GROOMING YOUR HAVANESE DOG 101!

Royal Flush Havanese encourages every single one of our puppy parents to use grooming time as a way to bond with your amazing havanese and keep them neat and clean! In the beginning it can seem intimating to keep up the maintenance on your pup, but don’t worry- your dog won’t hold it against you! Even if you use the expert services of a professional groomer, you still need to keep up with combing and brushing in between visits. Not only will your groomer appreciate it you will keep your dog’s skin clean and hair healthy! This time will continue to teach your pup that it’s okay to allow his body and feet to be handled while allowing you build trust with your four-legged baby!

BRUSHING/COMBING

Brushing the coat is the first and most important step in Havanese grooming. Most of your time and effort should be devoted to it, even more so when grooming a dog that has a long, thick or possibly matted coat. A thorough brushing MUST be done before bathing because wetting a tangled or matted coat will only make the tangles and mats worse. Combing runs a very close second place to brushing. Consider the brush and comb to be “Big Brother and Little Brother”. Wherever the brush (Big Brother) goes, the comb (Little Brother) follows closely behind.

Supplies Needed:

  1. Slicker Brush of Personal Preference
    1. Exp: https://www.chewy.com/jw-pet-gripsoft-slicker-brush-soft/dp/40194
  2. A Half Fine toothed Half Coarse Toothed Metal Comb
    1. Exp: https://www.chewy.com/andis-steel-pet-comb-75-in/dp/54017
  3. Leave in Conditioner if Needed
    1. Exp: https://www.nuvetlabs.com/order_new2/conditioning-oatmeal-spray.asp
  4. Leave in condition should be slightly sprayed over the coat before brushing to prevent breakage.
    1. This will also help speed up the detangling process.
  • In theory, if the dog can’t see what you are doing, they are much less likely to fuss about it. Start with the hindquarters, then systematically work your way around the dog part by part.
  • First brush out one of the rear legs. Start from the bottom of the leg (paw) and work your way up to the top (hip). Use your free hand to push the hair up towards the top of the leg as you brush and work your way up to ensure the brush is reaching the roots of the coat. Repeat this process with the other rear leg.
  • Once you have finished completely brushing through both rear legs, put the brush down and pick up your comb. The combs job is to locate and remove any tangles or mats left behind after brushing. Run the comb through the legs you have just brushed, if you hit a knot, hold the bottom of the knot with your free hand and comb/tease out the knot with your other hand. Patience is key! The more thorough you are with your brushing, the fewer knots you will find while combing. The more thorough you are with your combing, the better our dogs will look and feel!
  • After you have finished brushing and combing both hind-legs, repeat the exact process with the two front legs. When all four legs are done, concentrate on the tail. From there, work your way up the dog, left side, right side, underside, and then the chest. Your last stop being the head, pay special attention to the ears and beard.

Remember! Brush, then comb. Brush, then comb. Part by part, step by step, this way nothing is skipped, forgotten about or overlooked.

 

NAIL TRIMMING

Most dogs do not enjoy having their nails trimmed and will fuss about it but DO NOT GIVE UP! Weekly nail trimming is necessary and extremely important. Without regular trimming, nails can become so long they can become painful, causing the dog discomfort and irritation. The shorter the nail the better, frequent trimming will, over time, make the quick (nails blood supply) retract allowing for a shorter nail.

HOLLY NO FAIL TIP: I always put a Life’s Abundance Bully Stick in my dog’s mouth before I start trimming nails. Sure there’s a lot of drooling at this point, but he stays perfectly still and I can get all of his nails done and when I am done he gets to go thoroughly enjoy his bully stick, so it’s a win-win situation!

Supplies Needed:

  1. Nail Clippers/Dremel:
    1. Exp: https://www.chewy.com/evolution-deluxe-dog-nail-trimmer/dp/223695
  2. Kwik Stop Styptic Powder
    1. Exp: https://www.chewy.com/miracle-care-kwik-stop-styptic-powder/dp/111488
  • With the nail clippers in your dominant hand, grasp the paw firmly with your other hand and hold the leg up towards you. Carefully trim each nail as close to the quick as possible.
    • ALWAYS CHECK FOR DEWCLAWS!
  • On a dog with white nails the quick is very easy to see, darker nails require a little guesswork and extra caution.
  • If you accidentally clip a nail too short and it starts to bleed, DO NOT PANIC!
    • Apply “Kwik Stop” and a small amount of pressure to the nail and the bleeding will stop within seconds.
      • Kwik Stop is an antiseptic powder that helps instantly coagulate blood, it should always be on hand if you are going to clip your dog’s nail yourself.

