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Havanese ABCs

ABC of Activities, Information, Tips and Tricks
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

AGILITY - A lively exercise featuring focus, speed and accuracy. Agility is basically a timed obstacle course for dogs including A-frames, board walks, jumps, teeter-totters, open and collapsed tunnels, weave poles, pause table etc... Havanese are perfectly suited to this activity as they are nimble and quick. Agility can be a just-for-fun activity for you and your dog or an exiting competitive sport. Visit our agility page.Return to Top

BICHON - Havanese have been known under a multitude of names; Havanese, Bichon Havanais, Bichon Havanese, Havana Silk Dog, Habaneros, Havanes(z)er, Perritos de la Falda (Skirt Dogs). Havanese are a member of the Bichon family; a group of small, long-haired, drop-eared companion dogs which includes more popular breeds such as the Maltese and Bichon Frise. The Havanese is the bichon of Cuba. Just like Cuban cigars are among the best in the world, so is their little bichon .Return to Top.

CIRCUS -Havanese are natural clowns and love to show off. It's not hard to believe that these little dogs may have been used as trick dogs in European traveling circuses. Havanese can be taught dozens of tricks; some useful, some entertaining and others just for fun. Some popular tricks that include dance, creep, count, speak, whisper, jump through hoops, ring a bell, fetch, hide and seek, high 5, sit pretty, roll over, shake a paw, play dead, and grapevines. Of course there are many others, only limited by your imagination.(Return to Top)

DANCE - The unique and exiting new sport of Musical Freestyle combines obedience and dance. It is a dazzling display whereby a handler and dog work together to music. It may also be done as a team competition with multiple handlers and dogs. It is amazing to watch and lots of fun to participate in. Turn your tricks and obedience work into a dynamite routine. Freestyle started in Canada as an exhibition at a dog show in 1991. Since then it is gathering followers and becoming more popular.(Return to Top)

Ragamuffin - Irresistably cute ENDEARING - Adorable cuddly, fuzzy teddy bear looks and an incredible luxurious super-soft coat combined with a gentle sweet disposition and a bright lively personality endear the Havanese to everyone it meets. It all adds up to a fascinating little dog that's hard to resist.(Return to Top)

FLY-BALL - If your Havanese is in good physical condition, has energy to spare, is wild about retrieving and loves to jump; then Fly-ball may be just the sport you are looking for. Fly-ball consists of teams of dogs who run in relay races against each other. Each dog must race over a set of hurdles, release and catch a ball then turn around and return over the hurdles back to their handler. Many dogs are wildly enthusiastic about this energetic sport.(Return to Top)

GROOMING - The Havanese coat is often said to be non-shedding. While the Havanese does not have a shedding cycle like "shedding" dogs have, he certainly does lose some coat in the brush and on furniture he rubs against or rolls on. The Havanese might more accurately be described as low-shedding. All Havanese need to be groomed regularly or their coats will mat into an impossible mess. Some mat more easily than others. Brushing and combing 2-3 times a week should keep your Havanese in good condition.. .(Return to Top)

HEALTH - Barring accident, illness or injury, Havanese are generally a healthy and long lived breed, with a life expectancy of about 15 years. Havanese mature slowly and retain their youthful exuberance for many years. In a long lived breed like the Havanese, they really cannot be considered seniors till at least 10 years of age and even then, are still vibrant and delightful companions. They may take life at a bit slower pace but still remain very much a vital part of the family. Signs of aging may include reduced eyesight or hearing, some tooth loss and perhaps a few arthritic aches and pains. Some may be a tad overweight. Most are still healthy and spritely. (Return to Top)

Little Miss Muffet - A pampered princessA Havanese is also an excellent tonic for YOUR health. Your pet needs exercise. A daily walk is good for you too! A number of health benefits, including longer life, have been attributed to owning and caring for a pet. Medical studies have proven that petting a dog lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. The extra attention is good for you both.(Return to Top)

