Havanese.jpg
Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-A: Americas and Caribbean Breeds
Origin Country Cuba
Weight Males: 7-14 pounds. Females: 7-14 pounds.
Height Males: 8-12 inches. Females: 8-12 inches.
Other Name(s) Bichon Havaneis, Blanquito De la Habana, Havana Silk Dog
Breed Type Pure
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Havanese

Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-A: Americas and Caribbean Breeds
Origin Country Cuba
Weight Males: 7-14 pounds. Females: 7-14 pounds.
Height Males: 8-12 inches. Females: 8-12 inches.
Other Name(s) Bichon Havaneis, Blanquito De la Habana, Havana Silk Dog
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The Havanese shares much ancestry with the other dogs of the bichon family, possibly including those of the Maltese, Bolognese, and the Tenerife. Specifically which bichon the Havanese descends from is still unclear. It is believed by many that the ancestors of the Havanese were brought from the Western Mediterranean to the island of Cuba by Italian merchants and sailors. Others believe that it was Spanish sailors who brought the little white dogs to the West Indies. Whatever the case, it was clear that the bichons were brought to the island during the 1600s. There, the little dogs became well adapted to the island life and favored by Cuban nobility. The breed reached the height of its popularity in the 1700–1800s. To further refine the little dogs, the Havanese Silk dogs were crossed with an en vogue Poodle, and other popular companion dogs of the time.

Due to conflict and war within the island that lasted decades, the Havanese breed’s popularity declined. In the 1960s, many Cubans, including poor and aristocrats, fled the country, leaving their precious dogs behind to perish. It was believed that the breed was wiped out within the island of Cuba. However, some claim that a few remaining specimens were smuggled out of the country to the United States by Cuban refugees. The little dogs caught the attention of American dog fanciers who developed an interest in reviving the breed from only 11 dogs in the 1970s.
Today, the Havanese is a lesser-known—but equally charming—bichon breed renowned for his au naturel coat, which it is considered a sin to trim.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. When felt through the coat, in profile it forms somewhat of a wedge shape, with a deeper, broader, and fuller back skull that tapers gently toward the muzzle. From above, the back of the skull is rounded. The remaining three sides are straight and form a square shape. The topskull is broad and may be flat or slightly arched from the front. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate to somewhat large in size, oval to almond in shape, and medium to dark brown in color in dogs with black nose leather. Dogs with blue or liver noses may have corresponding eye colors ranging from gray-blue to hazel or amber. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Medium in size, set high on the skull, and broad at the base. They are drop ears and rounded at the tip. When alerted, the ears form a continuing line with the plane of the topskull from the front—they will also have some lift at the base, but remain dropped. When held forward, the ear tip should reach halfway to the nose. They fall gently near the cheeks. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: Well-developed, full, broad, and strong. The upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. The muzzle tapers gently from the base to the tip of the nose.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed but not protrusive.
Body: Compact, solid, slightly elongated in comparison to height, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood, usually carried high, arched up over the back, and falling to either side, may be let down (never tucked) when in repose. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be hook-shaped or rolled over the back.
Movement: The movement of the Havanese complements his merry temperament. He moves easily, effortlessly, and efficiently with a light and springy action seen as a result of the shortened upper arm and the elevated croup. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Havanese is renowned for his charm, high degree of intelligence, and merry disposition. He is a great companion dog, capable of learning many tricks, tasks, and disciplines. He is playful, lively, and friendly. He is a sociable dog that gets along well with other dogs and most people. He is extremely devoted to his family, forming strong bonds with family members. He is also known to be exceptionally good with children, delighting in their love of play and common desire for indulgence in mischievousness. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 12: Companion and Toy Breeds

Proportions: Slightly rectangular, with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body-height-to-length ratio is approximately 5:4. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. When felt through the coat, in profile it forms somewhat of a wedge shape, with a deeper, broader, and fuller back skull that tapers gently toward the muzzle. From above, the back of the skull is rounded. The remaining three sides are straight and form a square shape. The topskull is broad and may be flat or slightly arched from the front. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Mischievous, friendly, intelligent, and watchful.
Stop: The stop is moderately marked.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 1:1 to 5:4, with the topskull being just longer than the muzzle, or just slightly longer.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel.
Muzzle: Well-developed, full, broad, and strong. The upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. The muzzle tapers gently from the base to the tip of the nose.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smoothly muscled without appearing prominent or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors.
Eyes: Moderate to somewhat large in size, oval to almond in shape, and medium to dark brown in color in dogs with black nose leather. Dogs with blue or liver noses may have corresponding eye colors ranging from gray-blue to hazel or amber. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Medium in size, set high on the skull, and broad at the base. They are drop ears and rounded at the tip. When alerted, the ears form a continuing line with the plane of the topskull from the front—they will also have some lift at the base, but remain dropped. When held forward, the ear tip should reach halfway to the nose. They fall gently near the cheeks. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, slightly elongated in comparison to height, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed but not protrusive.
Topline: Level from withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is somewhat short, taut, and flat and level or slightly arched almost imperceptibly toward a level or slightly (almost imperceptibly) elevated croup. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Flat and level with the back or slightly (almost imperceptibly) elevated.
Underline: Slight tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided. The ribcage is of a good length, giving some length to the body.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood, usually carried high, arched up over the back, and falling to either side, may be let down (never tucked) when in repose. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be hook-shaped or rolled over the back.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm, or the upper arm may be slightly shorter than the shoulder blades and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Havanese comes in three coat varieties: natural, corded, and short varieties.
Natural coat variety: Profuse, long, soft, lacy outer coat may be flat and straight, wavy, or forming long curly "locks." Ear and facial hair blend to form hood onto shoulders, chest, and body. Silky plume on tail. Woolly, sparse undercoat permitted but not required. The coat stands slightly off from the body, giving a naturally gently tousled appearance. Mature coats should not reach ground. The coat should NEVER be trimmed, clipped, or cut with scissors, except for tidying up the feet and toes and anal vent for hygiene only.
Corded-coat variety: If encouraged and looked after, some Havanese (usually ones with an undercoat) can grow into beautiful and unique, tassel-like cords. The coat will first form long wavy sections, which will eventually develop into cords that cover the dog’s entire body.
Short-coat variety: The Havanese breed carries a recessive short-haired gene. Since it is recessive, many long-coated dogs can carry the gene without any indication (other than genetic testing) of possessing the gene. When two of these recessive, coat-carrying dogs are bred, they can produce short-coated offspring. The short-coated offspring will have short hair on the face and front of the legs, and a matching smooth coat which may or may not have fringing or furnishings, such as fringing on the ears, body underline, backs of the legs, tail, as well as a light mane and ruff.
Coat Color or Pattern: All coat colors and patterns are equally permissible.

Movement

The movement of the Havanese complements his merry temperament. He moves easily, effortlessly, and efficiently with a light and springy action seen as a result of the shortened upper arm and the elevated croup. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Havanese is renowned for his charm, high degree of intelligence, and merry disposition. He is a great companion dog, capable of learning many tricks, tasks, and disciplines. He is playful, lively, and friendly. He is a sociable dog that gets along well with other dogs and most people. He is extremely devoted to his family, forming strong bonds with family members. He is also known to be exceptionally good with children, delighting in their love of play and common desire for indulgence in mischievousness. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.