Birmingham Live has joined forces with our brand new sister site, TeamDogs, and the fabulous Pooch & Mutt food for dogs company, to find out which dog breed really is the nation’s favourite.
Here, Lucy Thornton champions the Havanese and explains exactly why they are the best breed.
If you agree – or disagree – we’ll give you the chance to vote in the search to find the UK’s favourite dog breed.
Head over to teamdogs.co.uk to find out who is at the top of the league table. Remember the rankings will keep changing so do cast your vote.
Bubble’s beautiful brown eyes gleam with mischief as he steals yet another pair of socks.
Then follow the ‘zoomies’ where he runs around the house and garden with his new treasure at supersonic speed, while you try to swap a dog toy for hubby’s socks.
“Is that a Cavapoo/Tibetan Terrier/Shih Tzu?” I’m often asked by dog lovers as I drag him out for a walk.
‘No’, I tell them, ‘He’s a Havanese’ and get rewarded with looks of confusion.
I explain the Havanese is a member of the Bichon family and, according to the Kennel Club, the national dog of Cuba.
It is thought that he was taken from the Mediterranean to Cuba by Spanish or Italian sailors as companions.
The breed became more widely known when Castro’s Communist regime took control of Cuba and people fled to the USA, taking their dogs with them.
They are still hugely popular over the pond but not so well known in the UK.
Which is a surprise because the Havanese are also known as ‘silk dogs’ due to their smooth luxurious ‘hair’.
They don’t moult and can be perfect for people who suffer from allergies. Although, that comes at a grooming cost.
They are also cheerful little dogs who love children and all things human.
These intelligent ‘circus dogs’ love performing for you, showing off their dancing tricks on their back legs or a quick spin.
Bubble always helps us start our day with a smile.
He gives affectionate kisses as he jumps on the bed telling you it’s time to get up and then fetches you a gift, his favourite toy.
If you get the orange bear you really are honoured but the spongy football is a real insult.
Some, including Bubble, are not the easiest of puppies as you try and train them not to bite your ankles (or the groomer) but they are worth all the pain.
Our ‘little man’ is two years old now and our second Havanese.
I’d fallen in love with the breed after taking in a four-year-old bitch who had been used for breeding.
Our first was half the size of Bubble at 3.5 kilos and the sweetest, kindest dog I’ve ever owned.
I could not find one to rescue at the time I was looking, so went to an assured breeder via the Kennel Club.
While Bubble is undoubtedly much harder work, he is however, the funniest and cheekiest dog, who makes me smile and laugh every day – even when he’s stealing socks.
1. Sometimes too smart for their own good, these intelligent and curious dogs are known to be real mischief makers. They love to be given something to do and to challenge themselves mentally. They are excellent at solving puzzles.
2. Owners should brush them through every day, focusing on areas such as the ears, armpits and belly. Daily tooth brushing is advised and most need to have their ears cleaned every one to two weeks.
3. A robust little dog, most enjoy good health. As with many other toy breeds, they tend to live well into their teens. We should be aware of a number of health issues which can be present within the breed such as: Patellar Luxation, Allergic Skin Disease and Hypothyroidism
To learn more, read the full article here
It’s those eyes that do it, those human-like windows to the sweetest of souls.
Take a look at the TeamDogs leaderboard and cast your vote. If your favourite isn’t there, just email us at [email protected] with 200 words telling us how brilliant the breed is and why it deserves to win and we’ll add it to the competition