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Do Havanese Puppies Change Color? What Owners Should Know

Havanese dogs are known for their loveable personalities and their unique ability to undergo drastic coat color changes as they mature. This often leaves owners wondering how such a thing is even possible…

In this article, we will provide information on this trait and explain everything there is to know about it.

Yes! Havanese puppies often change coat colors as they age. While major changes like red to black are unlikely, most will definitely either lighten or darken producing a substantial difference in overall appearance.


Why Do Havanese Puppies Change Colors?

One of the many reasons Havanese are so popular is due to their ever-changing coat color. Havanese puppies are born with more than 10 genes that control their coat color, all of which are considered modifying genes. The various color genes cause their coat color to lighten or darken over time, causing drastic changes in fur color for some Havanese pups. 

Some of these genes control their coat color, while others control the pattern of the colors on their fur. With the ability to modify over time, this means your Havanese pup can look completely different by the time they reach adulthood. Their drastic color shift will vary based on which coat color they are born with, as some colors are known to be hesitant to change. 

Do All Havanese Puppies Change Colors?

While not all Havanese puppies will change color as they age, most of them will change in some form. The least likely coat colors to change are solid black or solid white Havanese pups, meaning everything in between is subject to a coat transformation.

Havanese coat color changes are also highly random, as many genes are at play throughout the process. Because it is so challenging to predict which pups will have a coat change and which will not, it’s best to just expect that they will!

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Which Havanese Colors Tend To Change?

Havanese coat color changes are unpredictable, but many breeders have observed typical patterns over time. Most Havanese breeders will not promise a specific coat color due to the endless list of possibilities, but they have offered some loose guidelines. 

  • Solid White: Solid white coats should either change very little or not at all. Breeders will often suggest this coat color if you are not comfortable with the possibility of color changes. 
  • Solid Black: Solid black coats are also unlikely to change. Breeders will also recommend this coat color if you do not want your pup’s coat color to change. 
  • Cream: Cream-colored coats are very likely to change. This coat color can lighten or darken over time. 
  • Chocolate: Chocolate colored coats may lighten over time
  • Fawn: Fawn colored coats often change completely, varting in lighter to darker colors
  • Gold: Gold coat colors often lighten over time, but some do not change at all
  • Silver: Silver coat colors are known to change drastically, either drastic lightening or darkening over time
  • Red: Red coat colors tend to lighten significantly over time
  • Multi-colors: Multi-colored coats can change drastically, with each color lightening or darkening over time
  • Spotted coats: Spots can vary drastically, with some disappearing completely or changing in color
  • Sable: Most sable coat colors lighten drastically, with only some dark patches remaining as an adult. 

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Havanese Coats Tend To Either Lighten Or Darken

Havanese puppies may have a coat transformation over time, but most colors tend to only lighten or darken. While we can’t make any promises, your red Havanese puppy will not likely change into a black and white spotted adult. Most coats maintain their same colors, just in different forms. If you examine the loose guideline of coat color changes above, you will notice the typical trend of either lightening or darkening in color as they age. 

Recommended Read: How Often Should You Bathe a Havanese? Top Bathing Tips

When Do Havanese Start Changing Colors?

The Havanese color genes can be a wildcard, meaning we don’t always know when they kick in and start shifting. While every puppy will vary based on coat color, most changes will begin anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks of age. These initial changes may be subtle, with more drastic changes occurring up to 3 years of age. 

When Do Havanese Stop Changing Colors?

So when should your Magical Havanese stop changing colors? The answer to this question can vary, but most stop changing colors once they have reached 2-3 years of age. However, it’s important to note that some Havanese owners mention sudden color changes later in their pup’s life, so there is no way to know for sure. 

Recommended Read: When Do Havanese Stop Growing and Reach Full Size?

Can You Predict What A Havanese Puppy Will Look Like?

Predicting the future coat color of your Havanese can be an impossible task. The possibilities of Havanese coat transformations are endless, making it clear that there is no way to know for sure. However, the most successful method of predicting the general appearance of your future pup is by looking at each of your puppy’s parents. This still may not be a reliable source, but it is your best shot at seeing the future. 

Again, if a shifting coat appearance is not what you are looking for, it’s best to choose either a solid white or solid black Havanese. These coat colors are the least likely to change over time, giving you some extra comfort in knowing what your adult pup will look like. 

Final Thoughts

Havanese are like the box of chocolate of the dog world; you never know what you’re going to get! So be sure to review the information that we discussed above to better understand your ever-changing Havanese pup.


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.