Back in late 1990 when I took my beloved Labrador Retriever, Gypsy, to my veterinarian of 10 years, I told him I wanted a little tiny dog that didn't shed but had Gypsy's temperament. He told me then that I wanted a Havanese. I asked "a Hava-what?" I had never heard of the breed before. Dr. Clark put me in touch with one of his clients, Diane Robinson, who bred both Havanese and Yorkshire Terriers and was a good friend of Dorothy Goodale, the woman that got the Havanese breed started in the United States when she obtained fourteen Havanese from different Cuban families that had immigrated to the United States during the sixties.

Now that the Havanese are becoming more well known, people are finding out how versatile this little dog really is (they're not just eye candy), something that we lucky Havanese owners have known for years. For example:

  • Excellent therapy and emotional support dogs. In fact, after a recent study in England, they were named top breed for an emotional support animal (click here to read article)
  • Perfect for families or retired people because they love doing and being whatever their people want them to do and be (which is why they are often referred to as "Velcro dogs").
  • Happy living in a home with a fenced-in back yard to run and play or in an apartment or condo, going on walks, keeping pace with their owner. If you are more of a couch potato, they can get their exercise while you sit and watch tv and play fetch with a soft toy tossed down the hall. Mine will even throw it back into my lap!
  • Awesome agility and obedience dogs because they are intelligent, easily trained, people pleasers, can turn on a dime, and run really fast.
  • About as hypoallergenic as a dog can be in that they have hair, not fur, and do not have dander. Havanese do not shed any more than you or I do (dead hair comes out with brushing rather than being left all over you, the furniture, or the carpet).
  • Havanese can be acrobatic entertainers and if they notice you laughing at their antics, it just encourages them to do more. Cookie did back flips!

Those of us who are lucky enough to be loved by a Havanese have a saying: "Havanese are like potato chips -- you can't have just one." There is nothing more fun to watch than two or three Havanese racing around the yard playing chase. And when you are winding down for the evening, they will cuddle all over and around you and give you their unconditional love. There ain't nuthin' better than that!

Paw here for a brief history about the Havanese breed. Paw here for the Havanese standard and what they should look and act like.