Havanese Color Change: Should You Be Worried?

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Havanese Color Change: Should You Be Worried?Havanese is a highly varied breed when it comes to colors. This pup may be black, chocolate, cream, or even gold or red – with many other varieties being accepted as standard colors.

If you choose this pup for its gorgeous look, you may have a surprise: your Havanese is changing its color. Is that normal or should you be worried? Read on to find out if this is normal and what you should expect.

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Why Do Havanese Change Color?

Havanese dogs’ color is defined by their genes. Typically, as they mature, their coat color changes significantly. This is difficult to predict because color change is dictated by multiple different genes.

These genes may be stronger in some puppies, so the color change is more drastic, while other puppies have a weaker gene, so their color only changes slightly as they mature.

Should You Be Worried About Your Havanese Changing Color?

Your Havanese changing color is not something that should worry you. In fact, all Havanese puppies change color as they mature. This is a normal step in their development, so you should not be concerned when this happens.

For some puppies, the color may get darker, while for others, the color will become lighter. This is a normal progression of the pigment in your puppy’s fur.

Changing color is a common characteristic for many other breeds, not only Havanese. In some cases, you may want to schedule a visit with your vet to rule out any possible illnesses. For instance, sunlight, medications, or improper nutrition may affect the dog’s coat. This is a concern especially if you notice any skin diseases or irritations on its skin.

Do All Havanese Change Color?

Not all Havanese puppies change color significantly as they mature, although most of them do. If your puppy is solid black or white, it’s less likely to change color as it ages. However, because this depends on genetics, it’s nearly impossible to know for sure whether your puppy will change color or not.

Can You Predict What Color Your Havanese Puppy Will Become?

Unfortunately, not even the most knowledgeable breeder can guarantee you the color of your puppy at maturity. Even more important, if you notice that your pup turns lighter at around 3 months old, it doesn’t mean its coat will keep lightening until it becomes white.

Some coats may turn lighter at some point, then the fur starts to darken, and then may even get lighter once again. Researchers have yet to understand how these genes come into play and why they do so. As a result, the entire process is very difficult to predict, even if you check the puppy’s parents beforehand.

Although changing coat color is typically an unpredictable event, some breeders noticed specific patterns over time. Some general guidelines include:

  • Solid white or solid black usually do not change or change very little overall
  • Cream color may lighten or darken as the puppy ages
  • Chocolate may lighten over time
  • Gold colors may turn a shade lighter, but there is no significant change
  • If your pup is silver, the mature coat color will either be very light or very dark
  • Red colors often turn lighter
  • If your puppy has spots, these may disappear completely at maturity or change in color

It’s worth noting that, if you don’t want your puppy to change color significantly, you can opt for a white or black Havanese. Also, if both parents are the same color, such as both black or white, there is a lower chance of your puppy changing color.

Despite this, there is still no guarantee, and changing colors in a Havanese is often appreciated by lovers of the breed. The ability to change color, along with its other traits, such as mild behavior, affection, and quick learning, are features sought after by many dog parents, experienced and first-time owners alike.

When Do Havanese Start and Stop Changing Color?

Havanese start changing color in their puppyhood, typically around 3 months old. The overall color change is a slow, gradual process, so you won’t notice a major change within days, but rather months. This process may last until your puppy is fully mature, around 1-3 years old.

Nonetheless, some owners notice a sudden coat color change, as well, so it’s impossible to predict the actual time when the process starts and finishes.

It’s important to consider that dogs’ coats mature as they age, in a similar fashion to humans. Their permanent coat forms around 2 years old, and as they age, the coat may go lighter and lighter, similar to white hair in humans.

Additionally, aspects like genes (its parents), age, and the quality of care they receive will influence your dog’s coat as it grows older.


Some people choose their puppies for specific reasons, such as their coat color. When deciding to adopt a Havanese, you need to keep in mind that its coat will most likely change as they grow older. However, this process should not concern you as it does not indicate any issues. It’s simply a result of different genes that influence the color of the coat as it ages.

In general, you can opt for a white or a black puppy if you don’t want significant coat color changes over its lifetime, but this quirk of the breed is enthusiastically embraced by many dog lovers.

Grooming and maintenance are extremely important for your puppy’s coat health. However, this doesn’t influence the color at maturity, and it doesn’t impact your dog’s temperament or other qualities.

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