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The Havanese Breed


First and foremost, the Havanese love to be with you. Even when playing with each other, they will always come and find you to see what is happening…and for a quick cuddle.

The breed is always busy with something, beit ensuring that the home is safe from would be intruders, checking to see where they left their toys, finding out what the cats are doing or playing with anyone who will play and this always includes children and even toddlers.

As you can see by the photos on this site,  the Havanese have lots of coat, which takes daily care to ensure it is healthy and mat free. Therefore, grooming every day is a must, but this isn’t hard work and is a relaxing time for both of you. It is really important that you start your grooming routine from the very day your Havanese puppy comes home so that he will know what is expected of him.

The Havanese really try to do the right thing so it is up to you to show him what you want from him and once he knows, he will do his best to get it right.

Many new owners make the mistake of treating their gorgeous new puppies as children. Be warned. This will only end in a dog with awful manners who thinks it owns everything and an unhappy family not sure what went wrong.

Monty being a dog!

Your Havanese might be little, he is certainly cute, but he is a dog and should be treated like one. Sleeping in the bed with you is a big no from day one; eating out of a plate with good quality raw food is a must; taking the bones from them so they know you are the alpha in the pack, praised and bones given back so they know you are a fair alpha and will share your food with them; being taken for walks on lead so they stay fit and healthy and of course, lots of cuddles when you are ready for them not when your puppy demands them.

These are all little things, however are so important to the wellbeing of your dog and you and your family.

Havanese have a brain and need to use it, so give him lots of challenges – hide his toys and let him find them; make him sit and wait for his food; take him to obedience classes so you both know what to do and love him as much as he loves you.

Havanese are a joy to own and make everyday just that little bit brighter.

Havanese Temperament

Dorothy Goodale, the lady primarily responsible for restoring the Havanese breed wrote this description of them:

“What is a Havanese? He is the light of my life, the sun in my morning, the most charming and discreet of beggars at my table. He will play the clown when I am sad…never failing to charm the smile right out of me, talk to me, be my most enthusiastic traveling companion with the most exemplary of manners. His personality has as many facets as a priceless gem. What more can I say? He is a Havanese!”

The Havanese is truly one of the most delightful of all small breeds!

They are natural companion dogs. The Havanese become extremely attached to their human family members. In fact, they thrive on the affection, attention, and companionship of “their” people. Because of their need for attachment, they do not fair well when left alone for long periods. Havanese need to be with their family and are not “the breed of choice” for those who must be away from home all day.

The Havanese are “indoor-dogs.” Life in a yard, patio, or kennel is highly unsuitable for this breed. Their compact size makes the Havanese an appropriate choice for apartment dwellers.

Havanese are active indoors and are able to get a lot of exercise by just running around and playing inside the house. However, they do need daily walks or romps outdoors to thrive.

Many Havanese are good swimmers and love to play in the water. Given the opportunity and supervision, swimming also can be an excellent way to exercise for this breed

Playful, yet gentle and responsive, the Havanese are excellent with children. Younger children should, nevertheless, be supervised to be sure that the appropriately gentle playfulness is reciprocated.

Havanese are friendly, but discriminating. Their alert demeanour and the close relationships that they form with their human family members make them good “watch dogs.” They will bark to announce that someone is approaching. Then, taking their cues from family, they will join in welcoming a guest. As they grow older, Havanese can be somewhat aloof with strangers, preferring to make friends with visitors in their own time.

Cheerful and sociable, the Havanese get along well with other dogs and pets, including cats. They tend to be easy going with a sweet, non-quarrelsome disposition.

Exceptionally bright, the Havanese learn quickly and are easy to train. They are eager to please and very responsive to positive, gentle training methods. Sensitive to voice inflections, the Havanese find harsh tones upsetting.

Havanese are natural show-offs and clowns. They love to entertain and enjoy being the centre of attention. In this regard, these intelligent little dogs are ideal companions for learning and performing tricks.

AKC’s (American Kennel Club) Standard for the Havanese captures the essence of the breed in a statement actually directed to describe their appearance: “His duties traditionally have been those of companion, watch dog, child’s playmate and herder of the family poultry flock. His presentation in the show ring should reflect his function – always in excellent condition but never so elaborately coifed as to preclude an impromptu romp in the leaves, as his character is essentially playful rather than decorative.”

Sandy Schneider, author, writes on a variety of subjects of interest to dog owners and fanciers.