H is for HAVANESE | #AtoZChallenge

50 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!

#AtoZChallenge| H is for HAVANESE


The Havanese, a breed of the 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. These dogs became devoted companions to the Spanish colonists in Cuba and were highly admired by the nobility. As part of the Cuban Revolution, upper-class Cubans fled to the United States, but few were able to bring their dogs. When American breeders became interested in the 1970s, the US gene pool was only 11 dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Havanese breed in 1996. With dedicated breeding, and the acquisition of some new dogs internationally, the Havanese has made a huge comeback and is one of the fastest growing breeds of dogs. – WIKIPEDIA

I’ve looked after a few Havanese over the years and am fond of this breed.
They’re happy. healthy little dogs. Two recent favourites:

#AtoZChallenge 2016: H is for Havanese

This adorable pup first stayed with me last year, at the age of eight months. He was incredibly well-behaved for one so young and it was love at first sight. He belongs to the people who had Jack the Bichon, whom you met on April 2nd. After Jack died, there was a void in their lives and they decided to get another dog. Rupert has been a joy to them and also to me. What a sweetheart!


#AtoZChallenge 2016: H is for Havanese

Nikita was also a first-timer last year, at the age of 14. She was healthy at the time. I’ve since learned she has lymphoma but is doing better than expected. Her mom is the sister of a close friend, so I had met her before when visiting her home. Easy-going and affectionate, she was the perfect houseguest and would be welcomed back, anytime.




Are you familiar with this breed?
Do you prefer small dogs or larger ones?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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50 thoughts on “H is for HAVANESE | #AtoZChallenge

  1. I love these Havanese dogs and am happy to make their acquaintance. Please don’t ask me to choose between big and small dogs. For me a dog is a dog is a dog. I love them all.

  2. They look like the bichon(spelling??) that you talked about earlier. They look so cute. I have to admit that I usually go towards bigger dogs and black ones….the lab:)

    1. They are part of the Bichon family, but have longer, straighter hair and come in different colours. I love Labs too-especially black ones. Come back for the “L” post and you’ll see some. 🙂

  3. What a cutie! The little face is highly expressive:-) I love the name Rupert. Sounds like the breed nearing extinction might have been related to the isolation imposed by marxism. Are there any downsides to this breed having been blended as it was?

    1. Rupert is a cool name, for sure. His people are British and it sounds great when said with an English accent. 🙂 I haven’t heard of any downsides with this breed, but they are prone to tear staining. As with any small dog, luxating patella is a concern (dislocating kneecap). Our little Lisa had that, but it always went back into place on its own.

  4. Never heard of this breed. Looks kind of like the dog my sister has, but I think her dog is something else.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    1. There are several different but similar breeds in the Bichon family: Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Coton de Tulear, Havanese, Maltese. Cotons and Havanese come in different colours; the others are only white. Thanks for coming by. On to week two! 🙂

    1. Hi, Jeffrey; That means the AKC has approved them to be part of their purebred, show dog, “trained seal” world and have set specific, rigid standards for height, weight, colouring, etc. Can you see me grimacing? 😛 Not a fan of that whole concept, but there’s big bucks in it.

  5. They are both cute cute cute.
    I like small, lap dogs. I wouldn’t mind getting a really small dog, but my mom (who lives with me) says she wouldn’t want one. She fears falling over/on in it.
    Not sure what our next dog will be…. but I’m hoping for a lap dog:)

    1. Havanese are the perfect lap dogs! 🙂 Great temperament as well. I can understand your mom’s concern, though, having tripped over many a dog, myself.

    1. Yes, it could well be that some rich people do this. Even ones who aren’t so rich. 🙂 I prefer to let dogs walk on their own. It’s much better for them. One of your favourite breeds is coming next. Have a good week!

  6. Such sweeties, I prefer the smaller dog, just because I love holding them in my lap. But I also love the bigger dogs, because their hugs are all encompassing. Okay, so what’s wrong with owning one of each. LOL

    1. That’s a great idea! 😀 Or, small, medium and large together. Just recently I had three dogs here in those sizes (Bichon, Wheaton Terrier and Golden), all named “Murphy”. Cute but confusing,

  7. I think I vaguely remember hearing the name, but I doubt I’ve ever seen one except perhaps in a TV dog show. The had a lot of those dog shows in Italy, and I enjoyed watching them. That little Nikita looked pretty feisty despite her advanced age. I prefer larger breeds, but I would probably enjoy playing with her.
    Thank you for these posts–I was wondering what you were going to do for H. I need to read some of your other posts; I got waylaid because of my new online store, but I’m catching up!

    1. Hi, Mary; I didn’t know dog shows were so popular in Italy. Nikita was in good shape for a senior, but she’s battling lymphoma now. 🙁 Doing much better than expected, though, thank goodness! Thanks for reading my posts. I’m behind too and need to catch up on yours. Have a good week! 🙂

  8. I’d never heard of this breed that came from Cuba. Very interesting. What cuties they are! So sweet.

    I’ve always had big dogs which is definitely different from having small ones. Loup isn’t exactly a lap dog though I’m sure he’d be happy to try.

