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Chocolate Havanese: Everything You Need to Know

Chocolate Havanese

Are you considering bringing a new furry member into your home and wondering which one to choose among the many adorable options? And if you are particular about having a chocolate-colored pup, chances are you’ve already come across several photos of Chocolate Havanese online.

So, if you are curious to learn more about the Havanese dog breed in this specific coat color, this article is for you. We will discuss everything that you need to know about Chocolate Havanese dogs, including their history, health problems, temperament, lifespan, exercise requirements, diet, price, and more!

Breed at a Glance:

Size: 8.5 to 11.5 inches
Weight: 7 to 13 pounds
Energy Level: Moderate Energy
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Breed Overview: Chocolate Havanese Dogs

Dog experts believe that cross-breeding produces unusually colored canines like Chocolate Havanese. These dogs are special in a lot of ways, and not surprisingly, the hue of their coat is one of their most interesting features. With the exception of its distinctive color, a Chocolate Havanese is identical to a standard Havanese in every other aspect.

Again, the Chocolate Havanese is just like other Havanese dogs, but it has a diluted black hue. It indicates that in Chocolate Havanese, bodily areas that should be black in typical Havanese are instead chocolate or brown. Eye rims, lips, paw pads, and nose are some of those body parts.

Moreover, any color, including white, red, gray, and sable, can be found on a Chocolate Havanese coat. Another possibility is for the Chocolate Havanese to have fur so dark that it makes them appear black. A Chocolate Havanese of this type may be identified by its brown nose.

Little Havanese dogs are joyful and neither delicate nor overdone. It is a charming, compact, strong dog that is renowned for its intelligence and laid-back disposition.

Chocolate Havanese are little humorous canines with a charming and amiable temperament. And since they are companion animals that are full of life and enthusiasm, they frequently get along with everyone.

Chocolate Havanese: Everything You Need to Know 1

History and Origin

The Havanese belongs to the historic Bichon family of tiny white dogs, which originated in Cuba (the name is the same for both the singular and plural forms).

Immigrants from Cuba who were escaping the Cuban revolution in the middle of the 20th century brought these canines to America.

Soon after, the owners of these dogs realized that they were polite family pets who loved spending time with people.

Due to their friendly nature, bountiful energy, tolerance for children and other animals, playfulness, and gorgeous appearance, Havanese dogs make for adored pets.

These canines are the perfect lap dogs because they like social interaction with people and are not typically independent companions.

The Havanese dogs have a unique hereditary recessive trait that gives them their chocolate coloring. The rare chocolate hue can only be produced when two copies of the recessive bb gene are present. A Chocolate Havanese puppy cannot be born unless both parents have the chocolate gene.

The breed's overall coat color is not the primary aspect of the term “chocolate.” The chocolate is actually the Havanese's pigment color. Although the coat color may be any color, your Havanese is said to be a real Chocolate Havanese if the pigment on its nose, lips, eye rims, and pads of feet are brown or chocolate.

A Chocolate Havanese must have at least a one-inch patch of chocolate hair remaining. The Havanese's chocolate coat can range in shade from a very light Café Au Lait to very dark chocolate.

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The Havanese is a little, adorable, and sturdily built dog. Its fur might be thick and woolly or long and silky.

A light undercoat and a soft, straight but occasionally wavy outer coat make up the Havanese dog's coat.

Like other varieties of the breed, a Chocolate Havanese dog has floppy ears. The eyes are either brown or hazel. And there are other common variations of brown.

After their first month, Chocolate Havanese puppies weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. These little dogs develop swiftly, reaching full size in the eighth month. Adult Chocolate Havanese dogs can weigh up to 13 pounds and grow as tall as 11.5 inches.

Chocolate Havanese Dogs With Blue Eyes

Havanese dogs are known for having brown eyes as a regular feature. They are among the telltale indications of a purebred dog.

The presence of blue or heterochromatic eyes in some Chocolate Havanese, however, is a sign of inbreeding.

Since they do not adhere to the breed standard, blue-eyed Havanese are ineligible for purebred competitions.

Genetics: What Causes the Chocolate Coat Color?

The Havanese has at least ten distinct genes that regulate their color. Various genes regulate various aspects of coat color. While certain genes are responsible for producing the various color pigments, other genes regulate how these pigments are distributed throughout the body and in each individual hair.

Dogs' coats can contain one of two types of pigment. Phaeomelanin is the name of the light pigment, and Eumelanin is the name of the dark pigment. These two pigments are what give Havanese dogs their various shades of chocolate appearance.

The black color spectrum is encoded by the eumelanin gene by default. This designates the coat, nose, eyes, and paw pad's color. Phaeomelanin, on the other hand, codes for the color spectrum in the dog's coat. The pigment eumelanin (black pigment) is what gives chocolate its color.

