The Havaton is one of the designer dogs that have managed to become popular in recent decades. On one side, it is descended from the Havanese; on the other side, it is descended from the Coton de Tulear. The result is a small dog that is well-suited for the role of household companion.
1. Crossbred Using Relatives
Dogs come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Even so, every single one of them is still considered to be a member of the same species. Having said that, some dogs are more related than others, as shown by the Havanese and the Coton de Tulear. These two breeds look very similar, which is no coincidence because they are both bichons sharing some of the same ancestors.
2. Might Have Roots in Tenerife
To name an example, it is believed that both the Havanese and the Coton de Tulear can trace their origins to the island of Tenerife. For those who are unfamiliar, this would be the biggest of the Canary Islands, so much so that it can claim 43 percent of their population. As for how Tenerife became connected to both the Havanese and the Coton de Tulear, well, it seems safe to say that it is connected to the island’s role in colonial times. The Crown of Castile conquered the Canary Islands from 1402 to 1496, with the result that they became a convenient stop for European ships heading even further out.
3. Might Have Roots in Malta
Some people believe that these bichons can trace their roots to Tenerife, while other people believe that these bichons can trace their roots to Malta instead. The Maltese was the stereotypical lapdog of the Greco-Roman world, but even in those times, people weren’t sure about the Maltese being Maltese. After all, they were called Melitaie, which suggests that they came from a place called Melita. The problem was that there was more than one place called Melita, with one being what is now the island of Malta and the other being what is now the island of Mljet.
4. The Havanese Came Into Existence in Cuba
Regardless, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Havanese came into existence in Cuba. There, the breed became companions to the Spanish colonists, which in turn, meant that it became companions to the Cuban elite.
5. The Havanese Is Sometimes Called the Havana Silk Dog
The Havanese is sometimes called the Havana Silk Dog because of its long, silky coat. Unfortunately, this name can be rather confusing because of how it was once used as well as how it is now used. For starters, Havana Silk Dog once referred to the Blanquito de la Habana, which is the now-extinct ancestor of the Havanese. Furthermore, Havana Silk Dog is now sometimes used to refer to an attempt to recreate the older breed using members of the Havanese, which isn’t recognized as something separate by the American Kennel Club. Thanks to this, there are a number of dogs that are registered as not just a Havana Silk Dog but also as a Havanese by different organizations.
6. There Were Very Few Havanese in the United States
U.S. breeders became interested in the Havanese in the 1970s. When that happened, there were no more than 11 members of the breed that could be found in the whole of the United States. This can sound strange because the initial wave of the Cuban exodus that left the island following the Cuban Revolution of 1959 was dominated by the educated, land-owning Cuban upper-class. However, the simple fact of the matter is that most of them weren’t able to bring their dogs with them. Even so, U.S. breeders managed to get their hands on some additional dogs from international sources while implementing other measures, with the result that the Havanese became recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996.
7. The Coton de Tulear Came Into Existence in Madagascar
Meanwhile, the Coton de Tulear came into existence on the island of Madagascar. In fact, its name means “Cotton of Tulear,” referring to a city that is now called Toliara. It isn’t clear how dogs from Tenerife managed to make their way to Madagascar, but it is popular to speculate about the involvement of pirates, who made much use of Madagascar for much of the early modern period. Whatever the case, those dogs bred with the local dogs, thus giving rise to the ancestors of the Coton de Tulear.
8. The Coton de Tulear Was Never Feral
The Coton de Tulear is a popular breed in its homeland, with the result that a lot of spurious stories have sprung up about it. For instance, it was never a feral dog. Similarly, it never hunted boars and alligators, not least because it was never big enough to take on those formidable animals. Instead, the Coton de Tulear was pretty much exactly what most people would expect based on its appearance, which is to say, a much-prized companion of the local elite.
9. The Havaton Can Be Rather Needy
Havanese dogs have a reputation for being rather needy. Simply put, they love humans, so much so that their happiness is reliant on their interaction with humans. Something that explains why the breed is sometimes called the velcro dog. It is possible for Havatons to inherit this kind of personality, which is important because said dogs won’t do very well if they are left alone for extended periods of time.
10. The Havaton Can Be Quite Trainable
On the plus side, Havatons can be quite trainable. Generally speaking, they are relatively intelligent dogs that happen to be people pleasers, meaning that they react well to positive reinforcement so long as they don’t become bored by an excessively repetitive routine. Unsurprisingly, Havatons don’t react so well to punishment, which can make them disheartened as well as disinclined towards training altogether.