The Havanese Standard

By: Connie Limon

The Havanese is a small sturdy dog. He is slightly longer than tall. The Havanese's coat is long, silky and wavy. He has a plumed tail that he carries loosely curled over his rump.

Size and Proportion

The Havanese stands from a range of 8 ? to 11 ? inches tall. The ideal height is between 9 and 10 ? inches measured at the withers, and slightly less than the length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks. His outline is somewhat of a rectangle rather than square. The Havanese should never appear fragile. A coarse dog with excessive bone is contrary to type and therefore undesirable according to the AKC standard. The minimum height stated here does not apply to males and females under twelve months of age.

Head

The expression of a Havanese should be soft, mischievous and intelligent. The eyes are dark brown, large, almond-shaped, and set widely apart. A chocolate colored Havanese may have somewhat lighter eyes. Pigment on eye rims is solid black for all colors except for the chocolate Havanese. The chocolate colored Havanese will have dark chocolate brown pigment. No other dilution of pigment is acceptable.

The ears are of medium length. The leather when extended reaches halfway to the nose. The ears are set high on the skull, slight above the endpoint of the zygomatic arch and are broad at the base. They show a distinct fold. When the Havanese is alert the ears lift at the base. This lift will cause 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. The length of the muzzle of a Havanese is slightly less than the length of the backskull measured from stop to point of occiput and the planes are level.

The nose is broad and square. The pigment on the nose and lips is solid black for all colors except the Chocolate Havanese. The Chocolate Havanese will have dark chocolate brown pigment. No other color pigment is acceptable.

A scissors bite is ideal. Full complement of incisors is preferred.

Neck, Topline and Body

The neck is of moderate length and in balance with the height and length of the Havanese. The neck carries a slight arch and blends smoothly into the shoulders. The topline of a Havanese is straight but not level. The body measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The chest is deep, rather broad in front and reaches the elbow. The tail is high-set and plumed with long, silky hair. The tail arcs forward over the back, neither flat on the back nor tightly curled. When the Havanese moves the tail is carried loosely curled over the rump. The tail may not be docked.

Forequarters

Shoulder layback is moderate. The upper arm is relatively short. The elbows turn neither in nor out and are tight to the body. Forelegs are well-boned and straight when viewed from any angle. 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 Havanese may also have brown pads and nails.

Hindquarters

The hind legs are well-boned and muscular through the thigh with moderate angulation. 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 rump is slightly higher than the withers and contributes to the Havanese's unique, springy gait. The hind feet fall slightly behind a perpendicular line from the point of the buttock when viewed from the side.

Coat

The coat of a Havanese is double. He does not have a woolly undercoat usually associated with double coats. The coat is soft and light in texture throughout. The outer coat carries slightly more weight. The long hair is abundant and ideally is wavy. The ideal coat of a Havanese will not be so profuse nor overly long as to obscure the natural lines of the dog. A disqualification would be a coarse, wiry coat.

Color

All colors are acceptable. The skin may be freckled or parti-colored.

Gait

The Havanese has a lively, elegant gait. The characteristic "spring" in his gait is caused by the strong rear drive combined with the flashy front action caused by the short upper arm. The front legs reach forward freely. There is good extension in the rear and no tendency toward sickle hocks. Head is typically held high even on movement.

Temperament

The Havanese is playful, alert and intelligent with a sweet disposition. He is easily trained.

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