The Havanese is a small dog that belongs to the Bichon family, originally from the Mediterranean regions and pre-dates the birth of Christ. However, this fluffy dog was develop in Cuba around the eighteenth century and is, in fact, the only indigenous breed of the country. It is though that during the 16th century, Spanish settlers took their dogs with them to Cuba. The breeds they took were uncertain, but it must have been dogs from the Bichon´s family: the Maltese, the Bolognese, the Bichon Frise or even all. With later crosses between them the Havanese was created. Many of these dogs might also have been trading goods that were sold to the richest Cuban families.
Like his closest relatives, the Havanese was always a companion dog, associated with the aristocracy and in Cuba they were no exception as they were the number one pets amongst the richest. In the mid 1900s, with the revolution in Cuba, the upper-classes run away to the EUA and only some of them were able to take their dogs.
Being a companion dog, the lower classes didn´t saw much use in the Havanese. With much little popularity in Cuba and only a few exemplars in the USA, the Havanese was indeed close to extinction. In fact, in the 1970s, when breeders gathered strengths to rebuild this breed, there were only 11 dogs in the country. Most of today´s Havanese are descendent from these few survivors.
Due to the scarcity and singular history, the Havanese grew in popularity and became a trend.


The White Cuban is a small but sturdy dog that should be no taller than 28 cm and weights 3 to 6 kg.
The particular weather conditions in Cuba influenced this dog´s appearance. At first glance we could think that the profuse hair of the Havanese was suited for cold climates, however, he is a perfectly adapted dog to quite hot days. His very light coat, of fine wavy and silky hair, protects him from the sunrays and even the hair over his eyes works for the Havanese as sunglasses. Hence it´s never tied up in a topknot.
Although we are used to see cream colored Havanese, he actually comes in many colors including: black, blue, champagne, chocolate, gold, and silver. In fact, the coat can be solid or a combination of those colors.
The body of this charming dog is slightly longer than tall. The tail is high-set, well feathered and it bends over the back.


The Havanese makes a perfect pet. Exceptional with children, they are very sociable dogs, with low instincts of protection are therefore unsuited for guard dogs, but always alert, they are good watchdogs. In fact, their tendency to bark is not as noticeable as in other Toy breeds. They will alert to a presence of a stranger, but after a couple of plays together he already sees him as family. At first, they can be shy.
They like to be around people but aren´t too possessive of their owners. They go well with other animals, even cats.
They are gentle dogs that become very attached to his family. Maybe because of their long career at the circus, they are very playful and friendly. Being more resistant than other Bichons the Havanese is the ideal company for children.
They are fairly active indoors and not that much outdoors. They don´t need a yard and live happily in an apartment. Because of that, the exercise shouldn´t be neglected. Daily walks or more intense plays in the house will do the trick.
The White Cuban is very intelligent and easy to train. It’s a very sensitive dog that picks up all your tone of voice variations.


The Havanese has a long list of health problems, which doens´t mean that he is a sick dog. Being a fairly healthy breed the diseases are minor concerns for the little Havanese. Some of them are: Patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia, chondrodysplasia, Legg-Perthes, portacaval shunt, heart mumurs and deafness.
The Havanese that doesn’t do shows can have clipped hair to facilitate the maintenance. When long coated, the dog needs frequent brushing and combing. Since their shedding is minimal, the grooming is even more crucial for long coated ones. This breed is relatively rare and very expensive.

Buyers should be suspicious of a cheap dog, since it may not have the proper health cares.