Eliminating mats is pretty easy, even for long hair, if you routinely comb your dog, using a Stainless or Metal Comb to get down to the base of the hair, in addition, to keeping the hair clean with a good moisturizer to soften the hair.
Once you figure out you have to comb and brush frequently, most of the matting battles are won. If the dog goes outside and gets wet, you may need to comb the hair after they come in, especially if the hair is long. Setting up a schedule helps, like first thing in the morning and evening. A quick comb with a treat.
Dirty hair mats easier than clean hair. I try to bath my dog once a week but sometimes go longer. Shorter hair is easier.
When you find a mat, lightly mist it and gently pull it apart with your fingers, then comb through it. For really stubborn mats, I cut through them with thinning scissors and then tease and comb it out. There maybe times you need to cut the mat out, especially under the arm pits or on the butt. Those are very painful when combing so I try and not let those even get started.
Use a light weight conditioner and mist the hair as you comb, it will help hair breakage.
Christian Christian has nice but expensive stainless steal combs. I have two - one is a very small comb used for the paws, around the face, ears, chin and underneath under the arms and chest. I used it exclusively all over when Patti was smaller and a puppy with finer hair. I still use it on Patti's body but I mainly use the large stainless steel comb on her back and the outsides of her legs. She's about 14lbs and 2 years old now.
I, also, have a brush, I use less frequently for smoothing. Patti loves the brush, it feels good. But, the metal combs are MUST in getting down to the skin to keep mats out.
Patti is wiggly and play-bites at the comb. Waiting until she's tired cuts down on the wiggles and not spending a lot of time in one session combing helps.
A MUST .. COMPLETELY COMB THROUGH THE HAIR AND ELIMINATE ALL MATTS BEFORE BATHING.