I am picking out an 8 week old Havanese puppy this Saturday! I could not be more excited!!
I have second pick after the breeder (who has already selected a dog to keep for his breeding program). I have been leaning toward the puppy who is the most outgoing, the highest energy, who hits all the developmental milestones first. The breeder has nicknamed him "Mr Happy."
There are two other puppies that I love. BUT, these dogs are a brown brindle right now, and the breeder says they will become a sandy beige color over time. So it sounds like they have a diluting gene as well. Are all dogs that have the diluting gene at risk for health problems, or just the blues?
Looking at this page's explanation (below), it looks like I'm choosing between a puppy that is a [dd] with a [B] and puppies that are [dd] with [bb].
Genetics - D locus
Also, any thoughts about picking the highest energy/most outgoing dog from the litter? I like this about him, but I'm not sure if I'd be setting myself up with a little hellion.
I don't know the breed well enough-- this will be my first Havanese. In the past I've had border collies, and I would have never picked the highest energy border collie from the litter!
Thanks for your thoughts!
We really do not have a dilute gene in Havanese, and a blue puppy would be a DEFINITEY DQ. It has happened a VERY few times, but it is EXTREMELY rare, and the breeders who have produced blue, have been very careful to remove it from their gene pool. Chocolate is not a dilute. (I assume that's what you mean by "brown"? (we do not use that as a color term in Havanese)
Brindle is a different gene that can be overlayed on any base color, including chocolate, I guess, though I don't think that is common. It would be hard to see, because brindle looks like "tiger stripes of black and tan or black and brown (like on a Whippet or Greyhound) on a young Havanese puppy, before their hair gets too long and hides the striping. I'm not sure how you'd see that on a chocolate, that by definition has no black hair or pigment.
But I have found that many Havanese breeders you the term "brindle" inappropriately for sables with dark masks rather than true brindles. So if that is what the breeder means, it is CERTAINLY possible to have a chocolate sable. How much a sable (chocolate or not) will fade) depends a lot on the bloodlines. Some stay dark, some stay dark and silvery, but lose the reddish undertones, most fade to a cream or whitish color, with just a bit of coloring on the tips of their hair. Once they reach this phase, you can only tell a chocolate sable from a "regular" sable by the color of their pigment and eyes. A non-chocolate sable will have black lips, nose and eye rims, and very dark eyes. A chocolate sable will have chocolate eye rims, nose and lips, and slightly lighter eyes.
In any case, I have not heard the even the very rare dilutes (blues) that have shown up have had any health problems, but if you think there is ANY chance that this puppy is a true dilute, and not just a chocolate, you should discuss this with the breeder. There have also been just a COUPLE of merles that have shown up in the breed, and it is thought that they were new mutations. Fortunately, because they would also be a DQ, no attempt has made by any reputable breeder to purposely produce merles. So we don't know whether there are health concerns related to that color as there are in many breeds.
The bottom line, though, is there are SO many acceptable colors and modifiers in Havanese that we already kind of have the "rainbow" breed. There really is no need to add more colors!