These colour definitions are as accurate as possible according to the information currently available. As we learn more about the complex genetics that affect coat colour inheritance and colour development in the Havanese, some definitions may be added, removed, expanded, or changed. Colour in Havanese is intriguing. It will be many years before we know all there is to know about it, if we ever do.
Melanin is a natural pigment found in most living organisms which is largely responsible for determining skin, hair, and eye colour. Dogs have two kinds of melanin in their coats; dark pigment called "Eumelanin" and light pigment called "Phaeomelanin". Don't worry if you don't understand those terms just now. We will explore them in depth later in the genetics section. The important basic for you to know is that there exist these two core building blocks; light and dark. Both have a default colour. Eumelanin is black and Phaeomelanin is yellow/red. Many different genes can impact the default expression which results in all the colours, combinations and variations that we see.
The definition section is separated into 9 smaller segments.
Clear colours | Dark colours | Dark/light patterns |White markings| Dilute colours | Colour modifiers|Nose pigment | Eye colour | Pads and nails
Clear coat colours are exclusively light based (Phaeomelanin). The term "clear" tells us that they are light based all over and have no dark in them. None at all, not even a little bit. If the dog is mostly light coloured but has dark tipping on the ears, it is not clear, it is a Sable. That may not seem significant when looking at a dog, but the distinction plays a very important part in colour genetics.
We are only talking about the coat colour here. Colour of eyes, eyerims, nose, lips, and pawpads are different and will be discussed in another section.
Light colours are yellow based colours, displayed in many types of shading from the palest cream to deep mahogany.
Photo examples of Havanese with clear coat colours can be found on Gallery 1
WHITE: Crisp and bright, pure snow white. There are no shadings of deeper colour anywhere on the dog. A pure white Havanese is uncommon. Very light, off-white dogs, with subtle shadings of cream or caramel, are often identified as white even though they may not be.
CREAM: Ivory or creamy yellowish white; the colour of dairy cream or almonds. Dogs called white are more often actually cream. Note: In some registries cream and champagne are combined into one colour listing. It is important to note that not all countries use the same colour names. Some registries, especially in European countries, may list cream/champagne as beige.
CHAMPAGNE: Pale, tawny blond, the colour of champagne. Champagne coats are varying shades of beige from light to deep intensity. Note: In some registries cream and champagne are combined into one colour listing. It is important to note that not all countries use the same colour names. Some registries, especially in European countries, may list cream/champagne as beige.
APRICOT: Rich, warm colour from honey to apricot; a mix of gold and red shades. The colour apricot is listed here for general interest only. There are no Havanese registries that list Apricot separately; it is generally considered a light variation of the category of Gold below.
GOLD: Rich, warm colour ranging from caramel to toffee. There are definite yellow highlights to the coat. Gold Havanese have coat colours similar to the shades found in the Golden Retriever. Gold dogs may retain much of their colour through their lifetime although the colour may soften with age.
RED: Red is also a rich, warm colour, similar to gold but with deeper and more intense colour ranging from bronze, to chestnut, to to deep mahogany. There are definite red highlights to the coat. The coats of Red Havanese are similar to the shades found in Duck Tollers and Irish Setters.