Chocolate Havanese, Dog Breed Breakdown

by Stuart | Last Updated:   March 25, 2021
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Thinking about adding a new furry member into your family and wondering what breed to choose? Are you looking for a rare breed that is energetic, versatile, and playful? If you answered yes, then a Chocolate Havanese is a great option for you.

A Chocolate Havanese sounds exotic and is rare. This guide explains the breed information, color origin, vital stats, personality, and general health of a Chocolate Havanese. 

A beautiful smiling chocolate havanese puppy dog is standing, isolated on white background

Chocolate Havanese Breed Information

Dog experts say that rare colored dogs like Chocolate Havanese are the result of cross-breeding. Havanese are unique dogs in many ways. One of the most intriguing of these is coat color. A Chocolate Havanese is just like a standard Havanese in every other way except the unique color. 

Havanese are cheerful little dogs that are neither fragile nor overdone. It is a small, sturdy dog of immense charm that is known for its intelligence and easy-going nature. 

Chocolate Havanese are little funny dogs with a sweet and friendly temperament. They are companion dogs and usually get along with everyone. Chocolates are full of energy and have a zest for life.

We have listed below Chocolate Havanese breed characteristics. This is meant to be a general guideline for Chocolate Havanese breed characteristics.

  • Chocolate Havanese are affectionate and loving dogs. They share a bond very closely with their human family.
  • This dog is very sensitive and has a low tolerance for being left alone. They are prone to worry when left alone by their owner.
  • Chocolate Havanese crave attention from their owners. 
  • Chocolate Havanese are surprisingly active dogs. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation. If not given enough activity, they are likely to get bored.
  • They have a low tendency to bark or howl.
  • They are low shedding dogs with low drooling potential.
  • These dogs are friendly towards kids and other dogs. They are suitable in a household with kids and other pets.
  • They are stranger-friendly dogs and will greet your guests happy.
  • They have a moderate prey drive with a low tendency to nip, chew, or play-bite people.
  • Chocolate Havanese are intelligent and easy to train dogs.
  • One of the best things about Chocolate Havanese is that they are highly playful.

The Chocolate Havanese Color Origin

The chocolate color in Havanese is a genetically recessive trait that is rare. Two copies of the recessive bb gene are required to produce the exotic chocolate color. Both parents must carry a chocolate gene to produce a Chocolate Havanese puppy.

The term Chocolate isn’t only the complete coat color of the breed. Chocolate is actually the pigment color of the Havanese. The coat color may in fact be any color, but if the colored pigment of the nose, lips, eyerims, pads of feet, etc is brown/chocolate, then your Havanese is in fact a chocolate. 

A Chocolate Havanese must retain at least a 1-inch patch of chocolate hair. The chocolate coat of the Havanese can vary from a very light Café Au Lait color to a very dark chocolate color. Chocolates may also be a

  • Chocolate sable
  • Chocolate with tan points 
  • Chocolate brindle
  • Chocolate silver
  • Chocolates may also be highlighted or tinted gold, red, or a grey/ash color

The chocolate shades in Havanese can lighten up and get darker over the years. The chocolate shade can stay the way it was at birth and might also become lighter and darker again.

What Genes Cause The Chocolate Coat In Chocolate Havanese

There are at least 10 different genes that control color in the Havanese. Different genes control different parts of the coat color. Some genes make the different color pigments while other genes control the distribution of these pigments within the individual hairs and all over the entire body.

Dogs have two kinds of pigment possible in their coats. The dark pigment is called “Eumelanin” and the light pigment is called “Phaeomelanin“. The chocolate variations in Havanese dogs are created by these two pigments. 

Eumelanin gene has a default black color and codes for the black color spectrum. This codes color for coat, nose, eyes, and paw pad. Phaeomelanin codes for the color spectrum in the Havanese’s coat. The chocolate color is caused by the pigment eumelanin (black pigment).

If one gene is dominant and the other one recessive, the dominant one will appear and the recessive one is hidden. A recessive gene can only appear when there are two of them. The Chocolate Havanese needs to get this rare recessive gene from both parents to have a chance for a chocolate coat.

