Amistosa is Spanish for friendly and these little dogs love to be with people. The Havanese were bred as companion dogs to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s and were nicknamed “Velcro dog” because they stick so close to their owner’s side. With a bright and happy personality, the Havanese is a fun and devoted companion.
Although the Havanese is classified as a toy breed, they are not a tiny or fragile dog. They’re exceptionally bright, easy to train, athletic, happy, playful, energetic and very charming. Their playfulness guarantees that they are the centre of attention and they love to act like a clown. Havanese enjoy children and will play with them for hours when given the opportunity.
They are happiest when raised in the home as part of the family. Because the Havanese are such social animals, they are not suitable for homes where they would be left alone for extended periods of time. This breed is definitely a house pet and a Havanese who is left in the backyard, a kennel or anywhere away from their family will be very unhappy. They need and want to be with the people they love!
As with any dog, exercise is a healthy requirement. Havanese do not require a great deal of exercise but a daily walk is good for this dog. This breed makes a wonderful pet for apartment dwellers as well as homeowners with yards.
Though peaceful and gentle with everyone (humans and other pets), the Havanese can be a little reserved with strangers. Socialization is important to build a confident, outgoing temperament, as there is a potential for them to be very cautious and timid.
Although the Havanese is not a dominant breed, they do have an independent streak. They respond well to training that includes food rewards and they especially love learning tricks with many excelling in competitive obedience, agility and flyball. The most problematic training issue is housebreaking – Havanese, like many small dogs can be slow to housetrain. Barking may also need to be addressed as well. Many Havanese like to perch on the high back of a sofa or chair, looking out the window so they can announce visitors.