FCI-Standard N° 250
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID
UTILIZATION: Companion and toy dog.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs.
Section 1 Bichons and related breeds.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The breed comes from the
Western Mediterranean region and has developed along the Spanish
and Italian coastal region. It would seem that these dogs were
imported early in Cuba by ocean navigating Italian captains.
Erroneously, the most frequent brown colour of these dogs (tobacco)
gave birth to the legend which would mean it to be a breed
originating from Havana, capital of Cuba. The political events
however have led to the total disappearance of the old blood lines of
the Havanese in Cuba; apparently a few dogs could be successfully
smuggled out from Cuba; their descendants have survived in the
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Havanese is a sturdy little dog,
low on his legs, with long abundant hair, soft and preferably wavy.
His movement is lively and elastic.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length of the muzzle (tip of
nose to stop) is equal to the distance between the stop and the
occipital protuberance. The relation between the length of the body
(measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock)
and the height at the withers is of 4/3.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Exceptionally bright he is easy
to train as alarm dog. Affectionate, of a happy nature, he is amiable,
a charmer, playful and even a bit of a clown. He loves children and
plays endlessly with them.
HEAD: Of medium length, the relation between the length of the
head and that of the trunk (measured from the withers to the base of
the tail) is of 3/7.
Skull: Flat to very slightly rounded, broad; forehead hardly rising;
seen from above it is rounded at the back and almost straight and
square on the other three sides.
Stop: Moderately marked.
Nose: Black or brown.
Muzzle: Narrowing progressively and slightly towards the nose but
neither snipey nor truncated.
Lips: Fine, lean, tight.
Jaws/Teeth: Scissor bite. A complete dentition is desirable. The
absence of premolars 1 (PM1) and molars 3 (M3) is tolerated.
Cheeks: Very flat, not prominent.
Eyes: Quite big, almond shape, of brown colour as dark as possible.
Kind expression. The eyes rims must be dark brown to black.
Ears: Set relatively high; they fall along the cheeks forming a
discreet fold which raises them slightly. Their extremity is in a
lightly rounded point. They are covered with hair in long fringes.
Neither propeller ears (sticking sideways), nor stuck to the cheeks.
NECK: Of medium length.
BODY: The length of the body is slightly superior to that of the
height at the withers.
Back: Topline straight, slightly arched over the loin.
Croup: Noticeably inclined.
Ribs: Well sprung.
Belly (abdomen): Well tucked up.
TAIL: Carried high, either in shape of a crozier or preferably rolled
over the back; it is furnished with feathering of long silky hair.
FOREQUARTERS: Forelegs straight and parallel, lean; good bone
structure. The distance from the ground to the elbow must not be
greater than that between the elbow and the withers.
Forefeet: Of slightly elongated shape; small; tight toes
HINDQUARTERS: Good bone structure; moderate angulations.
Hind feet: Of slightly elongated shape; small; tight toes.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: According to his happy nature, the
Havanese has a strikingly light-footed and elastic gait; forelegs with
free stride and pointing straight forward, the hindlegs giving them
the impulsion and moving in a straight line.
Hair: Undercoat woolly and not very developed; it is often totally
absent. The topcoat is very long (12-18 cm in an adult dog), soft, flat
or wavy and may form curly strands. All grooming, the usage of
scissors to even out the length of the coat and all trimming is
Exception: tidying up the hair on the feet is permitted, the hair on the
forehead may be slightly shortened so that it does not cover the eyes
and the hair on the muzzle may be slightly tidied up, but it is
preferable to leave it in natural length.
Rarely completely pure white, fawn in its different shades (slight
blackened overlay admitted), black, havana-brown, tobacco colour,
reddish-brown. Patches in mentioned colours allowed.
Tan markings in all nuances permitted.
Height at the withers: From 23 to 27 cm.
Tolerance : from 21 to 29 cm.
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be
considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be
regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect
upon the health and welfare of the dog.
• General appearance lacking in type.
• Truncated or snipey muzzle, length not identical to that of the
• Bird of prey eyes; eyes too deep set or prominent; rims of eyelids
• Body too long or too short.
• Straight tail, not carried high.
• « French » front (pasterns too close, feet turned outwards).
• Deformed hind feet.
• Coat harsh, not abundant; hair short except on puppies; groomed
• Aggressive or overly shy.
• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities
shall be disqualified.
• Depigmented nose.
• Upper or lower prognathism.
• Ectropion, entropion; rim of eyelids of one or both eyes
• Size over or under the indicated norms of the standard.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical
conformation should be used for breeding.
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