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Mando is 10 months old and I'm pretty sure he's blowing coat. I comb and brush him every day but he's still getting mats behind his legs, armpits and sometimes ears. What's the best tool to deal with these? I've got the CC combs (face/feet and greyhound) and wood pin brush. Sometimes it takes almost an hour to get rid of a mat and it's not fun for anyone involved. He's in a longish puppy cut. Am I missing a tool that would make life easier (e.g., slicker brush, de-matting rake, etc.)? Any suggestions from the pros on here?
 

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Following this to see replies since Mando's sis, Sunny, is going through the same phase. I can brush her in the morning and already find new mats at night. Sunny had her first groom tonight and the groomer recommended any kind of slicker brush but hoping to get exact tools the pros are using here, and products, too. Also how long does this last?
The groomer also said when they go for spayed/neutering, the anesthesia side effects causes them to blow coat. I had no idea!
 

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I'll try to make a video of Pam grooming one of the adults. We've been so busy with puppies, that the adults are a bit neglected, so there are mats to deal with. It might be a day, or two, before I can get to it.

She mainly uses a Universal slicker brush. It's used in a short, rolling motion. You don't grab hair, and pull. It's a lot like carding wool.
 

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Blowing coat is just something you have to get through. They WILL mat daily. (Not all of them, but most) Anesthesia CAN make SOME blow coat, but that isn’t a given either. Neither Pixel nor Kodi blew coat after their spay and neuter, nor did Panda blow coat after her C-section and producing 5 puppies! OTOH, Kodi HAS blown coat due to illness, so changes in the body can definitely make it happen. (Fevers, most notably… they ALWAYS shear sheep if they have been ill, because it will cause a weak spot in the wool )

As Tom mentioned, a slicker type brush can be useful. Pam likes Universal slickers. I prefer these:


They are very flexible and easy on the skin. They also have a smaller head, so I find them more useful for working on legs, etc. Whatever you do, this is the ONE place where I would AVOID the CC version. The bristles on the CC slickers are very sharp, and I have scratched Kodi’s skin with them! The I threw them away!

DO NOT use a de-matting rake. You will destroy their coat. If you have a mat you just CAN’T get out, slice up into it with very sharp shears, in several parallel cuts, perependicular to the dog’s body. Then start teasing out the loose hairs. I usually completely saturate the mat in Ice on Ice while I work on it. Other people use DRY corn starch. You can get a big single mat out this way, but it is not particularly useful for a lot of smaller ones.

….AND, remember that if it’s too much for you, there is no shame in keeping a pet Havanese cut short during blowing coat, and then let them grow out again afterwards! Hair grows! Don’t make yourself crazy, or ruin your relationship with your dog. Just DO have it done BEFORE your dog is seriously matted, or you will find that the groomer has no choice but to shave the dog to the skin.
 

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I'll try to make a video of Pam grooming one of the adults. We've been so busy with puppies, that the adults are a bit neglected, so there are mats to deal with. It might be a day, or two, before I can get to it.

She mainly uses a Universal slicker brush. It's used in a short, rolling motion. You don't grab hair, and pull. It's a lot like carding wool.
Our groomer wanted me to use the Universal slicker brush. Unfortunately after years it is no longer available. I haven't found one that I like as much. I do remember struggling with those tight little mats. I watched how the groomer worked on mats with a slicker. It is much easier to loosen mats by picking at them with a slicker. I really like the medium C.C. Big G slicker brush, but it would be much too large for a puppy. Works great on adult coats!
 

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We've tried a bunch of different ones, since Universal's are no longer on the market.

Pam says this one is the best of the ones she's tried:

The small Master Grooming Tools slicker brush

edited to add: found on ebay for more money:
 

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Watch a video on " line combing." When Havanese blow their coat it's the undercoat getting tangled into a knot. The slicker brush pulls out the loose hair that wants to make mats. IMA , Mine are 11 years old and I have noticed certain times of the year they mat just like blowing coat. I'm not the best at keeping up on the amount of attention Havanese need to keep a tangle-free coat. That takes daily combing. I'm not showing so I just do a lot of cutting if a mat doesn't want to loosen up easily. Maddie and Zoey would much rather have me just cut out a mat. The worst part for me is the legs and behind the ears.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Watch a video on " line combing." When Havanese blow their coat it's the undercoat getting tangled into a knot. The slicker brush pulls out the loose hair that wants to make mats. IMA , Mine are 11 years old and I have noticed certain times of the year they mat just like blowing coat. I'm not the best at keeping up on the amount of attention Havanese need to keep a tangle-free coat. That takes daily combing. I'm not showing so I just do a lot of cutting if a mat doesn't want to loosen up easily. Maddie and Zoey would much rather have me just cut out a mat. The worst part for me is the legs and behind the ears.
Hey Susie! Haven't seen you in ages! How are the girlies doing?
 
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