Bichon Havanese Standard
FCI - Standard Nr. 250 /10. 04. 2006./GB
Translation: Mrs. Peggy Davis, revised by R. Triquet.
Origin:Western Mediterranean basin, development:Cuba.
Date of publication of the original valid standard:21.02.2006.
Utilization:Companion and toy dog.
Classification F.C.I.: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 U.S.A.
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.
Nose:Black or brown.
Muzzle :Narrowing progressively and slightly towards the nose but neither snipey
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.
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
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 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 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: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.
Size:Height at the withers : From 23 to 27 cm [9"-10.6"].
Tolerance : from 21 to 29 cm [8.3"-11.1"].
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.
Important faults:*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
*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 coat.
Eliminating faults:*Aggresive or overly shy.
*Upper or lower prognathism.
*Ectropion, entropion: rim of eyelids of one or both eyes depigmented.
*Size over or under the indicated norms of the standard.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.