What is a Chocolate Havanese Dog?

Known for its silky, chocolate-colored coat, the Chocolate Havanese dog embodies affection and playful energy. But is it just a stunning color variation of the Havanese breed or something more distinctive? Discover what gives this radiant canine its cocoa-colored palate and why you should add one to your family.

What is a Chocolate Havanese?

Chocolate Havanese dogs result from a naturally present recessive gene mutation, creating diluted hair pigment production. The uniform chocolate tone lightens their usually white and tan coats while leaving temperament, size, and other breed specifications unchanged. Some use the nickname “Chocolate Havanoodle,” underscoring the “doodle” cuteness factor.

What Does a Chocolate Havanese Look Like?

Chocolate Havanese adopt the same endearing features as standard Havanas but with exquisite milk chocolate fur:

  • Lustrous dark cocoa, caramel, or chestnut coat covering the whole body
  • Possible white markings on paws and chest occasionally
  • Brown nose and eyes
  • Silky flowing or curly long fur
  • Compact build at 8.5-13 pounds and 8.5-11.5 inches tallwhat does a chocolate havanese look like?

Origin: Is the Chocolate Havanese Native to the City of Havana, Cuba?

The Chocolate Havanese traces entirely back to the Havanese, which has very old roots from Tenerife dogs that came to Cuba with Spanish settlers. The breed was developed from the now-extinct Blanquito de la Habana (“little white dog of Havana”), which descended from now-extinct Mediterranean Bichon-types imported to Spanish colonial Cuba as refined boudoir companions of aristocracy in the 1800s.

It is believed that the Blanquito was eventually cross-bred with other bichon types, including the poodle, to create what is now known as the Havanese. Following the breed to America, their sunny disposition proved infectious and reignited purebred preservation. Therefore, the chocolate Havanese is not directly linked to the city of Havana, Cuba, but rather, it is a color variation of the Havanese breed.

Genetics Behind the Chocolate Coat

A recessive gene mutation causes partial loss of pigment production. When two carriers are bred together, roughly 25% of offspring born exhibit chocolate pigment alteration.

Are Chocolate Havanese Rare?

They may be scarce but certainly not as “rare” as some breeders allege when advertising. The chocolate coloration in Havanese dogs is considered a less common color compared to more traditional colors like cream, fawn, or black.

While not extremely rare, finding a Chocolate Havanese requires some effort and may be less common in breeding programs. The rarity can vary depending on the region, breeder practices, and the current demand for specific coat colors within the breed.


Luckily, their dispositions stay perfectly preserved regardless of coat shade. The temperament of a Chocolate Havanese is generally affectionate, playful, and sociable. They blossom around doting families, graciously accepting cuddles from toddlers and seniors alike.

Surprisingly adaptable, this pint-sized companion feels equally content curled on laps as trotting alongside jogging adults. But their sensitive spirit demands gentle handling – any harshness elicits loud objections! They mostly ignore other pets yet may take time to welcome strangers unless socialized early.

Health Concerns

Like all purebreds, Chocolate Havanese remain vulnerable to certain inherited conditions, including

  • Luxating patellas
  • Heart disease,
  • Eye issues
  • Leg-calve-perthes syndrome.

Make sure your Havanese is examined annually, avoid obesity, ensure safe toys, and prioritize preventatives for a long 14 to 16-year tenure.

