I'm searching for unusual dog breeds. Today, I stopped by Petland Naperville, where they can have up to 100 (or more!) different breeds of puppies for sale. This gives me a great place to observe many different and unusual breeds of dogs in one setting. Today I watched a Havanese. I decided to speak with a Pet Counselor about this puppy, and she told me all about a Havanese.
Right off the bat, I learned that the Havanese is the national dog of Cuba! "Havanese" comes from "Havana, Cuba." In fact, it is the only breed native to that country. Even more amazing is the fact that the Havanese wasn't recognized by the AKC until 1996! Considering that the AKC has been in existence since 1884, this breed is just a "puppy!"
The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family. The Havanese is a small dog, weighing 10-16 pounds. They are a very healthy breed, too, and usually live 14-16 years. They are extremely social animals, and don't do too well if left alone all day. This is really a good family dog. They are generally easy to train, but can be a challenge to housebreak. They have the ability to be litter box trained, and my Pet Counselor highly recommended that route for this breed.
Because of their gentle nature, some Havanese have been trained as therapy dogs and assistance dogs for the hard-of-hearing. They have also been trained as circus dogs!
Havanese are gentle dogs, and are usually friendly. They make great family pets for this reason. The Pet Counselor at Petland Naperville told me, however, that because they can get very attached to their owners, they can get what's called "separation anxiety" when left alone for long periods of time.
Because of their long hair, Havanese need to be brushed a couple times a week in order to prevent matting. If you don't have the time or patience, you can choose to get a "puppy cut" for your Havanese. This breed also grows hair between the pads on their paws. You will need to trim this regularly to prevent the dog from slipping on the ground as it walks. are prone to ear infections. While not the end of the world, this may require ear medicine if you do not clean its ears regularly. If your dog starts shaking its head or scratching its ears often you might need a trip to the vet. To help prevent infections, you must really dry a Havanese's ears well after bath time and any other time when your Havanese plays in water. They also can shed quite a bit, but if you brush your Havanese regularly with a brush specially designed for shedding, you can prevent much of the hair from floating around your house.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with a Havanese puppy. I love the fact that it is very interactive and good with people. Its coat was soft and fluffy, and I love that the adult Havanese look cute with hair grown out or with a puppy cut. I recommend the Havanese to anyone with a family, and I'm sure you can find beautiful examples of this breed at Petland Naperville.