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Country/Date of Origin: Cuba/1700s

It is thought that the Havanese was originally brought to Cuba by the captains of commercial trading ships and used by them as gifts to gain favor with wealthy merchants. The little companion dog soon became a status symbol in upper class homes. The Havanese is most likely one of the bichon group of small, white toy dogs that originated in the Mediterranean region several thousand years ago. The Havanese may have gotten its name because it is often found in a brown color is similar to that of the famous Havana cigar. However, it may simply have gotten its name by association with the port city where it was traded.

FCI Group: 9

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Bichon Havanais, Havana Silk Dog

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club: Havanese Club of America

Rescue Club: Havanese Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • Very similar in appearance to the more well known Bichon Frise
  • Height: 8-11 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 7-12 pounds
  • The tail is carried over the back in a curl and is never altered
  • The natural ears are long and hang close to the head. They are not altered


  • Wary of strangers, they make good watchdogs
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Very responsive to their owners
  • Has a comical nature


  • Long , silky and slightly wavy
  • Allowed colors are any shade of liver (Havana brown), gray, beige, or white
  • Grooming is required to keep the coat from tangling

Health Concerns:

  • Generally very robust
  • Possible ear ailments
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Non shedding coat is good for people with allergies to pet hair or just allergies to messy, hair filled furniture
  • There may be a long wait to obtain a puppy in the US and an expensive price sticker on it when you do find one
  • Be prepared to pay a lot of attention to this dog as he will demand it
  • You can have fun teaching this dog tricks
  • Is a good choice for apartment dwellers

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