10 Incredible Havanese Facts

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: August 21, 2023
© Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com
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The Havanese dog is a bichon-type dog that has a powerful physique, drooping ears, and a slung tail. Its bouncing movement makes it quite unique. They are a lively breed said to make fantastic pets and companions and are tolerant of most environments. However, the Havanese have high social needs and don’t do very well with too much alone time. Ready to learn more? Here are 10 incredible Havanese facts!

The Havanese is the only canine breed that’s native to Cuba.

1. Their Original Population in the U.S. Was Only 11

Cheerful chocolate sable colored Havanese dog is lying in the grass - Show Champion
Havanese dog in the meadow

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

This bichon family’s first dog was a resident of the Spanish island of Tenerife. Even though some historians doubt this, others assert that this is the origin of all bichon dogs. They sailed from Tenerife to Cuba and immediately spread throughout the entire island. After all, these amiable and devoted canines were beloved by Cubans.

Few wealthy Cubans who fled to the United States during the Cuban Revolution were allowed to take their adorable pets with them. The number of Havanese dogs worldwide in the 1970s was barely 11. One of the most intriguing things to know about Havanese dogs is that, out of the almost 200 dog breeds mentioned, it is currently ranked as one of the top 25 most popular dog breeds in the country.

2. Havanese are Not Good Cold Climate Dogs

A cute lover valentine Havanese boy dog with a red heart isolated on white background
Havanese hair serves as a sunscreen and cooling element

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

Contrary to their long hair, these dogs are not best suited for colder climates. Why, then, do these canines have such long, smooth hair? Since Cuba and Tenerife, where Havanese dogs originated, have tropical climates, their long hair essentially serves as a sunscreen and a cooling element when it gets too hot. Whatever you do, avoid shaving these dogs’ hair in the winter since it will make them very cold.

3. Havanese is The National Dog of Cuba

Playful Havanese puppy dog walking with a red ball in his mouth in the grass
A Havanese playing with a ball on the grass. This type of toy dog breed is the only dog breed entirely native to Cuba.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

The fact that Havanese dogs are Cuba’s national breed shouldn’t come as a surprise. That’s primarily because it’s also the only canine breed that’s native to the nation. These dogs, like the Labradoodle, are also classified as breeds of dogs. It took some time, but in 1996 the American Kennel Club (AKC) finally recognized this breed of dog.

4. They Were Developed From an Extinct Dog Species

Beautiful young Havanese dog is sitting on a gravel forest road in soft light in late summer
Havanese are descendants of two extinct breeds; the Blanquito de la Habana and the Bichon Tenerife.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

Another incredible Havanese fact is that they are a descendant of the now-extinct “Blanquito de la Habana” and the “Bichón Tenerife,” both of which were little, cute canines. The Havanese, commonly known as the “small white dog of Havana,” can be traced back to the original Blanquito de la Habana, the national dog of Cuba. Blanquito descended from the now-extinct Bichón Tenerife. The modern Havanese can be traced back to a hybrid of the Blanquito and the poodle. This means that the ancestry of these dogs includes both Tenerife and Cuba. The Havanese dog today is one of the most adorable and sociable toy breeds.

5. Havanese are Fairly Easy to Train

Beautiful show champion Havanese female dog stands in a snowy park
Havanese make excellent show dogs and are easy to train.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

The ease with which Havanese dogs take to training is one of their many remarkable qualities. So, they can work as assistance dogs, therapy dogs, and even signaling dogs for deaf people. They are great performers and do very well in dog sports, including agility, flyball, melodic canine freestyle, and obedience training.

6. They Are Some of the Most Social Dogs in the World

Havanese (Canis familiaris) - puppy with ball in mouth
Havanese dogs are like velcro to their owners. They are loyal and devoted and experience separation anxiety very easily.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

Easily one of the most incredible facts about Havanese dogs is how loyal they are. In fact, make sure you don’t mind having a tail behind you all the time if you decide to have a Havanese dog as a pet! When you move around the house, this “velcro” dog experiences what is known as “separation anxiety,” which makes them immediately fear that they will be left behind. On the plus side, this implies that these dogs also rank among the world’s top companions. Because of their bond to their owner, they are incredibly lovable and devoted.

7. Their Separation Anxiety Can Take Extreme Forms

Havanese (Canis familiaris) - laying in grass
The Havanese is not the type of dog you leave home alone all day while you go off to work. If you cannot be with them most of the time, avoid them as a breed altogether.

©Sandra Huber/Shutterstock.com

A Havanese dog should not be left alone for an extended period. The fact that Havanese dogs are completely unsuited to spending numerous hours each day at home alone is one of the most crucial things to know about them. This means that if you are unable to spend nearly every hour of the day with them, you should probably avoid getting this breed of dog.

8. They Have a Particular Type of Walk

funny small havanese is running on a stubble field
Havanese dogs have a unique, springy gait due to their strong back legs and short front limbs.

©Bianca Grueneberg/Shutterstock.com

One of the most amazing things about Havanese dogs is that they can be immediately identified by their “springy” gait, which is brought on by the fact that they have strong rear legs and relatively short upper limbs. As a result, rather than just walking, Havanese dogs seem to be bouncing.

9. Havanese are Very Curious, Active Dogs

Havanese (Canis familiaris) - standing on log
Havanese dogs enjoy being active, exploring, and doing activities with their owners.

©Sandra Huber/Shutterstock.com

One of the most incredible Havanese facts is that they are some of the most active and inquisitive animals on the globe. They enjoy exploring and having fun while accompanying their owner, whom they follow everywhere they can.

10. They Are Often Called by Different Names

Havanese (Canis familiaris) -standing against white background
The Havanese dog is also referred to as Havanese Cuban Bichon, Bichón Havanés, Havaneser, Havanezer, and Bichon Habanero.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

They do have a wide variety of other names, so all of these can refer to the Havanese dog: Havanese Cuban Bichon, Bichón Havanés, Havaneser, Havanezer, Bichon Habanero. These dogs are also sometimes referred to with the same alternative name as their predecessor, the Blanquito de la Habana, which was referred to as the “Havana Silk Dog.”

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havanese_dog
  2. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/havanese/
  3. Puppies Club, Available here: https://puppiesclub.com/havanese-dogs/