The shade may be so dark that one cannot decipher brown from black and there is an easy technique that can often give an owner the answer very quickly if one is able to access fur samples from a black Pomeranian.
If a plucked hair is placed on a clear white sheet of paper (printer paper works fine) and held under a strong light, using a magnifying glass, one can compare the brown strand to the black and be able to see the difference.
The dilute gene produces this coloring; therefore both parents (dam and sire) must either be chocolate Pomeranians themselves or be carriers of the dilute chocolate gene (Also referred to as chocolate factored).
With litters averaging 3 puppies, a chocolate is not a guarantee, however all pups will be carrying the gene. One must be aware however, that the gene can be bred out over generations, therefore not existing any longer in non-chocolate puppies.
This is a recessive gene and therefore stronger genes such as red, cream, orange and black will appear more often than not. As a recessive gene, it can stay hidden for many breedings, and therefore sometimes it is a surprise when it shows up.