Havana dog from Cuba

It seems that every country has its own history when it comes to dogs and which dogs become the kind of dog that thrives in that country. Cuba is no exception, as it is the birthplace of the Havanese. Although the Havanese most likely descended from the Spanish settlers in Cuba centuries ago as descendants of the Bichon Barbichon of southern Spain, after many years of development it became apparent that the dog was destined to become a unique breed. Since at first it seemed that many of these small toy dogs had a characteristic coat color – dark brown, similar to the color of a cigar, it is assumed that the name “Havana” comes from the name “Havana Brown”, which is the first known name for the dog. Eventually this name was popularized and became the name “Havanese” and it is under this name that the dog is now recognized as the AKC breed.

This little dog looks a lot like the Bichon Frize. However, the coat color can be any, while the bichon is always white. The coat of the Havanese is long and shaggy, and show ring standards dictate that the coat must not be sheared, altered or tampered with. The coat is double. However, since this is a breeding that has lived in the tropics for years, the double coat is not “harsh” or woolly, but soft and silky in appearance and texture, rather like a single coat. The guard hairs of the integumentary hair are long and rather wavy. The AKC also allows mature havanese to be shown in braided coats. Lacing hair is naturally formed if, as the dog matures, the coat is allowed to separate into individual pieces of fur, which over time gradually twine around itself (usually with human intervention) and turn into cords. This type of coat is rarely seen on the Havanese pet as it takes a lot of patience to train the coat in this way. The head is covered with a beard and long hair that covers the eyes. It is believed that this long coat protects the dog’s eyes from the scorching Cuban sun, and therefore it has become a tradition for this breed to leave the coat free to fall over the eyes, rather than collecting it back into a bun. Havanese are not large dogs, the height at the withers should not be more than 11 and a half inches, the minimum is 8 inches.

This little dog should be cheerful and happy in appearance and, of course, have an appropriate temperament. This is a dog that has been used for centuries as a pet, as well as a shepherd and protector of the family chicken herd, and it does this task quite well. This is an active breed, and it is not one of those who are silent for a long time, like some little lapdogs. This little dog is quite smart and good at tricks, and also excels in ring sports such as obedience, agility and flyball.

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