IDENTITY - It is important to have proper identification for your Havanese. There are many different ways that you can safeguard your pet. Do not depend solely on dog tags as they too easily fall off or can be removed. Many puppies are tattooed either inside the flank or the ear. Flank tattoos may fade and disappear over time. Ear tattoos are more durable but are often next to impossible to read inside tiny Havanese ears. Microchips are another popular option; just be sure to regularly update your personal information as it changes. It is also very important to have your chip tested regularly to ensure that it is still working and has not migrated. DNA profiles are also available. A combination of 2 or more different identification methods, along with a current photo of your Havanese can be the best way of finding your pet in the unfortunate event that it ever gets lost. (Return to Top)

JUMPING - Havanese have powerful hind legs and are excellent broad and high jumpers. This stands them in good stead if you are considering activities such as Agility, Fly-ball or advanced levels of Obedience. Your pup may also surprise you with its acrobatics around the house.(Return to Top)

KENNELS #1 -Using a crate or a kennel is an excellent housebreaking tool; a playpen for your puppy when you cannot watch it. You know that the puppy is safe and cannot get into trouble. A crate is also ideal if you are planning on travelling with your Havanese; as an in-car restraint or a home away from home when visiting or in a Hotel. It is indispensable if you regularly attend dog shows and other events.

KENNELS # 2 - Boarding your Havanese. Though boarding kennels are just fine for many dogs, they may not be the best choice for your Havanese. Havanese crave and need human companionship. Other care alternatives you may wish to consider are a live-in pet sitter or a trusted friend or family member who can look after your pet in their home while you are away. Remember that Havanese are very portable and travel well; don't forget the possibility of taking your Havanese with you. (Return to Top)

LOVING - Havanese are responsive, attentive and empathetic little dogs. They are extremely attached to their families and sensitive to their moods. Havanese are loving companions, entertaining clowns, cuddly teddy bears, devoted nurses, loyal confidantes, sympathetic listeners and ready playmates. They are always ready and willing to join in any and all family activities. (Return to Top)

Dinner -
time MEALS- A balanced diet is important whether feeding a commercial dog food or home prepared meals. Read labels carefully and get as much information as possible to make an informed decision. There is not one right way to feed your Havanese. There are many options available: commercial kibble, kibble/canned, home made, natural or raw. The choice is yours according to your preparation time, pocket book and personal preferences. It has been commented that Havanese are picky eaters, this is not necessarily so; however I would have to say that Havanese can be "quirky" eaters. Overeating does not seem to be a big problem with the Havanese but it can become one. All dogs love cookies and treats. The Havanese is no exception. Just remember to indulge your pet sparingly as Havanese are a toy dog whose daily food requirement is quite small. (Return to Top)

NAMES - From Amber to Ziggy and Arko to Zack there are thousands of names that you can choose for your Havanese. Check out the local library for books on pet names as well as baby names. Use your imagination. Havanese are special and unique. Pick an unusual name to suit. Perhaps a much loved character from a nursery rhyme (Goldilocks) or fairy tale (Jiminy Cricket) or a movie or T.V hero (Spock) or a favourite food (Strudel or Souffle) or drink (Cappuccino) . Spanish names of course are always appropriate. The choices are endless. Here are just a few to get you started... Amber, Beetle, Cheerio, Daiquiri, Echo, Fudge, Gizmo, Hoover, Impy, Jazz, Kasper, Limerick, Magic, Nugget, Oreo, Paprika, Quark, Rio, Snickers, Trinket, Ullysses, Vanilla, Wizard, Xanadu, Zipper. (Return to Top)

OBEDIENCE - All dogs should have acceptable social manners and will benefit from basic obedience training. If you really enjoy training and find your Havanese to be especially responsive, then you may wish to pursue Obedience at a Competitive level. This requires a commitment to many hours of detailed work and repetition. You and your dog must learn to work as a team while executing a variety of precision exercises in distracting surroundings. You can earn titles at the Novice, Open and Utility levels as well as an Obedience Championship (OTCh.) and other advanced titles. My own special girl, "Jomaran's Little Miss Muffet" is the first Havanese to earn a C.K.C. Obedience Championship. (Return to Top)

PETCERCISE - Petcercise is another fun activity for you and your Havanese which combines basic obedience with beginner level agility. It emphasizes cooperation between you and your pet while building up your dog's confidence and social skills. It's a great way to keep your dog in good shape, and well socialized. This is often a stepping stone to Competitive Agility. (Return to Top)

