Picnic Photos & Details

The picnic date took place on August 19, 2017 from 12pm to 5pm at Yvonne's place in Brighton. Check out the details here. Photos from the 2017 picnic can be found here. 

Grooming 101

Want to see how I get a smooth coat and what equipment I use? I am continually learning and perfecting but I created this video Windows version) and for you Mac apple folks - here's a conversion. - not a professional one, to help you get a head start and perfect your own skill. Got questions? Ask away.

Want to know how to create a bathing machine that will save you time, product and wash your dog better than ever before? Check out Dick and Irma's instructions on how to create your own machine for a fraction of the cost.

Certified Pet First Aid

Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid is a recognized National Pet First Aid Certificate course for dog and cat professionals and pet owners. Talemaker Havanese now has that certificate having taken and passed the course.

Woofstock 2018

Meet us at Woofstock. Dogs are welcomed. We meet at the restaurant across the street from Woodbine park. Here is the location. Meet up happens on May 28, 2016 at 9:30 to 945am. Rain date is the next day. Look forward to seeing your havanese there and the humans too! Don't have your havanese yet? Well join us anyway!

Our Magazine


Havanese Breed Magazine's 37th issue is available in an electronic version. After numerous requests, a new printed version is also now available. Click here

Award Photos
Friends & Associates

Discuss It > Grooming Video

Other than it lacking professionalism - a videographer we are not, tell me what you would like to see in future grooming sessions. Shorter, I gather - and what else?

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarlah@Talemaker

Not necessarily shorter, just longer titles. Feet trimming would be helpful as no matter which method or how I try, Katie's feet look layered and uneven.

April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyne Hauser

If you do any trims on your pups in a shaggy look, with body hair about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches, a video would be great!

I love the length of the video! Also, love the kisses that are given.

April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Darlah... thank you for the video...I learned a lot and I am glad to have it on hand via internet when I am not sure...I am grateful for the hands on demo and I know it has been helpful for me to see the process...It is so much easier to embrace it when I can see it done...

PS...Darlah ...Happy Mother's day to you first of all.... and then... of course Abs...Wasabi...Fiona and the countless other amazing females that you and Nathan have helped to give birth and nurture their babies...

Fondest regards from Deb and Eric and of course...

Penny and her forever adopted mom and dad xoxoxox

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Bristow

Can you tell me what a hard towel is?

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I love your video. I have persians with long coat who I have to bathe regularly who also get knots before and during bathing. I am interested in your "grooming spray" that you use after bathing to help with the knots. I understand that breeders do not like to share everything (I used to show my cats). But, if not a Talemaker secret, would love to know what that grooming spray is? Thanks so much, and happy new year. Sonia

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSonia Vicknair


I use several. I do use Show Sheen once after bathing - only on clean hair as it seals and protects and leaves its silky. I also ise Laser Lites Grooming spray, Pure paws and Plus Puppies OMG. Okay, I use 3. My daughter for cats uses OMG and Show Sheen combo.


January 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterDarlah

Darlah- I was thinking about ordering Isle of Dogs Shampoo # 10..Oil of Primrose for Penny but I would appreciate your thoughts on which conditioner. They have a light conditioner and a heavy one. They recommend the heavy one for the havanese breed but I would really like to hear your recommendation before I take the plunge....eheh no pun intended.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb, Eric and Penny


I like the heavier version as you can always dilute it more and I do not find such a huge difference.

January 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlah Potechin

Hi Darlah,
Thank you very much for sharing about the products you use. My question is 'Where do you get them?' I will likely need to order in products and cannot figure out where.
Also, what length of tines do you prefer for your pin brushes.
Thanks so much and kudos for such a fantastic website!

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren


I prefer a Madan brush or a Plush Puppy original as my mainstays. I do use a longer tine if I am working with long hair and want fullness. Otherwise, it collects dust. Where do you live? I am asking as we have a number of just Karens posting so I am not sure which I am talking to. :-) This way I can tell you your best source.

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlah

I'm in the Kingston area. My husband and I met you and Nathan a few weeks ago. I also would love your opinion on the possibility of tear staining linked with a diet high in corn, soy etc. Have you heard this? Could switching to a low-grain or non-grain food, with grains primarily from steel-cut oats, help? I've heard that tear staining could be a yeast reaction. Thanks, Karen.

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Bos


Tear staining *can* be diet related or a number of other reasons singular or combined. One is a blocked tear duct but even opening that doesn't necessarily get rid of staining. It can be genetic, stress, hormones, water related, diet, teething, or hair sticking in the eyes. I am sure I missed something. Many use tylan powder (Angel eyes) as the tylan powder changes the consistency. Some try tums with success as calcium supposedly changes the consistency. There are other solutions but simply cleaning daily consistently and placing a dab of corm starch under the eyes in this area dries the area up.

