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The Havanese Standard

General Appearance
The Havanese is a small sturdy dog of immense charm. He is slightly longer than tall, and covered with a
profuse mantle of untrimmed long, silky, wavy hair. His plumed tail is carried loosely curled over his rump. A
native of Cuba, he has evolved over the centuries from the pampered lapdog of the aristocracy into what he
is today - the quintessential family pet of a people living on a small tropical island. His duties traditionally
have been those of companion, watchdog, child's playmate and herder of the family poultry flock. His
presentation in the show ring should reflect his function - always in excellent condition but never so
elaborately coifed as to preclude an impromptu romp in the leaves, as his character is essentially playful
rather than decorative.

While historically always a toy dog and therefore never overly large or coarse, he does not appear so fragile
as to make him unsuitable as a child's pet. His unique coat reflects centuries in the tropics, and protects
against the heat. It is remarkably soft and light in texture, profuse without being harsh or woolly. Likewise,
the furnishings of the head are believed to protect the eyes from the harsh tropical sun, and have
traditionally never been gathered in a topknot for this reason.

In both structure and gait, the Havanese is not easily mistaken for any other breed. His characteristic
topline, rising slightly from withers to rump is a result of moderate angulation both fore and aft combined
with a typically short upper arm. The resulting springy gait is flashy rather than far-reaching and unique to
the breed. The overall impression of the dog on the move is one of agility rather than excessive ability to
cover ground. These characteristics of temperament, structure and gait contribute in large part to the
character of the breed, and are essential to type.

Size, Proportion, and Substance
The height range is from 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches, with the ideal being between 9 and 10 1/2 inches,
measured at the withers, and is slightly less than the length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks,
creating a rectangular outline rather than a square one. The Havanese is a sturdy little dog, and should
never appear fragile. A coarse dog with excessive bone is likewise contrary to type and therefore equally
undesirable. The minimum height ranges set forth in the description above shall not apply to dogs or
bitches under twelve months of age.
Disqualification: Height at withers under 8 1/2 inches or over 11 1/2 inches, except that the minimum height
ranges set forth in the description above shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age.

Head
The expression is soft and intelligent, mischievous rather than cute. The eyes are dark brown, large,
almond-shaped, and set rather widely apart. Dark eyes are preferred irrespective of coat color, although the
chocolate colored dog may have somewhat lighter eyes. The pigment on the eyerims is complete, solid
black for all colors except for the chocolate dog which has complete solid, dark chocolate brown pigment No
other dilution of pigment is acceptable. Ears are of medium length; the leather, when extended, reaches
halfway to the nose. They are set high on the skull, slightly above the endpoint of the zygomatic arch, and are
broad at the base, showing a distinct fold. When the dog is alert, the ears lift at the base, producing an
unbroken shallow arc from the outer edge of each ear across the backskull. The backskull is broad and
slightly rounded. The stop is moderate. Length of muzzle is slightly less than length of backskull measured
from stop to point of occiput and the planes are level. The nose is broad and squarish, fitting a full and
rectangular muzzle, with no indication of snipiness. The pigment on the nose and lips is complete, solid
black for all colors except for the chocolate dog which has complete solid, dark chocolate brown pigment No
other dilution of pigment is acceptable. A scissors bite is ideal. Full complement of incisors preferred.
Disqualifications: Complete absence of black (or chocolate in the chocolate dog) pigmentation on the
eyerims, nose or lips.

Neck, Topline and Body
The neck is of moderate length, in balance with the height and length of the dog. It carries a slight arch and
blends smoothly into the shoulders. The topline is straight but not level, rising slightly from withers to rump.
There is no indication of a roach back. The body, measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks, is
slightly longer than the height at the withers. This length comes from the ribcage and not from the short,
well-muscled loin. The chest is deep, rather broad in front, and reaches the elbow. The ribs are well sprung.
There is a moderate tuck-up. The tail is high-set and plumed with long, silky hair. It arcs forward over the
back, but neither lies flat on the back nor is tightly curled. On the move the tail is carried loosely curled over
the rump. The long plume of hair may fall straight forward or to either side of the body. The tail may not be
docked.

