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Brushing dogs, questions answered about matted and knotted fur

Here you will Find answers to...

..your frequently asked questions


     Once upon a time long before we were dog groomers, Eric and me-Elise Took our little American Eskimo doggy-Sunny, to a grooming salon.  We had been doing the best we could to bath and brush her ourselves but truth be told she was a knotted mess! 

We told the grooming salon, not to cut her fur at all.  We figured the dog groomer would be brushing dogs with special tools to take care of the knots without cutting the fur. 

We really had know clue!

Sunny came out looking great!

But with hindsight,  knowing what we know now...

 ...she probably went through hell.

No Magic to brushing dogs

and with her sensitive pink skin, pulling the knots and matts out, must have been painful. In Case you don't know the truth as we didn't know...

sorry to disappoint, but

 There is no extra special magic tool to remove knots and matted

up fur.

  • Brushing dogs or cutting knots is it.
  • We have tried most of them. 
  •  The de-tangler creams, gels, sprays and the endless number of de-matting tools on the market have left us unimpressed.
  •  So save your money,  because in most instances they don't work. 

 Trust your groomer on this. Don't cause pain to your dog just for the reason of saving his/her fur!

Your Dogs Fur Does Grow Back. and quite quickly too. 

Brushing dogs answers to your questions

Do all dogs require regular brushing?

NO.  All dogs shed a little but Short Haired breeds are very low maintenance and do not require regular brushing. If you are deciding what type of dog to get and you are a very busy person, you may want to get a short haired dog. they doesn't shed much, no knotting, no haircuts needed, and little to no brushing necessary. examples of short haired breeds to consider:

Our Min pincher mix sheds very little, so we don't brush him. also some of the pit bulls we groom, their fur is so short, there isn't really enough fur to brush. If your short haired dog has an undercoat, most likely regular brushing is required to loosen and eliminate seasonal fur.

The answer is Yes, brushing dogs is required if you have a long haired dog.

Any breed that is a Long haired breed of dog, will get tangled and matted if not regularly brushed. For this reason, they are considered high maintenance dogs. The only variation on this, is if your dog gets a short haircut regularly. They can then be almost maintenance free like short haired dogs. otherwise maintenance is required. In some cases, several times a day. 

Examples of long haired dogs with a lot of maintenance: Regularly brushing dogs with either long haired or  heavy coated Chows or : 

  •  Maltese, Poodles,
  • Bichon and
  • some Labradoodles (not the wiry haired of the breed) have very fine hair that continues to grow and needs a lot of attention.
  • Also golden retrievers and shelties. these do not grow continuously grow fur  but have very fine hair that can matt up easily, especially in their featherings. There are many more, 

Hey dogs,  you know who you are!!

How Do I prevent tangles?

***If your dog is already mated up all over, do not attempt to brush your dog out at all...

...go to the next question about matted fur.


  • You can easily prevent tangles by doing a quick inspection of your dogs coat with a metal comb. Then brushing dogs entire coat with a wire slicker brush. 

I guarantee this will take 5-10 minutes max, and well worth the tiny amount of effort.

Here's how.

  •  comb through your dogs fur with the metal comb. For small knots only. If the comb snags a knot, do not cause pain by pulling. 
  • brushing dogs knots.  If  knot is tight and not coming out or your dog is too hyper for all the brushing, take your scissors. 
  • position the scissor's point downwards towards the floor or away from eyes, ears, sensitive areas. cut out the knot. 
  • These directions are for tight little knots. 


What do I do if my dog is one big clump of mated mess?

  • If your dog is all matted, do not attempt to brushing dogs. Brushing will only add to your dogs discomfort and will not de-mat your dog. This is not a time to try to save the fur. 

If taking your dog to a professional is not an option, follow these directions to de-mat your dog.

 READ Through All The Instructions before Beginning. 

PROCEED WITH EXTREME CAUTION, especially if your dog moves around a lot!

  • You will need a dog clipper we recommend Andis 2 speed professional dog clipper with a #10 blade and a scissors with a point. 
  •  Please see the article about choosing the best tools. 
  •  be very careful. Inspect the matting. how close to the skin is the matting? find a opening in the dogs coat.
  •  Find where the mat starts. You will have to work under the matted clump by inserting the clipper blade between the skin and the base of the matting. 
  • If you can not get to the dogs skin because the dense matting, you will need to make a pathway for your clipper. 

HERE IS HOW:  USE EXTREME CAUTION!

  • Pull up gently on the mat, With the point of the scissors insert the shaft of scissor into the clump. push on the scissors and make sure the point comes out on the other end of the mat before cutting. 
  • Cut into the mat making a hole for your clipper to fit into. Now you have a pathway for your clipper. 
  • Insert the clipper and position the blade at the base of the matting and gently but firmly break through it with a scooping motion. continue to do this process wherever matting is dense.  
  • the fur will come off your dog like felted fabric.  Matting on your dogs legs may be the hardest to do.  Use the same process. 
  • For leg matting,  poke through the clump of matting with your scissors, making sure the point is visible at the other end and cut into the clump. Making a hole and inserting the clippers.

  One more thing to remember,

  • Do not attempt the cut off mats that are close to the skin with only your scissors. This is too dangerous, especially if the dog is moving a lot. 
  •  Using a clipper is the safest and easiest way to get through the mats.  You will be much less likely to cut the dogs skin. 
  • This process will leave your dogs fur very short. But he/she will feel so much more comfortable. When you have accomplished removing all the matting, 
  • you can go back through the body with a #7 blade on your clipper and smooth up the uneven areas. That's it, You both are done and much happier! And ready for new beginnings!


How can I eliminate my dogs shedding?


  • You may be able to cut down on the amount of your dogs shedding, but never stop shedding permanently. 
  • Most dogs are exposed to indoor lighting which causes them to shed all year round.  
  • You can stop most of the shedding temporarily by shaving your dog short. You can cut down on shedding by brushing out your dogs undercoat. 
  • There are so many tool to choose from to de-shed. The tools we find work the best to penetrate the undercoat of the dog depend on the type of dog you have. 
  • A wire slicker brush can be used on every type of dog. The way to use it effectively is to brush through fur backwards, against the grain of the fur and forwards, with the grain of the fur.  Keep brushing back and forth until the quantity of fur is diminished. Be careful not to brush the dogs skin, this will cause skin irritation, brush lightly over the fur.  
  • In edition to using the slicker brush
  •  for a long haired dog such as golden retrievers and shelties, also use a rake to breath up tangles and penetrate deep into the undercoat
  • A furminator type of de-shedding blade tool works best on short haired dogs such as Labradors. The de-shedding blade can thin out the coat of a long haired dog in a way you may not like. we don't use the de-shedding blade for long haired dogs such as Pomeranian, American Eskimo dogs and Goldens and shelties.  
  • Choose your tools according to fur type and brush your dog as often as you can. Also, giving your dog regular baths can help drop some of the coat. 


Waterless Shampoo

Brushing is the easiest way to do-it-yourself dog grooming.  Even if you do nothing else, brushing your dog can give him/her a fresh appearance. 


  • Tip: use a waterless shampoo all over your dog, towel dry. Then brush out your dog, with a slicker brush, backwards and forwards. Wow!! whole new dog in minutes!!  

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