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This video will explain some important details about the Havanese breed so that you can decide if a Havanese is the right breed for you and your family.





The Havanese

The Havanese became recognized by the AKC in 1995 and are known as the National Dog of Cuba. They are a happy, outgoing, charming, small but sturdy dog whose temperament and trainability have made them excellent candidates for obedience and therapy dog training. Havanese are gentle and responsive and are natural companion dogs. They are excellent with children and become very loyal and attached to their families. They are very affectionate and playful with a high degree of intelligence and posess a kind spirit. These cheerful dogs are very social and will get along with everyone including people, dogs, cats and other pets. When brushed, they are silky soft but can also have a shaggy appearance. Havanese are gentle, kind little dogs that are ideal for any family. They don't require minimal excercise which also makes them ideal for high rise apartment dwellers and seniors.

Havanese are responsive, friendly, affectionate, intelligent, faithful, and devoted to their families. They are natural clowns and strive to please. Havanese live for your every word and gesture. The Havanese are attentive, quiet, gentle, and never lose their playful spirit as they age.  They love children and will play tirelessly with them.

Learning Rate – High; Obedience – High; Problem Solving – High.

The Havanese is a non-shedding, hypoallergenic double-coated breed with soft hair, both on outer and undercoat. Adult hair coat reaches 6 to 8 inches, and has a pearly sheen.

Their gait is unique – lively & ‘springy” which accentuates the happy character of the Havanese. They display a happy little prance when they walk. The Havanese gives a rugged impression of a little dog. They are hardy, muscular, sturdy breed. Although they are a small breed, they are not fragile.

This curious breed loves to observe everything around them. The Havanese have a long reputation for being circus dogs because of their ability to learn quickly and their passion to please people. They are not a yippy breed. Havanese are good watch dogs – making sure to alert you when a visitor arrives, but will quickly welcome any guest once it sees you welcome them.

Satin Coat Havanese (Short Hair)

The short-haired, smooth coat, or satin coat Havanese occurs when two adults who carry the recessive gene are bred together. Typically, this will produce smooth coat puppies, however, not necessarily the entire litter. 

For many years, when Havanese breeders got puppies in a litter with a spaniel looking coat, instead of a “drop coat”… the pups were called “Short Hairs.” Recently, a new name was suggested and voted for approval by the HSDAA board, for these darling pups with an atypical coat. Their new descriptive name is “Satins’. Satin gives them a dignified and very pretty name, which they so deserve. We all love to feel satin and enjoy its texture in cloth form, and these little pups do have a soft, satiny coat.

A few years ago, DNA was sent in from Havanese to see if the short hair gene could be identified. Actual “Short Haired” pups had their DNA submitted too and ALL of the dogs came back with the “long haired gene,” NOT a short hair gene! So why should they be called SHORT HAIRS, as that, genetically is not what they are at all. Interestingly enough, over the years, even AKC judges have commented about “short hairs’ and they always ask why they are called that, when in fact they should be called “long haired” dogs. But Satin sounds even better than ‘long coats’.

If you think about dog breeds with two or more varieties, such as the Chihuahua, their coats are either ‘smooth’ or “long”. The long coat Chihuahua has a coat nearly identical to what we’ve always called “Short Hairs” in the Havanese and the Havana Silk Dog. The Cavalier’s natural coat, is a coat type similar to the “Satin” Silk Dogs and Havanese as well. Dachshunds and Chinese Crested, for example have more than one coat type too. It all boils down to a personal preference, of what a person likes best.

Anyone who has ever owned a drop coated breed, like a Shih Tzu or a Havanese, knows that the coat can be a lot of work. Most pet people end up cutting off most of the coat to keep the dog short or in a ‘puppy cut’. Some even shave their dogs down, to rid them of the hassles of dealing with a long drop coat and mats. I totally understand the pet owners decision to cut their pet’s drop coat off and keep it in a more manageable style. The bad thing is, this dog has to return the groomer every few weeks or months, for a repeat haircut, or the coat will grow long again and mat up if not kept cleaned and brushed.

Grooming issues are not a problem for the Satin variety as the coat hair doesn’t grow 6-8″ like the ‘drop coated’ dogs do. They have longer fringe at the legs, tail and ears and the rest of the coat is in a nice permanent ‘puppy clip.’ Their muzzles look longer and ‘skinnier’ but that is simply because they don’t have the fluff covering it like the drop coated variety. These little pups are still 100% Havanese and still display all the wonderful characteristics that Havanese display. They are happy, playful little clowns who love everyone and are happy showing off for their families and friends with their silly antics.

Because they don’t have the long coat to ‘catch’ the loose hairs, they do shed much like the Chihuahua and the Cavaliers do. It is unknown if their coats carry dander which can cause allergies to some people.

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