Havanese is a small breed of dog that originates from Cuba, where they made pampered lapdogs for Cuban royalty. They’ve since become popular family companions all over the world, particularly in the United States.
Do they shed hair? Havanese are a low shedding breed and are considered to be hypoallergenic for this reason. However, they have a long, double coat that does take some effort to maintain, so you should expect to be brushing at least a few times per week with a pin brush or slicker brush to maintain his coat.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how much you can expect your Havanese to moult and what they’re like to groom, so you know what to expect.
Havanese Dog Shedding – What to Expect
Havanese are a very low shedding breed.
The reason they don’t shed much mostly comes down to the breed. Most dogs shed, but it does depend on the breed as to how much and how noticeable it will be. And probably the most important factor in a given breed, is what type of coat they have.
In this case, Havanese have a long coat made up of hair instead of fur.
What’s the difference? For the most part, there’s not a lot of difference between hair and fur. They are both made up of a protein called keratin and have similar characteristics.
However, hair is typically longer, finer and softer to the touch as well as wavy, curly or straight. Whereas fur is often shorter and more coarse. And, more importantly, hair tends to shed less because it is typically longer and therefor has a longer growth cycle than fur.
Basically, the longer it takes for the hair to reach its maximum length and fall out, the lower shedding the dog is going to be.
They do lose hair though, so they are not completely non-shedding. They just don’t lose very much and given the length and texture of their coat, the hair they do lose tends to get trapped in the coat before it falls out onto your furniture and so forth.
Not to mention, they’re very small. Which doesn’t impact the speed at which they lose hair, but given how small they are there is only so much hair they can lose compared to a larger breed.
So, all in all, they’re a very low shedder.
Are Havanese Dogs Hypoallergenic?
Yes, Havanese are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed. However, the term hypoallergenic is controversial and doesn’t mean they won’t cause problems for allergy sufferers.
This is because the issue isn’t the hair itself, it’s the dog’s dander (dead, flaking skin). And when this dander attaches itself to their hair, spreads and becomes airborne, the sneezing begins.
So, naturally, a low shedding breed (like the Havanese) will not spread dander around your home as much as a higher shedding dog will. Which is why they can be more suitable for allergy sufferers. But that doesn’t mean they are 100% non-allergenic, because no dog is.
What Are They Like to Groom?
Havanese have long, double coats. Their top coat is made up of straight (or curly) hair that comes in a variety of colors. And their undercoat is made up of soft fur.
As such, they are a higher than average maintenance breed when it comes to brushing and grooming. The same thing that makes them a low shedding dog, also makes them more difficult (or at least time consuming) to groom.
It’s not that brushing them is particularly difficult, but it does take time because of the length of the outer coat. As with most long coated dogs, they tend to get all sorts of debris tangled up in it, as well as mats and knots, so it’s important to brush them daily to maintain their coat.
Doing so will not only help to remove any dead hair, but can also help to promote a healthier, moisture rich coat that sheds less overall.
Some people like to cut a few inches off of their coat, which can save you some time and effort. But you should never shave them completely as they need their undercoat to stay warm in winter and cooler in summer.
Also, a shorter Havanese coat will not catch as much of the hair that they do lose. So, even though it has no impact on the amount they shed, it can make a difference as to how much of it falls out before you get a chance to brush.
What sort of brush should you use?
A simple pin brush should do the trick, but some people prefer a slicker brush as this can make it easier to remove mats and tangles. As for the undercoat, a metal comb works well.
You can compare the different types of dog brushes here to learn more.
Aside from brushing, bathing once or twice per month is a good idea as it can help loosen the dead fur before brushing. Just be sure not to over bathe as this can dry out their coat, and only brush once they are dry.
All in all, the Havanese makes an excellent family companion. They are an intelligent, energetic dog that sheds almost no hair. So if this is what you’re looking for, you’re going to love inviting a Havanese dog into your home.