Are long coats really insulating...? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Are long coats really insulating...?

I have read that the long, silky Hava coat insulates against heat. It seems that my guy (who is all black) just seems hotter when his coat is longer. What do folks think about this idea/trait/theory?

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 04:03 PM
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https://healthypets.mercola.com/site...t-shaving.aspx

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.co...dog-in-summer/
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 04:42 PM
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Our summers are in the triple digest all summer long. We have had full coated Siberian huskies, a collie, an Aussie, a sheltie, and now two havs. All of them have done well in the Arizona summer heat. The Aussie was shaved way down without our permission (thought we were just ok-ing the removal of a few mats) - it didn't help her, the hair never grew back right, and I also had to be concerned about sunburn.
None of our dogs have stayed outside for long periods and none get walked in summer daytime because those hot sidewalks can badly burn paws.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 09:35 AM
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We shaved Ricky down when we first got him as a puppy. We did that because we were frustrated with all the mats and "blowing coat" as his adult hair was growing in. We feel that was a mistake. Today, Ricky's coat is not as long and luxurious as a Havanese that has not been shaved at one time or another. BUT, his coat is still beautiful and we still get constant comments from total strangers.

Our summers are generally in high 90s to low 100s. But, we don't take the insulation out of our house because the weather is warm outside. Havanese were developed in Cuba with much warmer temperatures and humidity year round and they have not only survived but flourished there over the years with that beautiful, long silky coat. During the summer, we walk and exercise Ricky in the cooler morning hours, say around 7 am. He remains in the air-conditioned indoors with us during the day. We walk him again in the evening around 8 pm after the pavement and sidewalks have had an opportunity to cool down. We have lawn mow strips next to our sidewalks and we encourage Ricky to walk on the lawn. IN MY OPINION, hot pavement poses a greater health risk and hazard to a Havanese in the summer than a long coat. And depending on your summers, you do run the risk of sunburn depending on the length of the coat if shaved down. Shaving a Havanese poses some risk both aesthetically and physically, but many people do it with no apparent long term affects. Ricky's Vet is neutral on the subject. He thinks Ricky is just fine with his long summer coat in our location (but that is specific to our climatic conditions - he might have a different conclusion in a different location).

Ricky THRIVES during our summers with his longish coat. He seems to have even MORE energy during our summers. Ricky much prefers our summers to our winters. He hates the dampness and rain. No doubt about it, Ricky is a warm weather dog.

Ricky's Popi
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all, we have never shaved Che, or a least I don't think so. His groomer does a long puppy cut. I am not sure that we have ever seen the blowing coat that others have referenced, as we do keep him a long puppy cut. I was thinking about letting him grow out, but not sure I can keep up with the demands! He plays with other dogs a LOT, and they wrestle and drool and run into puddles and mud... but then again, we are retired! Lots of time for dog care.

PS I am not sure what constitutes a shave. We never get shorter than a #3 blade.. (I used to do our previous dog)
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltartof View Post
PS I am not sure what constitutes a shave. We never get shorter than a #3 blade.. (I used to do our previous dog)
Ricky was cut with a #3 blade when we had him "shaved" once in a puppy cut. (My terminology is confusing). We have always regretted it. Your experience may be different.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 03:54 PM
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We have some in all stages of cuts, or no cuts. I've never seen it make any difference.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:29 AM
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Dave, your first article says, "In my opinion, double-coated breeds should never be shaved unless there's a medical reason to do so, as their undercoats act as an excellent insulator against the summer heat. It seems counterintuitive that an extra layer of fur would help a dog stay cooler, but it does. Air is a natural insulator, and air trapped between the hair follicles and hairs on your pet's body does a really efficient job of keeping body temperature in balance."

Does the Havanese have an undercoat? Thanks! (Don't answer that question! Read my next post.)


Last edited by ShamaMama; 06-05-2019 at 12:40 AM.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:39 AM
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This article explains what a double coat is:

https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/blo...coat-on-a-dog/

Dave, your second article says, "What’s supposed to happen is that your dog sheds his undercoat in summer, leaving the guard hairs to provide your dog with insulation, and allowing cool air to circulate near his skin."

I liked your second article better than your first. I appreciated its illustrations!

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:47 PM
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I Love! Love! them all. The long coats, hair toppers and long mustaches, as well as, those precious puppy cuts. You do have to find a groomer that knows how to scissor cut to get an excellent puppy cut. For our lifestyle a longish puppy cut, with full legs, long ears, short top with eyebrows framing those pretty brown eyes and long ears is my preference.

Although, Patti is indoors most of the time she is in and out all day long and into the evening. We have a fenced yard and don't need to walk her for exercise. The grass is almost always dewey and wet in the mornings. She and a Golden-doodle, also, like to rough house inside and outside. For awhile, I let her mustache and hair grow but it was more maintenance that I wanted to care for.

To Preface: I'm NO EXPERT on Havanese but I do not see how cutting their hair would FOREVER have an effect on it's fullness or beauty should you later decided to let the hair grow long. I've read if you want to Show a Havanese you should NEVER cut their hair ... without a reason for this statement. Perhaps Show dogs are typically young dogs and if you cut their hair it will take a long time for it to grow. My Guess....

Hair grows every day. Even long haired dogs have to be trimmed. Eventually all the hair of a dog whose hair has never been cut is replaced with new growth. It's a biological certainty. If it stopped growing the hair would eventually break-off because it would become dry and brittle. Just like people hair.

If you cut the hair it's, of course, going to take a long time for new hair to the floor, to replace the long hair that was cut.

I can see if the hair folic becomes damaged due to it becoming a matted mess and the dog must be shaved - that could change the character of the hair. It could stopped growing or changed direction or texture.

My dog is 15-months old. Her hair has only gotten more lush and thicker as she has aged. I have not experienced a sudden undergrowth of new hair that has been exceptionally difficult to comb. Her hair is has a little wave to it and is fairly easy to comb even when long. I believe, straight hair is probably easier to manage than curly hair that's more prone to mat.

Anyway ... if there is a reason why simply cutting Havanese harms the beauty, lushness and texture of hair growth, should one decide to later let it grow long - I'd like to know.

Last edited by Mikki; 06-05-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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