The Havanese Breed
Havanese puppies are intelligent, curious, and playful. This breed thrives on companionship and adores children.
The Havanese are good watch dogs who will alert their family to danger or visitors. They will look to their family for reassurance before welcoming strangers. Once they befriend someone, they are friends for life. The Havanese is a highly devoted breed. They are at their best in the family environment and do not like to be left alone for extended periods of time. They get along very well with children and other pets.
The Havanese are neither aggressive nor timid and do not exhibit a possessive nature. They truly have an endearing personality that makes them a lovely house pet.
Following the French, Cuban and Russian revolutions, the Havanese were almost extinct. Now rare in Cuba, the breed has been facing a crisis through the 1900s, but is presently on the rise in popularity, having some dedicated believers in the breed who are actively campaigning for its preservation in the USA. This dog belongs to the family of dogs called Bichons. The French word Bichon Frise means “fleecy dog” or “curly lap dog.” “Bichon” refers to the bearded appearance of the breed, as the word “barbican” means little beard, while the word “Frise” means curly.
The Bichon Havanese originated in Cuba from an earlier breed known as Blanquito de la Habana (also called Havanese Silk Dog—a now extinct breed). The Bichon Havanese adorned and enlivened the homes of aristocratic Cubans during the 18th and 19th centuries. Bichon lapdogs were being brought to Cuba in 17th-century from Europe; they adapted to climate and customs of Cuba. Eventually, these conditions gave birth to a different dog, smaller than its predecessors, with a completely white coat of a silkier texture. This dog was the Blanquito de la Habana. In the 19th century, the Cubans took to liking the French and German Poodles, which were crossed with the existing Blanquito to create today’s Bichon Havanese. In the development of the Havanese, the Blanquito was much more dominant than the Poodle.
The Bichon Havanese originated in the 19th century. It was continually bred in Cuba all through the 20th century (1900-1999) and was the preferred pet for Cuban families. Breeding the Havanese in the USA only started in the 1970s. In the 1960s many Cubans migrated to the USA. Most Cuban refugees settled in Florida and some brought their pets (Havanese).