The Havanese, known as 'The National Dog of Cuba' belongs to the Bichon breed of dogs. Originally, the breed was brought into Cuba from Spain and was referred to at that time as the "Havana Silk Dog", or "The Spanish Silk Poodle".
Through the years, the Cubans took a particular liking to the German and French Poodles, and by crossing the Poodles with the Silk Dogs at the time, they created what is known today as the Bichon Havanese.
The breed has faced extinction more than once throughout its long history, yet thankfully through the efforts of some very dedicated breeders, the Havanese have survived.
The breed appears to have a beard, which is where the name Bichon comes from; it is French for a bearded-like appearance. They have soft, dark eyes, medium sized ears, and generally a black nose.
Their markings and color schemes are beautiful, and their colors can be either one solid color or a combination of two, or even three colors; of black, blue, chocolate, cream, fawn, gold, silver, white, and brindle.
They also adorn a long, silky coat with a curled up tail. These are small dogs that range anywhere from 8 -11 inches in height and weigh 7-13 pounds.
When it comes to the temperament of the Havanese, they are a tried and true lap dog. They thoroughly enjoy cuddling. They also have a very happy-go-lucky type personality, and these very sociable little creatures absolutely love playing with people and other animals as well. One of this breeds' favorite games seems to be the game of hide and go seek.
For instance, they rather enjoy using their paws to fetch items like their toys from underneath furniture and such. Socializing is very important for this type of breed, for example taking them out for regular walks, or out to the park, and getting them used to being around other people and animals is very important, as they do have a tendency to be somewhat shy and apprehensive around strangers.
Something else to keep in mind with the Havanese breed is that they do need attention on a regular basis. In other words, they adore companionship and if they are left alone for too long a time they can become rather lonely or downhearted, and may take their aggressions out by chewing items in the household destructively or through excessive barking.
Regardless, they are a very bright, intelligent breed, and can be trained rather easily. With their adorable charm and outgoing personalities they are a sheer pleasure to have about your home. There are so many varieties to choose from, and the hard part in choosing a particular Havanese seems to be that many people only have room for one dog and you'll want them all when choosing from a litter!
One look at a Havanese and it is easy to see why breeders have worked so diligently to keep this breed going.