Forequarters
Shoulder layback is moderate, lying not more than 40 degrees off vertical. Extreme shoulder layback will
negatively affect proper gait, and should be faulted. The tops of the shoulder blades lie in at the withers,
allowing the neck to merge smoothly into the back. The upper arm is relatively short, but there is sufficient
angle between the shoulder and upper arm to set the legs well under the body with a pronounced forechest.
The elbows turn neither in nor out, and are tight to the body. Forelegs are well-boned and straight when
viewed from any angle. The distance from the foot to the elbow is equal to the distance from elbow to
withers. The pasterns are short, strong and flexible, very slightly sloping. Dewclaws may be removed. The
feet are round, with well arched toes, and turn neither in nor out. Pads and nails may be black, white, pink or
a combination of these colors. Chocolate dogs may also have brown pads and nails.

Hindquarters
The hind legs are well-boned and muscular through the thigh, with moderate angulation. The hocks are
short and turn neither in nor out. In normal stance, the hind legs are parallel to each other from hock to heel
and all the joints are in line when viewed from the rear. The rear assembly, in which the rump is slightly
higher than the withers, contributes to the breed's unique, springy gait. Dewclaws should be removed. The
hind feet fall slightly behind a perpendicular line from the point of buttock when viewed from the side. Hind
feet have well arched toes and turn neither in nor out. Pads and nails may be black, white, pink or a
combination of these colors. Chocolate dogs may also have brown pads and nails.

Coat
The coat is double, but without the harsh standoff guard hair and woolly undercoat usually associated with
double coats. Rather, it is soft and light in texture throughout, though the outer coat carries slightly more
weight. The long hair is abundant and, ideally, wavy. An ideal coat will not be so profuse nor overly long as to
obscure the natural lines of the dog. Puppies may have a shorter coat. A single, flat coat or an excessively
curly coat are equally contrary to type and should be faulted.
Disqualifications: A coarse, wiry coat. An atypical short coat on an adult dog (atypical would be a smooth, flat
coat with, or without furnishings.)

Color
All colors are acceptable, singly or in any combination. No preference is given to one color over another. The
skin may be freckled or parti-colored.

Gait
The Havanese gait is lively, elegant, resilient, and unique, contributing greatly to the breed's overall
essential typiness. The characteristic "spring" is caused by the strong rear drive combined with a "flashy"
front action effected by the short upper arm. While a truly typey dog is incapable of exaggerated reach and
drive, the action does not appear stilted or hackneyed. The slightly higher rear may cause a correctly built
specimen to show a flash of pad coming and going. The front legs reach forward freely. There is good
extension in the rear and no tendency toward sickle hocks. The topline holds under movement, neither
flattening nor roaching. Head carriage is typically high, even on the move.

Temperament
Playful and alert. The Havanese is both trainable and intelligent with a sweet, non-quarrelsome disposition.

Presentation
The dog should be shown as naturally as is consistent with good grooming. He may be shown either
brushed or corded. His coat should be clean and well conditioned. In mature specimens, the length of the
coat may cause it to fall to either side down the back but it should not appear to be artificially parted. The
long, untrimmed head furnishings may fall forward over the eyes, naturally and gracefully to either side of
the skull, or held in two small braids beginning above the eyes, secured with plain elastic bands. (No
ribbons or bows are permitted.) 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. In either coat, minimal trimming of the hair at the inside corner of the eye is allowed for hygienic
purposes only, not in an attempt to resculpt the planes of the head. Minimal trimming around the anal and
genital areas, for hygienic purposes only, is permissible but should not be noticeable on presentation. The
hair on the feet and between the pads should be neatly trimmed for the express purpose of a tidy
presentation. Any other trimming or sculpting of the coat is to be so severely penalized as to preclude
placement. Because correct gait is essential to breed type, the Havanese should be presented at natural
speed on a loose lead.

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 keeping in mind the importance of the contribution of the various
features toward the "original purpose of the breed."

Disqualifications
- Height at withers under 8 ½ or over 11 ½ inches except that the minimum height range shall not apply to
dogs or bitches under twelve months of age.
- Complete absence of black (or chocolate in the chocolate dog) pigmentation on the eyerims, nose or lips
- Coarse, wiry coat.
- An atypical short coat on an adult. (Atypical refers to a smooth, flat coat with, or without furnishings.)