Care & Grooming Practices

Here are the care and grooming practices for Chocolate Havanese dogs:

  • Regular Brushing: Havanese have a long, silky coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Brush thoroughly 2-3 times weekly to prevent mats and distribute skin oils.
  • Bathing: Bathe your Chocolate Havanese as needed, typically every 4-6 weeks or when they get dirty. Use a mild dog shampoo, and ensure thorough rinsing to avoid skin irritation.
  • Eye and Ear Care: Due to their facial hair, Havanese may be prone to tear staining. Wipe around the eyes regularly to prevent staining. Make sure you clean the ears regularly to avoid infections and check for signs of redness or irritation.
  • Dental Care: Don’t forget to brush your Havanese’s teeth regularly to prevent dental issues. Dental chews and toys can also contribute to oral health.
  • Nail Trimming: Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to a comfortable length. Regular walks on hard surfaces may naturally wear down the nails, but check and trim as needed.
  • Regular Exercise: Provide daily exercise to keep your Chocolate Havanese physically and mentally stimulated. Playtime, walks, and interactive toys are great for their energy levels.
  • Healthy Diet: You should feed your Havanese a balanced and nutritious diet appropriate for its age, size, and activity level. Consult with your vet to determine the best food for your dog.
  • Vet Check-ups: Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor your Chocolate Havanese’s overall health. Keep vaccinations up to date, and discuss preventive care, such as flea and tick control.
  • Training and Socialization: Start training and socialization early to ensure a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog. Positive reinforcement techniques work well with Havanese.
  • Love and Attention: Havanese thrive on companionship and love. Spend quality time with your Chocolate Havanese, and provide mental stimulation through toys and interactive play.

Double-coated Havanas hardly shed but require diligent daily combing/brushing to prevent painful mat clumps from marring their silken locks.

Is the Chocolate Havanese AKC Standard?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the Havanese breed, but specific coat colors, including chocolate, may not be part of the standard. The AKC breed standard for Havanese typically includes colors such as cream, fawn, gold, red, sable, and black, among others.what is a Chocolate Havanese?

Can I Live With a Chocolate Havanese in an Apartment?

Yes, the Chocolate Havanese is an ideal dog breed for apartment living. Here are some key reasons they adapt well:

• Havanese have moderate exercise needs for small dogs. A couple of 30-minute daily walks plus indoor playtime is usually sufficient. This makes apartment life quite comfortable for them.

• They are truly “velcro dogs” who want to be constantly near their owner, so close quarters suits them well. Separation anxiety is uncommon.

• While vocal, Havanese typically do not bark excessively without cause. Monitor greetings and proper exercise to keep noise levels apartment-friendly.

• Their tiny size under 13 pounds makes housing them comfortably very simple. Havanese navigate limited spaces easily.

• Minimal shedding keeps households tidy. Regular grooming prevents mats in their silky long locks.

• Early positive training reinforces good potty habits appropriate for patio use and reinforces proper interactions with strangers in shared spaces like hallways or elevators.

So, with their moderate needs met through committed, attentive ownership, the adaptable Chocolate Havanese thrives wonderfully in apartments or condos thanks to their inherent desire to be a closely bonded companion.

How Much Do Chocolate Havanese Puppies Cost?

From quality breeders, Chocolate Havanese puppies range $2,000 to 4,000 USD, with prestige show or therapy lines priced higher thanks to limited chocolate genes. But reputable preservationists never exaggerate rarity claims and always prioritize health. Adoption fees for rescues usually fall around $300-500 USD.


At the end of the day, while their lustrous chocolate fur proves visually stunning, a Chocolate Havanese puppy remains 100% Havanese at heart. Focus belongs on their famously amiable temperament first. Responsible health testing ensures Chocolates and other Havanese colors thrive for years ahead as outstanding family companions.


Do Chocolate Havanese shed a lot?

Minimally. But their long, silky coats require diligent daily brushing to prevent painful, matted clumps from amassing close to the skin. If left unaddressed, it can necessitate shaving down to relieve.

Are chocolate-pigmented dogs prone to skin damage?

Yes, diluted chocolate coats lack protective black pigment; however, Havanese coats grow continuously, so caution is still advised to prevent excessive risks of sun exposure.

Does the Brown Color in Chocolate Havanese Fade?

No, the rich chocolate brown pigment in Chocolate Havanese coats does not fade significantly over time. Sun exposure and other environmental factors can cause slight lightening in some areas like the ears and back occasionally.