There are an awful lot of de-matting products available to help you keep your dog's coat under control and knott free but it's not always easy to decide which tool is best for your dog's "coat type".
A Basic kit for a longer coated, groomed breed should at the very least include:
Brush, Comb, Suitable De-matting tool, Scissors
If you have a "groomed breed" as I do, rather than a smooth coated breed, then you will need a selection of specific grooming and de-matting tools so that you are able to keep your dog's coat in tip top condition and free of knots and tangles.
Below is a typical grooming kit for any size of Schnauzer.
Firstly, the key to dealing with coats that can matt easily is "Little and Often". The more regularly you brush or comb through your pet, the easier it will be to keep the coat knot free and looking great!
However, we all have busy lives and sometimes, if left for a few days, some coats can form large matts and tangles and can become a real nightmare for you and your dog, making grooming time a real ordeal and something you will both start to dread.
The basic rule with a de-matting tool is: The thicker the coat, the wider apart the teeth on the de-matting tool should be. You can see below, my mini schnauzer has very thick, wavy leg hair with thick soft undercoat which can matt very quickly.
THREE STEPS TO A KNOTT FREE COAT
STEP ONE: Picture Below
Firstly, I use a small soft pin slicker brush and briskly brush right into the coat against the lay of the coat. I would only go against the lay of the coat on her legs and brush with the lay of her coat on the rest of her body. It takes a few seconds to brush the legs firmly and quickly and this will remove the bulk of the knots straight away. Don't be frightened to get right down into the coat with a little pressure, your dog may be sensitive on the legs but this method is quick and makes the grooming time much shorter.
Once you have brushed all around the legs, against the coat, you can then brush back down towards the ground to smooth before you work on removing any knots that are left.
STEP TWO: Picture Below
I then use a variation of de-matting tools depending on how much mischief she has been up to on our walks and how dirty or knotted she may have become! Below I am using the Matt Breaker as an example, this has wide apart teeth and is used for very thick coats or particularly knotty coats as it will be a little more gentle due to the teeth being spaced widely.
Always hold the base of the coat with one hand and press firmly down holding the skin steady with your thumb or flat of your hand, whilst using the other hand to gently tease the de-matting tool through the coat. By holding the base of the coat and pressing down on the skin, you will prevent excess pulling and it will be a lot more comfortable for your dog to have knots and matts removed.
I am showing my examples on the leg hair but you can use any of these tools on the body, underbelly, underarms or wherever your dog has knots and matts.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE DE-MATTING TOOLS ARE SHARP SO ONLY USE ON FLAT OR THICK PARTS OF THE BODY. AS LONG AS NO SKIN CAN GET IN BETWEEN THE BLADES SUCH AS SMALL TOES OR THE EDGES OF EARS, THESE TOOLS ARE PERFECTLY SAFE.
You can see that this Matt Breaker tool is easily removing knots and matts from Flo's leg hair.
STEP THREE: Picture Below
To finish off my grooming after firstly using the slicker brush, then the preferred de-matting tool, I always comb through all of the coat, getting my comb right to the skin to remove any tiny clumps and knots that may remain and ensuring that the coat can be combed through easily. You can see on the picture (below left) that I am firmly pressing down the skin with my thumb at the base of each section I am combing. Then a good comb through when I know that any larger tangles have gone.
Bless my little girl Flo, she is such a sweet girl and so good when it comes to grooming!
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