The Havanese, a breed of Bichon type, is the national dog of Cuba, developed from the now extinct Blanquito de la Habana ("little white dog of Havana"). The Blanquito descended from the also now extinct Bichon Tenerife. It is believed that the Blanquito was eventually cross-bred with other Bichon types, including the Poodle, to create what is now known as the Havanese. Sometimes referred to as "Havana Silk Dogs," this was originally another name for the Blanquito de la Habana.
The Havanese is small in size and sturdy in structure with a tail carried over its back and ears that drop and fold. The coat is abundant, long, and silky and comes in all colors. The Havanese has a spirited personality and a curious disposition, and is notable for its springy gait, a characteristic that distinguishes the breed from all others. The Havanese is considered an ideal family pet and a true companion dog. They are highly adaptable to almost any environment, and their only desire is to be with their human companions. Because of their strong social needs, Havanese will not thrive in an environment where they are isolated for several hours each day.
The coat can be clipped short for easier care. If the coat is to be kept long it needs to be thoroughly brushed and combed at least twice a week. There is a lotion available to prevent the hair from splitting. Corded coats require special care. Clip excess hair from between the pads of the feet. The feet themselves may be clipped to look round. Show dogs need a great deal more grooming. There is little to no shedding, so dead hair must be removed by brushing. Check the eyes and ears regularly. If the ears are not kept clean it is prone to get an ear infection. The beauty of a well groomed Havanese is that he still looks tousled and carefree. If you accustom your dog to nail clipping from puppy age, she should accept the routine as an adult. Teeth should be brushed weekly, and this is also best started as a puppy. This breed is good for allergy sufferers. They are a non-shedding, hypo-allergenic dog.