There are many lovely looking dogs in the world and one of them is the attractive and affectionate Havana Silk Dog, a breed that's not to be confused with another one, namely the Havanese. Both dogs are native to Cuba but are definite breeds in their own right although the Havana Silk Dog came about when fans of the breed attempted to recreate a Havana Silk Dog in its purest form. The result was a gorgeous dog that boasted a remarkably silky coat that comes in a variety of attractive colours.
Breeders successfully recreated the dogs that were so highly prized in Cuba before breeders in other parts of the world started to produce the Havanese dogs that we see today both in the UK and other countries. The Havana Silk Dog has a glorious soft coat which can be grey, white or black with the one consistency being they are super silky and soft to the touch. These dogs are small in size and renowed for being affectionate and social companion dogs which is just one of the reasons they were so highly prized in their native Cuba.
Fans of the breed did their best to produce a dog that does not suffer from the genetically inherited disorders assoicated with the Havanese and they succeeded in their efforts. The Havana Silk Dog really is one of a kind where inherited disorders have been successfully bred out of the breed. Breeders in Cuba literally bought these dogs back from the edge of extinction because at one time it was thought none of them existed either in Cuba or other parts of the world.
To keep the breed as pure as possible, breeders are required to register all dogs used in a breeding programme and any puppies they produce with the relevant Kennel Club. This involves carrying out a DNA profile of every dog and puppy as well as a thorough physical examination to make sure no dog has any unwanted traits. This includes bone deformities which results in dogs having bowed front legs.
The Havana Silk Dog is a very attractive little dog that typically weighs in at anything from 8 to 13 lbs. They stand at between 9 to 11 inches at the shoulder and like many other breeds, male dogs tend to be a little taller and heavier than their female counterparts. Their coats are gloriously soft and typically have a slight wave in them which adds to their overall appeal. When well cared for and fed the right sort of diet to suit their ages, the Havana Silk Dog boasts a life span of anything from 10 to 15+ years.
These little dogs make great companions and although happy to curl up on a couch, they do need to be given an adequate amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation because they are quite active and high-spirited characters by nature. They are also highly intelligent which means they learn things quickly, both the good and the bad!
The Havana Silk Dog has a very sweet personality and tends to get on with everyone and other animals. However, as previously mentioned they are quite high spirited and have a ton of energy in that small body which is why they need to be given the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis to be truly happy dogs. The old adage of "a tired dog is a good dog" is very true where these little guys are concerned. However, they are not as demanding as many other small dogs which is just one of the reasons why they became so popular in their native Cuba when kept as companion dogs.
They are also known to be very good around children of all ages and this includes toddlers, although all dogs and kids need to be supervised when they are together. The Havana Silk Dog just loves being around people and there's nothing they enjoy more than pleasing people.
One thing that's worth noting is that these little dogs can be hard to house train which means owners need to be consistent when they start training young dogs and to be extremely patient with their pets. They are very sensitive characters and all training has to be done with a firm yet very gentle hand. Positive reinforcement is the best method to use with these little dogs because any heavy handed training might end up scaring them which would result in a shy and timid dog.
Another issues often seen in the Havana Silk Dog is their need to be with the people they love as much as possible which can lead to them developing separation anxiety. As such, they are not a very good choice for people who spend a lot of time out of the house, but they make ideal pets for anyone who works or spends a lot of time in the home.
As with most dogs, the Havana Silk Dog needs to be well socialised from a young age and their training needs to start when they are puppies too. Any unwanted behaviours like "yapping" need to be gently nipped in the bud or you could end up with a "barker" with some dogs choosing to perch in a particular spot on a window sill so they can announce their presence to the world outside if they are allowed to!
As previously touched upon, the Havana Silk Dog is renowned for being a healthy little dog all thanks to the very careful breeding programmes that breeders in their native Cuba carried out in order to produce a dog that's as close to the original breed as possible. With this said, it's essential for all dogs and puppies to be registered with the correct authority and that they be DNA tested and thoroughly examined in order to prove they are truly Havana Silk Dogs.