Havana Brown and Chocolate make another confusing pair. They both have a brown appearance. How can you tell them apart?
Note: There are genetic tests available to determine whether or not a dog carries the chocolate gene.
As adults, at first glance, Havana brown and chocolate Havanese can look very similar. You may have to look a little more closely. There are obvious differences at many stages of life. You will be predominantly looking at three things, the colour of the body coat, the colour of the nose pigment, and the colour of the eyes.
A Havana brown Havanese is born black or so dark as to appear black. If he carries the gene for Havana brown, his coat colour will progressively change as he matures, but at birth, he cannot be distinguished from a black puppy. He may have a subtle reddish cast to his coat however that is not predictive of Havana brown as it can occur in other colours as well. The chocolate Havanese is born brown. Although you may not be able to tell if a black puppy will stay black or turn Havana brown, silver, or charcoal, there is no mistaking a chocolate puppy for anything else. There is no confusion between the two as young puppies.
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The brown adult is where the confusion lies. The colour of the body coat cannot be used to tell the difference between Havana brown and chocolate as the adult coat colours can be similar and many shades of brown overlap between the two. With adults, you will have to rely on nose pigment and eye colour. The Havana brown dog has black pigment and medium/dark brown eyes and the Chocolate Havanese has brown/liver pigment and lighter eyes. When in doubt, look at the nose pigment.
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