The Havanese Club of America, Inc.

Health(Revisions in 2016, 2022, and 2023)





History and Description of Current Award Levels

•The TOP PAW Awards were first put in place in 2007 and serve to encourage health testing by HCA members.

•The revision effective Jan 1, 2016 simplifies the structure while reinforcing the intention of the award.

•Health test results must be submitted to the public OFA database.    

•The first level or GOLD Award is for those dogs that pass the HCA’s current CHIC requirements. 

–The CHIC requirements included BAER, CAER, Hip Dysplasia, and Patella Luxation. In 2022 the BAER requirement was authorized by the HCA Board to be removed leaving only three required tests for CHIC.

•The second, or Platinum level is for any additional health testing beyond the CHIC requirements.

•The third or Titanium award is for older dogs (7 or more years) that pass the current CHIC requirements.

•In November 2023, the HCA Board approved the creation of a fourth Top Paw Award (Diamond) on a two year provisional basis. The Diamond Award provides us a way of tracking the health of the older Havanese population.

•The original stud dog, brood bitch, and breeder awards have been eliminated as of 2016. 

Notes on Top Paw Awards

•General: Havanese must be owned or co-owned by HCA members in good standing during the award year. The HCA member must complete the award submission form if the co-owner is not a HCA member. It is not necessary to be an HCA member when testing is performed.

Passing results are required on all tests (passing is defined as the dog is issued an OFA certificate for each test).The exception is the Diamond Award where the tests must be recorded, whether they have been passed or not.

•All tests must be submitted to OFA and be available as part of their public database.
The CAER number must be current (exam must be performed during the award year).
OFA Basic Cardiac may be performed by a veterinary cardiologist, other specialist or general practitioner. OFA  Advanced Cardiac must be performed by a ACVIM/ECVIM Cardiology Diplomate

•Age Notes:  Cardiac -- Dogs must be 12 months of age or older to the day at the time of the examination. Cardiac tests are only valid for 1 year.

        Hips, Elbows, LCP -- Dogs must be 24 mo. of age or older at the time of the radiography.

        For dogs over age 7, the CAER exam must be performed once on or after their 7th birthday.

•Award Details:   Paper certificates will be presented at the HCA National Specialty to the owner of each dog who has qualified and applied for the award.   The owner will also receive a graphic file version of the award logo which may be displayed on the webpage of the dog who won the award. This online award logo must link back to the Health section of the HCA website.

•The Titanium Level Award is designed to be a one time award for each recipient rather than a recurring, annual award.  The Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Individual Dog Level awards may be earned annually as long as their recipient continues to receive a current CAER number. 

•The DIAMOND award is an annual award for dogs who previously received the Titanium Top Paw Award AND have current CAER (eye) and Cardiac (cardiologist) uploaded to the OFA website. For the DIAMOND award, the dog does not have to PASS the eye or cardiac exam, just make the results public. We know some conditions are indicative of the aging process and will not exclude these dogs after age 7 if they were clear for the Titanium award.