Join Date: Jun 2008
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This is a fun topic.
First, let me recommend a very good book for the history of Havanese, written by the lady who started Havanese in the US, Dorothy Goodale. Called "Havanese, A Complete and Reliable Handbook." Another good book is written by Zoila Portuondo of Cuba, that relates to Havanese History.
As Dorothy wrote about the origins of the Havanese, they probably originated in the Mediterranean area and were found in France, Italy and Spain hundreds of years ago. They were one of the five Bichon types of dogs, were originally white. Some historical writers of dogs in general, believed that the Havanese descended from the Maltese Another writer believed the Havanese traveled to Cuba during the Spanish empire. Some Cubans believe that the dog came to Cuba by way of Italian seamen and they were given as gifts to the wealthy Cuban aristrocracy.
Dorothy Goodale says that the first Havanese on record in the US were smuggled out of Cuba by their families who were fleeing the Revolutioin. She bought dogs from 2 of those families, the Perez and Fantasio families. She lists the ancestor dogs in her book. These dogs can also be found in the Havanese Gallery and the ancestors of your dog can be discovered there. I have gone all the way back to the original dogs for my dogs' pedigrees and I use a database to keep all of that information together with photos of the ancestors.
Dorothy started a Havanese registry in 1974. At some point she and other Havanese owners formed a club and later, they elected to go with AKC, rather than the other registries.
Havanese were recognized as a breed by AKC in 1996.
Many of the Havanese in Europe came from the American originals.