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Registration basics

If we all had Labradors, registration would be so easy; Black, Yellow or Chocolate; three distinct colours and no markings or patterns of any kind. Ah, but we have chosen to fall in love with the little charmers that are the Havanese, who come in a wide array of colours, patterns and markings, each one with infinite variations. This has led to more than one breeder or owner ready to pulling out their hair in frustration at registration time. HELP, what colour is it and how do I register it ?

Registration colour is generally selected at the time that the puppy or dog is registered. For most Havanese, this is between 8 and 16 weeks of age when a puppy goes to his new home. Depending on the country of registry, registration and colour selection is the responsibility of the breeder. In other countries, it is the responsibility of the new owner.

Each country has different registration forms and different colour selections. We'll look at CKC and AKC options on the next pages. For now, we'll just look at basics that are the same for every registry. On the registration form, there will be a space, or spaces, to mark in the colour. Often, this is requested as a colour code. Each country will have a list of officially accepted colours to select from and each colour will have a number designation. Just choose the correct code or the closest match, fill it in, and you are ready to go. This sounds so simple, and yet, in reality, this single step is often not so easy to answer when it comes to Havanese. Hopefully the Rainbow galleries and all the information pages provided here will help you on your way.

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At what age should I pick registration colour?

Registration colours are generally based on the dominant colour(s) at time of registration. For most Havanese, this will be between 8 and 16 weeks of age when puppies go to their new homes. Trying to register the colour of the anticipated adult coat may cause much confusion and is not a good idea for many reasons. Some people are really good at guessing, others not so much. Some Havanese change colour and others do not. In a tightly line breed litter, a breeder may have a pretty good idea of how the colours may change but even so, surprises happen. In many cases, the colour may not develop as guessed. Many colours change significantly as the dog matures. As well, there are those wonderful Havanese whose colours soften and deepen through the years and keep everyone guessing their whole lives long. Multiple dogs may have a similar appearance as adults, but genetically be completely different, making registration colour useless when researching colour pedigrees. Keep this in mind when researching pedigrees as the registered colours may provide little clue as to the actual genetic colours in the line. Pedigrees are fun to have and intriguing to look at but keep in mind the limitations, as part of the information may be more a matter of interest than 100% genetically accurate.

A few tips

Look at your puppy in in bright natural daylight. Artificial light, especially fluorescent lights can change the way a colour appears. Colours are most intense when a puppy is young. Patterns are easiest to identify when the coat is short. If you wait for a colour change to be complete, your Havanese may be a senior before he is registered. Colour change can take years to develop. Unless your registry specifically requests otherwise, it is always best to stick to the facts you have in hand and register what colour your Havanese is at the time you fill out the initial registration.