Origin and History
The Bichon Havanese
This is an excellent company dog of Cuban origin, authentically "criollo", that reflects the spirit, grace and native warmth of the island. It is en expression of love and happiness, loyalty and complacency for his owners.
It is difficult to establish with precision the origin of this dog, therefore it is cause for controversy and doubt. What is without objection is the fact that the Havanese was the dog of the colonial aristocracy in Cuba at the beginning of the twentieth century, until the intervention of the United States in Cuba, which produces different fashions in the island.
And even at this time we find an oil painting from 1938 by the famous Cuban painter Fidelio Ponce de Leon, titled Los Niños, were the image of a Havanese is evident.
Even though Cuba had ample enthusiasm for raising dogs in that century, and the first canine exhibitions took place in the island, everything came to a halt with the coming of the new regime in 1959, and all progress and stopped in its tracks.
By this time the Bichon Havanese moved out of the island, especially to the United States, with their Cuban owners. Those who stayed in the island, went from being the pets in the homes of the aristocracy to being in the homes of the common Cuban family who welcomed it. Its happy disposition, friendliness and and expressive loyalty helped maintain the Havanese as a vital breed in the new Cuba. He became the friend of the simple citizen and was seen in the streets, in any corner, looking about many windows of colonial La Habana, without leaving any doubt that the Bichon Havanese was its ancestry.
In 1987 the Canine Federation of Cuba was established and the country is again a member of the Federation Cynologique Internationale. But was in that year that Cuba loses its patrimony as place of origin of the breed in the American Kennel Club's regulations. Fortunately the lovers of the Bichon organized a search and selection of Havanese dogs that genuinely and authentically represented the breed’s characteristics in order to start a rescue program of the breed and The Bichon Havanese Cuban Club was founded in 1991 for this purpose.
Now a days the work is done over a solid base of dogs, and there are many integrated to the Havanese family. The pillars that sustain this increasing population are not only the breed's authentic temperament, always effusive in its show of love, it is also the live and intelligent eyes, its way of smiling when looking at us, reflecting its loving and loyal soul; its silky and long hair that invites petting, the way that it carried its tail with loftiness, and other many subtleties that make it the center of attention and favorite of the family.