Welcome to Breed Basics where each week we will highlight a breed of dog to assist clients in finding the canine companion best suited to their lifestyle. We encourage potential pet owners to responsibly research dog breeds prior to purchase or adoption. If there is a breed you are considering, or are simply curious about, and would like our assistance in your research, please let us know, we would be happy to help!
This week’s featured breed – Havanese
The Havanese belongs to a group of dogs called Bichons or Bichon Frise, which means “fleecy dog” or “curly lap dog” in French. The Havanese originated in Cuba where its’ relative was the Blanquito de la Habana or the Havanese Silk Dog, which is now extinct. The Havanese Silk Dogs were first brought to Cuba during the 17th century from Europe and adapted well to the climate in Cuba. Then, in the 19th century, the Havanese Silk Dog was bred with French and German poodles, which is how they got the Havanese as it is today. The Havanese was only brought to the United States during the 1960’s when some Cubans started immigrating here. In the 1970’s, Mrs. Goodale, a breeder in the US, found a few families who had brought their Havanese with them from Cuba and began breeding them here and, in essence, saved the breed. Most Havanese are extremely healthy and can live 14 to 15 years. With old age, however, comes some medical problems such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, luxating patellas, unilateral and bilateral deafness, and dry skin. Havanese are only 8 – 11 inches at the shoulder and weigh 7 – 13 pounds. They do require exercise, like all dogs, but can be fine in an apartment or with a small yard. They are meant to be inside with their people most of the time anyway because they are natural companion dogs. The Havanese is a gentle, responsive, intelligent dog who loves children and becomes very attached to their family. They are easy to train and are very responsive to their owner’s tone of voice.
Ask us at Animal Central for more information on the Havanese or visit: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/havanese.htm
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff