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Metrowest, MA
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This puppy is a sable. He looks like he will probably be a gold sable, but that will be easier to tell when he is a bit older. But there is no doubt that he is sable.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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A lot of breeders mistakenly call sables “brindle if they have a black mask. The mask actually comes from a different gene.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Metrowest, MA
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I took it to mean a bit hard to follow and figure out :)
Ah, yes, Havanese color genetics are very complicated, because there are MANY “modifier” genes, and we do not know the markers for them all yet, nor do we fully understand how they influence base color genes!
 
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Metrowest, MA
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What an itty bitty cute puppy. I love his color
When you said gold I pictured it so differently. To me (I’m new at Havanese) his color looks so unique like a really pretty smokey gray
Havanese always look so happy!
The problem is, the breeder has to put something on the registration for a color, at a time when they really have NO idea what the puppy will look like as an adult. And AKC doesn’t help, because the color choices they even allow you to CHOOSE don’t line up with color genetics. So breeders have to make the best guess and the best choice they can at 8-12 weeks, when they need to register the puppy.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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His color is constantly changing! I’m pretty sure he has the silvering gene (I think someone told me there’s a gene for that but I’ll defer to @krandall) Right now it’s more grey, though more blond on his underside, but other times it’s much more of a flaxen/light gold color. His changes were most striking in his first year, which is often true of sables (a few more pics of that below, before his first haircut when the dark tips came off), but even 10 years later, he keeps us guessing!

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I think it would be REALLY hard to tell just by looking if a sable had the silver gene. I I don't believe there is currently a DNA test for silver for Havanese. There is for one breeds, but unfortunately, these colors aren't on the same locus for all dog breeds. So they have to hunt it down over again for some breeds. That seems to be the case for ours! My GUESS is that dogs like Perry (and like Pixel, who also shows some "sometimes" silvering, and we know she has silver behind her in her family and she has a visible silver sister) inherited a single copy of the silver gene.

But then there is this "other thing" in Havanese that causes many blacks to sort of fade to a "dusty charcoal" color, NOT silver like a silver poodle or true silver Havanese. This happens to a LOT of black Havanese, but not all. And I don't think we know the gene that causes that either!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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This is Maggie, her mother was pure white, her sire was Clear Red. She’s a great example of color modifiers that were unknown. She is 3 years old and tricolor, black, white, and either a light gray or silver. View attachment 178883
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Genetically, your girl is a black and tan. (POSSIBLY with a single copy of the silver gene)

The “white” dog was most likely a VERY faded sable that carried the genetics to produce this.Either that, or the dog you are calling “clear red” was not really, and was a red sable, where the black tips had been cut off his coat, making him LOOK like a clear red. that confuses many people including breeders. I have seen MANY dos listed in the HVanese Gallery as “red”, that are CLEARLY red sables. Was genetic testing for color done on either of the parents?
 
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Metrowest, MA
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I don’t think any genetic testing for color was done. I met both the parents, and breeder stated dad was a clear red. She may have been guessing herself. Maggie as a baby was Black and Tan with white markings. She lost the tan within the first year. View attachment 178887
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I don’t think any genetic testing for color was done. I met both the parents, and breeder stated dad was a clear red. She may have been guessing herself. Maggie as a baby was Black and Tan with white markings. She lost the tan within the first year. View attachment 178887
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Yes, that is typical. Very few B&T’s stay “tan”. Most fade to a creamy white. And just like any other base color, they can have white markings! She is a cutie!
 
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Metrowest, MA
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Metrowest, MA
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Karen - doesn't it also show up on silvers/ is a sign of silver?
Yes, but then it is generally spread more through the body rather than just on the face like this. There aren’t many black dogs with full mustaches without some of this.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Metrowest, MA
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Kiki’s breeder categorized her as a black dog with tan points on the AKC paperwork. There was also an option for Black and Tan, and she has just the tiniest bit of white. I wondered if it should have been Black and Tan with white markings, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. She has silvered a little, and she has that rusty mustache. Her black hair can appear to have a dark auburn tint in certain light.

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9 weeks

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Recent photos- front/back

The silvering is in her tail, down her back legs, on her chest, and now showing up here and there on her back. Time will tell if it continues to spread.
Yes, genetically, she is a black and tan with white markings. …and you are lucky that she has maintained beautiful rich color in her tan areas!!! 💕. and yeas, she could certainly carry a single copy of the silver gene. We can’t test for that so we’re just guessing on that one!
 
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