|The Havanese (Habaneros in Spanish) is a very active gentle little
breed that is a member of the Bichon family. It is believed that they came
from the Western Mediterranean region. There are several distinct groups
of the Bichons including the Bichon Bolognese, the Bichon Havanais, the
Coton de Tulear, the Bichon Teneriffe (Bichon Frise) as well as the Maltese
and the Lowchens.
The Cubans believed these little dogs were brought
to their country by Italian sea captains and sold to wealthy Cubans as
well as gifts to wealthy senoras. Catalina Laza, the wife of a wealthy
sugar mill Baron treasured the dogs and raised them for her pleasure. She
also gave them as gifts to her wealthy friends and hence these little dogs
were seen in the country estates of wealthy families.
The Cuban Revolution on 1959 threatened the existence
of these little dogs and they were becoming extinct. Some of them were
brought to the United States by Cuban families. Two families, the Perez
family and the Fantasio family combined forces and the dogs were registered
with the Havanese Club of America. The Havanese will receive full recognition
in the United States, January 1, 1999, and they are going to
be in the Toy Group. They are very close to full recognition in Canada
and if all goes well they could have full recognition late this year or
early next year.
This little dog is a complete charmer, agile, very
sociable and and affectionate. Their non shedding coat is long, abundance,
soft and wavy. A couple of minutes brushing the coat daily will keep it
free of tangles.
The one thing that distinguishes the Havanese from
their "cousins" is the great abundance of coat colors - cream, white, blue,
champagne, gold, sable, black, and chocolate (appropriately named Tobacco
Brown) or any combination of these. The Havanese is a small muscular
dog with great stamina and not meant to be a tiny fragile dog...
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