The Poovanese is a cross between the Havanese, a native breed from Cuba and considered its national dog, and the Poodle, a German breed originally used for hunting and retrieving in and around bodies of water.
The Havanese is believed to have been originally brought over from Spain, and is part of the Bichon family. Cuban nobles were very partial to the Havanese, and some were taken with their fleeing owners to the US at the height of the Cuban Revolution. To date, this wonderful companion breed is still considered rare, although interest and popularity are growing.
The Poodle tests as one of the most intelligent breeds today, despite their frequent portrayal in the media as being the opposite. Small but impressive in appearance as well as in its various talents, the Poodle enjoys the distinction of being a "fashionable" dog and has adorned the laps and arms of several celebrities.
The Poovanese can come in different coat colors and patterns, made possible by the variety of the parent coats. The Havanese has no one common color or pattern, while the Poodle comes in a wide range of solid colors, and sometimes in parti-color. Noses, lips and eye rims are usually black, except for when the fur is brown, where dark brown or liver may show instead.
The Poovanese might have an undercoat from its Poodle parent. But as both parent breeds are "hypoallergenic" --- meaning, there is very little shedding --- its medium-to-long wavy fur is ideal for allergy sufferers, compared to other dog breeds with similar furs. The fur on the Poovanese slightly stands out from the back and sides, but moves naturally with the body.
The Poovanese is an easily lovable breed that eagerly returns affection, and sometimes will follow its owner around the house, waiting to be petted. It is always ready to play, and is ideal for families and children. Fearless and confident, the Poovanese will, with proper exposure, live comfortably with other pets, but will not normally be readily welcoming with strangers. An ideal companion dog, the Poovanese will be content with indoor living or in small living areas,as long as it gets taken out for walks.
Regular brushing and grooming are recommended for the Poovanese, not only to keep the coat neat-looking, but also to get rid of any shed hair that can be the start of mats and snarls. The ears should be checked, dried and plucked when the Poovanese has to be bathed, and hair over the eyes is best grown long and just tied up, instead of being shaved off.
As with all dogs, socialization is needed from puppyhood, to prevent clinginess and neediness in the dog later on. The Poovanese is a quick dog to train, either with basic or more advanced commands. It is food-oriented, so little treats will go over well and facilitate faster learning.
The Poovanese will not be very demanding in the way of physical activity. It does need to take a walk outside every now and then, but play sessions indoors or within a fenced area will nicely do to keep the dog stimulated. It does not need to deplete its energy stores to be able to settle down for the day, although it will appreciate an occasional change of pace or additional activities such as agility courses.