About Havanese
About Havanese
Breed Description

Breed Registries: Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) - Toy

American Kennel Club (AKC) - Toy Group

United Kennel Club (UKC) - Companion Breeds

The Kennel Club [U.K.] (KC) - Toys

Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) * - Standard No. 250

Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is the World Canine Organisation, which includes members (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 332 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Origin: Western Mediterranean basin, development : Cuba.
Height: 8½ to 11½ inches (22-29 cm)
The ideal height is between 9 and 10½ inches.
Weight: 7 to 13 lbs (3-6 kg)
A Brief History:
The Havanese (Habaneros in Spanish and also known as the Bichon Havanais) is a member of the Bichon family. The breed originated in the Western Mediterranean region and developed along the Spanish and Italian coastal regions. It is believed that the Havenese's ancestors were brought to Cuba aboard trade ships sailing from the island of Tenerife. The Havanese is the National Dog of Cuba and its only native breed.

By the mid-eighteenth century the breed was popular in Europe and type was well established. With the Cuban revolution, those Cubans who owned Havanese were among the first to leave the country and with that, a few ended up in the United States. By the 1970s, the gene pool was being rebuilt and today, all Havanese, except those who remained in Cuba, stem from 11 immigrant dogs.

The Havanese's traditional role was that of a family companion, playmate, watchdog and herder of poultry.

For further reading on the history of the Havanese breed, see:

Havanese History — From the Havanese Club of America
Breed Profile:

Today the Havanese is bred primarily as a family companion. He is a happy, outgoing, pleasant and affectionate little dog. He is also exceptionally bright and easily trained. He is very devoted to his family and loves children.

Even though the Havanese is classified as a Toy breed, he is not a tiny, fragile dog, but rather robust, muscular and very athletic with great stamina. Most Havanese take naturally to the water and love to swim. They also do very well in Agility.

In appearance, the Havanese has a unique lively, elegant, springy gait which gives the impression of agility. His expression is mischievous and intelligent with large, dark, almond-shaped eyes.

The Havanese's coat is non-shedding, long, soft and wispy with curls at the ends. He comes in white, cream, champagne, gold, blue, black, silver, chocolate, or any combination of these colours. The coat is profuse but extremely light and soft which was the reason for the breed's original names: Havana Silk Dog or Spanish Silk Poodle. Although the coat is very warm looking, it developed as a barrier from the tropical sun and overheating.


If you are considering the adoption of a Havanese puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have breed appropriate health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)