In the dog grooming world Havanese only come in 6 main hairstyles;
- Kennel Cut
- Teddy Bear
- Show Trim
- Modified Pet Trim
- Asian Fusion
Each hairstyle begins with one of these styles as a foundation and is then further modified to the owners liking.
For example, you might start with a Teddy Bear, but you may prefer a shorter body that’s easier to maintain (and requires less grooming).
Keep in mind that coat type can vary from one Havanese pup to another. Just like our human hair, you can have variations. One dog may have thick hair with curls, while the other has thin or “wispy” hair. Genetics play a big role in this.
Speak with your groomer about what hair styles work best for your dog’s hair type.
Brushing and Maintenance
Havanese coats are prone to matting and tangles, especially longer trims. Keep your pup happy and healthy through daily brushing.
If your dog becomes overly matted and tangled then your groomer may be forced to do a complete Shave Down.
To avoid this, ensure you’re brushing all the way to the skin.
Pay close attention to Friction Points: parts of the body that rub such as: between the armpits, groin, tail, and bum.
I recommend a slicker brush to first detangle, then a long pinned greyhound comb to check your work.
Never pull a comb through tangles. Slickers are for detangling, combs are for triple checking there are no tangles (not removing them)
1. Kennel Cut
Sometimes referred to as a Shave Down, Buzz Cut, or Sporting Trim.
Kennel cuts are the shortest and easiest hairstyle to maintain. This style is perfect for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors as the Kennel cut isn’t as prone to tangles. It also relieves your Havanese of excess heat during the summer.
Your typical Kennel Cut leaves 1/2 inch of hair or less on the body, while leaving length on the ears, face, and tail.
Kennel cuts are favored by owners because they’re inexpensive, easy to maintain, and can look very stylish.
2. Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear Cut is similar to a Kennel Cut, but the face to carefully trimmed and rounded to give an adorable teddy bear resemblance.
Teddy Bear hairstyles leave 1/2″ inch or longer on the body (but never longer than 2″). The body is clipped with a long comb, and hand scissored for a perfect finish. Some length is left on the ears and face, and then rounded with scissors.
This trim is more work for the owner as well. They’ll need to keep up with daily brushing, and keep the mustache, ears, and eye corners clear of debris.
3. Show Coat / Full Coat
For those who love full, long, and natural coat length. The Show Coat is basically untouched except for a tiny bit of trimming along the body to stop hair from dragging on the ground.
Groomers and owners will go to great lengths to ensure the coat remains silky and tangle-free. Daily brushing is absolutely essential here.
I do not recommend this trim to most owners unless you are properly prepared and dedicated. In most cases I recommend a Modified Pet Trim instead (more on that below).
As per AKC grooming standards; the coat is silky to the touch, soft and light in texture, but abundant and wavy. It flows with movement. A frizzy, curly, or overly flat coat is a fault. Coarse or wiry coats are a disqualification.
Remember: genetics play a big role in terms of coat type. You may or may not be able to achieve a show trim based on hair texture alone.
4. Modified Pet Trim
Want a show trim that is a little easier to handle? The modified pet trim is for you.
This is for my clients who want the show trim look but with a lot less daily maintenance.
Essentially, we take the show trim and add in some “shortcuts”. The hair remains long and natural, but trimmed around the eyes, belly, and bum. Long body hairs are trimmed to avoid dragging on the ground.
The modified pet trim still requires a dedicated routine of brushing and regular visits to your groomer.
5. Asian Fusion Style
A fairly new style in North America that is quickly gaining popularity. Asian Fusion uses precision scissoring and sharp angles to create dimension on the face and ears.
The face and mustache carefully trimmed and rounded to perfection so they resemble a cute doll-like appearance. Ears are left silky and rounded at the bottom.
Sometimes the legs are trimmed to look like “bell bottoms” that flare out towards the feet.
For Asian Fusion (or show trims) I recommend seeking out a groomer that specializes in Havanese trims, or has a good amount of experience in general.
Other havanese Styles (and misleading information)
The internet has a way of creating hairstyles and terms that don’t exist in the day-to-day grooming world (for example “Fox” or “Lamb” style).
In my experience as a groomer, owners are usually referring to one of the styles listed above (or just a modified version).
That being said: genetics, coat type, and matting play a huge role in what type of groom is achievable.
An experienced groomer will be able to help you with the styles that suits your dog and most to your liking.
What about Corded?
Cording is just dreadlocks for your dog. I left this until last because it’s quite rare with Havanese, and not something I recommend to the average owner.
Why? Simply because of the immense amount of work and dedication cording requires.
The show ring is where you may capture a glimpse this rare Havanese groom. Currently, the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club are the only two kennels that recognizes corded Havanese.