Havanska pasma

FCI (Federation Cinologique Internationale) published official havanese breed standard in four languages: English, Spanish, German and French, last revised in 2009.

According to FCI, bichon havanais breed belongs to 
  • FCI Group IX - Companion and Toy Dogs; 
    • Section 1 - Bichons and Related Breeds.

Breed History

Havanese breed originates from Mediterranean region along the Spanish and Italian coast. The dogs were imported in Cuba by Italians probably in 17-18th century.  The breed was named after Havana, the capital of Cuba.  The political events have led to the disappearance of the old blood lines of the Havanese in Cuba; however a few dogs  could be successfully smuggled out from Cuba; their descendants have survived in the USA and begun to spread across Europe around 1980. However the standard does not say anything about the history of East European (Russian and Hungarian) Havanese - we believe there are some old bloodlines, which are not related to cuban lines.

General description


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.

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.

Physical Characteristics

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.

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. 

Dori has beautiful pigmentation

Nose : Black or brown.

Jaws/Teeth : Scissor bite.  A complete dentition is desirable.  

Eyes : Quite big, almond shape, of brown colour as dark as possible.  Kind expression.  The eyes rims must be dark brown to black.

BODY : The length of the body is slightly superior to that of the height at the withers.

PHOTO LEFT: Vita's Masterpiece Dorothy has beautiful eyes and very strong pigmentation. She does not tear and the hair around her eyes is not stained.

Back : Topline straight, slightly arched over the loin.

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 the withers.

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 :  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.


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.

Tan markings in all nuances permitted.


Height at the withers : From 23 to 27 cm. Tolerance : from 21 to 29 cm.


·     Aggressive or overly shy.

·     Depigmented nose.

·     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. 

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.