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Havanese & Shaving: What Owners Should Know

Can you shave your Havanese? You may have heard it keeps them cool in summer, reduces their shedding and makes them happier?

Well, not so fast. This article runs through the important points about shaving and whether or not it’s actually a good idea.

Can You Shave Havanese Dogs?

Thankfully, there’s a simple answer to this…

Havanese dogs should not be shaved unless for medical purposes.

Shaving their coat increases the chance of sunburn, will not help keep them cool, and it may regrow improperly.

Although many owners to this day shave their Havanese for various reasons, it’s not recommended.

A light trimming with scissors around the ears, paws, underbelly and tail is perfectly okay and may improve hygiene. I’ll cover this more below.

The truth is that all the intended benefits of shaving a Havanese’s coat will not actually happen! Let’s explain below.

5 Reasons Why Havanese Should Not Be Shaved

There are five main reasons as to why Havanese should not have their coat shaved.

1. UV Protection

As we mentioned before, the double layered coat perform specific roles.

In this case, the topcoat or “guard hairs” are strong, coarse, and help protect your Havanese from getting sunburnt.

If your shave your Havanese, these protective hairs will be the first to go!

And yes, dogs can actually get sunburn. This is painful for them and usually results in a trip to the vets.

2. Direct heat protection

Similar to blocking the harsh UV rays the topcoat also blocks a certain amount of direct heat from external sources (like the sun).

Although it seems like having a thick coat will absorb the heat, it doesn’t work like that!

A Havanese with their full coat intact will not get as hot as one without their full coat…

This also happens to be one of the main reasons why owners crap the clippers in the first place. So to be clear, shaving doesn’t help keep your dog cooler!

3. Warmth in winter

This time, the double coat helps in the opposite way!

As the cold winter months approach your Havanese will need their double coat intact to remain warm and safe.

The thick undercoat will now serve as an insulation layer, providing valuable protection during the extra cold days.

Even if a Havanese has been shaved in spring, there’s no telling if their coat will regrow properly in time for winter.

Related: How Do Havanese Handle Cold Weather? Winter Safety Guide

4. Bug and insect protection

The topcoat has another trick up its sleeve! A natural mosquito repellent (without the chemicals!)

Yep, the strong guard hairs do a great job of stopping pesky mosquitos bite your Havanese during the summer.

Our dogs are just as prone to getting bitten as we are.

But unfortunately, our dogs don’t know how bad it is to scratch that itch…

This can lead to excessive scratching, wounds, and eventually skin infections.

5. Water resistance

One thing the double coat does is prevent a certain amount of water from reaching the skin…

The moment your Havanese gets wet, they’ll lose their ability to keep warm…

As you can imagine, this can impact walks throughout the entire winter.

Whether it’s light rain, fog, or snow, it’ll make your Havanese wet and cold very quickly if they’re shaved.

Keeping the topcoat and undercoat long will allow your Havanese to play outside for longer in the cold. And exercise is a crucial part of every Havanese’s day that cant just stop when the weather gets bad.

Shaving a Havanese Does Not Keep Them Cool

As this is the main reason why owners shave their Havanese, I wanted to give it it’s own section.

Shaving back the coat of your Havanese will do little to keep them cool, in fact, there’s more chance of it having the opposite affect.

Having their long hair will protect them from both UV rays, sunburn, and direct heat.

  • However, I must mention that Havanese do not shed as much as other double-coated breeds. So it’s crucial we assist with plenty of brushing.

Dead undercoat hair will get trapped in the curly outer hairs, but these do need to come out to help with temperature regulation.

So brushing your Havanese daily or every other day is essential!

Related article: Keeping a Havanese Cool In Hot Weather

Shaving a Havanese Can Ruin Their Coat

Yes, It’s absolutely possible that shaving a Havanese will cause serious damage to their coat for months or even years. This is even stated by the American Kennel Club.

Why does this happen?

This happens because the two layers (undercoat and topcoat) grow at different rates…

When both layers are shaved back together, the undercoat will outgrow the topcoat.

An undercoat that grows through the topcoat often results in tangles and bad matting.

Matted and tangled coats can cause:

  • Overheating
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin infections
  • Excessive scratching
  • Vet visits!

This doesn’t always happen to a shaved coat, but considering the potential complications, it’s not worth the risk.

I Shaved My Havanese: What Happens Now?

If you’re reading this after having shaved your Havanese you’re probably a little worried!

Fear not, with proper care and attention to the regrowth stage you can avoid the coat from tangling and matting.

Tips to help the coat regrow:

  • Brush consistently with a pin and bristle brush (pin side)
  • Always check for tangling and matting and detangle it
  • Keep your Havanese out of direct sunshine if the coat is shaved very short
  • Get a winter dog jacket if the coat has not fully regrown by winter
  • Consider adding an Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement to support good skin and coat health

Be patient and your Havanese’s coat should regrow without issues.

How long will it take?

This varies with each Havanese depending on their overall health and age. It may be between 6 and 10 months before a Havanese coat regrows.

Can You Give Havanese a Light Haircut

While we advise against shaving a Havanese at all costs, it’s perfectly fine to give them a “light trim” with scissors around troublesome areas.

Chopping back a little amount of hair with scissors will not have the same detrimental affect as shaving both layers back together.

Where can you trim your Havanese:

  • Paws
  • Underbelly
  • Ears
  • Mouth
  • Tail

Trimming back excessively long hair in these areas can help in various ways…

Trimming around the paws may reduce the amount of grim getting into the hair when out on walks. The same is true for long hair on the tail.

When it comes to the ears, if your Havanese has very long hair it may contribute to ear infections. Keeping the hair trimmed back here may allow dirt to leave the ears more easily.

Related: Havanese Bathing Guide: How Often & Which Shampoo?

Why Do So Many Owners Still Shave Their Havanese?

Despite it being advised against, why are there so many owners still shaving their Havanese?

Most owners simply aren’t aware of the damaging effects that shaving can cause. And others actually believe that it’s perfectly fine.

It depends on where people ask, and the information passed along…

I also admit to shaving my double-coated dog several years ago before such information was so readily accessible. Now I know better.

If you know an owner that promotes shaving their Havanese, feel free to send them this URL! 😂

Last Thoughts

You should not shave a Havanese. Their double coat performs important roles and so it should remain intact. A light trimming is okay around troublesome areas to help with hygiene, but avoid shaving at all costs.

Shaving does not have the intended benefits. If you want to keep your Havanese cool in summer then there are many other ways to effectively do this. Just avoid those clippers!

Back to more Havanese articles!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.