The Havanese dog is an alert, intelligent, energetic, loving, and playful dog who wants to be part of everything related to its family.
The Havanese dog is one of seven bichon breeds. The others are:
- Bichon frize
- Coton de Tulear
Our ancestors are water dogs in the Mediterranean, so we share similarities with them. However, the Bichon breeds were bred as smaller varieties of companion dogs.
It is often said that what the Havanese dog lacks in size, we make up for in personality. We are loyal, devoted dogs who love animals and people, including children. We also have an infinite obsession with water due to our ancestral relation with water dogs.
Versatile and easy to train
First and foremost, the Havanese dogs are companion dogs. Still, we also have the qualities needed to assert ourselves in various dog sports, such as agility and freestyle.
Some also use us in trackwork, while others train us to become therapy dogs or service dogs for people with disabilities.
What makes this versatility possible is the breed's ability to learn quickly.
Giving a Havanese dog plenty of praise (positive reinforcement) will make it relatively easy to teach us new commands and tricks.
Mental stimuli just as important as physical activity
Do not be fooled by our modest size. We are active dogs that require long walks and love new experiences.
We don't by any means require as much physical activity as a Border Collie or a Siberian husky. It is just as vital that we are stimulated mentally, for example, through play and tasks.
By the way, we are very attached to our humans, so we prefer not to venture far from them. Since we do not have a hunting instinct, we are unlikely to run away if we sense something of interest.
However, some individuals may contain shepherd instinct and will therefore keep our herd of humans gathered.
The Havanese dogs are known to be social beings who quickly become friends with humans, dogs, and other pets.
People living in city apartments can have a Havanese dog, as they quickly adapt to the urban lifestyle.
Hates to be alone for long periods
Havanese dogs have a reputation for having loud dogs. That's true, but it's not like we're barking continuously 24 hours a day.
On the contrary, we are usually relatively quiet. We like to bark only when something abnormal happens, for example, if someone rings the doorbell.
As long as safe and at home, I will not bother neighbors with loud barking due to separation anxiety; I will mostly try to sleep it off.
With that being said, we do not like to be alone. Most of all, we want to have people around us all the time, so if we are left to ourselves for too long, we can become restless, which is when we become naughty.
Remember that there are often differences between each individual and that the result you get usually depends on how you train me.
Healthy breed with a long life expectancy
If you are considering getting a Havanese dog, you should be prepared for the dog to be with you for more than a decade. On average, we live between 14-15 years and generally have good health.
Though, we are a little more prone to ear infections compared to other dog breeds. This has to do with our fur and our ears, which hang down.
Some individuals may also get the relatively common eye disease progressive retinal atrophy, which attacks the cells in the retina. Fortunately, this rarely happens.
We can also have dental problems such as tartar, but this can be prevented by regular dental care.
Does not shed but requires a lot of care
The Havanese dog has a long, beautiful coat that is both light and airy, protecting us from heat.
Our coat is not particularly water- or dust-repellent, so the coat requires some maintenance. Fortunately, we do not shed, so you will not have your inventory covered in hair.
The coat must be brushed through regularly (several times a week) and bathed every other week. If you want a short-haired Bichon Havanese, you have to take it to a dog groomer or cut it yourself.
In short: if you want a dog that isn't high maintenance, we are not the right breed for you.
Did you know that:
- We have been used as circus dogs due to our solid ability to cooperate and enjoy learning new things?
- We are Cuba's national dog?
- We like to seek out heights to get an overview?
- We love paper? (watch the drying roller)