I do know hormones do play a big part for some. We will have a gal who never has stain-age but when pregnant will have minimal to moderate. After pups are born and are healthy, mom stops. To me that means hormones plus stress as any pregnant person or dawg is stressed as it is normal to go into a mode of protection or worry. It's not an excessive reaction just something moms do to protect to make sure their offspring are healthy and safe.

May 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlah

Hi Darlah, our havanese baby (3 yrs young) came to us with a 'teddy bear' haircut. I've been brushing him daily but he still gets mats and I'm wondering if his shorter haircut might make him mat more easily. What do you think? Or, it could ENTIRELY be my inexperience (which, let's face it, is more likely)!
Also, do you primarily get your cleaning products from K9?
We are so grateful for all the wonderful tips you graciously pass along... THANK YOU!!

May 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

There are various reasons that a coat can mat easily. Here are a few reasons:
1. It's dirty - dirty hair sticks together
2. Texture - more cottony vs silky mats easier
3. Blowing coat (only happens once)
4. Inexperience
5. Various lengths (shaggy look is cut but different lengths do mat easier with growth

YOU do get better as you go. My worse coat is Shoshi and I have finally managed to learn from a coat like that. I do know silky glides, cottony sticks so even on a cottony coat, if you evenly distribute something that coats the cuticle, it was last longer without mats.

Always use a grooming spray. Brush daily. Pull knots apart and them brush out but always spray the knot before puling it apart to minimize damage. Do not use slickers except in feet as that area gets cut often and you cut the split ends away.

So without knowing what type of coat he has, and if he is various lengths or same, I can tell you what is best for him.

I do buy most of my products from k9grooming supplies but I also buy isle of dogs from Pet Empire and OMG grooming spray from Plush Puppy. I do have my faves that work on all coats and shampoo/conditioner that are ,many that work on types of coats.

I do feel confident touching a coat to know type and what works with each type but that came with grooming a LOT of dogs. My confidence was nil when I began.

May 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlah

Funny.... I had no idea that the coat of a havanese could be 'silky' or 'cottony,' but I've always felt like CubbyBear's coat IS like cotton balls. Also, I've come to realize (the hard way, of course!), that if I blowdry his hair WHILE I'm brushing it out, it doesn't mat as easily. Of course, it requires a third arm! So much to learn!

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Our havanese used to have very bad matted coat. There were times I had to do brushing twice a day, and the grooming time was vvvvery long. For her, the reason seemed to be diet related. She has very sensitive digestive system and did not do well with food has grain content and her hair looked very dull and dry at that time.
After she switched to grainless food, her hair condition improves a great deal.
We started with EVO, grainless with simpler ingredients, trying to eliminate possibility of some allergy. But now, we switched to ORIJIEN grainless chicken/fish formula.
ORIJIEN seems to have better ingredients but the bag by bag quality is not very consistent ( i do not mean in a bad way). Having a dog with sensitive stomach, everytime we change to a new bag of food (same food but not the same lot number), we see her stool quality changed (sometimes in a bad way). I had to do transition with different bags, or buy several bags with the same lot number all at one time. Bigger bag doe not work for us with only one small dog.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenny

The issue with food is an interesting one. Just like humans there is not a single food that works best for all havanese. It is quite normal to have to transition very slowly, up to a month to 6 weeks to a new food or deal with the loose bowels. This is not agreeable with all. I recently went to a seminar and acquired some stuff to deal with puppy looseness. It helps while you are being patient. But if a breeder mixes things up a great deal and deals with the loose bowels early on then the pups do make an easier transition in changing food. Barring allergies, early exposure to a great variety actually helps but not many of us do it as it's messy, makes training difficult and there will always be something you do not expose your dog to that will create a reaction. Unless you have diagnosed allergies, it's a good thing to introduce new things into the diet. Limiting will increase issues as the body is not used to the foreign item. It's a catch-22 situation.

I find the omegas help with skin and coat. You can get it in salmon oil, missing link and/or in certain foods. I use wild salmon oil, 2 drops of vitamin e daily and I do use Missing Link. Some will say it is overkill but I found for me the combination worked. Now for Treasure who tends to have more of an oily coat (you can see it after 2 weeks of not washing) I only add Missing Link and that has reduced her oiliness and allowed me to go to every 3 weeks. With Shoshi her hair is dry so the combination of all 3 has worked very well for her. I find any scratching seems to go away after a month of continual use. But there are exceptions. At times the change to grain free and fish works but grain free adds calories and therefore you must feed less. I have gone to grain free a multitude of times and each time the dogs pack the weight on. I find that 1/4 cup has to be half of that and then they are looking at me as if to say, is that all I get? It's hard.

