Before I discuss the tricks used to remove
matts on your dog I must emphasize a few things. If your
dog is badly matted or the matts are close to the skin
I strongly recommend you take your dog to a professional
to have him groomed. I also recommend a professional if
your dog is elderly or can not tolerate being brushed.
Having said that let's talk matts.
There are certain areas of your dog that
I would not recommend de-matting. Some dog groomers refer
to them as the sensitive areas. They are located between
the back legs, under the armpits, on the belly, and under
the tail. These areas I would recommend that you clip
with a #10 or #15 blade. One of the most common areas
for a dog to matt is around and behind the ear. This happens
because this is the most popular petting spot. The area
behind the ear has very thin skin and can be very hazardous
to de-matt. If gentle brushing does not remove the matt
you can cut the length of the matt in half and try again
to brush it out. To make sure you do not cut your dogs
ear try holding the matt with your finger tips at the
skin and then cut the matt in half. Now try gentle brushing.
If this still does not remove the matt it may be time
to use clippers.
Matts can occur anywhere on your dog. One
way to remove them is to take a pair of scissors and put
the blade between the skin and the matt. With the sharp
side away from the skin you can either use a sawing motion
to cut through the matt or you can simply cut it in several
places parallel to the direction of hair growth. Try again
to brush the matt out.
There are several de-matting combs on the
market. All of these work well but you should be careful
when using them. Take the de-matting comb and comb it
under the matted area. When it catches a matt, use a sawing
motion to cut through the matt. Try to limit the pulling
motion because most dogs do not like it.
If your dogs tail has matts you can use
either method above to remove them. Before cutting the
tail try to gently brush it out. If the matts are too
extensive, either cut through the matts parallel to the
direction of hair growth and then attempt to brush them
out or shorten the entire length of the tail. Simply hold
the tip of your dogs tail and shorten the entire length
by cutting parallel with the tail. If the matts are hanging
from the tail in different places you should be cutting
them in half with this method. When you have removed all
the matts from the tail and after you have bathed and
dried him you can go back and even up any long hair.
If you are uncertain about shaving the sensitive
areas, the pads of the feet or shaving matts from around
the ears, some grooming shops will shave just these areas
for a small fee.
During any dog grooming session you should
praise your dog but especially while brushing them. Most
dogs do not like to be brushed and they need the added
reinforcement when they are tolerating it.
About the Author
Katherine Durr has been a professional dog groomer for
over 17 years and is the author of "How to Groom your
Mutt". Visit her website at Doggie