Communist smuggling that reached democracy: meet the Havanese. For long the best kept Cuban secret, the Havanese or Havana Silk Dog comes from the same family as the Maltese and the Bichon Frise, but is more colored.

A small, short legged, Bichon-type dog, the Havanese is robust under its profuse and soft coat. The Havanese is between 22 and 29 cm (25 to 35 cm for the FCI) without variation, and has a typical hop movement. It shouldn’t seem square, but longer than tall. Short fore and hind legs, although it shouldn’t seem too short either. The head is medium sized, and proportional to the body. The eyes, large, dark, almond shaped, are the window to the Havanese’s should, revealing its affectionate, gentle and cheerful nature. The expression depends greatly in the eye’s shape and color. Small eyes, round or little pigmented, are incorrect. The upper line is straight, slightly ascending over the rump. The neck, moderate in length; the thorax well rounded; the feet compact and well arched; the tail high inserted carried curled over the back with a long, silky plume. The Havanese has a soft coat and undercoat, varying from straight to curly. The curly hair can cord; a wavy coat is desirable. The hair should never be trimmed, except for the feet, which should be kept clean. The adult hair can reach 15 to 20 cm in length. The color varies from pure white to cream, champagne, golden, black, silver, chocolate tonalities or any combination in these (including parti-colored and tricolored). The FCI does not admit black, parti-color and tricolor. An adult weighs between 3.5 and 6.5 kg.
WHO IS the HAVANESE Appropriate FOR
The Havanese embodies the happy dog, “puppy for life”. The breed needs human contact and is very domestic. It doesn’t smell and doesn’t lose hair: allergic people are perfect candidates. The Havanese is reliable without leash, quickly educated, and stands out in obedience competition. Well socialized and introduced to new people and environments, the Havanese is gentle and content. By instinct, it gets along with every kid in the planet, but can be shy and reserved around strange adults. Although the Havanese is easy to educate at home, it has unexpected skills outside of it: they are great swimmers and love water; they can herd small animals (or small children); and can learn many tricks.
Are you allergic to cigar smoke? The Havanese kindly offers its services. Without shedding and perfectly hypoallergenic, the Havanese is very obliging – and also prefers non smokers.
HAVANESE Growth and DEVELOPMENT             
The Havanese puppy requires soft handling and protection. An eight week puppy can weigh one kilo. Eight weeks is the minimum age to change owners. The buyer should avoid timid puppies, as well as litters with too much common blood. The puppy’s hair turns into adult at around eight months. Although puppy hair may tend to knotting, typical in long hair breeds, the adult hair is easier to care for. The black puppies often change color (they can turn silver), and dark colored can turn lighter, only to darken with age. Maturity is reached between 15 and 16 months.  Breeders recommend high quality food during its entire life.
Choose a hot blooded Havanese puppy who likes people. A timid puppy can be a biter for feat and a difficult to handle puppy.
The Havanese hair is more prone to knot during shedding. The soft puppy hair should be brushed a couple of times per week to make it used to this routine.

With puppy faces as these, do you still wonder why the Havanese is so popular as a company animal?

The Havanese is an incredibly healthy little dog, with few health problems. When the puppy is old enough to take home (eight weeks), is should already be quite resistant. Every small breed puppy is sensitive and fragile due to its size. As other Bichon breed, breeders examine their puppies for juvenile cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, although the incidence in the breed is not alarming. Exercise demands are easy to meet, and the Havanese is active and lively all day, inside the house and out. Hair must be brushed three times per week, although it is a hair easy to maintain. Longevity is between 14 and 16 years.