Health and temperament are always my number one priority as a breeder, as it should also be for you as an owner. Having said that... One question I get asked a LOT is "WILL MY PUPPY'S COLOR CHANGE?" The short answer is YEP! Most likely. I mean let's face it...you are paying a lot of money for a quality puppy, and you want what you want! There's not a thing in the world wrong with that. And for a lot of people, color is a consideration.
There are a bagillion colors in the breed, and reds in particular seem to trick people on a regular basis. The puppy might technically be red as a baby, and then look COMPLETELY different as an adult, and that can be disappointing even if you love the dog anyway. So... I am not a genetics expert, nor do I ever guarantee coloring in one of my puppies. But I have to say that I am pretty dang good at predicting, and I am almost never wrong!
So...let's get into it...let's talk about havanese colors!
Pictured above are all red sable havanese puppies that will not fade. Red sable means their base color is red but there is black hair mixed in with the red (called sabling). A sable dog will ALWAYS have black mixed in with it's predominant color...some to a greater some to a lesser degree. These NON-FADING puppies will stay the same hue of red, or will get darker red over time. Most of the time when you see red sable havanese as puppies, they just kinda look brownish (like above). Kinda boring! But let me now show you what they can look like grown!! ((see below))
This is Ralphie...Idon't have him anymore but he was a really pretty deep orangy red sable
OK....so take a look at the puppies above...the fading ones. You MIGHT can tell that these are faders because they are a little lighter...but that DOES NOT always hold true! Sometimes the lighter colors WILL darken as they get older. But to the untrained eye you can see how it would be easy to purchase a puppy that was advertised as red, yet they end up looking like the adult dogs below. Especially if the breeder isn't very experienced at all of this (or unscrupulous which unfortunately happens A LOT). Although these dogs below are gorgeous, and technically they are red, they might turn out completely different to what you were expecting at purchase. I've experienced this myself, and wish to inform you and guide so that you can make as sure as possible that you are getting what you want. Below are some grown fading red sable adults.
Not my dog, just an example
Clear red havanese puppies range anywhere from blonde, cream, gold, orange or darker reddish orange. They seldom get as dark, deep red as the red sables do because clear reds have zero black hair mixrf in. As you can see, clear red puppies...well...they basically just look blonde when they are pups. And some can actually end up blonde/cream colored and still be considered clear red. But most of mine darken significantly and end up anywhere from a pale orange to a bright fiery reddish orange! or anywhere in between. Examples below:
Lexus is cream...which is still considered clear red.
Grew up to be THIS DOG!
Black and white is simply that...black and white. Throw a little tan in there and it's a Tri. (tan points) True black and whites will stay the same color and not change. If they have a silvering gene they will lighten to a silver color when grown, only on the black parts. Below are some black and white, silver, and tri colored adults.
Mardi Gras is one of our foundation females that is black and white. She has puppies