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Grooming Equipment

I have listed the grooming tools that I use and recommend.  They are professional quality and can be ordered online from a local Canadian comapany.   They will last many years and will help you to keep your Havanese looking great between groomings.    To get started with a new puppy  I would recommend a  wooden pin brush and a comb.  

De-matting spray

Wooden Pin Brush

Gentle for puppies and for blow drying


Good for daily combing after brushing

Metal Pin Brush

Adult Daily brushing

Slicker Brush

Used for big matts

Longer Pin comb

This is useful when the dog has a floor length coat


Used to clean the hair from between the pads on the bottome of the feet.  Whal makes good clippers.


You can order a scissor set from Amazon.   You will need a pair of curved scissors for the pads and straight scissors to trim eyes and ear fur.   Thinning shears are also handy to trim bangs without a straight line.

Shampoo and conditioner

I use L’Oreal 5 (red and white bottle) human shampo and conditioner on all my dogs.   To brighten the whites you can use a purple dog shampoo like Whal or CC White on white

Grooming spray

It is good to use every time you brush your dog to prevent hair breakage.   I like CC ice on ice

Nail clippers

When the pups are small, you can use cat scissor type nail clippers (they are much easier).  Then pliers type cutters are recommended.

Quick-Stop Powder

You can get a version from most any pet store or styptic pen to stop any bleeding from a cut that is a little to close to the quick.

Grooming Your Havanese

Full Coat:  If your Havanese is kept in a full coat you can expect to brush your dog every day or two and have a wash and blow dry every 7 days.  Nails need to be clipped every 3 weeks.   Your dog will need to visit the groomer as well every 3 months for a pad and sani-trim.  Puppy visits should start right away just to get your puppy socialized to the experience. 

Puppy Cut:   An easier way to keep grooming needs down is to do a puppy cut. The body and legs can be cut down to 1-3 inches long, making grooming easier. The head, tail, and ears can be left a little longer to keep the 'look' of the Havanese. Many people prefer this easy hair style. Combing is much quicker and easier on the shorter coat and so is blow dry time.   If your dog is kept in a puppy cut bushing your dog once a week and bathing every 3 weeks should be fine.   Your dog will need to visit the groomer to be clipped every three months.    Puppy visits should start right away just to get your puppy socialized to the experience.   

How to groom your Havanese:  

  1. It is essential that you brush your Havanese coat right to the skin.   Many people incorrectly only brush the top of the coat, leaving the bottom of the coat to matt and eventually needing to be shaved very short.   

  2. Lightly mist the coat with dilute conditioner or Ice on Ice Spray and gently brush with the pin brush first sectioning the hair in small areas starting from the rear leg forward.   Then I use the larger comb and follow with the finer comb.  Don’t forget to do the feet, tail, behind the ears and in the armpits as these areas matt easily.

  3. Use a fine tooth comb or flea comb to comb the face. Wipe under the eyes with a wash cloth. Trim inner corner of eye if needed.

  4. Remove ear hair and clean inner ear with ear cleaner. 

  5. How to bathe your dog:

  6. Brush your dog out first following the above steps.   You should not bathe a matted dog if you can help it.   The water and blow-drying will set the mats and they may not come out. 

  7. Wet coat, apply shampoo and work into coat using downward motion. Bathe dog using downward strokes, do not 'scrub' the hair back and forth, this causes matting.   Apply conditioner in same manner, rinse well.   (This is very important as extra soap or conditioner will make a coat sticky and mat easily)

  8. Wrap in towel (do not scrub), and blot dry.   I find a shammy works very well too to absorb extra water and this helps making blow dry time shorter and easier.  Do not let your dog air dry as this increases tangles.

  9. Spray your dog with dilute conditioner (10:1) all over generously or ice on ice grooming spray.

  10. Blow dry the hair down. Do not blow the coat blow in different directions.  This can create tangles. You can use a hand held blow dryer made for people or invest in a nice stand dryer.  Use the wooden pin brush and brush your dog while blowing the hair dry, making certain to get all of the coat combed clear to the skin. Gently work out any tangles with the comb.   Do not dry the coat with a tangle in it as this will set the tangle.  Blow dry thoroughly.   Do not stop when almost dry as the extra finishing dry makes a big difference.    I do one side, then the other. Again, start low and work up. I blow dry in a similar manner to combing. Use the pin brush as you blow, brushing the hair down.

  11. Trim pads and nails. The hair between the pads of the feet needs to be trimmed. It is easiest to trim it even with the pads. You can use clippers or scissors to do this or have your groomer do it at your next visit.   This does not need to be done each bath but every month or two.   Nails need to be trimmed every 3 weeks.   Have a partner hold the dog against their chest if you need help.    Have QuickStop powder ready.   If you accidentally cut too much and the nail bleeds then press the powder into the nail, apply pressure and count to 20   (This is not a big deal for the dog but can be upsetting to the owner.)  

  12. Trim hair:  Take each paw, pull the hair down around the bottom edge, then cut all the hair even with the bottom of the paw. This keeps the hair off the ground and makes a neater appearance. Stand the dog on the table and cut any loose hairs that may have been missed around the feet.    This needs to be done every month.  Then you can trim up your dogs hair on their ears and tail and cut off the frayed ends.  I finish by trimming the hair around the eyes so the dog can see but some prefer to keep their dog in a ponytail.

Grooming videos

De-Matting Your Havanese

If you dog has a mat, spray the area with the de-matting spray above and let it sit for a few minutes.   Use your fingers to tease the matt apart and use more spray.    Use the slicker brush first and then the larger section of the comb gently working small areas from the skin down.  If you can’t get any farther this way you can use your open scissors  (dull point) like a knife and gently and carefully slice the matt into smaller sections to comb out.   (This will damage coat).  Never cut a matt out.  It is too easy to accidentally cut the skin and require a costly vet visit.   If you can’t get the mats out make any appointment with your groomer for a shave.  It is the kindest way to get large matted areas out.      

Blowing coat:

Oherwise known as coat change. This happens usually sometime between 9 months and 2 years. The coat will change from puppy to adult and in the process the old puppy coat drops out into the coat and must be combed out or you will have a major matted mess on your hands. During the coat change it may require daily combings to avoid a tangled coat. This may take several weeks or months depending on the dog. Keeping the old dead hair combed out is the best way to avoid the tangles and matts that will occur if left on its own.

Tear Staining

You could spend a small fortune on products to remove tear staining from your dog’s eyes.   Any dog with a long coat and light fur is prone to tear staining.   It is not unhealthy but many owners wish to minimize the appearance.    

Causes:   The difficulty lies in the fact that the extra tears can be caused by many different things.    It can be caused by the shape of the eye, impurities in the water, environmental allergies, food allergies or even fur irritating the eyes.  You may find the cause or you may not, but here are some methods for removing the stains

Removing the Stains

  • Have you dogs eyes trimmed at the groomer every month between regular grooming

  • Make a paste of Milk of Magnesia and Hydrogen peroxide.  Apply to the area and let sit 5 min then wash off.   Repeat every few days.

  • Use a whitening shampoo during bath time

  • If things are really bad speak to your vet about using antibiotics, under veterinary supervision, drugs like doxycycline, Tetracycline, metronidazole and enrofloxacin have all been used with some success.

  • Probiotics can help. The all-natural probiotic manufactured by Iams (Prostora MAX) sometimes can work and can be ordered through your veterinarian. 

Tear stains links

Recommended Grooming Book

From Nose To Tail 

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