The dominant gene will show while the recessive gene is buried if one gene is dominant and the other recessive. And it is only when there are two recessive genes from both parents that they may manifest themselves. Again, for the Chocolate Havanese to have a chance at having a chocolate coat, this uncommon recessive trait must come from both parents.

According to several experts, the chocolate gene did not naturally exist in the Havanese breed. In spite of the fact that these puppies resemble any other Havanese dog, with the exception of their coat color, they are thought of as mixed breed dogs whose one parent breed is the Havanese.

And as mentioned earlier, the word “chocolate” does not refer to a dog's coat color in the Havanese breed. In fact, these canines' fur can be found in practically any color.

Chocolate Havanese: Everything You Need to Know 2

Chocolate Havanese Color Combinations

The color of a Havanese dog's coat is determined by 10 or so different genes. Each gene either determines a specific aspect of the coat color or the precise shade of color.

A Havanese dog's coat has two distinct types of pigments. Yellow and red colors are produced by phaeomelanin, while black and brown shades are produced by eumelanin.

Given this, it is simple to understand that Chocolate Havanese are available in a variety of colors. There are numerous brown variations available for them, and they rarely come in a single color.

These are a few of them:

Chocolate Havanese

A typical Chocolate Havanese is a dog with a single coat color—chocolate or liver—along with brown features on the nose, lips, eye rims, and soles. There can never be any black pigment on the face of a genuine Chocolate Havanese.

Their eyes can either be brown, hazelnut, or amber. They possess the bb allele, which means that there should be no presence of a dominant B gene in their DNA.

Dark Chocolate Havanese

Dark chocolate is one of the hues that Chocolate Havanese can come in, as we've already established. Their coat may be so dark as to appear almost wholly black, but they can be identified by the presence of a brown rather than a black snout.

Although they are not uncommon among chocolate dogs, Dark Chocolate Havanese can be mistaken for black dogs. Always check your dog's entire body, not just its coat, if you're wondering if it's a Black or a Chocolate Havanese.

Havanese Chocolate and White

There are many various patterns for Chocolate and White Havanese, but the most popular one is the tuxedo.

In other words, the dog has a white body with a chocolate-colored back, ears, eyes, and back legs. However, the dog's forehead and back may also be covered in the chocolate hue.

The piebald pattern, sometimes referred to as a pied or a parti Havanese, can appear on white, black, or chocolate canines. They have huge, erratic patches all over their bodies as a result.

Due to their high demand and potential price, Chocolate and White Havanese can be rather pricey.

White Chocolate Havanese

A Chocolate and White Havanese has nearly the same coloration as this dog. The quantity of colors present is the only variation.

The color that is scattered across the dog's fur the most is always the first color in the shade name.

In other words, most of the bodies of Chocolate and White Havanese are brown. White Chocolate Havanese, on the other hand, have mostly white bodies with minor brown markings.

Similar to the preceding color combination, these markings can range from tuxedo to pied. Still, the majority of a dog's body would continue to be white.

Chocolate Sable Havanese

When the dog's fur is sabled, the tips are darker and the base is lighter. The light brown hair of a Chocolate Sable Havanese features dark brown tips or ends.

Chocolate Havanese: Everything You Need to Know 3

Chocolate and Tan

It takes a unique genetic mix for a chocolate coat to develop tan points (or spots and patches). A German Shepherd-like chocolate or liver-colored coat with tan spots will be present on a Chocolate or Liver-colored Havanese.

Chocolate Irish Pied Havanese

The Irish pied has lighter-colored hair on its face and chocolate-colored fur on its head, legs, chest, and tail.

Red Havanese

Although they are less common than some other coat colors, Red Havanese do occur. Phaeomelanin, the pigment responsible for golden tones, is frequently responsible for the red coat color.

A few Red Havanese, however, are actually Chocolate Havanese.

Checking your dog's nose color is the simplest approach to determine if this is the situation. Your dog carries the recessive b allele if they have a brown nose. In contrast, if the dog's nose is black or pink, it is a regular Red Havanese.

Chocolate Silver Havanese

Chocolate Havanese also comes in a unique tint that almost exactly resembles grey. These canines go by the name “chocolate silver.” Remember that the AKC does not recognize this coat color.

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Some silver canines have an uneven distribution of pigment. They can't be categorized as Chocolate Havanese dogs.

Again, a dog's eyes are the strongest indicator of whether it is a Chocolate Havanese or another hue. The eyes of a Chocolate Havanese will always be a variation of brown.

Your silver dog is not a Chocolate Havanese if he has blue eyes and a brownish nose. Eyes that are bright brown and resemble amber should always be present in Silver Havanese.

