The Havana Silk Dog is a small dog, but a sturdy dog, covered with long, silky, wavy hair. The breed has been derived in recent years from Havanese. Breeders wanted to return the Havanese to its origins, and move away from dwarfism that had become rampant in the breed, and have thus created the Havana Silk Dog. They come in all colors of the canine rainbow and the nose is always black. The long facial hair no only gives the dog a distinct appearance, but is designed to protect the dog from the harsh light of the Cuban tropics. They have dark, almond-shaped eyes that wear an intelligent, but playful expression. Ears are medium-length, set high on the head and have a distinct fold. The tail is set high on the body and is plumed with long, silky hair. It should arc forward over the back, but not curl. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried loosely curled over the rump and the plume may fall straight forward or to the side of the body.
Size and Weight
The ideal height for a Havana Silk Dog is between 9 and 11 inches at the shoulder. Dogs should not exceed 13.5 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Havana Silk Dog wears a thick, soft, silky, wavy coat that doesn't shed easily. They come in all colors of the canine rainbow including black, white, black and tan, sable, or gray. They may be speckled or parti-color. There is no preference given to any particular color or markings. The length makes the coat appear heavy, but the coat, which evolved in the tropics is actually lightweight and designed to reflect heat.
The coat of the Havana Silk Dog may be clipped or kept long. Show dogs must have long hair, but family dogs can be trimmed short for no-fuss grooming. Long-haired Havana Silk Dog require daily brushing to remove tangles and prevent mats. They also require frequent bathing to keep the coat clean. It's not uncommon for a Havana Silk Dog to get a weekly bath. Tear stains are common and the face should be wiped daily with a damp rag.
Teeth should be brushed several times per week. Small dogs are prone to dental problems, and regular brushing can help prevent bad teeth later in life. Trim nails monthly and check the ears regularly for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ear with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser.