Kennel Jabir's

Breeder  since 1984

Kennel Jabir's

The owners

Bichon Havanais

A few breeders in USA and Europe are trying to save this breed from extinction. A frequently asked question is "What is a Havanais and where is it from?”


The breed comes from the Western Mediterranean region and has developed along the Spanish and Italian coastal region. It would seem that these dogs were imported early in Cuba by ocean navigating Italian captains. Erroneously, the most frequent brown colour if these dogs (tobacco) gave birth to the legend which would mean it to be a breed originating from Havana, capital of Cuba. The political events, however, have led to the total disappearance of the old bloodlines of the Havanese in Cuba; apparently a few dogs could be successfully smuggled out from Cuba; their descendants have survived in the USA. The Havanese origin is not known for sure, but it is assumed that the Maltese, who is ancestor to the Havanese, was brought to the Caribbean Islands by Spanish conquers, and that they became a distinct race in Cuba. The early Havanais was named Havanese Silkdog after the capital of Cuba. For a long time the Havanese was a highly beloved pet, especially by high-class ladies, but in the 17th century it got very popular in Europe, too. Like a lot of other dog breeds, the Havanese was forgotten.

Appearance and manners

  • A small rectangular-shaped dog.

  • Ideal shoulder height: 23-27 cm.

  • Skull: Flat and wide. Stop: Moderately marked.

  • Muzzle: Narrowing progressively and slightly towards the nose.

  • Eyes: Quite big, almond-shaped, and of brown colour as dark as possible. Kind expression.

  • Ears: Set relatively high; they fall along the cheeks forming a discreet fold, which raised them slightly.

  • Tail: Carried high, either in the shape of a crosier or preferably rolled over the back; it is furnished with long silk hair.

  • Hair: Soft, flat or wavy and may form a curvy strands.

  • The usage of scissors to even out the length of the coat and all trimming is forbidden (exception: The hair on the feet).

  • The long and silky coat gives the Havanese elegance and distinction.

  • Rarely completely pure white fawn in different shades of light-fawn to havana-brown; patches in those colours of coat.

The Havanese is exceptionally bright and easy teach tricks. Because of his pleasant nature and irresistible charm, he immediately finds his way into the hearth of every family member, thereby becomes the centre of the family.

He is very amusing and friendly, which is why he can be recommended to families with children. Even though he is a lapdog he loves to play and has the character and condition to do so frequently and for long periods of time. He loves children and plays endlessly with them.

He is a remarkable swimmer and loves to romp about in the water. In former times the Havanese was often seen doing tricks in circuses. His ability to be trained has never been seen alike.

A lot of people are not aware of the fact that the Havanese is a pretty decent alarm dog. In Cuba the peasants often used the Havanese as shepherds, which is an assignment easily fulfilled by this little dog.

Because of his barking the Havanese will let you know when you are having visitors. This barking is not continuously nor hysterical, but rather bold.

As I have mentioned previously, the Havanese is very attached to his family and he gets really pleased when he is accepted as an »equal« member of the family with daily chores.


Updated 31-01-2009