5 Fun Facts About the Havanese

havanese puppy running through the grass

The Havanese is a unique dog with a unique history. Their adorable look, coupled with their compact size, has given them a special place in the hearts and minds of many. Here are some fun facts about the Havanese:

1. They’re Named After the Capital of Cuba

The name Havanese is derived from Cuba’s capital city, Havana. The breed descended from dogs that were found in Cuba. In the early days, the breed was quite popular among wealthy Cubans.

Due to the Cuban Revolution and the people’s revolt against the elite, the breed nearly became extinct in the 1950s. A breeding program began in the middle of the 1960s when some of the exiled families in Costa Rica and Florida managed to rescue the Havanese from the carnage of the uprising.

Even though the breed almost went extinct, it is now a common breed. In modern times, the Havanese is almost as prevalent as any other small dog breed.

2. Havanese Were Traditionally Given as Gifts

Cubans bred Havanese dogs to be given as gifts. Originally, they were never bred for individual or commercial purposes. Their purpose was to be given as gifts to other well-to-do Cubans.

In Cuba, a Havanese symbolized the commitment to serious social interactions. They were even often included in business deals. This is one of the main reasons that Havanese were not dogs you saw while out on the street.

3. European Royals Loved Them

European royalty used the Havanese in their palaces as an entertainment dog. They could often be found performing tricks and entertaining guests with their playful, spritely demeanor, and sense of humor. In fact, Queen Victoria of England owned two Havanese in the mid-18th century.

They also have a very attached personality, so they often became instant friends with family and strangers alike. This made them a fantastic companion dog and is why they were often given as gifts. Havanese were usually given Poodle-style cuts to symbolize their nobility and give them a royal, regal appearance.

4. Be Cautious of the “Shavanese”

Although the Havanese is a long-haired dog, there will be the occasional short-haired Havanese in a litter every now and then. This is not a new or rare breed. It’s simply a Havanese that happened to get a genetic variation for a short coat instead of the standard long one.

As with any Havanese, they still make fantastic family pets. However, a short-haired Havanese is not considered acceptable for show ring competitions or for breeding according to Havanese breed standards.

It is important to be cautious of any dog breeder who is trying to sell a short-haired Havanese as a new or rare breed. Some breeders may call one of these dogs a Shavanese, but they will also be upfront about it being a short-haired Havanese that is not up to recognized breed standards.

5. Many Celebrities Have Owned Havanese

It makes sense for a dog bred to be a companion to royals and the wealthy would find themselves adored by the modern aristocracy and celebrities. Notable pet parents of Havanese pups include Venus Williams, Joan Rivers, Queen Anne, Barbara Walters, Ernest Hemmingway, Charles Dickens, and more.

These are just a few fun facts about the Havanese. If you think this compact, noble dog could be the right fit for you, check out the available Havanese puppies. You could end up finding your new best friend!