By HFC Member - Heather Warnock
Once your Havanese is freshly brushed and groomed, its bath time. Have your supplies close at hand, as well as a few tasty treats nearby for rewarding good behavior and keeping things fun. Ready? Let’s get wet.
I like to use a spray nozzle which makes washing and rinsing much easier. Toy dogs like the Havanese are small enough to be bathed in your kitchen sink with a non slip mat in the bottom. First, I put a large cotton ball in their ears so I don’t accidentally get water inside. Make sure the water is warm, not too hot, and get your Havanese puppy used to the water by spraying his back and shoulders. Keep the spray on low, be gentle and work gradually to give your puppy time to acclimate. Keep the nozzle about 1 inch from the dog so that the water efficiently penetrates the profuse coat. Praise and give a treat if you like.
After he relaxes, wet his head making sure to never spray directly in the face. Slightly lift his face so that the water runs down the back of his head. Use your fingers to move the water away from the eyes, nose and mouth. Give lots of praise.
Using a Ph balanced shampoo especially formulated for dogs, apply a line of shampoo along the back and skull. Massage right down to the skin, working the suds through the coat, down and under the tail, the underside, legs and feet. Don’t forget to do between the toes. Lather the head, being careful not to get soap in the eyes. Give lots of praise. Handle the coat gently like washing a wool sweater, don’t scrub or the coat will mat.
After thoroughly lathering, rinse with warm water and a medium spay. Gently rinse the head and neck first, working your way down the body, making sure you get all the soap out (soap residue can cause skin irritation). Rinse again until the water runs clear. Give lots of praise.
Next, apply Ph balanced conditioner; work through the coat and let stand for one minute. Rinse well until water runs clear and all the excess conditioner is gone. This makes for easier combing and keeps the coat in good condition. Give lots of praise.
Wrap your puppy in a large absorbent towel and gently squeeze out any excess water. Do not rub the coat or it could mat. Now he is ready to be blown dry or maybe just air-dried as you prefer. Praise and give lots of kisses and treats. Your Havanese is now nice and clean. Wasn't that easy?
The long lush Havanese coat can attract and hold a lot of debris and puppies are insatiably curious and can get into lots of messes. Seeing as Havanese are indoor dogs and many are allowed on furniture and beds, they are generally bathed quite frequently to keep them clean and well groomed.
- Previously published in Dogs In Canada Breedlines – September 2006
© Copyright Heather Warnock. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the author.