick off the mark to let an owner know when there are strangers about or when something they don’t like is going on around them.


This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources

TEMPERAMENTFriendly, Outgoing, Intelligent
EXERCISE NEEDED30 minutes per day
HEIGHT – MALE23-28 cm / 9-11 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE23-28 cm / 9-11 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPELong, Silky, Double Coat
GROOMING NEEDSDaily, if coat kept long


  • They are quite high maintenance in the grooming department, but they are not heavy shedders which means they are a great choice for anyone who is house proud or who suffers from pet allergies.
  • The Havanese became very popular in England during the mid-eighteenth century with Queen Victoria owning one of these charming little dogs. Charles Dickens was another well-known person to own one.
  • Their coats comes in many colours, ranging from white, all shades of cream, gold, sables, tobacco brown, silver, to black and any combination of these colours, giving parti-colours and tricolours.
  • The Havanese is a great choice of pet for first time dog owners because they are so amenable and people-oriented, loving nothing more than to please and to entertain their families.
  • Havanese are highly adaptable dogs and providing they are given enough daily physical exercise combined with as much mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in, they are just as happy living in an apartment in town as they are living in a house in the country.


Click the buttons below for more information about this breed


Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow


Here’s a video about the Havanese, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed and subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to this breed, please click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!


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