I have always been a fan of big dogs. To me, the bigger the better. However, I love all animals no matter what size they are.
Hi dog moms and dads! My name is Bri, and I have an American Bulldog at home named Bruce. Bruce weighs a solid 85 pounds and sheds like crazy.
Like I said, I have always liked bigger dogs, but now and then I meet a small dog that steals my heart. Let’s be honest, any dog steals my heart. Or animal for that matter. Anyway!
When my aunt proudly showed off her brand new Havanese puppy, I chuckled a bit at this tiny pup with its fluffy ears and tiny paws. It only took me about 5 minutes to become completely obsessed.
While talking to my aunt, she told me her last dog (rest in peace) really bothered her allergies because of how much he shed.
She did some research on what breeds shed more than others, and she fell on the Havanese breed.
More research showed her that Havanese shed much less than most breeds and were less likely to trigger allergies to dogs. She decided this would be a good fit for her, so she brought home her new baby.
Turns out she was right to do her research. Her Havanese still shed slightly, but not nearly as much. This got me thinking more about how much this breed sheds, so I decided to put together this guide.
I will cover the shedding habits of the breed as well as some things owners can do to help control it.
We will also talk about some of the health concerns related to this breed and how that can impact how much they shed!
First, let’s talk about the history of the Havanese breed.
History of the Havanese
They were never much of a work dog but did serve as a sign of high class and royalty (which you can still see in their personalities).
The breed became extremely popular in Havana, which is how they got their name!
These pups are now some of the most famous among families everywhere and were even the breed of choice for Ernest Hemingway and Charles Dickens.
These days, everyone loves their spunky personalities whether they are famous or not!
These pups are also extremely popular in shows and competitions. Their beautiful coats make them a popular choice for owners who are involved in dog shows.
What is a Havanese Coat Like?
Havanese have been called high-maintenance and fancy, mostly due to their long, silky coat. They are mostly white in color with some spots here and there of brown and black.
Some of these pups also have some gray coloring, but the majority of their bodies are white. Their fur looks like a long blanket draped over their entire body.
Some owners will keep their fur short, but most of them prefer to show off their long, straight, smooth coats.
This gives them the fancy, sophisticated look they were so popular for back in the days when every royal wanted to get their hands on one.
These coats feel more like soft, human hair than your typical wiry pet fur. Also, like human hair, it needs to be combed regularly to keep it from tangling!
Unlike other dogs, Havanese do not shed their fur frequently. We will go into that more later, but the important point here is that their fur can become severely matted if they are not regularly groomed.
Again, we will go more into these details later on! Let’s start with shedding.
Do Havanese Shed? How Much?
As I said in the last section, Havanese do not shed the way most dog breeds do. Havanese still shed, but not nearly as much.
You will still find some of their hair around the house, but you will not get handfuls of it when you pet them like you would if you pet my dog, Bruce.
That being said, The American Kennel Club considers the Havanese to be infrequent shedders.
You will notice when you brush them that some hair will come out as you go, but not very much. This is completely normal, just like how human hair gets caught in a hairbrush!
We will talk more about how much Havanese pups shed in the next section.
When do Havanese Shed the Most?
As with all dogs, there are different factors that can change when and how much they shed.
I have broken it down into the most common factors that have the greatest affect:
Stage of Life
We all know that dogs show different behaviors during different stages of their lives. Puppies keep their puppy fur till they mature and shed their puppy coat.
This is probably the most shedding you will see in a Havanese. Once they lose that puppy fur, they will start to balance out and shed regularly throughout the year.
Time of Year
This is the most influential factor in how much Havanese shed, or any dog for that matter! There are two times in a year when a dog sheds the most.
These are commonly known as the shedding seasons. This time period occurs during the transition from winter to summer and again from summer to winter.
During these times, the Havanese will make room for their next coat by shedding more of their current one. This is where grooming is extremely important.
Your Havanese will rely on you to brush our that loose fur so they do not get matted.
Without it, that matted fur can and will trap dirt, bacteria and moisture for a whole load of problems.
Skin Conditions and Pests
Aside from the infections that matted fur can cause which will lead to hair loss, there are other skin conditions that can lead to dogs shedding in excess.
Mange is probably the most common, which is a skin disease from mites.