THE BEST TIME TO DO NAILS IS BEFORE THE BATH. THIS WAY ANY QUICK STOP OR BLOOD CAN BE WASHED AWAY!

EAR CARE:

Ear cleaning is a simple task that is essential for all dogs. With long-haired breeds like the Havanese, regular ear cleaning and plucking is required to avoid potential problems. The hair in the ear canal will grow long, knot up and mat causing moisture build up, which promotes ear infections. Ear cleaning needs to be done weekly. Ear plucking should be done as needed depending on the rate of hair growth. If you come across a dog with even the smallest amount of hair growing out of the ear canal, it must be plucked.

Supplies Needed:

  1. Tweezers
    1. Diatomaceous earth powder & Puffer
  2. Exp: https://www.amazon.com/Diatomaceous-Puffer-Powder-Bellow-Duster/dp/B00IZETVXA
    1. Ear Cleaning Solution
  3. Exp: https://www.nuvetlabs.com/order_new2/ear-cleaner.asp
  • To pluck the ear (first locate the puffer) and poof a small amount of powder directly into the ear.
    • DO NOT POOF THE POWDER INTO THE OPEN-AIR IT SHOULD NOT BE INHALED.
    • The diatomaceous earth will make the hair dry, brittle and easy to pull out with your fingers.
  • Pluck the hairs out with a quick, firm motion until the ear looks clean and free of hair.
    • Hemostats or tweezers should be readily available if there are hairs you cannot reach with your fingers just be careful not to pinch the dogs’ skin.
  • To clean the ear, simply soak a cotton ball with the ear cleaning solution and swab the ear. After the initial swab, swab again with a dry cotton ball to dry out the ear and wipe away any wax build up left behind.

THE BEST TIME TO DO EARS IS BEFORE THE BATH. THIS WAY ANY EXCESS POWDER CAN BE WASHED AWAY!

 

BATHING:

Bathing is the most simple and easy part of grooming a Havanese, almost to the point where you may think it is not worth discussing but just like anything else, there is a professional way of doing things and an amateur way. Step one is to gather everything you will need for the bathing process and place them within arm’s length BEFORE you put the dog in the tub.

Supplies needed:

  1. Towel
  2. Dog Shampoo
  3. EXP: https://www.nuvetlabs.com/order_new2/puppy-kitten-shampoo.asp
  4. Dog Conditioner 
  5. Two Toothbrushes
  6. Baking Soda
  7. Fine Toothed Comb
  8. Blow Dryer
  • Everything you need should be prepared ahead of time and within reaching distance.
    • Your dog should never be left alone in the tub, not even for a second.
    • An unsecured dog may decide to jump out of the tub and injure themselves.
      • Even if you have the dog tethered to the tub, you should NOT walk away from the tub or sink.
      • A tethered dog may slip the collar and still jump from the tub, potentially causing injury.
    • Now that you have everything you need, and the dog is secured in the tub set the water temperature to be comfortably warm.
      • Not too hot and not too cold.
    • When soaking the dog, use the same part by part process used in brushing.
      • You may need to use your hands to force the water through the coat in order to fully saturate it.
    • After completely soaking the dog with warm water saturate the coat using your hands to gently massage the shampoo down to the skin and spread throughout the dogs’ body.
      • This includes the paw pads and private parts; everything needs to be clean!
    • Rinse quickly with warm water and repeat the last step with conditioner.
    • The fine-toothed comb is used first to remove any crusties or eye boogers and used secondly to remove any stubborn dried poop from the bum area that refuses to come out during the normal shampooing process.
      • Be extremely careful while washing the face, use one of the two toothbrushes you have on hand to carefully shampoo around the muzzle and cheeks, paying close attention not to get any shampoo in the dogs’ eyes.
    • Once you have shampooed and conditioned the entire dog, it is time to rinse.
      • Double check that the water temperature is right and then rinse until the water running off the dog and into the drain is 100% clear and soap free.
      • The same care used to shampoo the face should be used to rinse the face to avoid getting any shampoo in the dogs’ eyes.
        • Cover the ear canal with your thumb (or use cotton balls) to keep water out while rinsing.
      • When you are certain the dog is clean and properly rinsed, use your hands to squeegee out as much water from the coat as possible.
        • Gently squeeze the ears, paws and tail.
        • Then use the towel to dry and soak up as much water from the dog as possible.
      • This is an excellent time to brush the teeth!
        • Use warm water to dampen the second toothbrush before dipping into baking soda and gently brush all teeth.
      • Remove the dog from the tub and set them up to be dried.
        • Do not use the hot setting on your dryer, you can turn it to warm if your pup is cold but only the air is needed to dry.
      • During blow drying run your hands through the coat to feel for damp areas and blow dry those areas closer by hand.
        • A Havanese cannot be left damp in any areas because a damp coat promotes matting and tangling.
        • This goes double for the ears, both the inner and flop of the ears must be thoroughly dried.
      • Repeat brushing instructions alternating with brush and comb.