A Havanese is described as being “Chocolate Silver” if its coat is silver-grey but it has a brown nose, eye rims, paw pads, and lips.

Dilute Chocolate Havanese

You can carefully breed Havanese dogs with light chocolate color to get Diluted Chocolate Havanese offspring. A coat dilution gene is the reason for the light color. The dog's nose and eyes lighten in color as a result of the dilution.

Chocolate Silk Havanese

In reality, Chocolate Silk Havanese dogs aren't the same breed as the others. They are a particular variety of Havanese known as “Havana Silk.”

These companion dogs may look similar to other toy dog breeds like the Shih Tzu if you look at them.

The term “silk” describes a type of coat rather than a color. These dogs have larger legs, a refined muzzle, and a long, flat coat that is as smooth as silk.

Due to all of these features, they are widely acknowledged as a completely distinct breed from Havanese dogs by various canine associations and kennel clubs.

Chocolate Merle Havanese

A Chocolate Merle Havanese dog has wavy, cloud-like fur that is either chocolate or liver in color with areas of silvery white. Breeders shy away from this shade since it's linked to a number of birth defects.

Chocolate Brown Havanese

Simply speaking, the Chocolate Brown Havanese is a Havanese with a brown coat. As we've previously indicated, a Chocolate Havanese simply has to carry the chocolate gene; the coat can be any color.

Chocolate Havanese: Everything You Need to Know 4

Do Havanese Change Colors?

All Havanese puppies develop different colors as they age. There are occasions when this difference is so minute you wouldn't notice it. Other times, the distinction is apparent and you might question when Havanese dogs quit changing color.

As they mature, certain white Havanese puppies may develop spots of a darker shade, whereas Havanese with darker coats may lighten. After reaching adulthood, they stop changing color, so the color shift is not a permanent phenomenon.

Color Change in Chocolate Havanese Dogs

Despite being purebred, all Havanese puppies eventually change color, and Chocolate Havanese is no exception. It's possible for your Chocolate Havanese coat to start out dark chocolate brown and then lighten to milk chocolate or even grey-brown or silver with time.

This is among the factors that deter many would-be dog owners from adopting a Chocolate Havanese. One can never predict the appearance of their dog after a number of years have gone!

Out of all brown canines, Sable Chocolate Havanese will undergo the most color shift. As the dogs mature, their coats frequently start to turn more silver. Their tips, however, will continue to be noticeably darker than the rest of the fur.

Remember that the color of the nose is one aspect of Chocolate Havanese puppies that largely remains constant. Although the fur's color may alter or may not even be brown at first, the eyes and the nose must always be brown.

Full-Grown Chocolate Havanese Appearance

Many people are unaware of the possibility of Havanese dogs maintaining their chocolate coloring as adults. This is due to the previously noted change in color.

In general, adult chocolate Havanese dogs don't appear brown, especially those that are fully coated. Their fur will appear grayer than anything else.

As a result, without checking a dog's nose, eyes, and foot pads, you can never tell if it is genuinely a Chocolate Havanese. They serve as the actual markers for the brown bb gene (recessive chocolate gene).


The Chocolate Havanese is an incredibly adaptable and active dog. This tiny puppy loves his family dearly, but he also likes to be kind to new people.

These playful canines make devoted companions and adore their owners' attention. They are gregarious and dislike being left alone. These little rascals get along well with other canines as well. And in fact, they can make friends with pets like rabbits and birds, as well as with cats.

Nevertheless, numerous factors, including genetics, upbringing, and socialization levels, can influence the temperament of Chocolate Havanese dogs.


The Havanese's long, smooth, and silky coat requires daily grooming to keep it clear of mats and tangles. While your dog is sitting on your lap, you can do this by gently brushing him with a comb or soft brush.

If you want to shorten the time needed for grooming, you may follow what other pet owners do, which is to have their dog's hair clipped regularly. Additionally, the Havanese should occasionally take a bath as needed. Without a doubt, the Havanese coat looks fantastic, but it takes work on your part to keep it that way all the time.

Moreover, daily gentle cleaning of the corners of the eyes is recommended to avoid causing the nearby lighter-colored hair to become stained by tears.

Regularly check the ears to remove excess wax or accumulated debris, and use a paper towel or gauze that has been mildly moistened to clean the inside of the ear flap. You should also brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week to prevent dental problems.

Chocolate Havanese: Everything You Need to Know 5

Common Health Issues

If you have a Chocolate Havanese or are thinking about getting one, you should be aware of its health issues. It seems that dogs with unusual colors are more likely to experience health problems.

Let's take a closer look at these potential health problems that could arise in this breed:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia, a degenerative condition associated with hindlimb disability, is very common in Chocolate Havanese dogs. Although this condition is inherited, environmental factors can also cause it to manifest. Inadequate growth and development weaken the hip joint of dogs with this condition.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia, a degenerative condition, results in a developmental malformation of the elbows in Chocolate Havanese. This genetic condition weakens and malforms the joint.

