Official F.C.I. Standard
FCI Standard No 250 / 03.03.1997 / GB
Translation: Mrs. Peggy Davis.
Origin: Western Mediterranean basin, development Cuba. Patronage: FCI
Date of Publication of the Valid Original Standard: 10.12.1996.
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 Iines of the Havanese in Cuba; apparently a few dogs
could be successfully smuggled out from Cuba; their descendants have survived in the U.S.A.
General Appearance: The Havanese ls a sturdy little dog, low on his legs, lively and quick;
with long abundant hair, soft and preferably wavy.
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 trunk
(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 lively and talented, he is easy to train as alarm dog.
Affectionate, of a happy nature, he is attractive, 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 body
(measured f rom the withers to the base of the tai]) 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.
Muzzle: Narrowing progressively and slightly towards the nose but neither snipey nor
Lips: Fine, lean, tight.
Jaw/Teeth: Scissor bite. A complete dentition is desirable. The absence of premolars 1 (PM1)
and molars 3 (N3) 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.
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 hone structure. The distance from the
ground to the elbow must not he greater than that between the elbow and the withers.
Hindquarters: Good bone structure; moderate angulations.
Feet: Of slightly elongated shape; small; tight toes.
Gait/Movement: According to his happy nature, the Havanese has a strikingly light-footed and
quick gait; forelegs with free stride and pointing straight forward, the hindlegs giving them the
impulsion and moving in a straight line.
Texture of 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 use of scissors and all trimming to even out the length of the coat is forbidden.
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.
Colour of the Coat: There are two varieties of colour:
1) Rarely completely pure white, fawn in its different shades of light fawn to havana-brown
(tobacco colour, reddish brown); markings in those colours of coat; slight blackened overlay
2) Black, admitted colours (white, light fawn to havana-brown) with black markings.
Height at withers: From 23 to 27 cm. Tolerame: of 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 in exact proportion to its degree.
- General appearance lacking in type.
- Truncated or snipey muzzle, length not identical to that of the skull.
- Bird of prey eyes; eyes too deep set or prominent; rims of eyelids partially depigmented.
- Body too long or too short
- "French" front (pastern too close, feet turned outwards).
- Deformed hind feet.
- Straight tail, not carried high.
- Coat harsh, not abundant; hair short except on puppies; groomed coat.
- Upper or lower prognathism.
- Depigmented nose.
- Ectropion, entropion, rim of eyelids of one or both eyes depigmented.
- Size over or under the indicated norms of the standard.
N.B: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the