Alopecia is also a common skin condition that causes loss of fur in dogs that can be caused by a number of issues. Other common issues that can lead to hair loss are pests such as ticks and fleas.
These bugs can cause dogs to scratch and lick much more than normal, which in turn will cause their fur to come out more.
How to Combat Havanese Shedding
Let me start this section by saying you should never do anything to reduce or stop a dog from shedding.
You can certainly take measures to control it, but shedding is a natural part of a dog’s life that helps keep them healthy.
That being said, regular grooming and care is the best way to combat any dog’s shedding. The American Kennel Club recommends brushing your Havanese every day to keep them soft and tangle free.
While this is definitely the best practice, my aunt typically brushes her Havanese every other day and has never had an issue. Totally owner discretion, and it always depends on the dog!
A dog who is a little more active outside might need groomed more often to keep them clean. The more you brush them, the less shedding you will see!
Equipment to Help Combat Havanese Shedding
You definitely need a good brush for dogs with long hair if you have a Havanese. I typically would recommend the Furminator brush, especially if you have a short haired dog that sheds a ton.
However, for a dog like the Havanese which has long, silky hair, it is best to use a long-tooth comb or a soft bristle brush. This way you really get each hair combed out to avoid tangles and mats.
For a dog with fur like this, I highly recommend the GoPets Double-Sided Brush for long-haired dogs.
It has two sides (hence the name), one with long, wire bristles that can help get through mats and tangles.
The Dyson Cordless Vacuum will always be my go-to for vacuums that combat dog hair. This thing is pricey, but worth it!
Ours gets all of Bruce’s pesky hair off of furniture and floors. Plus, I love that it is cordless so I can take it all over the house.
Are Havanese Considered to be Hypoallergenic?
So, this is a tricky question. Technically speaking, these dogs are commonly considered to be hypoallergenic.
However, no dog is fully hypoallergenic so it can be tough to say for sure. No matter what the dog breed is, all dogs shed some amount of fur but also shed pet dander.
That is what triggers people’s allergies the most! Bruce is the worst when it comes to allergies.
He sheds like crazy and has chronic dry skin (I guess that is a Bulldog trait) so he is always making my allergies go crazy.
Luckily, I am able to manage my allergies. I have noticed that my aunt’s Havanese does not trigger allergies the way Bruce does.
It is definitely easier to be around a pet who does not make me sneeze like crazy and makes my eyes itchy all the time, which would be a huge benefit to owning one of these pups.
But I would never trade Bruce for any other dog in the world!
Do Some Havanese Shed More Than Others?
Yes and no. So, there are only a couple things that might make one Havanese shed more than another.
The obvious reason is different health conditions. If a Havanese has apolecia, they are obviously going to shed more than a healthy Havanese.
Another consideration is the climate they live in. A Havanese living in a cooler climate will not need to shed as much to keep that warm coat in-tact.
Vice versa, a dog living in a warmer climate will shed more to keep themselves cool. Either way, the difference in shedding would not be anything especially noticeable!
Health Reasons for Havanese Shedding
We already covered some of the health concerns that can cause excess shedding in Havanese. However, those were primarily skin related issues.
Excess shedding can also be an unfortunate sign of something beneath the surface going wrong. Certain internal issues like cancer can cause a dog to shed more than normal.
When a dog has an internal disease like cancer, their health starts to noticeably decrease. You may see changes in appetite, energy levels, and of course, shedding.
This unfortunately is a sign that their bodies are essentially shutting down. This is getting really depressing so we can move on now before I cry.
Final Thoughts: Do Havanese Shed?
If you have allergies, a Havanese might be a great option for you and your family. They are extremely infrequent shedders, which also makes keeping your house clean much easier.
While I am a fan of all dogs no matter how much they do or do not shed, I understand that not all dogs are right for all families. Bruce’s fur is a lot to handle.
I clean my house regularly throughout the week, and I get him groomed every five to six months. This is something pet owners should consider when they want to bring home a new dog.
That being said, if you are looking for a dog with low-maintenance shedding, the Havanese would be a great fit for you! However, keep in mind that these dogs are by no means low-maintenance overall.
They require a lot of care and grooming, so be prepared to groom them frequently, possibly every day! Hopefully this information is helpful if you are considering bringing a Havanese pup home.
Happy Pup Parenting!