The Point(s) of a Havanese

Cuba’s only native dog breed comes in all colors and marking patterns, and all are of equal merit in a show ring. It’s difficult to predict the color of Havanese puppies that will come of a breeding because the litter can made up of puppies of all different colors or color combinations, and they can be entirely different from the color of their parents. Indeed, at least ten different genes control  Havanese coat colors, different genes regulating different parts of the coat color. Some genes make color pigments, other genes arrange the distribution of these pigments in individual hairs and all over the whole body.

Where things get even less straightforward in the Havanese has to do with point patterns. In this breed, “points” (or, for lack of a better explanation, “spots” of a different or lighter color) are not always evident at birth, but typically develop within a few weeks of birth. The first place a point will become apparent is often under the puppy’s tail. On a youngster’s face, points may show up on the cheeks, inside the ears, and/or on the eyebrows. Sometimes the points will be big splotches, but they can be small half moon shapes, as well. As the puppy grows and the coat grows, points can become less clear, and indeed, with maturity, they can soften or fade altogether.

If you have a Havanese with points, show us because we didn’t have consent to share any of the photos we came across that illustrate this!

Image: Havanese by Dottie Dracos

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