A descendant of breeds brought to Cuba from Spain, the Havanese is Cuba’s national dog. By the mid-18th century, the breed’s popularity included such notable companions as Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. Some Cubans who left the country during the Cuban revolution brought their Havanese with them, and a handful ended up in the U.S. By the end of the 1970s, the breed was gaining popularity, and the AKC recognized it in 1996.


Small, 81/2 to 111/2 inches, 7 to 13 pounds.


All colors.


Busy, curious, trainable and intelligent; affectionate with all — animals and humans alike.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Someone who wants a small dog who isn’t too yappy or too fragile for kids. Nonshedding coat is okay for people with allergies.


Brushing every other day, exercise in the form of walks or play sessions.

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.