Now I had a guest here that was on Evo and had terrible staining. She also wasn't eating it so well but when I changed her over to Fromms her tearing solidified. Would that work for everyone? I bet you not but for her it did.

Feeding is something we have to try for 6 weeks before knowing what the results are, It's time consuming and sometimes like me you go back to that original food as it didn't accomplish what you wanted.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlah

Our girl had heavy tear stains when she had food with grain content, produced frequent bulky stools, also from time to time watery stool. I think she was not able to digest well in order to utilize the nutrition that she needs, and thus affected the coat condition. She always felt hungry and finished her food in a blink at that time.

Very true that every dog is different. We tried Fromms surf and turf, she sniffed and walked away. Having had EVO for a few months, stool quality, coat condition, tear stain are all improved. However, she did not like EVO too much.
Also there were speculations about the change of ownership of Natural food who produced EVO, we then switched to ORIJIEN and her coat condition seems even improved. With high calorie grain free food, she eats less quantity but feels a lot more satisfied. She does not feel hungry as before and is eating a lot slower. Iit did take us very long time to do the transition and a few months to see the better results. Does this sound like advertising ORIJIEN?

Omegas is thought to work magic for most dogs, but our girl has very loose stool having just 2 drops.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenny

Look at the ingredients. I bet that you will find vitamin E and the omegas.

I believe not all food works for all Havanese. If you have an issue you should switch. I have tried Origen 3 times. It doesn't work for us and I will tell you I didn't get the benefits that were suggested to me. I really wanted to go grain free but for 'my' dogs 3 times was enough. Each time I tried it for 5 plus months. I even tried it on pups and oh boy not again. It seems to be too rich for the younger set tummies.

When adding Omegas and vitamin E you start out very slow just the same if you use Missing Link and then you work up to the dose required. For me, this is what worked. I wish it was the Origin or Evo that did it for me.

Plus my dawgs are not finicky eaters except for Fiona and these days she is not.

There are some that firmly believe kibble and nothing but kibble is the way, no supplements, no raw etc.

If you are seeing a significant change in coat quality, no itching etc then, imho you are on the right track.

I fed our late shepherd raw for 6 months and she did poorly on it but many rave about it. It doesn't mean raw is the wrong way to go. Treasure would eat it and thrive on it in a heartbeat but not all my dogs like it, go figure. But unless there is a medical reason, I refuse to have individual meal plans for each.

I am glad you found a food that works for yours. Bravo for trying till you found what works.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlah

Hi Darlah
Thank you for such a wonderful grooming video.
I have learnt so much about getting the mats out without causing discomfort.
One thing I would ask is what temperature do you have your bathing water?

On tear staining, my girl had awful staining and following antibiotics for something else I noticed the red staining disappeared although she still had tears.
Her diet is Fish4Dogs Salmon & Potato, but she didn't seem keen so I went onto Connolly's Red Mills Leader - Chicken small bite which she seemed to enjoy crunching but I noticed the tear staining is again rusty red coloured. I now feed a mix of the two products with the greater proportion being the salmon & potato in the hope the staining will reduce again.



March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Sue: I use a tad warmer than lukewarm water. Tearing is interesting. My gals will get it while pregnant and having pups as you can get tearing due to stress, food and much more. Pups can get it during teething. After their teething is done their tearing goes away. Not all are red but can be blackish brown. The red stains the most. It's why some use tylan powder type products to change the consistency.

March 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterDarlah

Darlah: Is Showsheen a product for Horses or is there a specific one for dogs?

September 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

Yes, it's for Horses. :-) Works great on dogs and have been used for eons on them.

September 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterDarlah

Hi Darlah, Thank you so much for the video. I have watched 3 times and need to again. I am such a newbie. Our havanese is 14 weeks old. I live in Michigan and haven't been able to find a Madan Brush or a Teflon Grooming comb. Can I order these on line somewhere? How often should I give our puppy a bath? I have been neglagent in grooming him because I didn't want to do it dry or with a slicker brush. He has a very full coat and I can't tell if it is cottony or silky. His is a triparty red. You new babies are so adorable. Anyway, the white part seems silkier and the multicolor seems kinda of straight and then real kinky at the ends. I don't know what I have done wrong or if it is just his coat type. Also, we have a local distributor for Isle of Dog and I am going to order shampoo, conditioner and detangler. I was thinking of ordering shampoo #10, conditioner #51 and the detangler. Do you think that is ok? I too am finding that Orijen appears to be too rich for our puppy. He came to us on Wellness Puppy so I am not sure if I should keep him on that or try another. He does seem to scratch or itch his skin. I know you are swamped so just answer when you have time. I love all your blogs. You are amazing.

October 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Hecker