The Havanese dog was bred as a companion dog to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s. This highly people-oriented breed is energetic and lively that often perform a number of functions beyond a lapdog, from serving as a therapy dog to appearing in circus shows. The origin of this thick and long coated breed can be traced back to the companion dogs of the Spanish settlers that claimed Cuba in the late 15th century. These dogs, the ancestors of the Bichon breed family, interbred and formed into the Havanese breed we know today. While being popular among many aristocratic Cuban families and then becoming trendy in Europe in the mid 1800s, this affectionate breed almost became extinct in the 1950s around the time of the Cuban Revolution. Just 11 dogs were brought to America at the time, which can now account for the vast majority of the Havanese population outside of Cuba today.
Havanese dogs thrive on human interaction to such a level that they are commonly referred to as “Velcro dogs”. Exposure to socialization as a young puppy helps Havanese dogs develop into both a confident and playful family pet. However, this breed’s reliance on interaction sees them suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. Their thick, often curly coat can require regular grooming when kept long. While often being content with sitting on your lap watching the day go by, the Havanese dog has a lot of energy to burn and requires a considerable amount of exercise each day. This entertaining breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1995, and is now the 22nd most popular breed.
The Havanese dog has boasted some famous owners - Joan Rivers, Venus Williams and Ernest Hemingway, to name a few.
Explore some Embark dogs that share Havanese ancestry.