The National Dog of Cuba and the country’s only native breed, the Havanese is a small, sturdy dog with a friendly
disposition. His wavy, silky coat is profuse, but remains extremely light, insulating and protecting the breed against harsh
tropical heat. His coat, which comes in all colors, should remain untrimmed. The Havanese’s popularity in the show ring
has grown quickly, and they are also now high in demand as a family pet.
A Look Back
An old breed, the Havanese is a descendent of breeds brought to Cuba from Spain and could also
be related to the Tenerife, an ancestor of the entire Bichon family. Once known as the Havana Silk Dog and the Spanish Silk
Poodle, the Havanese evolved from its role as a pampered lap-dog of the aristocracy into a family companion responsible for
being a watchdog, child’s playmate and herder of the family’s poultry flock.
Right Breed for You? The Havanese is trainable and intelligent and possesses a naturally affectionate
temperament, which making the breed an ideal family pet. Although a toy dog, they remain energetic and require some form of
daily exercise. The breed’s non-shedding coat makes it suitable for allergy sufferers, but regular grooming is necessary
to keep the coat in top condition.
General Appearance The Havanese is a small, sturdy dog of immense charm. The native dog of Cuba, he
is beloved as a friendly, intelligent and playful companion. He is slightly longer than tall, with a long, untrimmed, double
coat. The Havanese has a short upper arm with moderate shoulder layback and a straight topline that rises slightly from the
withers to the croup. The plumed tail is carried arched forward up over the back. The unique springy gait is a result of the
breed’s structure and playful, spirited personality. These characteristics of temperament, coat, structure and gait
are essential to type.
Size, Proportion, and Substance The ideal height is between 9 and 10 1/2 inches, with an acceptable
height range from 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches. Height at withers under 8 1/2 inches or over 11 1/2 inches is a disqualification,
except that the minimum height shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age. The height
is slightly less than the length from the point of shoulder to point of buttocks, creating a rectangular outline. The Havanese
is moderately boned and should never appear coarse or fragile.
Head The expression is soft, intelligent and mischievous. Eyes
are large, dark brown and almond-shaped. Chocolate dogs may have somewhat lighter brown eyes. Eye rims are solid black for
all colors except for chocolate dogs which have solid brown eye rims. Incomplete or total lack of pigmentation of the eye
rims is a disqualification.Ears are broad at the base, dropped, and have a distinct fold.
They are set high on the skull, slightly above the endpoint of the zygomatic arch. When alert, the ears lift at the base but
always remain folded. Ear leather, when extended, reaches halfway to the nose. The skull is broad
and slightly rounded. The stop is moderate and the planes of the head are level. The cheeks are flat. Length of muzzle
is slightly less than length of skull measured from stop to point of occiput. The muzzle is full and rectangular with a broad
nose. The nose and lips are solid black for all colors except for chocolate dogs which have solid brown pigment. Incomplete
or total lack of pigmentation of the nose or lips is a disqualification. Any color pigmentation other than black or
brown on the eye rims, nose or lips is a disqualification.Small depigmented areas on lips due to rubbing against
canine teeth will not disqualify.A scissors bite is ideal and a full complement of incisors is preferred.
Neck, Topline and Body The neck is slightly arched, of moderate length, blends
smoothly into the shoulders and is in balance with the height and length of the dog. The prosternum is evident but not prominent.
The chest is deep, well developed, and reaches the elbow. The straight topline rises slightly from
the withers to the croup. Measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks, the body is slightly
longer than the height at the withers. This length comes from the ribcage. Ribs are well sprung. The loin is short and well
muscled. There is a moderate tuck-up. The tail is high-set and arches forward up over the back.
It is plumed with long, silky hair. The tail plume may fall straight forward or to either side of the body. While standing,
a dropped tail is permissible. The tail may not be docked.
Forequarters The tops of the shoulder blades lie in at the withers, allowing the neck to blend smoothly
into the back. Moderate shoulder layback is sufficient to carry the head and neck high. The upper arm is short. Elbows are
tight to the body and forelegs are straight when viewed from any angle. The length from the foot to the elbow is equal to
the length from elbow to withers. Pasterns are short, strong and flexible, very slightly sloping. Dewclaws may be removed.
The feet have arched toes and point straight ahead. Pads and nails may be any color.
Hindquarters The hind legs are muscular with moderate angulation. Hocks are well let down; pasterns
are parallel from hock to foot. The croup is slightly higher than the withers. Dewclaws may be removed. The feet have arched
toes and point straight ahead. Pads and nails may be any color.
Coat Silky to the touch, the coat is soft and light in texture in both outer and undercoat, although
the outer coat carries slightly more weight. The coat is long, abundant and wavy. It stands off the body slightly, but flows
with movement. An ideal coat will permit the natural lines of the dog to be seen. Puppy coat may be shorter and have a softer
texture than adult coat. A single, flat, frizzy or curly coat should be faulted. A coarse, wiry coat is a disqualification.
A short, smooth coat with or without furnishings is a disqualification. The coat may be corded. Corded coats will naturally
separate into wavy sections in young dogs and will in time develop into cords. Adult corded dogs will be completely covered
with a full coat of tassle-like cords.
Color All colors and marking patterns are permissible and are of equal merit. The skin may be any color.
Gait The Havanese gait is springy. The characteristic spring is the result of the short upper arm combined
with the rear drive. Front legs reach forward freely matching the moderate extension in the rear. On the move, the pads may
be visible coming or going. The head is carried high and the slight rise in the topline holds under movement.
Temperament The Havanese is friendly, playful, alert and intelligent with a sweet, non-quarrelsome
disposition. Aggression or shyness should be faulted.
Presentation Havanese should be shown as naturally as is consistent with good grooming. They may be
shown either brushed or corded. The coat should be clean and well conditioned. In mature dogs, the length of the coat may
cause it to fall to either side down the back but it should not be deliberately parted. Head furnishings are long and untrimmed,
and may fall forward over the eyes or to both sides of the head; they may also be held in two small braids secured with plain
elastic bands. The braids start above the inside corner of each eye and extend at least to the outside corner, forming the
appearance of eyebrows. No other hair accessories are permitted. Minimal trimming of the anal and genital area is permissible
but should not be noticeable on presentation. Hair on the feet and between the pads should be neatly trimmed. No other trimming
or sculpting of the coat is permitted and is to be so severely penalized as to preclude placement. Havanese should be presented
at a natural speed on a loose lead to properly assess the characteristic springy gait.
Faults The foregoing description is that of the ideal Havanese. Any deviation from the above described
dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Disqualifications Height at withers under 8½ or over11½ inches except that the minimum
height shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age. Incomplete or total lack of pigmentation of the eye
rims. Incomplete or total lack of pigmentation of the nose or lips. Any color pigmentation other than
black or brown on the eye rims, nose or lips. A coarse, wiry coat. A short, smooth coat with or without