is a havanese right for you and your family?
So you think you want to bring a Havanse puppy home. The first thing to understand is you are not adding a cute, playful, compliant puppy into your family. A puppy is only a puppy for a few months and then you have a dog. A dog is a lifetime commitment. A dog is a responsibility. A dog is not free. A dog has needs. A dog gets old and a dog does not live forever.
While a Havanese is a delightful dog, it is still a dog and a dog can be demanding, messy, noisy and inconvenient.
We tell you this because we want you to consider the reality of your decision to add a Havanse to your family. We want our Havanese to find loving, caring homes where the committment is for a lifetime.
A Havanese is a companion breed. This means your Havanese needs to be with
people who love him/her. The Havanese will not thrive or be happy if constantly
left alone or ignored. If you are a busy family consistently on the run and
cannot/choose not to bring your dog with you, the Havanese is not for you.
We want the best for our beloved breed, if you do too review our
What You Need to Know Before Getting a Havanese page and then
go to our Breeder Contacts page.
The Havanese is a sturdy little dog with relative good health that has culminated in
a lifespan of approximately 15 years. They are companion/lap dogs and do NOT do well
left alone for extended periods of time. They are happy, lively little dogs who are truly
a joy to be around. Havanese are equally at home sitting quietly in your lap, or racing
through an agility course, as long as they can be with you. They are very easy to train,
that combined with their amazing balance and athletic ability, is seeing their numbers increase rapidly in many dog sports.
If you have allergies, the Havanese might be a breed for you to consider. A member of the Bichon family, Havanese are touted as hypo-allergenic. Also their minimal shedding helps with allergen pollution. However, it would be advisable to meet a Hav or two in person to see how you react.
ie: My son seems to show allergic reactions to one of my Havs but not the other. (They are from different bloodlines, and DO have different coat textures.) My mother, who has always been quite allergic to dogs, visited recently and didn't show any allergic symptoms. I would urge you to "test" yourself with a Hav related to the one you are thinking of getting, and speak with your allergy doctor, before bringing a dog into your home that may very well be with you for the next 15 years.
The Havanese coat is so soft and luxurious it is like petting silk embroidery floss. The length of a full show coat can be quite time consuming to maintain, requiring one or two baths a week as well as the need to be brushed out while blow drying to avoid breakage. They also require additional brushing every other day or so depending on each dogs coat texture to avoid tangles. For pet Havanese some of the extreme care required by the show coats can be avoided by keeping the dog in a shorter cut. However, this may require a visit every few weeks to a groomer and those costs also can add up. The pet clip still requires bathing and brushing each week to maintain a healthy, tangle free coat.
If cost is a concern, this may not be the breed for you. Havanese are still considered a rare breed. Their small numbers are not keeping up with their growing popularity. This fact has the price for a pet Havanese in a range of approximately $2500.00 to $3500.00 depending on region of the country.
The range in Havanese size makes for a range of exercise requirement. The smaller Havs can probably get almost all the exercise they need in the home following you around and playing. The upper size ranges may require a little more exercise, such as going for walks, playing fetch, or just running in the backyard. Be forewarned, Havanese have a game very much their own, that Hav owners affectionately refer to as "run-like-hell". This is where they will begin running for no apparent reason in absolute total abandon...and then just stop. They all do it...size won't help you here. LOL. It is very much a part of their nature. If their occasional running through the house is unacceptable to you, then a Havanese is definitely NOT for you.
Havs can have allergies too:
Like many other members of the toy group, some Havs can be susceptible to allergies. They seem to be the most prone to foods, or chemical allergies...ie shampoos, conditioners etc. Just like in people, it takes trial and error to discover their individual allergies.
Havanese can live to be 15 years old. The acceptance of a Havanese into your life is a serious long term commitment. You need to be certain you can successfully fulfill such a lengthy obligation.
Sorry, as far as I know ALL breeds shed. LOL It is the degree that varies. However the Havanese does very little shedding on a daily basis. The most common occurrences of large amounts of shedding occur when their puppy coat sheds out to make way for the adult hairs; and when females go into heat. Not all bloodlines shed the same. If this is a concern of yours, ask the breeder. A reputable breeder will have a pretty good handle on how much their dogs shed.
Havanese are shredders. This habit is so inherent in the breed that jokes abound that it should be
added to the breed standard. This particular trait can drive you crazy. Newspapers, magazines,
kleenex, dollar bills...nothing is safe. If you don't think you can stand walking into a room and
finding paper shredded across the floor moments before a dinner party, then this isn't the breed
for you. You can no more stop a Hav from shredding than you can stop the sun from rising.
Havanese range in size from 8 1/2 inches to 11 1/2 inches for a show dog. Pet Havanese can exceed those limits. The large size variance can be made to work to your advantage. If you are disabled, or live in an apartment, perhaps a smaller Hav who you can teach to use a litter box might be just perfect for you. If you have children, or are thinking about doing events with your dog, perhaps you would prefer a Hav in the sturdier mid to upper range.
Permission granted Authored by © Cynthia Rust © 2003 Cynthia Rust
A good breeder has known their puppies much longer and better than you will when you go for your visits. A good breeder does their best to match you to your dog and therefore will make a selection for you. Do not expect to "choose" your own puppy. The more information you can give them in regard to your lifestyle and anticipated needs, the better they will be able to find a suitable puppy for you. Trust your breeder and don't get lost in those cute markings - they fade and change colors - remember, any dog you bring into your home will be a part of your family for a very long time. Please do both of you a favor and make an educated selection.
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