I’m not sure how it originated, but for years, when Havanese breeders got puppies in a litter with a spaniel looking coat, instead of a “drop coat”… the pups were called “Short Hairs.” To be honest, this name has always bothered me, as it sounds so degrading or something.
Recently, a new name was suggested and voted for approval by the HSDAA board, for these darling pups with an atypical coat. Their new descriptive name is “Satins’ and I think it’s brilliant! I think the name Satin gives them a dignified and very pretty name, which they so deserve. We all love to feel satin and enjoy its texture in cloth form, and these little pups do have a soft, satiny coat to pet.
As a side note, a few years ago, DNA was sent in from Havanese to see if the short hair gene could be identified. Actual “Short Haired” pups had their DNA submitted too and ALL of the dogs came back with the “long haired gene,” NOT a short hair gene! So why on earth should they be called SHORT HAIRS, as that, genetically is not what they are at all. Interestingly enough, over the years, even AKC judges have commented about our “short hairs’ and they always ask why they are called that, when in fact they should be called “long haired” dogs! But we love the name Satin even better than ‘long coats’.
If you think about dog breeds with two or more varieties, such as the Chihuahua, their coats are either ‘smooth’ or “long”. The long coat Chihauhau has a coat nearly identical to what we’ve always called “Short Hairs” in the Havanese and the Havana Silk Dog. The Cavalier’s natural coat, is a coat type similar to the “Satin” Silk Dogs and Havanese as well. Dachsunds and Chinese Crested, for example have more than one coat type too, that you’ll see in the show ring today. It all boils down to a personal preference, of what a person likes best.
Anyone who has ever owned a drop coated breed, like a Silk Dog, a Shih Tzu or a Havanese, knows that the coat can be a lot of work. Most pet people, cut the bangs short to start with and then later end up cutting off most of the coat to keep the dog short or in a ‘puppy cut’. Some even shave their dogs down, to rid them of the hassles of dealing with a long drop coat and mats. When our dogs retire from the show ring, we too sometimes cut them down into a shorter cut, because it’s just so much work, for me, to keep a dog in a long beautiful coat, let alone several dogs! Since Steve is not much for grooming, the grooming is all on my shoulders, and I just can’t keep up with it. So I totally understand the pet owners decision to cut their pet’s drop coat off and keep it in a more managable style. The bad thing is, this dog has to return the groomer every few weeks or months, for a repeat haircut, or the coat will grow long again and mat up if not kept cleaned and brushed.
Grooming issues are not a problem for the Satin variety as the coat hair doesn’t grow 6-8″ like the ‘drop coated’ dogs do. They have longer fringe at the legs, tail and ears and the rest of the coat is in a nice permanent ‘puppy clip.’ Their muzzles look longer and ‘skinnier’ but that is simply because they don’t have the fluff covering it like the drop coated variety. These little pups are still 100% Silk Dog and still display all the wonderful characteristics that Silk Dogs display. They are happy, playful little clowns who love everyone and are happy showing off for their families and friends with their silly antics.
Below are some pictures to show you what a Satin Silk and/or Havanese looks like as a puppy and as an adult. Because they don’t have the long coat to ‘catch’ the loose hairs, they do shed much like the Chihuahua and the Cavaliers do. It is unknown if their coats carry dander which can cause allergies to some people.