Heidiâ€™s Happy Havanese Romeo The Havanese is a small and sturdy dog, and part of the Bichon family of breeds. This family also includes the Bichon Frise and the Maltese. They are just slightly longer than tall with untrimmed wavy hair. The Havanese has traditionally been a family pet in their native country of Cuba. In fact, for many years, the Havanese was the traditional lap dog of Cuban aristocracy. Throughout the years, this breed has also been used to herd poultry. They are recognizable for their especially springy gait in walking. This gait is caused by the fact that their front legs are slightly shorter than their hind legs. The Havanese is a toy dog, so they are quite small, though they don't appear fragile or delicate. Their eyes are set high on their heads and are dark brown and almond shaped. Their ears are of medium length and when extended, reach halfway to the nose. They are set high up and are folded and broad at the base. The rims around their eyes and lips should be black, except in a true chocolate dog. Their muzzles are fairly short and their noses are broad with a square shape. They typically have a scissors bite. Their necks are moderately long and arch slightly. They have a deep chest and a high set tail with a plume of long hair that arcs forward over their backs. The tail does not curl completely around, but rests naturally above and slightly over the back. The Havanese has very well boned and muscular legs with round feet. These dogs have a double coat that is designed to protect them from the tropical heat. It is light and soft in texture, and should never be wiry. They have long hair over their eyes, and unlike other toy dogs this hair is never gathered up in a topknot, as it is also part of their unique heat fighting design.
Coat Description Havanese come in three coat types - smooth, curly and wavy, which is the preferred type. Their coat grows to about 6-8 inches in length and has a pearly sheen. Their coat is thick, but light since it is designed to act as a sunshade. It is not protective from the cold. The hair has a very silky feel and hardly sheds. Hair should never be coarse. The Havanese requires regular brushing to prevent tangling, unless you decide to keep it short. While the Havanese hardly sheds, they do collect dander in their fur. For this reason, even though they are considered hypoallergenic, some people with severe allergies can still react to the Havanese coat. The short coated Havanese is considered a mutation, and is not recognized by any breed registries. These cannot be shown or bred, but are perfectly healthy for house pets. Havanese with these short coats, however, do shed, and are not considered hypoallergenic. The original Havanese Silk dogs were all white, but today's Havanese can be found in any color, including gold, cream, white, silver, blue and black. Some dogs are tri or parti-colored, as well. A preferred color in North America is chocolate. In order to qualify as a chocolate Havanese, the dog must have at least a one inch patch of chocolate colored hair. For years, chocolate and
black Havanese were not recognized in Europe, but today all colors are recognized all over the world.
Health Problems Havanese are prone to a variety of Health Problems. They are particularly prone to Cataracts, and these often develop before the dogs have reached a truly advanced age. They often have dry skin and can require treatment to prevent severe itching. We have never had this problem. I use Human Shampoo & Conditioner for dry, permed, or colored hair. It has worked for me here in the Pacific NW. They are also prone to patellar luxation and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. PRA is a genetic, inherited disease of the retina (the "film" in the camera), which occurs in both eyes simultaneously. The disease is not painful, and there is no cure for it. The eyes are genetically programmed to go blind. Most Havanese that develop PRA do so later in life, but it can be found at earlier ages as well. The first signs of PRA include poor vision at night or during low light conditions.
Training The Havanese is very intelligent and eager to please. These two qualities make them quite easy to train. They are eager to do tricks to entertain you, so once you've completed the basics of training, they'll be eager to learn some fun tricks. They have an exceptionally good sense of smell and will love to play games of "find" where you hide an object and they hunt it down. Your Havanese should be very easy to house train, as they will quickly understand your displeasure when they use the bathroom indoors. Because of their size and sensitivity to the cold, many owners choose to paper train their Havanese if they live in a very cold climate. This allows them to avoid sending the dog outside in cold weather and snow. Whichever method of house training you choose will work well with a Havanese.
For more information please visit our website http://www.heidishappyhavanese.com/