These colours are the product of the dilution gene which affects the coat colour as well as eye and nose colour. It dilutes all of the colour all over the dog, resulting in a puppy that is a dilute colour right from birth that also has lighter self-coloured pigment and light eyes. Dilution is a recessive gene so the dilute expression is only expressed when a dog carries two copies of the gene.
The dilution gene is different than the silvering gene that produces Silver. See the definitions pages for more information on this. The dilution gene is the same as what is seen in the Weimaraner (Weimaraner blue being dilute black and Weimaraner grey being dilute chocolate). The dilution gene can vary in degree, making some dogs lighter than others. Dilute colours in other breeds are named Pearl, Isabella, Mouse, Lavender and Lilac among other names.
The blue Havanese puppy is a diluted black. It is born silvery blue with gray/blue/soft-black pigment and greyish hazel, blue or grey eyes. Most will have been registered as Silver. The Dilute Chocolate, sometimes called Cafe-au-lait (in reference to its colour) is born a milky coffee colour or silvery bronze with light rose-brown pigment and yellow/amber or hazel eyes. Some refer to them as White Chocolates (like the light chocolate candy) or Chocolate Creams. Most will be registered as chocolates although some may be registered as cream.
Point of note: Colour dilution occurs naturally but is not recognized in all registries. Some countries allow dilute dogs to be shown, others do not. In certain other dog breeds, the dilution gene has been associated with specific health disorders. It is not currently known if colour dilution in Havanese may be associated with any health or other issues. To date, nothing has been positively identified.
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