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Havanese Grooming Guide: Step-By-Step Instructions


Let’s not mince words: Grooming your Havanese is not about vanity—it’s about health, comfort, and the bond that grooming can forge between you and your dog. Too often, grooming advice tiptoes around the edges, offering vanilla tips that barely scratch the surface of what’s required. I’m here to plunge into the nitty-gritty, to deliver a no-nonsense, step-by-step guide that’s as much about technique as it is about the unique camaraderie it builds. We’re talking about a breed that’s as much a cloud of fur as it is a dog, and that mane is a commitment, an art form, and, yes, sometimes, a battle.

What You’ll Learn About Havanese Dog Grooming

  • How to groom a Havanese dog’s coat
  • Essential grooming tools for Havanese dogs
  • Step-by-step instructions for bathing, drying, brushing, trimming, nail trimming, and ear cleaning

Havanese Coat

The Havanese flaunts a double coat that’s soft as silk and light as a feather, but let me be clear: it’s deceptively high-maintenance. A Havanese left ungroomed is a walking mat factory. Their coat is a magnet for tangles and debris, and a daily grooming regimen is not just recommended—it’s essential.

Insider Tip: The key to a healthy Havanese coat is consistency. Make grooming a part of your daily routine, like a communal cup of coffee with your furry friend.

Havanese Grooming Tools

A selection of grooming tools laid out in an organized manner

Before diving into the grooming process, let’s talk tools. You’re going to need a slicker brush, a comb with both fine and wider teeth, a pair of rounded scissors, clippers for the heavier jobs, and a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner. Consider each tool an extension of your hand, a means to communicate care and commitment to your dog’s wellbeing.

Insider Tip: Invest in tools that feel good in your hands. Comfort for you translates to comfort for your Havanese.

Havanese Grooming Instructions


First, the bath. It’s not just about cleanliness; it’s about preparing the coat for what comes next. Use a dog-specific shampoo and conditioner to cleanse and soften the coat. Make sure to rinse thoroughly—any residue can cause irritation and attract dirt.

Insider Tip: Bathe your Havanese at least once a month, but not more than once a week to avoid stripping natural oils.


A Havanese being gently towel-dried

After the bath, avoid the rookie mistake of a vigorous towel rub. Instead, pat the coat gently and let it air dry or use a low-heat blow dryer while combing through the hair. This will prevent tangles and mats from forming in the damp fur.

Insider Tip: Keep the blow dryer moving and at a safe distance to avoid heat concentration on any single spot.


Brushing is not just about detangling; it’s a ritual that distributes oils, stimulates the skin, and keeps the coat shiny. Start with a slicker brush to gently work through mats, followed by a comb to smooth and detangle.

Insider Tip: Always brush before and after a bath to prevent mats from tightening up and becoming more difficult to remove.


Trimming keeps your Havanese looking neat and prevents hair from obstructing their vision. Use rounded scissors to carefully trim around the eyes, paws, and rear end.

Insider Tip: Regular trimming every six to eight weeks can keep your Havanese looking sharp and prevent hygiene issues.

Nail Trimming

Nail trimming is a non-negotiable part of grooming. Neglected nails can lead to pain and even deformity. If you can hear your Havanese’s nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim.

Insider Tip: If you’re nervous about clipping too short, use a nail grinder to gently wear down the nails without risking cutting the quick.

Ear Cleaning

The Havanese’s floppy ears can trap moisture and dirt, leading to infections if not regularly cleaned. Use a vet-recommended ear cleaner and gently wipe the outer ear with a cotton ball.

Insider Tip: Incorporate ear cleaning into your weekly grooming routine to prevent ear health issues.

Havanese Haircuts

A Havanese with a stylish haircut

When it comes to haircuts, the Havanese breed is versatile. The best haircut for a Havanese dog is one that suits their lifestyle and your ability to maintain it. The “puppy cut,” a uniform length all over the body, is a popular choice for its ease of maintenance.

Insider Tip: A puppy cut is practical and keeps your Havanese cool, but regular trims will still be necessary to maintain the look.

Is it OK to cut Havanese hair short? Absolutely, provided it’s done correctly and for the right reasons, such as the dog’s comfort or to reduce grooming time. However, remember that their coat offers protection from the sun and insulation from the cold, so consider your climate before choosing a hairstyle.

To cut a Havanese dog’s hair, you’ll need clippers with different length attachments. Start with a longer length guard to prevent cutting too short and work your way down to the desired length. Always move the clippers in the direction of hair growth to avoid a choppy appearance.

For a detailed guide on cutting a Havanese’s hair, the American Kennel Club provides an excellent resource.

In conclusion, grooming a Havanese is a labor of love, and the rhythm of brush, bathe, dry, and trim becomes a dance of sorts—a way to connect and care for your canine companion. How often should a Havanese dog be groomed? The answer is daily for brushing, monthly for baths, and as needed for haircuts and trims. The best haircut for a Havanese dog aligns with their health needs and your lifestyle, but remember, a haircut is not just about aesthetics—it’s about the comfort and care of your beloved pet.

Insider Tip: Establish a grooming routine that fits both your schedule and your Havanese’s needs. It’s about finding a balance that works for both of you.

Also check out this additional article: “How to give a Havanese a hair cut“.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as professional grooming advice. Always consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance specific to your pet’s needs.

Q & A

Q: Who benefits from regular grooming of Havanese dogs?

A: Havanese dogs benefit from regular grooming to maintain their coat health and overall hygiene.

Q: What is the recommended frequency for grooming Havanese dogs?

A: It is recommended to groom Havanese dogs at least 2-3 times a week to prevent matting and tangles.

Q: How can I groom my Havanese dog at home?

A: You can groom your Havanese dog at home by brushing their coat, trimming their nails, and bathing them regularly.

Q: What if my Havanese dog dislikes grooming sessions?

A: If your Havanese dog dislikes grooming, start with short sessions and use positive reinforcement to make it a positive experience.

Q: How do I prevent matting in my Havanese dog’s coat?

A: To prevent matting in your Havanese dog’s coat, brush them regularly and use detangling spray as needed.

Q: What if I don’t have time for regular grooming of my Havanese dog?

A: If you don’t have time for regular grooming, consider taking your Havanese dog to a professional groomer for regular maintenance.

Fiona Kelly

Fiona Kelly hopes to be a Havanese dog in the next life and so is learning all she can about Havanese breeding, care and grooming in this one. This article is meant to be a trusted source of pet advice, including that of Havanese care and breeding. Informing the public of the best Havanese information will make owners less likely to abandon their pets.

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