Originally Posted by Gibbs Mom and Dad
No, Gibbs has not started to do this, whatever it is.
Gibbs is 10.5 months and I heard this happens around 1 year, so my questions are:
1. What is it - I'm presuming an extreme form of "shedding" where he gets is adult coat.
2. What if anything do I do?
3. How long does it take?
4. How often does it happen?
5. What's the difference between the puppy coat and adult coat?
6. How does grooming change if at all?
I will google it after I post, but figured I'd ask anyway.
1. Yes, it is when they lose their puppy coat and start growing their adult coat. I wouldn't call it "extreme" shedding… It's just that the fuzzy puppy coat has a VERY nasty habit of twisting around the new hair growing in and causing mats. …and it can happen much earlier than a year… Kodi started at about 10 months. So you're living on borrowed time!
2. Everything is VERY variable about blowing coat. Some people, especially if they keep their dogs in puppy cuts, hardly notice it. Others find it absolutely impossible to manage, and choose to get their dog cut down in self defense… even if they plan to let them grow out again afterwards. (even some people who show do this, so it's NOT the end of the world!)
For Kodi, I had to comb him out thoroughly, twice a day, with the MOST important one being just before bed. If he went to bed with a little knot, he woke up with a big mat! I also found that the cleaner I kept his coat, the less he matted, so at the worst of blowing coat, I was bathing him ever 4-5 days. I would say I was spending 30-40 minutes daily on his coat (not including baths) at the worst of it.
3. Variable, again. With Kodi it came on slowly, (with mats sprouting behind his ears first, seemingly over night) ramped up, then faded slowly. I think the worst of it was about 6 weeks.
Kodi blew coat 3 times that I can remember. The first was by far the worst, the second time around 15 months was much milder, and the 3rd time at almost 2 was just more hair in the comb during regular grooming.
I should add that he has also blown coat two other times following illnesses where he had to be on antibiotics. (both times clostridium) But this wasn't puppy blowing coat. Last year when he blew coat after clostridium, he lost a LOT of coat and looked like a drowned rat for a while. This time, maybe because we caught the infection more quickly, it doesn't seem that he is losing as much coat, But I'm definitely getting more hair in the comb than usual.
5. My understanding is that the coats can be QUITE different. In Kodi's case, it seems to be more a case of undercoat. He had very little undercoat as a puppy, and has a lot more now. His coat was also VERY straight compared to other Havanese puppies I see on the forum, but his adult coat has a very nice, "normal" amount of Havanese wave to it.
When he was about 1 year, he went through a phase where his head, chest and shoulders were very silky and shiny, but his body was kind of fuzzy/frizzy looking. Pam King assured me that this was just the part of his coat that had not yet changed over to the adult coat. She was right. His hair is all about the same now… silky and shiny.
6. After it being a LOT more work when they re actually BLOWING coat, I have found that Kodi's coat is MUCH easier now that he has his full adult coat. Starting around 3 years (which is when, according to the books, they should be reaching their full, adult coat, I found that if I needed too, (like if I went away for a few days) I could leave him with someone who didn't groom him at all, and still come home to a mat-free dog. Now, I STILL USUALLY
groom him daily because I like him to look nice. But it takes less than 10 minutes, and I rarely find a knot unless he has gotten wet with his harness on. (especially the Curli harness)
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!