Bursting with energy, the Havashu is a small dog that is lively, affectionate and full of life. She can have moments of hyperactivity, but most of the time she is very responsive and outgoing, greeting all visitors with an exuberant welcome. These dogs fit right into family life, blending well with other pets and getting into mischief with the children. They love to snuggle and will happily accept your attention and adoration. Occasionally you will notice a stubborn streak during training when your Havashu has her own ideas about what to do, but patience and positive training methods will soon overcome her reluctance. They are people pleasers, and will do anything to make their people happy. While they don’t necessarily need a big yard, it would be a bonus as she likes to run around freely and explore her turf. They adjust well to apartment living as long as they get a daily walk and some play time in the dog park.
With limited data regarding the first origins of the Havashu dog, we need to look at the history of the parent dogs (the Havanese and the Shih Tzu) to understand the characteristics that may be inherited by the new hybrid breed. The Shih Tzu is a very ancient breed dating back to early China or Tibet – the discussion is still ongoing about this very fact. But what is agreed is that the Shih Tzu was a treasured companion dog. They are documented on artifacts from both countries history. It was customary to give a pair of these dogs to noblemen or people of influence as a gift – such was their value. Gentle and affectionate, the Shih Tzu was often called the little lion dog because of their appearance. During 1928 the first breeding pair arrived in England, and then in 1969 they were recognised by the American Kennel Club. These dogs love to sit in your lap and want to be with you all the time. Happiest when they are the centre of attention, this little dog loves to play and has a happy disposition making them ideal family dogs. The Havanese suffered a severe decline in numbers in the late 1800s as their popularity waned. Their ancestors were originally from Spain, and they accompanied their owners to Cuba when Columbus claimed the territory for Spain in 1492. They bred with local dogs on the island and over time became the Havanese that is so well known today. They had a spell of popularity during the 1800s with the rich and wealthy in both Cuba and Europe, but then they all but vanished from the scene. It was only later when breeders took on the challenge to save the breed that saw a slow recovery as the breed once more established itself. These dogs love company and don’t like to be left alone. Loving and gentle by nature, they are a true companion dog.