Group: Toy Group
Average Weight 7-13 pounds>
Life Expectancy About 14-16 years
About the Breed:
Havanese, the only dog breed native to Cuba, are cheerful little dogs with a spring in their step and a gleam in their big, brown eyes. These vivacious and sociable companions are becoming especially popular with American city dwellers. ¿Distinctive features of the Havanese include a curled-over tail and a gorgeous silky coat, which comes in a variety of colors. Some owners enjoy cording the coat, in the manner of a Puli, and others clip it short to reduce grooming time. Happily, Havenese are just as cute no matter what hairdo you give them. Their small but sturdy bodies, adaptable nature, and social skills make Havanese an ideal city dog, but they are content to be anywhere that they can command the attention of admirers young and old alike. Havanese, smart and trainable extroverts with the comic instincts of a born clown, are natural trick dogs. Havanese are also excellent watchdogs and take the job seriously, but will usually keep the barking to a minimum.
AKC Havanese Breed and Traits (Follow this link to learn more about the Havanese Breed via the AKC description.)
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 10½ inches, with an
acceptable height range from 8½ to 11½ inches. Height at withers under 8½ inches or over 11½
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
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
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 tassel-like cords.
Color: All colors and marking patterns are permissible and are of equal merit. The skin may be
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, nonquarrelsome 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 over 11½ 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 furnishings.