Bichon Havanais

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Toy    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , , ,


Size: Small     Weight: 7-13 pounds     Fur length: Long    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Curly    Fur Color: Black, Black & Brown, Black & White, Brown & White, Dark Brown / Chocolate, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 13-16 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Bichon Havanais is also known as 'Havanies', 'Havanese Cuban Bichon', 'Bichon Havanese' and Havana Silk Dog. A national dog of Cuba, the Bichon Havanais was developed from now extinct Blanquito de la Habana ("little white dog of Havana"). The breed was in the danger of extinction during French, Soviet and Cuban revolutions during 1990's. Still rare in Cuba, there are some groups working to save the breed from extinction and the dog is again gaining popularity as a family pet.

A breed of 'Bichon' type, the dog has a sturdy rather than fragile body although it belongs to 'Toy' group. The small dog has a height and weight between 8.5 inches to 11.5 inches and 7pounds to 13 pounds respectively. The body is slightly longer than taller. Top of skull is flat while muzzle is equal in length to skull and tapers at nose. Almond shaped eyes are dark brown and ears are slightly upward at the base and hang down the head without touching the face. The gait is unique, lively & 'springy" which accentuates the happy character of the Havanese. The tail is carried arched forward. The coat is long, soft, lightweight and silky. It comes in almost all colours, shades and patterns.

This dog is recognized by all major kennel clubs including AKC,FCI, CKI, ANKC, KC(UK), NZKC and UKC.


The Bichon Havanais dogs can come in any colour, pattern and shades. All colours should have a black nose and black pigment around the eyes except for Chocolate colour which can have dark brown pigment on the nose. Some most common colours for the Bichon Havanais are white, cream, fawn, red, brown, orange, silver, black, blue and black. The coat can be any solid colour or have markings of one or more other colours like sable, brindle, black and tan etc.


The Bichon Havanais is a double-coated breed with soft and silky hair both on outer and under coat. The long coat can reach 6-8 inches in length and has a pearly sheen. Due to tropical nature of the Bichon Havanais, the fine and lightweight coat is designed to act as sunshade and keep the body cool during hot days.


The Bichon Havanais can be best described as cheerful, amusing, loving, loyal and happy dog breed. Being a toy dog, it is very playful. The dog is a natural companion and become very attached with their human family but it does not mind being left alone as it is a very self-entertaining dog and will play with its toys.. These dogs are great with children, playing and enjoying spending time with them. Very smart and intelligent, the dog is a fast learner and can learn new tricks easily. Very social, the dog gets along pretty well with other dogs and pets in the family. It is very observant and alert to its surrounding and signal arrival of an stranger. They are by no means shy or reserved towards strangers. Once properly introduced, the dog will become friendly with strangers. They like to entertain their family and other people and will love to receive appreciation. The Bichon Havanais is an ideal dog to have in a low maintenance house as this breed will not demand too much exercise. It can be left outside with its toys as it is fine playing with its toys but it would prefer to be inside the house with its owners. The Bichon Havanais are great companion dogs to have as family and watch dogs.


The coat needs to be brushed thoroughly at least twice a week. It is prone to matting and tangling. Hair that grows on the bottom of their feet between the paws need to be trimmed to allow tracking on smooth surfaces. Ears should be regularly checked for infection.


The Bichon Havanais are easy to obedience train. It is a sensitive dog that needs to be trained in a gentle yet firm manner. It is sensitive to owner's voice and harsh methods will not work as effectively with this dog as gentle manners. Because of its cheerful and readily trainable nature, the dog is used for many purposes like therapy dogs, assistance dogs for hearing impaired, performing dogs, tracking and others. They can take part in different dog sports such as dog agility, flyball, Obedience training, musical canine festival.


The Bichon Havanais does not require much exercise as most of its exercise needs are fulfilled during play in the house. However the dog will need to be taken for walks to satisfy a dog's primal need to walk.

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