Originally Posted by Vartina Ancrum
I know I may be rehashing this topic, but I am reading and trying to research. I still cannot grasp this concept. Is it not possible to guess what colors the puppies will be? If the parents are a specific color and carry a certain gene, it seems that a breeder should be able to guess what colors would be in the litter. I can understand in a mixed breed litter not knowing what to expect, but I am a little confused with the Havanese. I am very familiar with color changes, but this is different from not knowing what colors to expect in the litter.
Yes, to some extent it is possible, and depending on whether the breeder does genetic color testing you can get an even better guess, depending on the parents. For instance, if you have two ee parents, you can ONLY get ee offspring. That still means that the puppies can be anything from light cream to dark Irish setter red. They can also have anything from no white markings to being almost totally white with just a few red or cream spots on their ears. So still a lot of variation.
Likewise, some lines are pretty much ALWAYS black and white (varying amounts)
Chocolate tends to be much more of a "mixed bag" because it is hard to breed show quality chocolates without breeding back to black dogs regularly. And in doing so, you will have a certain percentage of black (or black and white) puppies that carry for chocolate, but LOOK black with or without white)
Black and white and sable are often mixed in the same litters, because the genes do not cancel each other out. Interestingly, a friend of mine bred her chocolate bitch to her gold sable stud 3 times and got all black and white puppies all three times.
The other "problem" is that Havanese have all these "modifying" genes, like the silver gene, that can pop up sometimes without you even knowing that the parents carry them... and they can be single or doubled. Or you can have the "black and tan" gene, which gives them eyebrows! Oh, and MANY of these genes can be present in the same dog, but only a few of the "expressed" (visible) because others cover them up!
So SOMETIMES litters are more predictable than others, and the more experienced a breeder is with her lines, the more likely is that she can make a good educated guess. She should FOR SURE be able to tell you whether there is any (or no) chance of chocolate, and any (or no) chance of clear red. Beyond that, unless she is really interested in color, and has done a bunch of color testing for the sake of her own interest (because it is not necessary for of our standard) she is only going to be able to make an educated guess before the puppies are born.
AFTER the puppies are born, some lines of B&W's are known to hold their black very strongly. The breeder will probably know that. They will probably also know if their puppies are likely to carry the Belton gene. When you get into ANY other colors, the likelihood of them changing color, lightening or darkening is, again, guesswork. MOST (but not all) chocolates lighten. MOST (but not all) Sables lighten, clear reds are strange... Some lighten, some darken. Silvers always lighten, but how much? It's hard to say. Fading blacks... fade. Beltons always get some spotting in their white areas, but that can vary from dogs like my Kodi, who is basically still white at 10, with a strip of silver down his spine, to dogs where their entire white markings turn a sooty color.
Sooo... There are a lot of genes at play.