The Havanese is part of the Bichon family of toy breeds which probably originated in the Mediterranean area. The French word Bichon means “fleecy dog”. The most popular members of the Bichon breed are: Maltese, Bichon Frise, Havanese, Lowchen and Coton de Tulear.
The history and pedigree of the Havanese dates back several hundred years to the early settling of Cuba in the 1600’s. There are many theories regarding the origin of the Havanese one being it evolved from an early breed known as Blanquito de la Habana. It’s heritage initially was
a dog of the aristocracy of Cuba and is today recognized as the national dog of Cuba.
At different times the Havanese was once called the Havana Silk Dog or the Spanish Silk Poodle. As European settlers ventured back from the Americas during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Havanese became companions of royalty in England, France and Spain. During the 1950’s and ’60’s, as Cuba’s political environment changed, some of those that fled the island to the US brought a small number of Havanese with them. In the early 1970’s, Dorothy and Burt Goodale of Colorado set out to re-establish the Havanese lineage and are recognized as the couple who began the roots of the Havanese in the US.
The Havanese was admitted into the American Kennel Club in 1995.