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Havanese Offers Intelligent Expression

Nov 27, 2007
The almond eyes and what could be called a smile hidden behind a fine coat of long hair can make the Havanese standard seem more mischievous more than it is cute, but its temperament of fun loving and caring makes it one of the best breed for children and older adults. Bred into aristocracy in Cuba, the Havanese standard has gone through many career changes over the years, from companion to royalty to working poultry farms, it is a breed that is making a statement in dog shows every where.

While small in stature, typically standing between 8-1/2-inches and 11-inches tall at the withers, the physical size of this toy dog breed belies its strength and muscular build. It can work as a guard dog, despite the fact that it only barks when approached by a stranger, it will quickly stop the vocal warning upon hearing it owner acknowledge the approaching person. In the show ring, Havanese standards are strict and non-forgiving, especially when it concerns the dog's coat and eyes. The eye rims of all Havanese dogs feature a ring of black. The rim pigment of the chocolate-colored Havanese is chocolate in color as well and any other colors will disqualify an animal from competition. Even a slight discoloration of the black or brown eye rims is unacceptable.

Although the coat of the Havanese breed can be smooth, curly or wavy the length is what marks the Havanese standard for competition. Tight curls in short hair is not acceptable and long, wavy hair is preferred. The coat should not be trimmed for competition, except around the feet and the pads on the paws to create a neater appearance. If any trimming is done around the anal area or the genitals for hygienic purposes, the trimming cannot show when the dog is standing in presentation.

Because the breed does not shed it hair onto the floor, it falls into its under coat, as well as any dander, and it will require daily brushing to remove any loose hair and to keep the animal's skin healthy. Despite the fact the animal always looks well-groomed, it is not unusual for it to jump into a pile of leaves and roll around playfully. Although the Havanese has a top coat as well as an undercoat, the animals does not shed. Loose hair and dander collect in the under coat and requires daily brushing to keep it clean and soft. Hair around the feet and padding can be trimmed for a neat presentation, but no other hair that shows during presentation is allowed. The coat is shown in its natural condition with brushing for cleanliness and appearance being obvious.

The Havanese standard points out it is an easy animal to train being eager to please and show off what it has learned. Its nature of being a friend and companion makes it an ideal pet for all dog lovers, while standing tall in the ring seemingly happy to show off the training expertise of its trainer and owner.
About the Author
Fiona Kelly enjoys studying the history of the Havanese as well as the other types of breeds that make good family pets. Because of the specific breeding that Havanese dogs have undergone, understanding the history of the Havanese can help you to better work with your own pet. Reading articles like this and talking to experts in the field will give you plenty of information about the Havanese standard that you need to know about this special breed of dog.
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