QUIRKS - Havanese are delightful little dogs that will often surprise and enthral you with their cute behaviours, clever tricks and bizarre quirks. This is part of what makes the Havanese so special and unique. Take a peek at the quirks page and find out more. (Return to Top)

RECOGNITION - The Havanese is recognized by several Canine Organisations
- American Kennel Club (AKC ) - American Rare Breed Association (ARBA)
- Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) - British Kennel Club - KC
- Federation Cyanologique Internationale ( FCI ) - United Kennel Club ( UKC )

puppy of
promise?? SHOWING - This takes you to the fascinating world of exhibiting pure-bred dogs. Havanese are born show offs and love the opportunity to make an impression, especially in front of an appreciative crowd. Showing can be a potentially expensive pastime especially if you use the services of a professional handler and/or show internationally. You can get a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure from handling your own dog in the show ring. (Return to Top)

TRACKING - Not only for police dogs and spy movies, tracking can be done by any breed of dog. The dog is trained to use its natural ability of enhanced smell to find dropped objects along a track laid by a stranger. Fresh short straight training tracks gradually progress to challenging trails up to mile long or more that are several hours old.. The tracks traverse a number different terrains and involve many turns as well as occasional cross-tracks. Be forewarned that the long, luscious Havanese coat can and does collect an amazing amount of debris. A short clipped coat may be your best bet if you wish to pursue tracking seriously. (Return to Top)

USEFULNESS - Havanese are incredibly versatile little dogs that can be trained in many capacities. Worldwide, Havanese display an impressive array of achievements, some perhaps unusual or unexpected. Havanese are highly responsive, intelligent, eager to learn and are highly motivated to please you and can be trained in many capacities. Havanese may have a natural herding instinct and were once used to herd the family's chickens, ducks and geese. Havanese today that live on farms may naturally become involved in herding and make themselves useful in this capacity. Havanese everywhere are active members of therapy dog programs to provide cheerful visits to the sick, elderly and disabled. A few Havanese are working at an even higher level on a daily basis. For disabled owners, a Havanese may be trained as a useful little Handi-dog that can carry messages, pick up a number of small dropped items, alert owners to obstacles and provide unconditional love and companionship. In a similar capacity, there are also a few Havanese who were carefully placed in homes with disabled children with some amazing results.Hearing Ear dog - In Great Britain ,the first Havanese was recently accepted into the Hearing Ear Program to be trained as a service dog for the deaf. A Havanese could also be a marvellous tick dog for a childrens entertainer etc... (Return to Top)

VARIETY - Variety is the spice of life; and so is the Havanese. Havanese coats come in different types from just slightly wavy all the way to tight curls. Colour selection is just as varied. You will find solid colours of white, cream, champagne, gold, chocolate, silver and black as well as a sables and brindles and a fascinating assortment of combinations such as pointed, parti-colours and tri-colours. Visit Colours of the Rainbow for dozens of photos. (Return to Top)

WILLINGNESS - Havanese are intelligent, eager to learn and are highly motivated to please you. They can be taught almost anything. Use incentives such as treats, toys and lots of praise. Havanese seem to respond especially well to clicker training. Keep your training sessions short and fun. Take the time and effort to train your Havanese; otherwise he will teach himself and you may not like the results. (Return to Top)

X-TINCT - The Cuban revolution of 1959 almost wiped out this breed entirely. Thanks to the devoted efforts of a few enthusiasts and their careful breeding programs, this terrific little dog was saved from possible extinction and numbers are increasing. (Return to Top)

YAP - Havanese are not yappy dogs that bark all day at nothing at all. They usually have a reason for sounding the alarm. Havanese are very alert and make excellent little watch dogs who take their job quite seriously and will warn of the arrival of the paper boy, mail man, flyer girl, visitors, stray dogs and cats etc... They often stop barking as soon as you acknowledge their efforts. (Return to Top)

ZZZ's - After a long busy day, a nap is in order. The preferred perch of many Havanese is the high back of a chair or a couch; even better if it's being occupied by a special person. (Return to Top)