Grooming Your Havanese
Havanese do not need to be professional groomed. If being shown they are to be shown completely natural with only the feet trimmed. Because the coat is long it does require regular grooming, daily brushing is recommended to keep it in good condition. Some pet owners prefer to keep their puppy/older dogs clipped shorter (this is called a puppy cut) and does make the coat easier to look after.
After about the age of a year or so your puppy coat changes and does tend to mat more easily. More grooming is needed at this time to prevent matting until the full adult coat is in.
BRUSHING: Start grooming your puppy when very young. Brushing/combing your puppy a little each day will get him accustomed to grooming as he gets older and has more coat. Teach him to lie on his side so he can rest and enjoy being brushed. One way of getting your puppy accustomed to this is by laying him down and rubbing his belly then slowly start to comb him. Never brush a dry coat.
Pay attention to areas that tend to mat easily such as around the neck, armpits, behind the ears and the genital area. If you do find any matting, spray grooming spray or conditioner on the mat and work it in with your fingers. Holding the hair in your fingers, gently and slowly work the mat out with your brush. Once one side is completed you then turn your puppy over and do the remaining side.
The coat should be brushed in layers with a pin brush and the metal comb and sprayed with a grooming spray to prevent the coat from breaking. This also lessens static electricity, and broken hair ends. Begin by combing the hair under the chest and belly then do the legs. Holding the leg upward brush downward towards the belly on the inside of the leg. Then do the outside of the leg in the same manner. Once you've gone through the coat with the pin brush and comb you can then go over it with a slicker brush to remove any loose pieces of mats. Reward with a small treat to make this a fun session.
Comb the ears.This is also a good time to check and remove excess hair in the ear canal. You can do this by taking very small amounts plucking it out with your fingers. A bit of cornstarch or baby powder on your fingers will also help remove this hair. Clean around the eyes with a cotton ball and comb out any sleepers with a face comb.
NAILS: Cut the nails, being careful not to cut too deep. Should you cut the nail too far back it will bleed, so apply pressure directly on the nail until the bleeding stops. There are several products on the market to stop the bleeding quickly.
Scissor the hair between the pads and then place your puppy in the standing position combing the hair out on each foot and scissor around the pads into a round shape.
BATHING: Before bathing your puppy you should first brush/comb though the coat to remove any matting. Use a good quality pet shampoo and conditioner. Human shampoos and conditioners can damage your puppy's coat and skin. (I do occasionally use a human clarifying shampoo) Put the dog in the tub and completely wet it, take care not to put water in the nose or ears. When completely wet, shampoo by gently massaging the hair towards the direction of growth until there is a thick lather. Gently rub into coat and skin. Rinse until there is no trace of shampoo in the hair. Apply a conditioner by spreading it evenly throughout the coat. Wait about a minute for it to take effect and then rinse until the excess conditioner is removed. Remove excess water with your hands by squeezing downward. Wrap the puppy in a dry towel and try to remove as much water as possible. Brush and blow dry until all the layers are dry, the coat should not be allowed to dry without being brushed. Brush the hair until the whole puppy is completely dry. You can use a clarifying shampoo on the puppy if there is a lot of build up from grooming sprays or a lot of dirt in the coat, this should not be used on every bath.
Be gentle when bathing so you do not to frighten your puppy, make this a fun time for both of you. Place a bath mat or towel on the bottom of the tub to prevent the puppy from slipping.
Be careful not go get water in the ears, this is one common cause of ear infections.
Now is the time to get him/her used to dental care, begin by placing your fingers into the mouth and rubbing the teeth, you can also get rubber tooth fingers tips to do this! Most vets will have this or your local pet store.
Supplies Recommended For Grooming:
- Cotton balls
- Small or medium pin brush
- Long toothed metal comb (combination comb) & a small slicker brush
- Nail clippers
- Grooming spray or small amount of conditioner mixed with water
- Good dog shampoo and conditioner
- **A few treats for being a "good dog"**
Remember, grooming and bathing is a wonderful way for you and your puppy to bond, so make it lots of fun!!
Enjoy your puppy!