How to Groom a Havanese? Everything You Need To Know

The National Dog of Cuba, the Havanese, are small, affectionate, intelligent, and funny dogs that belong to the Bichon family. The breed was named after the capital city of Havana, hence the nickname Havana Silk Dogs. These dogs have a wavy and silky double coat but remain extremely light, protecting them against harsh tropical heat. However, these long-haired breeds require continuous attention to stay healthy and manageable. So, grooming Havanese dogs involves several factors, including brushing, bathing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and maintaining their coat. 

How long will it take to groom a Havanese dog? 

Grooming time for a Havanese dog can vary depending on various factors, including coat length, coat condition, dog size, and the specified grooming tasks you are performing. Grooming usually takes 1 to 2 hours or longer, specifically if you do a thorough session, including bathing, drying, brushing, and trimming.

What tools do I need to groom a Havanese?

For grooming a Havanese dog, you will need a few basic tools to maintain their coat tidy, clean, and free from tangles. However, if you need clarification on performing specific grooming tasks or using certain tools, consider consulting a professional groomer for guidance.

Here are checklists of grooming tools commonly used for Havanese dogs:

  • Nail Clippers or Grinder
  • Ear Cleaner
  • Styptic Powder
  • Grooming Scissors
  • A dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • A fine-toothed comb or a mat comb
  • A mild and gentle dog-specific shampoo
  • A few absorbent towels for drying
  • A slicker brush or pin brush
  • A low-heat blow dryer 
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Pet Union Professional Dog Grooming Kit
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Steps to Groom a Havanese Dog

Always be mindful of rewarding your Havanese dog with praise and treats throughout the grooming procedure to make it a positive experience. Here are some step-by-step tips for grooming your Havanese dog.


Regular trimming is necessary for a Havanese dog as its coat grows continuously and maintains a neat impression. Use blunt-nosed scissors to trim the hair around the ears, eyes, and paws. Be careful and gradually trim to avoid accidental cuts. 

Nail Trimming

Trim your dog’s nails regularly to control them from becoming too lengthy and causing pain. Use a pair of dog nail clippers, and be cautious not to cut too close to the pink area because the nail contains blood vessels. 

Ear Cleaning

Regularly clean your dog’s ears, as these breeds are prone to ear infections. Use an ear-cleaning solution, cotton balls, or gauze pads your veterinarian suggests. Gently wipe the inside area, being careful not to go too deep. Consult a vet if you notice any swelling, redness, or discharge.

Dental Care

Regularly brush your dog’s teeth using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. This aids in preventing dental issues and maintains their breath fresh. You can gradually introduce tooth brushing, starting with a finger brush and slowly transitioning to a toothbrush.


Brushing should be done at least a few times weekly to avoid matting.

Lightly spray an area of your dog’s coat using a mist sprayer. Brush their coat thoroughly to remove mats or tangles using a slicker brush or a wide-spaced teeth comb. Carefully perform through the entire coat and to areas prone to matting, like behind the ears and armpits. 


Bathing can be done once a week or whenever required. 

Wet their coat thoroughly and apply a dog-specific shampoo, lathering it gently. Fill a sink or a bathtub with lukewarm water. Be cautious around their face and ears while cleaning using a damp cloth. Rinse the coat thoroughly to remove all shampoo residue.


Gently squeeze excess water from your dog’s coat after bathing. Use a microfiber towel to blot the coat and extract as much moisture as possible. Ensure the coat is thoroughly dry, as these dogs are prone to skin irritations if damp.

Note: On a low setting, you can also use a hairdryer and ensure to use your hand to protect Havanese’s skin from direct heat. 

Pro Tips for Grooming a Havanese 

  • Make grooming a positive experience using treats, and praise, positive reinforcement during grooming sessions to build trust and make the procedure a more enjoyable experience for you and your dog.
  • In addition to brushing, provide toys or dental chews to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. 
  • Regularly trim the hair between your dog’s paw pads and use paw balm or moisturizer to avoid matting and discomfort.
  • Invest in high-quality grooming tools, making the grooming process more effective and comfortable for your dog.

What if General Grooming Tips Do Not Work? 

If general grooming tips fail on your Havanese dog, assessing the issues and taking appropriate action is essential. Here are some guides to consider:

  • Grooming challenges can take time to overcome, so always stay patient and persistent. 
  • Consider modifying the grooming routine to adapt to your dog’s needs. For instance, break the sessions into shorter, more effortless ones.
  • In certain cases, consulting with a professional dog trainer who specializes in grooming issues may be helpful. 
  • If your dog has any underlying health concerns during grooming, consult a vet to determine what may contribute to the difficulties.

Final Thoughts

Grooming a Havanese dog is essential to keeping their health and overall well-being. Establishing a regular grooming routine, adapting to your dog’s requirements, and seeking professional guidance guarantees that your Havanese looks and feels their best.

Videos on How to Groom a Havanese 

Grooming a Havanese Dog

Grooming a Havanese Dog

Grooming a Havanese Dog

Grooming a Havanese Dog

Grooming a Havanese Dog

Grooming a Havanese Dog

Grooming a Havanese Dog

Grooming a Havanese Dog

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