Long and densely Havanese hair requires regular care. Combing it several times a week is the best way to keep coat in good condition.
The coat must be combed a few times a week so it will be shiny and beautiful. The combing is important because it removes the dead hair, prevents the creation of knots, stimulates the growth of new hair and provides the shine of the coat by distributing the natural occurring oils on the skin from the roots to the tips of the hair.
Considering the Havanese are house dogs, they spend the most of their time inside. House conditions and influence of air-condition and heaters can lead to damage to the coat and skin. Using lotions for hair hydration and regular combing can prevent the hair to become dry and charged.
These small dogs love snow. There is really no need to deny them the pleasure of playing in the snow because of their long coat. Little snow lumps that get caught in their coat can be easily removed by using lukewarm water.
It’s better to use a soft brush for their body so that there will be less skin irritation during the combing sessions. However for their paws and stubborn knots you can use brushes with hard bristles.
The key to good grooming is to be as gentle as possible and to be thorough. The linear combing is most effective, and it consists of segregating the whole coat in segments and layers and to use the brush from the root towards the tips of the hair. It is best if the dog is lying on his side when you start. With one hand you should take a segment (layer) of hair and with the other hand you should comb it until it becomes smooth. After it becomes smooth and the brush does not meet any resistance you should move to the next segment (layer). If the hair is too tangled you can moisten it with a spray for untangling or with a solution of hair conditioner and water.
Havanese have a lot of facial hair and it often get tangled and dirty from the food and water that the dogs consume. To untangle it you can first apply the liquid for untangling and then leave it for few minutes. During that time the liquid will softens the impurities and allows for it to be brushed off later.
One way to brush your dog is to make him lie on his side and then start from the legs. Then you move on his side toward the spine. After you finish flip the dog to his other side and repeat the process. Then put him to lie on his back and brush his belly. After that lift the dog so he can stand or sit, that will allow you to comb his chest, spine, tail and head.
However you can brush your dog anyway you want, the order is irelevant. The most important thing is to not skip anything (any layer or part of the dog) and to be thorough. We should also note that some long hair breeds have to have a precise parting of hair on their back but that is not necessary for the Havanese. Let the hair fall naturally.
When you come across a knot do not pull it or cut it out but gently comb it out.
When you finish, go through once more with the brush thru the whole coat just in case to see if you didn’t miss a knot.
They have a long bangs falling over their eyes. You can tie their bangs with a hairpin or comb it in an arch above the eyes. However if you don’t want to take them to the dog shows you can also cut their bangs.
Hairs on their paws should be cut so that the paws have a round shape. You should also cut out the excess hairs between their pads so that they would not have problems when walking on smooth surfaces.