The Havanese originated in Cuba and was bred to be a companion to people. They are a dog that is part of the Bichon breed, which explains why they look so similar to the Bichon Frise. The Havanese was created by the mixture of German Poodles with a now extinct breed called the Blanquito de la Habana of Cuba. These dogs became almost extinct in the 1900's just as their ancestors had, but thanks to careful breeding and a love for this dog, they are now safe and are known as a common breed today.
The name Bichon translates to 'fleecy lap dog' and the ancestor breed, Blanquito de la Habana, translates to ' Havanese silk dog'. With these two dogs together, the final outcome is the Havanese which is a dog of long soft fur. They are a small dog, longer than they are tall with fur fringe on the ears, legs, underbelly and tail. They have a messy look to them which gives this dog their notorious appearance and desired look.
The Havanese comes in its commonly known long shaggy coat but they possess a gene that gives them a short smooth coat with long fur on their legs and tail. These are known as the Smooth coated Havanese which are not considered a breed and are a fault if shown in the show ring which results in disqualification.