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Nose pigment

Pigment is the element that causes colour, whether it be in coat, eyes, skin etc. More commonly though, when people talk about pigment in dogs, they are refering to the colour of the nose and may also extend the use of the term to include the colour of the eye rims, lips and pawpads. Here we will primarily talk about the nose as it is the easiest to see.

The default colour for this pigment in Havanese is black and this is what you will find on most Havanese. The nose is black. There are some exceptions. The chocolate Havanese is one of the exceptions. Remember that the brown Havanese does not produce the colour black, he makes brown instead. So, it is logical that his nose pigment, eye rims, lips and pawpads also cannot be black. The pigment of a chocolate Havanese will be brown or liver coloured. This is called self-coloured as the pigment matches the coat.

Similarly, Havanese that carry the dilution gene also have an alteration of colour in their pigment as the dilution gene affects pigment colour as well as coat colour. Dilute dogs display dilute pigment; self-coloured to blend with the coat. The dilute black (blue) Havanese will have dusty grey pigment, while the dilute chocolate (cafe au lait) Havanese will have beige or rosy brown pigment. The darker shades of dilute brown may look similar to the lightest shades of liver pigment. It can be difficult to tell the difference, however one clue is that dilute chocolate pigment may have a lavender/purple hue while liver/brown pigment does not.

Black nose        Black nose       Brown/liver nose      Brown/liver nose

Black noseBlack noseBrown/liver noseBrown/liver nose

Dilute (blue nose)       Dilute (rose nose)       Dilute (rose/lavender)

Blue nose     Rose nose    beige nose