I wrecked Rory.
I consider myself a conscientious new Havanese owner, but despite the best intentions and lots of effort I managed to mangle my pup's coat to the point it had to be shaved off. I offer my lesson learned as a cautionary tale for others going for the natural long coat.
I had read on this forum and others of those that witnessed their Hav's coat turn into a nightmare when the adult coat started to grow in to replace the puppy coat. When I read that many just shaved it off and started again I vowed it wouldn't happen to me.
I bought the books, the fancy combs and brushes, grooming table, high-end shampoos, etc. I trained Rory to lie still while I line brushed her daily and sometimes twice-daily.
What I failed to fully understand is the nature of the undercoat.
I thought I was line brushing her to the skin, when what I was really doing was lifting different layers of her top coat only. My frequent brushings only served to make her undercoat into something of a shell.
What my groomer told me is that inexperienced Havanese owners use brushes incorrectly, when their primary tool, used first, must be the comb. Comb through completely first, then use the brush.
How bad did I mess her coat up? So bad it basically came off in two pieces.
So I'm disappointed in myself and have a long row to hoe to get her coat back where it should be, but the weather is warming up so she won't be uncomfortable and she is bouncy and animated again. I get the sense now it may feel a bit like having a straitjacket put on you . . . slowly. Learn from my shame . . .