The Delicious Chocolate Havanese!

Lizzie- 3 1/2 months old.

The beautiful Havanese Chocolate color comes in many shades from the palest milk chocolate to the richest dark. Sounds good enough to eat! Chocolate dogs can also be tinted gold, red, or silver so there are Chocolate Sable, Chocolate Brindle, Chocolate/Tan, and Chocolate Silver. The color term "Chocolate" in the Havanese breed refers to actual pigment and not simply coat color.

Nose and eye color combination is really the most reliable indicator of whether a dog is a Chocolate or just has poor pigmentation. True Chocolate dogs must have self-colored liver (brown) pigment on the nose, lips, paw pads, and eye rims.  Chocolate Havanese will have chocolate or clear nails. None of these may be black on a true Chocolate Havanese. All other colors of Havanese must have dark eyes and black pigment on the nose, eye rims, lips, and pads.

Chocolate Havanese also has lighter colored eyes than the other coat colors. Their eyes come in a similar range as humans with shades of brown, hazel, amber, and even green (although green may be faulted in the show ring). This light eye coloration creates a soft, soulful expression that is hard to resist!

If your dog's eyes are dark, almost black with a lighter brownish nose then what you have is poor pigmentation and not a true Chocolate Havanese.

The heritability of the chocolate color gene goes something like this:

  • Both Havanese parent dogs must carry a chocolate gene in order to produce Chocolate puppies.

  • If one dog is Chocolate and the other dog is not a Chocolate and does not carry the chocolate gene, they will not produce any Chocolate puppies.

  • If one parent is Chocolate and the other parent is not but is a chocolate gene carrier, the probability is that half of the puppies in their litters will be Chocolate.

  • Two non-Chocolate Havanese dogs will not produce Chocolate puppies if neither of them carries a chocolate gene.

  • Two non-Chocolate dogs will not produce any Chocolate puppies if only one of them carries a chocolate gene.

  • Two non-Chocolate Havanese dogs that both carry a chocolate gene will usually produce Chocolate puppies some time (about 25% of the puppies).

  • Two Chocolate Havanese dogs will always produce all Chocolate puppies.