    Another entertaining post, Debbie!

    1. Yes, they’ve become popular here in recent years. The ones I’ve met have all been sweethearts! 🙂 So true about having different experiences with small and large dogs. A few big ones I’ve known thought they were lap dogs.

  9. I don’t remember hearing the name Havanese before, but I may have met one without realising. They look like delightful little dogs. I like most dogs, large or small, but my husband prefers big dogs – not that we could have one with our cats – they would object, strenuously :).
    Tasha’s Thinkings (70) | Wittegen Press (72) | FB3X (AC) (73)

    1. Every Havanese I’ve met has had a lovely disposition. No wonder this breed is gaining in popularity. Cats and dogs sometimes get along well, but you’d probably have to start them out young. I’ve had occasional inquiries about taking cats in for boarding. Can you imagine what havoc that would wreak with a group of dogs? 🙂

  10. What a cute little dog. This is about the size I would want. I would prefer a smaller dog, just because I don’t think I could keep up with a large dog. If we ever should buy a dog again, (not as long as we travel in our caravan), I often thought of getting two dogs. Isn’t that better for the dogs, and it might be even easier for the owners. No? It’s like a single child or a child with siblings.

    1. This breed would be ideal for you then, Angelika. 🙂 We used to have two dogs, Sheila (C is for Cockapoo) and Lisa (briefly shown in that post, but coming up again under X is for X-Breeds). They were very close and it was wonderful to watch them play together. Better than TV! The only downside is double the expenses. Vet bills can add up. I was a single child and enjoyed my solitude. 🙂 You make friends, as single dogs can do, as well. Socialization as young as possible is so important for puppies, otherwise they may not get along with other dogs.

      Thanks for keeping up with these posts. I always enjoy your comments. Have a good weekend.

  11. Oh they are so adorable… with their brown eyes they look like little toys 😀
    I prefer larger dogs … like Alsatian or Golden Retriever 😀

    1. The Havanese remind me of teddy bears. 🙂 I just wrote about Golden Retrievers and the “K” post features a huge dog with Alsatian roots. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

    1. Havanese dogs are a bit like live teddy bears and definitely huggable. You had me stumped there, Sunila. 🙂 Your dog is a breed I’m not familiar with and I had to look it up! Very cute and the name Bibble is, too.

  12. Hi Debbie, aren’t they the cutest! Rupert and Nikita are adorable and well-behaved you say…plus points to them! I think I love smaller dogs but labs are exceptions!
    @KalaRavi16 from

    1. Yes, these are the sweetest little dogs with wonderful dispositions 🙂 Labs are favourites of mine, too. Be sure to check out my “L” post. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

  13. I’ve never heard of a Havanese! Cute little dogs!!! They look so super sweet. I love sweet dogs!
    They had an interesting start, the breed.

    Ah, it’s Saturday and we get a day off tomorrow! I’m going to sleep. You?? 🙂
    Great first week with the A-Z! Only 3 more weeks to go… 🙂

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. They are adorable, Michele and gaining in popularity. 🙂 Day off, what’s that? LOL I’ll be doing penance for not getting my posts all written before we started. Next year’s gonna be different (I hope). It’s only been one week, so far? Seems a lot longer than that. 😛 Enjoy your day of rest.

  14. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I was not familiar with the Havanese breed and I am happy to learn that their numbers are growing in recent years. They are very cute and I can tell by looking at the pictures of Rupert and Nikita that they make great pets and low maintenance house guests. You posed a good question. Do I prefer small dogs or larger ones? I never gave it much thought. I suppose I approach dogs the same way I approach people. I never met a person that I didn’t automatically consider a friend unless and until proven otherwise. Likewise, I approach every dog, large or small, with unconditional love and I gauge their response. If they appreciate my love and affection and return it, then we have both made a friend for life.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Debbie, and enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi, Shady; Havanese dogs have lovely dispositions and I enjoy their company. Such cuties! You’re obviously a dog lover; great answer! 🙂 I know you had a couple of small dogs before, the Yorkie and Cocker Spaniel. Would you ever consider getting another dog? We haven’t since Tasha died, but I get my dog fix from the clients. I would love to have a black Lab, though (or a Havanese, Jack Russell, etc. but not another Dalmatian. I’d constantly be making comparisons and Tasha was the greatest! ♥) Maybe after I retire from the dog business.

      Thanks for keeping up with these daily posts. You are a true friend. Cheers!

      1. Hi again, Debbie the Doglady!

        This is one of my travel days that I was telling you about. I just discovered your reply and question. Mrs. Shady and I are at the stage of the game where we value our freedom and independence. We want to travel and don’t want to be tied down with another pet. I would love to have another dog, large or small but, when we weighed the pros and cons and considered the long term commitment and expense involved, we decided against adopting another animal, at least for now.

        Thanks, dear Debbie!

        1. That’s okay; responses should be at your convenience – no rush. 🙂 I understand exactly what you mean. When they’re aren’t any dogs in residence, we enjoy taking trips, too. Yes, the expenses can certainly mount up, especially if the dog gets injured or becomes ill.

          Have a good trip. Cheers!

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