There might not be a friendlier breed of dog than the Havanese. Once brought into a family, this small companion breed is world-famous for its ability to shower love on children, strangers, and even a cat or two. A Havanese is loyal to a fault, sticking by their owner’s side through thick and thin.
That much love can be a wonderful thing to experience. It also means that many Havanese experience separation anxiety when their owners leave and the dog stays at home. This can lead to challenging behaviors, such as urinating on the carpet or tearing holes into the furniture.
Havanese are very intelligent, trainable dogs that make excellent service and therapy companions. They have a sense of humor, a ton of energy, and a lot of quirks to their personality.
To purchase a purebred Havanese, expect to pay at least $1,000 for a puppy. The location of the dog and whether it is registered with American Kennel Club or another breed registration association will also influence the cost. For a Havanese that is fully papered with full lineage and registration, the price may fall between $1,500-$2,000.
What You Need to Know About the Havanese Personality
Although the biggest problem that faces the Havanese is separation anxiety, most dogs will outgrow this issue within a year or two. What they do not outgrow is the breed’s habit of coprophagia, or a desire to eat their own stools.
Owning a Havanese means picking up their stools immediately so this habit doesn’t form into a permanent routine. Havanese are also susceptible to restrictive confinement and isolation, which encourages them to engage in this habit with greater frequency.
What is nice about owning a Havanese is that this breed is very adaptable. They can live in small apartments or large houses with big yards. They are highly protective of their space, however, and tend to bark out warnings whenever they hear an unfamiliar noise. That can make it somewhat challenging to own this breed in a densely populated building.
Expect a Havanese to want a long walk every day and the opportunity to sit on a high perch, like a couch, to interact with the world. They may be smaller dogs, but they have great big hearts.
What Is the History of the Havanese?
The Havanese is a breed that was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996. There are 16 colors recognized within the breed and 8 specific marking types. It is the only native canine breed that is associated with Cuba and is the island nation’s national dog.
During the Colonial Era of the 16th century, when many from Spain began seeking a new life in the New World, their companion dogs came along for the ride. These companion dogs were likely the first in the Bichon family.
For the settlers that came to Cuba, island life was isolating. No other outside canine influences came to the island, especially after restrictions were placed on trade and travel to the island by Spain. Many of the unique attributes of the Havanese are attributed to the hot sunshine and other conditions the dogs faced while living in Cuba.
For a time in the 19th century, Havanese became extremely popular in Europe. Then their popularity began to wane and by the turn of the 20th century, this breed was virtually extinct. Only a few families in Cuba maintained the bloodlines for this breed. In 1959, about a dozen Havanese were taken to the United States as people scattered off the island due to the Cuban Revolution.
In the next decade, Americans would fall in love with the funny and quirky Havanese. Breeding and conservation programs were started to preserve the breed, which led to its official recognition before the turn of the 21st century.
Almost every living Havanese can trace its ancestry to the dogs which escaped the Cuban Revolution.
Havanese Cost of Ownership
Havanese are dogs that are generally healthy, but they can be susceptible to hip or elbow dysplasia. They are happiest when they get to spend time with their owners, especially when performing a high-energy activity.
Grooming must be part of the daily routine. Even if the hair is clipped short, as most owners prefer, regular brushing is required. Those long, silky hairs are going to cover your rugs and carpet at home every day too.
There is a certain eagerness to please within this breed. They are an excellent family dog and worth the high average price of a Havanese puppy.