Origin & Purpose
Originating in the Western Mediterranean region, Havanese are
descended from old world Bichon types. Early sea merchants brought
these small dogs to Cuba where the breed was further developed
and refined; for centuries prized by upper social classes as children’s
playmates and loving companions. Though numbers were severely
decimated by the Cuban revolution of the late 1950’s, the breed has
regrown from surviving descendants. No longer a token of high society;
the Havanese today is a companion dog to be enjoyed by all.
Sturdy, well balanced, small drop-eared dog, rectangular in outline,
slightly longer than tall, with long abundant, soft and wavy hair in a
variety of colours and patterns. Casual and carefree, unaffected in
both manner and appearance. Movement lively and elastic, plumed tail
carried over the back.
Exceptionally bright and attentive, easily trained in many capacities.
Affectionate, happy natured, amiable, a charmer, playful and even a bit
of a clown. An eager, lively, devoted family companion, typically good
Ideal height at withers 23-27cm (9.0-10.6 inches). Tolerance from
21-29cm (8.3-11.4 inches). Proportion and Substance: Small dog with
a sense of refinement yet also sturdy; weight proportionate to height
and bone, maintaining a balanced moderate build without exaggeration
towards either fragility or coarseness.
Coat & Colour
Coat: Hair: Well suited to a breed developed in the tropics, the
abundant, silken double coat is fine, soft and lightweight throughout,
with a subtle airiness, less substantial at the touch than appearance
suggests. Undercoat light and may not be very developed. The topcoat,
very long (12-18cm in adults) does not hang to the ground, allowing
light under the dog when standing on a solid surface; it enhances and
reflects the lines of the body. No preference given for extreme length
or profuseness. Puppy coats shorter, softer, less full than adult’s. Hair
ideally wavy; any degree of wave permissible. Single, perfectly straight
or tightly curled coats undesirable; wooly, harsh or wiry textures
incorrect. Natural coat separation is acceptable, deliberate parting is
not. Head furnishings simply brushed back or allowed to fall naturally.
Scissoring and all trimming forbidden. Exceptions: tidying the base of
the feet and minimal hygienic trimming unnoticeable on presentation.
Thorough hands-on examination helps evaluate faults and qualities
concealed by coat.
Colour: Wide colour diversity; all colours, markings and patterns
Medium length, balanced in proportion to body. Skull: Flat to very
slightly rounded, broad, forehead rising; seen from above, rounded at
the back and almost straight and square on other three sides. Stop:
moderate. Nose: Fully pigmented, colour undiluted. Black; Liver/
Brown on chocolate dogs. Muzzle: level; narrowing slightly towards
the nose but neither snipey nor truncated. Muzzle length equals skull
length from stop to occiput. Lips: fine, lean, tight. Black; Liver/Brown
on chocolate dogs. Jaws/Teeth: Scissors bite. Complete dentition
desirable, absence of premolars (PM1) and molars (M3) tolerated.
Cheeks: flat. Eyes: Bright, gentle, intelligent and expressive. Quite
big, wide set, almond shaped. Dark brown; lighter brown on chocolate
dogs. Eyerims: Fully pigmented. Dark brown/black; Liver/Brown on
chocolate dogs. Ears: Well feathered, set relatively high; falling along
the cheeks forming a discreet fold which raises them slightly. Ear
leathers extend halfway to the nose, ending with a lightly rounded point.
Neither propeller ears (sticking sideways) nor stuck to the cheeks.
Medium length, proportionately balanced, blending smoothly into the
Forelegs straight and parallel, lean; good bone structure; moderate
angulations. Distance from ground to elbow equals that from elbow to
withers. Elbows close to body. Feet: pointing straight forward; slightly
elongated shape; small; tight toes. Dewclaws may be removed.
Slightly longer than tall, creating a rectangular outline, never square.
Length measured point-of-shoulder to point-of-buttocks; height
measured at withers. Topline is straight, slightly arched over the
muscular loin, presenting a gentle, gradual rise from withers to rear with
smooth transition to natural lines of the rump. Forefront prominent;
ribs well sprung; chest reaching the elbow. Belly well tucked up.
Good bone structure; straight and parallel; moderate angulations in
balance with forequarters. Rear and buttocks well developed. Feet:
same as front.
Plumed tail, moderately high set, furnished with long silky feathering
falling over the back or to either side. Loosely curled over the back
while gaiting, may drop at rest.
The Havanese has a strikingly light-footed and elastic gait which
contributes greatly to breed type. Movement is lively and springy,
forelegs free striding and pointing straight forward; hindlegs giving the
impulsion and moving in a straight line. Topline steady in motion; head
naturally carried high. Movement best evaluated at the trot with dog
moving freely on loose lead. Show of pads permissible.
Any departure from foregoing points to be considered a fault and
penalized in proportion to degree of deviation.
• General appearnace lacking in type
• Fragility or coarseness
• Excessive shyness or aggression
• Muzzle truncated or snipey, shorter/longer than skull length
• Bird of Prey eyes, eyes too deep set or prominent
• Nose or eyerim(s) partially depigmented
• Body too long/short; roached back; exaggerated rise
• Straight or tightly curled tail; incorrect tail carriage
• French front; leg(s) bowed/curved; deformed feet
• Coat harsh, not abundant; hair short except on puppies, trimmed
or sculpted coat
• Over-groomed or neglected coat
• Depigmented nose
• Overshot or undershot
• Ectropion, Entropion; one or both eyerims totally depigmented
• Size under 21cm or over 29cm (minimum not applicable to puppies
under 12 months)
N.B.: Males must have two apparently normal testicles fully descended.
* CKC breed Standard