WET EARS CAN CAUSE YEAST BUILD UP AND EAR INFECTIONS!

 

TRIMMING:

Now that the dogs coat is clean and thoroughly dried, your last step is to trim the excess hair from the eyes, paw pads and butt. It is always better to trim hair after the dog has been bathed because you will get a better and more even cut trimming hair that is clean and dirty hair causes the scissors to dull much faster.

Supplies Needed:

  1. Grooming Scissors
    1. Exp: https://www.chewy.com/alfie-pet-grooming-kit-10-piece/dp/137472
  2. Slicker Brush
  3. Fine Tooth Comb
  4. Brush/Dustpan
  • To trim the paw pads, gently bend the paw backward so that the paw pad is facing up.
  •            Carefully trim away the hair growing out from in between the pads.
  • When finished all the hair should be flush with the paw pad, making each pad clearly visible.
  • Next, release the paw and allow the dog to stand naturally on the table.
    • You should never try to round a dog’s foot while holding it up in the air as it will not look the same when the foot is put back down. Use a slicker brush to brush the tops of the dog’s feet downward and outward all the way around.
  • Use curved grooming scissors to round the dog’s feet by trimming away any out of place hairs.
  • The bottom blade of the scissors should be touching the grooming table and angled slightly in towards the dog leaving the top blade angled away from the dog as you cut.
  • Repeat the brushing down and the trimming process until you brush the hair down and you are left with a perfectly rounded little bootie.

DO NOT CUT THE HAIR ABOVE THE NAILS! VISIBLE NAILS DO NOT LOOK GOOD!!!

  • To trim the butt, hold the dogs tail up firmly but do not pull the tail. Slowly and carefully trim away the hair immediately surrounding the anus.
    • About a centimeter above and on each side as well as an inch below should be trimmed very short, almost to the skin

(ADULT DOGS ONLY, DO NOT TAKE THAT MUCH HAIR OFF OF A TINY PUPPY’S BUTT!).

  • Any hair from the hind-legs or tail that naturally falls in any area that may accumulate poop should also be lightly trimmed.
    • If there is too much hair around the anus poop will stick to it, dry and harden. Left unattended, this can cause a complete blockage preventing the dog from pooping. This is especially true for the younger puppies!
  • To trim the eyes, hold the dog by the beard.
    • Assuming you are right-handed, its easiest to approach the dog from behind to trim the right eye and approach from the front to trim the left eye.
      • For lefties this will be opposite.
    • If they are squirming around or pulling away ask someone for assistance.
      • The last thing you want to do is hack up a dog’s face or worse, seriously injure them!
    • Never point the tips of the scissors towards the eye.
    • Use a fine-toothed comb to comb the hair up and out away from the eye.
    • Hold the scissors at an angle with the tips pointed up towards the middle of the forehead and make small slow even cuts until there is no more hair obstructing the eye.
      • The middle of the scissors should be used for cutting.
    • After, use the comb to comb the hair towards the eye and carefully clean up any stray hairs.
      • Be careful not to comb up and cut any hair from the sides of the snout, it will not look right.
    • You should only be cutting hair in the small crease where eye boogers flow and lightly trimming any hair from the bridge of the nose so that both eyes are clear and visible.

Remember, at Royal Flush Havanese we are ALWAYS here to help you! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or are nervous grooming your Havanese! This should be a happy, joyful, and loving experience that allows you and your pup to bond for years to come! Check out our Products Page for more great grooming products to use on your Havanese!

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Business Address:95 Old Coach Rd,Charlestown,RI,02813,USA |Tel: 401-864-3371 |Email: holly@royalflushhavanese.com.
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