Breeders, keepers, importers and lovers of Havanese dogs

About Havanese

The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family, which also includes the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese, the Coton de Tulear, the Maltese, and the Lowchen. It is believed that these little dogs share a common ancestor, the Barbet, a water spaniel. The Barbet eventually gave rise to the Barbichon, from which the various Bichon breeds descended.

Documentation about the development of the Havanese is a combination of fact, historical speculation, and legend. Sources do generally agree that Italy and Spain were both probably instrumental in bringing the Havanese to the new world.

This adorable breed boasts the distinction of being the Cuban national dog breed.

In 1996 the Havanese gained recognition by the AKC and was added to the "Toy Group." 

Although the Havanese is new to the AKC and CKC, the breed has been in existence in it's native Cuba for centuries as a treasured family pet, Bred to play with children in the courtyards of aristrocratic cubans. Through the years, the Havanese has been bred for companionship

A hypo-allergenic Toy breed, the Havanese ranges in height from 23 to 27cms. He has large, dark and appealing eyes. The non-shedding coat is long, soft, straight to wavy, and like human hair, is odourless when wet. The breed comes in a rainbow of colours, from white to shades of cream, champagne, gold, black, blue, silver, chocolate or any combination of these. The plumed tail is carried over the back.

FCI Havanese Standard No 250 dated 5 May 19988 Effective in Australia from 1 January 2000 

Havanese at Work


Because of the cheerful and readily trained nature, they are used for a variety of jobs involving the public, including:

  • Therapy dogs
  • Assistance dogs, such as signal dogs for the hearing impaired.
  • Performing dogs
  • Mould and termite detection
  • Tracking

Havanese also compete in a variety of dog sports, such as

  • Dog agility
  • Flyball
  • Musical canine freestyle
  • Obedience training