Patellar Luxation

It is a prevalent issue in Chocolate Havanese and is brought on by improper patella alignment. Lameness or an unnatural gait results from this.


When a dog develops cataracts, the lens begins to become opaque, resulting in diminished vision and eventually blindness.

A cataract-afflicted Chocolate Havanese will have a hazy lens in the affected eye. Senior Chocolate Havanese are typically affected by this illness.


Deafness is a prevalent genetic problem for Havanese dogs, and they can experience it as well. Deafness develops when the inner ear's nerve endings are harmed, making it challenging for the dog to hear normally.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This condition is a genetic eye problem that impairs vision. There are tests to identify the dog's level of vision before any irreversible damage happens, but the cause is unknown.


The Havanese dog breed frequently experiences epileptic seizures, which are characterized by sudden bodily jerks and loss of consciousness.

Your Chocolate Havanese may develop this illness as early as their first year of life, but they can survive for years with it.

Renal Diseases

It's important to watch your Chocolate Havanese dog's water intake because they are prone to kidney problems. These canines are little, which increases their likelihood of having kidney and bladder stone problems.


Low thyroid hormone levels are the underlying cause of this prevalent condition. Fortunately, the illness is not life-threatening, but the affected dog will be overweight, feeble, and dull.

Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)

A PSS is an aberrant vessel that lets blood from the dog's intestine bypass the liver. As a result, the liver is bypassed, and the toxins, proteins, hormones, and nutrients that the intestines absorb circulate throughout the body.


Chocolate Havanese dogs with this hereditary condition, which is also known as “dwarfism,” have unusually small limbs for the breed.

Chocolate Havanese: Everything You Need to Know 6

How to Care for a Chocolate Havanese Puppy?

Exercise & Living Conditions

Make sure to give your Havanese dog just the right amount of exercise to maintain a healthy body without overdoing it. A Chocolate Havanese with good muscle tone and overall health has a very good chance of living a long and happy active life.

Due to their small size, these dogs may get by just well with 30 to 40 minutes of daily exercise. You might want to maintain your presence because that is when they are happiest.

Havanese are regarded as some of the greatest dogs for residing in apartments, condos, or other limited places, much like Poodles or Bichon Frises.

Havanese dogs are suitable for families with kids, as well as for multi-pet households. They get along well with other dogs, cats, and pets like rabbits and birds. They also get along well with strangers and readily accept them into their families.

Diet & Nutrition

The Havanese dog thrives on a diet high in protein. These dogs need to be fed twice a day because of their active metabolism. Additionally, you must give your dog high-quality, high-protein food that is stocked with all the vitamins and minerals required for continued good health.

Adding fiber to your dog's diet can help him stay healthy, aid his digestion, and keep his coat looking shiny and lustrous.

You should keep an eye on your dog's calorie intake and weight, though, because certain Havanese are prone to obesity. If you decide to give your dog some treats, make sure you use them sparingly.


The Havanese dog is a fantastic choice for obedience or agility training since it is easy to train. You don't need to subject these dogs to severe socialization training because they are inherently sociable and friendly.

The Havanese dog breed is a bright and sharp one. You won't have to put in a lot of effort to train your Chocolate Havanese because it enjoys pleasing others, especially its owner.

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Buyer’s Guide

What to Look For

You should always pick reliable Chocolate Havanese breeders with healthy puppies available while searching for one.

Choose a breeder with a license who is well-known in the neighborhood. Additionally, you should confirm that the dog's health test results are available.

By taking the time to find a reputable breeder, you can buy a healthy puppy that will have a long and fulfilling life free from impairments and diseases.

Price of Chocolate Havanese Puppies

If you look at the typical cost of a Havanese puppy, you can see that it ranges from $1,000 to $1,500. However, since it is harder to find Chocolate Havanese, their cost is typically on the higher end of the scale.

In fact, the price of some Chocolate Havanese puppies can reach $3,000!

Well, of course, you may purchase Havanese puppies for a considerably reduced cost. They are frequently sold for only $700 at puppy mills, and some backyard breeders offer them at a much cheaper rate. However, as an educated pet owner, you should know that there is a valid explanation for this pricing disparity.


The Chocolate Havanese has the potential to be the ideal family pet, but you should think about whether it is the right dog for you and your family. You must consider a number of factors before finalizing your decision.

Are you prepared to provide the required grooming for your Chocolate Havanese? Are you willing to perform training-related tasks when necessary? Do any members of your family have allergies that may make this breed unsuitable for your household?

If you can give a positive response to all of these questions, then, this chocolate dog can be the right fit for you.

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