When choosing a puppy, can pigment issues be an indication of a health problem? Or is this something not to be concerned about when choosing a pet and not for showing or breeding?
I would greatly appreciate advice and insights as I was unable to locate much information regarding this topic the internet. I've seen some information on the forum regarding pigment and AKC standards, but none that comments on pigment as an indicator of health or otherwise.
I also couldn't find anything that commented on the age that inconsistent pigment typically fills in by; if applicable.
I have attached some pictures for reference. These are all pictures of puppy noses, not adolescents or adults. I've occasionally seen this on eye rims also, or pink eye rims, but didn't save the pictures.
It is absolutely NOT a health concern, and almost all puppies who have white on their faces have pink noses at birth, which fill in over time. MOST Havanese have complete pigment before they go to their forever homes. Clear red Havanese and Chocolates sometimes take longer to fill in.
Chocolates also are known for having poor pigment. The best are a nice, dark, chocolate brown, with brown eyes that are a shade lighter than those of a black pigmented Havanese. However, it is not uncommon for breeders to have to really pick and choose if they want a show chocolate. There are many, MANY more chocolates with pigment and eye color too light for the show ring. The good news for those breeders is that chocolates are still snapped up by pet people, no matter how poor their eye and pigment color is.
Most black pigmented Havanese fill in completely. It is only a very occasional dog who doesn't. I have a friend who has a very nice girl that she bred herself that has incomplete pigment in one spot on her eye rim and in two spots on her lips. (they should be solid along with the nose and eyes) This girl can't be shown, but her owner is a VERY experienced breeder and also knows that this type of pigment issue is extremely unlikely to be "genetic". (unlike chocolates, where poor pigment (not incomplete pigment) is a common problem) Incomplete pigment just happens once in a while. She will breed this bitch at least once, and if she doesn't pass on the incomplete pigment, and it is unlikely that she will, her other good qualities will still make her an excellent addition to the gene pool.
Here are some photos of a litter that I was involved with from day one. These are clear red on both sides. (ee, genetically speaking) Clear reds develop pigment more slowly, but every one of them has good, solid pigment now, at 5 months old. The first photo is the litter at birth, and you can see that there are pink noses everywhere. Not a speck of black to be seen.
After that are a series of photos of the extreme parti in the litter... He is white except for red ears, red rings around his eyes, and a couple of small red spots on his body. The photos were taken about 1 1/2 weeks apart. (and will continue in the next post)