Havanese Colors: All You Need to Know

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Havanese Colors: All You Need to KnowHavanese, the national Cuban breed, is beloved by many, and rightly so – it has a mild, affectionate temperament, is a quick learner, and is deeply loyal to its human companions.

The looks of this small breed are also a major factor for why many pet lovers choose this breed. One of the best parts is that the color variety is huge – so you can choose your favorite one. If you want to know more about Havanese colors, check out the following sections.

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Havanese Coat Colors

There are 25 Havanese coat colors available, but only 16 of them are standard for this breed, as per the American Kennel Club. Below, we’ll discuss each coat color.

Black Havanese

Pure black puppies are quite rare, as some may come with lighter patches. A solid black puppy’s coat is very likely to remain unchanged as it ages. There are a few black varieties as well, which are more common than solid black and may change as the puppy matures.

Black and tan, and black and silver are two variations that have tan or silver spots in specific areas, such as the eyebrows, muzzle, or underneath the ears. The black brindle coat is often lighter and with a shade of cream, chocolate, or gold.

Fawn Havanese

The fawn coat can be anything from a very pale cream to a dark red. Some variations include almond or ivory, some yellowish undertones, and a wide range of options in terms of lighter or darker shades.

Chocolate Havanese

Chocolate Havanese have a brownish coat, and their noses, lips, eyes, and paws are often brown as well.

Gold Havanese

The gold coat ranges from honey to apricot and may have some red highlights. This coat typically lightens over the dog’s lifespan but does not usually change significantly.

Some Havanese are gold sable, which means a golden color with some darker tips, or gold brindle, which is a gold coat with black stripes or streaks.

Silver and White Havanese

Although rare, some Havanese may be silver – usually ranging from grey to platinum. Most silver pups are born black, and their coat gradually turns lighter. More common, some puppies are silver brindle.

White Havanese are born white and their coat doesn’t usually change throughout their life.

Red Havanese

The red coat can be anything from rich mahogany to bright orange. Some dogs have darker tips (red sable) or black stripes or patches (brindle).

Non-Standard Coat Colors

There are nine non-standard coat colors: silver sable, chocolate sable, chocolate brindle, blue, blue brindle, fawn sable, fawn brindle, black and silver brindle, and black and tan brindle.

Havanese Eye Colors

The genes responsible for coat color also impact the Havanese’s eye color. In general, it depends on their genetics:

  • Dogs with black pigment usually have medium brown, dark brown, or black eyes
  • Chocolate Havanese often have lighter eye colors, including light brown or hazel
  • Black or blue dogs may have blue or grey eyes
  • Some other eye colors, depending on other genes, may include golden, grey-green, or yellow amber

What Color Havanese Are the Rarest?

Some colors are considered the rarest because obtaining them is very difficult. To achieve a puppy with a rare color, each parent must carry the recessive gene the breeder wants to replicate.

One of the rarest colors is blue. These puppies are born with a black coat, which gradually becomes blue as they age.

Another rare color is chocolate because, as in the previous case, the gene responsible for this color is recessive. Generally speaking, chocolate Havanese also have liver-colored lips, paws, and noses. Most chocolate Havanese have light yellow or even green eyes.

What Color Havanese Are the Best?

There are many colors available when it comes to this breed, so you can choose the best one based on your preferences. Other than that, there is no perfect color for the pet – the color itself does not influence the dog’s personality or other traits that may be important, it’s simply a physical feature of your pooch.

Typically, the best colors are the standard variations as considered by AKC. Other non-standard colors are unrecognized, such as apricot or different brindles.

In addition to this, some owners may have specific color preferences due to personal circumstances. For instance, if the puppy is taken care of by someone with eye problems, picking a lighter dog may be better as it is easier to see in the shadows or at night.

However, if you choose a dog with a very light coat, you need to make sure you’re using sun protection, as dogs with light hair are at a higher risk of sunburn than darker dogs.

Some owners may prefer choosing the dog’s color based on their living environment. For instance, if you have light-colored floors, opting for a dog with a lighter coat means that the loose fur is less visible around your home. However, this may be less important for a Havanese owner since this dog is known for its low-shedding coat.

Overall, you should choose your Havanese based more on its qualities and ability to match your lifestyle, and less based on its coat color, unless there are specific needs to be considered.

Does Your Havanese’s Color Matter?

Generally speaking, your Havanese’s color should not matter. From a genetics perspective, the dog’s coat color is the result of the interplay between two genes: eumelanin and phaeomelanin, or black and red genes. These only determine the coat color and have no impact on your dog’s temperament, learning abilities, or loyalty, so this trait should not be a decisive factor when adopting a dog.

Instead, you may want to consider other aspects such as activity level, the attention required, grooming and maintenance, compatibility with children or other pets, and other factors that help you decide on the best pup for your lifestyle and household.

Although white and black dogs have long faced discrimination, there is no research indicating that coat color influences their behavior. Hence, the coat color should not be a significant factor when adopting a new pet.

Do Havanese Change Color?

In case you are picky with your Havanese’s color, there is an important factor you need to keep in mind: your Havanese coat color may change drastically as they reach maturity.

The color-changing process cannot be predicted, even if you see the puppy’s parents. This is because there are several genes at play that may lighten or darken the coat color throughout its life. Typically, all puppies change color, and the permanent shade is often formed at around 1-3 years old.

If you want as little color variation as possible, you may want to go for a pure white or pure black puppy, as these are less likely to change.


The Havanese is a very diverse breed when it comes to coat colors. If you want to have plenty to choose from, this may be the right breed for you. Overall, there are 25 coat colors, but only 16 of them are considered standard for the breed. The rarest colors for a Havanese are blue and chocolate, because of how difficult it is to breed puppies that have these recessive genes.

There is no perfect color for your puppy. Choosing a color depends on your personal preference, and there are more important factors that should be considered before adopting a Havanese, such as your availability to take care of this breed, experience, and willingness to provide plenty of love to this affectionate, loyal, and intelligent pooch.

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