Gentle leader causing knots and matting..

Posted by sammylee
Jul 14, 2010
I have a 15 month old Samoyed x golden retriever x blue heeler who has a coat like a samoyed and ears like a golden retriever.
I have been using a gentle leader with her for awhile now as she still pulls on the lead, i have found this help a lot, but i have also found that i think it is causing knots behind her ears.
Her coat behind on and behind her ears is very long and a little bit curly (looks like it's been crimped!) and she get big knots and matting behind them.
I have tried using a matting rake and a matt cutter but due to the area they are i find it very hard to get them out and keep them under control..
I took her to a groomer and all she did was shave behind her ears (yes she was very funny looking for awhile!)

any ideas how i can get rid of these matts without shaving them..?
other than stopping using the gentle leader as i am still working through the book to work on getting her to walk beside me...!

thanks in advance

Posted by KOPCaroline
Jul 15, 2010
Hi Sammylee,

Mats can be a big issue with dogs with thick, longer coats. The best way to deal with them is prevention, which can involve daily grooming.

I would suggest, at least at first, that you remove the current mats, and then begin brushing the affected areas daily, maybe even before AND after you work your dog on the halti. It should help prevent more mats from forming.

There are also special shampoos and spray products that condition specially to detangle and smooth your dog’s hair. I’d suggest looking into these and using them a few times a week until you can control the mats better.

To get a mat out, use your fingers first to try and pick the mat apart. You can use corn starch on the mat to lubricate it, and hopefully make it easier to loosen. Once you’ve done all you can with your hands, begin with combs, using a picking motion. This loosens larger clumps. Once the mat is loosened even more, use brushing strokes to remove it fully. Run a comb through the area at the end to make sure the whole mat is gone.

Ultimately, if a mat just won’t come out, you can simply clip them out with scissors. The hair grows back faster than you’d think, and its better than having shaved ears!

I don’t think this should prevent you from using the halti to train your dog, it might just be a matter of tweaking your daily routine a bit to include a thorough brushing session.

Hope this helps!
Posted by kjd
Aug 15, 2010
Hey, Sammylee,

How is your pup doing? Still using the halti? Mats under control?

Posted by sammylee
Aug 24, 2010
yes we are still using the gentle leader, i've been able to distract her with a Kong filled with yummy things a few times while i work at getting the knots and matting out... she doesn't really like me trying to get them out as i am sure it is quite painful for her, unless she is distracted by food of course!

She is getting groomed proffessionally tomorrow so hopefully the groomer (thankfully someone that has worked with samoyed before!) can get the last of the matting out and we can start fresh with the brushing before and after walking..

i'll be sure to let you know how we go..


Posted by kjd
Aug 24, 2010
The groomer may also be able to give you pointers on ways to lessen the matting.