The most important thing to remember when grooming your dog at home, is:
NEVER BATH A MATTED DOG!
A dog is matted when a comb can't be inserted down to the skin and then
pulled through the coat with little resistance.
When a matted dog gets wet, his mats shrink as they dry - like a wool sweater -
and tighten up. If these mats get smaller at the surface than at the skin, the
hair will be ripped from the skin at the roots. If your dog is dirty AND matted,
and you are unable to remove the mats before bathing, your best bet is to
book the dog in for grooming as soon as possible and avoid bathing him in
When you do bath him at home make sure that you squeeze the shampoo and
water through his coat. Don't rub.
Do NOT allow your dog to run around rubbing himself on the grass or carpet
while he is drying. Instead, squeeze out the excess water with a towel (don't
rub) then either confine him in a crate in a warm place, or dry him with a
not-too-hot hair dryer while combing or brushing his coat out.
An easy preventative is to comb and brush your dog BEFORE he begins to
develop mats. COMBING is more important than brushing because, unlike a
brush, a comb will get right down to the skin. When the process is not painful,
he will be more likely to tolerate grooming. He might even learn to like it.
If you are short on time, don't just do the back and sides of the dog. Instead
work on the parts that mat more easily and are more sensitive for combing -
armpits, groin, flank, collar area, chest, underbelly, tail, legs and paws - pretty
much everywhere BUT sides and back.
© JJ's Dog Grooming
2. My dog develops tight mats in no time at all. How can I keep my dog
from getting so matted between professional groomings?