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Chocolate Havanese

To trim or not to trim

All the delightful things you love about the Havanese breed come as a package deal including a long silky coat. His coat is his glory. Show Havanese are kept in their natural beauty with full glorious coat; as are many pet, companion and performance dogs across the country. Some owners however choose to clip the coat.

I succumbed to clipping few times in the past 10 years. Once was 1 year old male during coat change. I trimmed down to 2cm(less than an inch), hated it instantly and grew the coat back out again. It did ease my way through coat change, but the loss of the look I loved was not worth it to me. Nine years later, I did it again. This time on a 10 year old girl who has been a grooming challenge her whole life, with more coat than I knew what to do with. The reasoning was that as she got older, she might be more comfortable with a shorter coat, less grooming time etc. Not to be too drastic, she was scissored to 8cm(3 inches) all over. I tried unsuccessfully to convince myself this was better for her and I would get used to it. Clipped just isn't her and it's not for me. In no time at all, her coat was well on its way back to the full coat I love. I fell in love with Havanese 15 years ago when I first sank my hands into that exquisitely soft long mantle of coat; there is no going back. For me, the two are undeniable intertwined. Since this time, I have trimmed a couple of other Havanese as I am finding that I prefer to keep my seniors in a modified clip. Still long, but not as full as a show coat.

While this is my own personal choice, which is shared by many;for other owners the decision of clipping is best for them. Choice of coat length for the "at home" clipped Havanese range from an ultra short plush to hand scissored medium length. There are many reasons why owners choose to clip their Havanese; allergies in the family, personal preference or easier maintenance. Clipped coats may be a solution for someone with limited grooming skills or lack of time for proper grooming; perhaps also easier for people with multiple dogs because of grooming time. For those living in the country or doing assorted outdoor activities a long coat may be a grooming nightmare with the debris it can collect. Clipping is sometimes the best option when there are time constraints or when the family groomer will be unable to groom for an extended period of time due to illness, injury or other reasons.

Whatever the reason for your choice is, ultimately, it's your dog and your decision, whether or not you choose to keep your Havanese in full coat or clipped. If clipping is your choice, please do keep in mind that the more you cut off, the less it will look like a Havanese.