It is the national dog of Cuba which is the only native breed that came to Cuba from Spain in the early 1500s via Tenerife in the Canary Islands, the “islands of the dogs.” It shares lineage with the bichon. Though they are a toy breed, Havanese are strong and not delicate. The Havanese is a member of the bichon family of dogs.

Bred as a companion dog to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s, they’ve earned the nickname “Velcro dog” because they stick so closely to their owner’s side.

Intelligent and eager to learn, these dogs tend to learn quickly.  The breed manages well with people of all ages and can adapt to any size home.

A female stands between 8 1/2 and 11 1/2 inches tall, while a male weighs 7 to 13 pounds.

They’ve worked as therapy and assistance dogs, sniffed out mold and termites, and shown off their clownish antics, and are quite trainable.

For the family looking to compete, the Havanese will happily tackle such sports as agility, freestyle, obedience, and flyball because they have a surprising amount of energy..

The Havanese needs several short walks a day and at least one or two long walks.

If the coat is long, you should brush it at least once or twice a week.

One drawback is that the Havanese can take longer to housebreak and sometimes suffer from separation anxiety.

The coat is soft, silky, and long.

Havanese coats should feel incredibly soft, almost like silk (compared to Maltese coats which feel refined).

Havanese are quiet dogs in general. There is little barking, or growling.  They will announce their excitement when you come home or a stranger visits, but once you  or your guests are in and properly greeted, they will quickly settle down.

A Havanese should not be left alone all day.  If you have to leave them alone for a long time, make sure that you keep an eye out for signs of stress such as barking, chewing, digging etc.

These dogs with strong attachment issues are referred to as velcro dogs by their owners because they follow family members everywhere.

Most are 10 to 20 lb (4.5 to 7.3 kg) and 8+ 1⁄2 to 11+ 1⁄2 in (22 to 29 cm), with the ideal being 9 to 10+ 1⁄2 in (23 to 27 cm) at the withers.

The tail is carried over the back in an arched position.

Havanese suffer primarily from luxating patella , liver disease, heart disease, cataracts retinal dysplasia Havanese sometimes tear and may develop brown tear stains which is especially noticeable on white or light coats.

CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

This provides an outstanding research tool for performing searches on individual dogs and also links health testing results of the dog’s related pedigree information (parent, offspring, and sibling), when those related dogs have been health tested.

Breeding a healthy Havanese litter of sound temperament and correct type can be one of life’s truly rewarding experiences.

The Havanese has a long coat that is silky to the touch.

They can come in any color but the most common colors include black, white, fawn, mahogany, tobacco and Havana brown.

They have a coat that will naturally cord or it can also be trained to cord.

The Havanese is a high maintenance dog and does require daily grooming if kept in full coat.

Havanese in need of homes can be found at your local animal shelter or rescue group. You can find a dog online with the help of rescue groups.

A Havanese Club of America organization is affiliated with the Angel League.