Many people are won over by the charm of this little aristocratic breed. They are becoming extremely popular dogs and are showing up more and more at conformation events. In general, a show Havanese must be somewhat shorter than he is long, with a rectangular outline, and must be covered in a long, wavy coat that has a silk-like texture; the coat should not be trimmed. These dogs should demonstrate a playful character and should never be elaborately groomed so as to give a diva-esque air. Though today they are excellent companion dogs, in the past they have been used as playmates for children, watchdogs and poultry herders; their character, build and expression should reflect their down-to-earth, working nature. [...]
Nowadays, the new fad is to spend a great deal of money on what are being called "designer dogs"; these new trend-setting pooches are nothing but hybrids, or mixes, that result when different purebreds are mated together. Technically, the word "hybrid" means "of mixed origin" and is used to describe something that has parents of different genetic backgrounds and which often belong to a different species or, in the case of dogs, different breeds. While many hybrid dogs are quite attractive, the problem with these dogs is that their temperaments and characteristics are completely unpredictable; they could have any combination of traits found in their purebred ancestors. Before purchasing a hybrid, you should read up on each of the breeds that went into the cross; if anything about any of the breeds doesn't fit with your lifestyle, then you should not purchase the hybrid. It would be foolish to simply hope that a hybrid puppy encapsulated all the good characteristics, and only the good characteristics, of its parents. [...]
Though the primary function of the Havanese breed has always been to provide companionship to its human owners, the breed's characteristics have allowed it to be employed in a wide variety of settings. Especially thanks to its cheerful, happy-go-lucky personality and the ease with which it can be trained, this dog does well in jobs that have to do with the public and helping other people; in other words, it makes an excellent pet therapy and assistance dog, helping individuals with physical and emotional disabilities. Havanese have been particularly exceptional as signal, or hearing, dogs.
Hearing dogs are literally the ears of people who are deaf or hearing impaired. There are a variety of organizations that carefully select and specifically train dogs to work with hearing impaired individuals; these dogs are very well trained at signaling to their charges when they hear some important sound, like a doorbell, a telephone, a smoke alarm, an alarm clock, or perhaps the sound of an intruder. [...]
Dog enthusiasts and owners are always looking for new sports for their canine companions. Not only do they wish to show off the intelligence dogs possess in being able to complete complex moves and tasks or navigate through and around complex obstacles, they also wish to find a multitude of outlets in which their dogs can vent their energy and feel like they're performing a "job"; a dog that is mentally and physically occupied and stimulated is a happy dog. Lastly, dog owners are especially in search of activities that will allow them to spend time with their pets and strengthen the human-dog bond. One of the newer sports that has popped up on the dog competition scene and which has been gaining quite a bit of favor is musical canine freestyle. The Havanese can often be seen in this sport; their intelligence and willingness to please their owners make them ideal dance partners. [...]
An overwhelming number of people think very highly of the Havanese breed. Their gentle nature, playfulness and friendliness has earned them respected places in the hearts of many dog owners; it is perhaps one of the most liked of registered breeds. Despite this positive reaction to the breed, though, there have been some complaints about the Havanese, as of course each dog has its negative points and each owner looks for different things in their canine companion.
For one thing, the Havanese becomes EXTREMELY attached to its human owners and wants to be included in all family activities. If you are looking for an independent dog that can entertain itself, this is not the dog for you. What's more, this extreme attachment can lead to the dog's experiencing and expressing separation anxiety; the Havanese demands almost constant human companionship and will be very lonely and unhappy when not with their humans. [...]
Though the Havanese is a relatively new breed in America, it has quite a long history outside the US. It is the national dog of Cuba and this country's only native breed; indeed, it was developed solely in Cuba. The origins of the breed's ancestors are unknown; some say that Spanish sailors brought a dog over from either Spain or Tenerife (one of the Canary Islands), while others claim that Italian traders would often give Bolognese-type dogs as gifts to wealthy Cuban aristocrats to gain their favor and business. It is almost certain that merchants would give Bichon-like dogs to aristocratic Cuban women to try to establish trade connections with the important Cuban families. Whatever its history, it is obvious that the Havanese enjoyed life as an aristocratic canine and even traveled back to Europe to fulfill the role of court companion. [...]
The Havanese breed seems to suffer from a wide variety of health problems, though none of these health problems seems to appear with a high frequency. This is most likely due to the fact that Havanese breeders and enthusiasts have dedicated a great amount of time, effort and research into keeping the gene pool healthy and minimizing the risk of disease development. Indeed, the breed is thought to be relatively healthy and the average lifespan for one of these dogs can be anywhere from 12 to 15 years of age. Heath problems do pop up in the breed, though, some more often than others and some more serious than others. One of the health problems seen occasionally in the Havanese is the liver shunt. [...]
Barbara Walters owns Havanese dogs.
Supermodel Iman and husband David Bowie just recently got a Havanese/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who they named Max.
The Havanese is thought to be a hypoallergenic dog because it does not shed. This is not entirely true, as the dog sheds, but the hair and dander it releases are trapped in its coat. If you suffer from allergies, you should spend some time around a Havanese to see your reaction before you actually bring one home.
The Havanese adapted well to the Cuban environment. His long, silky double coat actually protects him from the heat and the harmful rays of the sun; though it is long, it is very light and soft. His topknot also shields his eyes from the sun. [...]