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Havanese have a long, soft and wavy coat. Brushing daily or every second day is important if you don’t want to fight with matting in the hair. Even though a pup doesn't require as frequent a brushing, it is good to make it a routine early. With constant gentleness, praise and rewards afterwards, grooming will become a pleasant time for both of you.
I found a Pin brush more effective that a bristle brush because of the thickness and waviness of the Havanese coat. Always wet hair using a spray bottle filled with water, or a water/detangler/conditioner mix before brushing. Wet any tangles or mats and gently tease them apart with your fingers or a comb. Always brush a long coat in sections, working from the roots (close to the skin) out. When brushing is finished, run a medium comb through the hair to check for hidden knots.
A clean coat is less prone to tangles. How often you need to bath your pup depends on his environment and also his color. Dogs kept in clean surroundings may not need as frequent a bathing.
Being prepared for the bath makes things go a lot smoother and easier. Always brush out hair well before bathing. Putting a drop of mineral oil in each eye protects the eyes from the soap and putting a half a cotton ball in each ear helps keep the water out of the ears. It’s best to try to keep the ears dry inside so as not to cause problems with infections. Keeping the hair from the inside of the ears by gently removing it by pinching it out with your fingers prevents problems as well. Make a habit of pulling the hair out just before you put in the cotton ball so then it becomes routine and doesn't have a chance to build up. Last of all make sure to have a nice big towel ready for afterwards.
Use warm water (body temperature) and wet the entire dog except for his head. Apply shampoo with a spray bottle (mixture of shampoo with water) to help to spread the shampoo and rub in gently so as not to tangle the coat too much. I usually wash the areas such as the feet, butt and front neck area twice in order to get them good and clean. Rinse very well and apply conditioner (some conditioners you can leave in to save time). Once you have finished with the body you can start bathing the head. This is the part that the pup dislike the most, and so I leave it to last.
The inner corners of the eyes get a buildup of gunk. Wetting first with warm water and then gently combing them out should loosen the crusty. I use a flea comb to do this. If you want to prevent serious tear staining, eye cleaning should be done daily. This website has quite good information on this subject http://www.bhejei.com/tearsta.htm
When washing the ear, even though you have put cotton in them to protect them from the water, be careful not spray water directly into them.
Blow-drying prevents tangles that occur if the coat dries naturally. Start by separating the hair with your fingers as your dry and as the coat becomes less wet, use the pin brush to separate the hairs and keep the tangles out - this also helps to speed up the drying time.
Trimming the nails is an important part of grooming and if you start slowly – simply holding the pup still and separating the toes without clipping for the first few times – this helps the pup to adjust to the ordeal. Then try cutting only one nail and with much praise and a treat, next time he may allow you to clip two. Soon you’ll be able to do the whole job at once.
I like to take small clips rather than a large amount at once, just to make sure I don’t cut into the nail ‘quick’. It causes the nail to bleed even though it isn’t serious and it heals quickly.
In addition to keeping the hair out of the
ears, it is necessary to keep the bum area and piddle area clean of hair.
This helps the pup stay tidy when he is eliminating. I use a
good quality blunt tipped pair of scissors for this.
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