Vital Stats About Chocolate Havanese

Let’s have a look at the important stats that you need to know about Chocolate Havanese:

StatsDescription
Bred forCompanionship
Overall Grooming NeedsHigh
Coat LengthMedium
Average Height8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder 
Average Weight Range7 to 13 pounds
Energy LevelEnergetic
Exercise requirements20 – 40 minutes per day
Social/Attention NeedsHigh
Temperament Playful, Affectionate, Intelligent, Responsive, Companionable, Gentle
Tendency to DigLow
Tendency to DroolLow
Life Expectancy12-15 years

Personality And Temperament

Chocolate Havanese is a surprisingly energetic and versatile dog. This little dog is very affectionate with his family but tends to be friendly towards strangers. 

The fun-loving dogs offer a loyal companionship and thrive on their owners’ attention. These little jokers have an outgoing nature and don’t like to be left alone.

All Chocolate Havanese share the following personalities:

  • Loyal: The Chocolate Havanese is very loyal to the family. No matter what happens in your life, this adorable dog will remain by your side. 
  • Affectionate: The Chocolate Havanese is a gentle and affectionate dog that thrives on human companionship. It can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone.
  • Intelligent: These dogs are considered intelligent. A Chocolate Havanese will enjoy making you laugh with goofy antics, or simply sitting on your lap watching the world go by. 
  • Sporty: These little guys also got a surprising amount of energy for their size. They are sporty and can tackle sports as agility, freestyle, obedience, and flyball.
  • Playful: They are playful dogs and they enjoy spending time and playing with their human companions. They must be taught to play nicely from puppyhood. 

The temperament of Chocolate Havanese is affected by many factors including genetics, how they are raised, and how much they have been socialized.

What Health Problems Are Chocolate Havanese Prone To?

If you own or are planning to buy a Chocolate Havanese, you need to be aware of its health concerns. There is a tendency that unique colored dogs are more prone to health problems. 

Let’s have a look into these health issues that may affect this breed:

  • Hip Dysplasia: The Chocolate Havanese has a high incidence of degenerative disease of hindlimb lameness known as hip dysplasia. This is a genetic disease but can also be triggered by environmental reasons. The hip joint is weakened due to abnormal growth and development.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow Dysplasia is a degenerative disease that causes a developmental deformity of the elbows in Chocolate Havanese. This is a hereditary disease causing the joint to be malformed and weakened.
  • Chondrodysplasia: This is a genetic disorder that’s commonly known as “dwarfism.” Affected Chocolate Havanese dogs have abnormally short limbs for the breed.
  • Cataracts: It is an opacity on the lens of the eye, that causes vision loss. The affected eye of Chocolate Havanese had a cloudy appearance. It is a genetic disease and usually occurs with old age.
  • Portosystemic Shunt (PSS): A PSS is an abnormal vessel that allows blood from the dog’s intestine to bypass the liver. This causes toxins, proteins, hormones, and nutrients absorbed by the intestines also bypass the liver and circulates throughout the body.
  • Patellar Luxation: It is a common problem in Chocolate Havanese, caused when the patella is not properly lined up. This causes lameness or an abnormal gait.
  • Deafness: Loss of hearing has been reported in many Chocolate Havanese. At times, the deafness is due to degeneration of the nerves within the ear. Deaf Chocolate Havanese have special training and communication needs.

It is important to get your Chocolate Havanese to the vet as soon as possible if you see any problems. Buying from a responsible breeder will help ensure that you get a healthy dog.

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Final Thoughts On Chocolate Havanese

The Chocolate Havanese is an excellent family dog who’s affectionate with everyone. The rare gene in Chocolate Havanese doesn’t make it better or lesser than other beautiful colors out there.

Remember that like small kids, our pets are heavily reliant on our care as owners! You must give your Chocolate Havanese high-quality food, take care of its exercise and grooming needs, and take it for check-ups to a vet. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this article! If you have any comments, please do let us know. We would be happy to hear from you. 

Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.