Charles Dickens’ Havanese

Did a Havanese inspired Charles Dickens’ character, Tiny Tim? We may never know, but we do know that the author had a Havanese named, “Tim,” who was beloved by his seven children.

The breed known as “Habaneros” in Spanish is the National Dog of Cuba, and one source maintains that the breed developed from Bichons that came from Europe. These dogs weren’t suited to Cuba’s climate, and over time, the dogs that did adapt came be known as the “Bianquito de la Habana,” or Havanese Silk Dog. Smaller than than the origional Bichons, these had an all white coat that was silky. Enter the 19th century, and Poodles coming into Cuba from Europe were bred to the Blanquito de la Habana, creating today’s Havanese. The Blanquito de la Habana is now extinct, but happily, Havanese (singular or plural, the name’s the same) are thriving. BTW, Havanese can be corded! We always defer to breed experts, so input is welcome!

3 thoughts on “Charles Dickens’ Havanese”

  1. UC Davis has recently done a DNA study on the Havanese and has proven that they do not come from the Bichons, but were bred to Poodles for color and have a ton of poodle in their DNA. Hence, the curly coat that cords, which most breeders try to stay away from! They are very high on the list of great PTSD dogs because they are so very in tune to their person’s emotions. Consequently, they make incredibly good therapy dogs. They are very athletic and fast, so also do extremely well in agility. Some carry a “dilution” gene causing their color to lighten (dilute) as they mature. They come in every color and color combination with varying coat textures from cottony to silky. The coat is a double coat and should be profuse and slightly wavey (or corded).

    • Good to know, thanks for sharing this really interesting information, WOW!

    • I took a look at that study, and it doesn’t say that they “did not come from bichons” and just from the poodle. It says: “The results of the present study suggests that the modern Havanese is more likely a recreated breed resulting from crosses between a number of different small breeds, possibly including Blanquito, and other dogs of shared ancestry.”

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