The Havanese is a small dog of immense charm. He is slightly longer than he is tall, and is covered with a profuse mantle of untrimmed long, silky, wavy hair. His plumed tail is carried loosely curled over his rump.
Hailing from Cuba, he has evolved over the centuries from the pampered lapdog of the aristocracy into the quintessential family pet of a people living on a small tropical island. His duties traditionally have been those of companion, watchdog, child's playmate and herder of the family poultry flock.
While historically always a toy dog and therefore never overly large or coarse, he does not appear so fragile as to make him unsuitable as a child's pet. His unique coat reflects centuries in the tropics, and protects against the heat. It is remarkably soft and light in texture, profuse without being harsh or woolly.
This breed stands 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches tall with the ideal height being between 9 and 10 1/2 inches. The minimum height ranges set forth in the description above shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age.
The coat is double, but without the harsh standoff guard hair and woolly undercoat usually associated with double coats. Rather, it is soft and light in texture throughout, though the outer coat carries slightly more weight. The long hair is abundant and, ideally, wavy. An ideal coat will not be so profuse nor overly long as to obscure the natural lines of the dog. Puppies may have a shorter coat.
He comes in all colours and all are acceptable at show level, singly or in any combination. No preference is given to one colour over another.