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Chocolate Havanese

Coat Development

The first picture you saw of Havanese in all probability was a fully coated adult dog with a silken mantle of coat 15 to 20cm (6-8") long or more. The first picture you saw of your special puppy was just as likely to be an adorable plush little fluff ball. Obviously a lot happens in between. Even in a few weeks, a lot can change. By the time your puppy comes home at 8-12 weeks, plush baby has already developed a lush thick coat which may be 3 to 5 cm (1-2") long or longer. Normal coat growth on a Havanese puppy can be 1 to 2 cm a month. By one year of age, a breedline with a slow developing coat can have about 13 to 15 cm (5-6") of length, while a breedline with a faster maturing coat may already have 17 to 20 cm (7-8").

Around one year of age; generally starting anywhere from 8 to 15 months,Havanese go through what is known as a "Coat change". Over a period of approximately 2 to 4 months, the soft puppy coat is replaced with the adult coat. This period of coat change can be a trying one with grooming challenges for many owners. During coat change, appearance can also take a beating. Bedraggled, scruffy, uneven locks may be an unexpected but common phase during this brief period. The texture of the adult coat may be somewhat different from what the puppy coat was and the undercoat may now begin more development. The Havanese is a double coated breed which means it has an outer coat as well as an undercoat; both are soft. After the coat change, the adult coat will continue to mature in fullness and length, taking up to 3 to 4 years to fully develop. There is a length at which the Havanese coat appears to matures, it does not continue to grow and grow without end. While a full coat of a mature dog may be very long, it rarely reaches the floor sweeping lengths of some other long coated breeds.

There is no one right length for a mature Havanese coat. The texture, final length and fullness of the adult coat are dictated mainly by genetics, though diet and grooming care can also influence the coat to some extent. A full coat on an adult Havanese ranges approximately from 15 to 25 cm (6-10").