Matted fur

by Narita
(Oklahoma)

I have been sick and got behind on brushing Bill. He isn't badly matted but has quite a few. He needs a trip to the groomer but can't go yet has been having tummy troubles.

Seems some of the worst mats are on his front and back legs and feet. Areas that by the time I am done, we haven't got them out 100% and we are both exhausted. He is cooperative with the rest of the brushing.
I have ice on ice detangler but it seems to do little good.

I have several questions.
1. What do I do to brush out the mats, what is the best way.
2. Is a mat rake good for coton fur
3. How can I work with him to be more cooperative about his legs being brushed. Also his hiney is a touchy subject with him. I find myself dreading brushing because of the battle ahead.

I would appreciate any insights or tips. Thank you.
Oh Bill will be 2 yr. next month. He weighs about 15 1/2 pounds.

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Nov 09, 2017
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bedtime combing NEW
by: Anonymous

I am struggling with the same problem with our Eli. He is 1 1/2 years old and we have had him for less than a year. Since grooming is so pricey, I am trying to maintain it on my own and space our the professional grooming to every 7-8 weeks. Eli does not like any 'dog' brushes but will lay down and let me comb him with a regular people comb, so that's what we are sticking to (after spending so much money on brushes!). Every night or so I spend 10-20 minutes carefully trimming out the mats. It is definitely the easiest to do at night when he is very tired. He even fell asleep once! We had him shaved once and I vow never to let it happen again so it's worth it. We love our fluff ball! Cotons are the best!

Jan 28, 2015
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Matted Hair NEW
by: Vicky & Jonah

Sadly their is no magic answer except daily combing & Weekly baths combed out while wet if u want long hair perfection. When u c show dogs they r constantly soaked in conditioner & curlers in their hair to keep hair long straight & unmatted in all long haired breeds. Hair products & they usually do not get off the couch to maintain perfect coat. Not the Real world we live in.

My opinion only is find a hair length for your Coton that works best for your life style & dedicated time. Spend time w/this wonderful breed walking, playing, dog parks, family time, obedience or agility etc whatever you enjoy. They do blow their coat twice a yr.

If the mat is bad cut vertically w/blunt sscissors & comb out instead of fighting w/it by pulling so ur Coton doesn't dread grooming time. Keep hair on the bottom of their paws trimmed up so foreign objects don't get stuck between their toes or PADS.

Their r many detanglers out their so find 1 you like or try new ones but none really r magic that takes the place of daily comb or brush.

A Harness is great for walking yet pay special attn to the sides where it rubs where it will always mats.

If grooming gets expensive I think we have all practiced w/self grooming & from pics u c posted were not to bad. As w/life practice makes perfect. Myself I find scissors easier to keep trimmed up every month after bath & comb out then blow dried 1/4 to 1/2 inch off. When I have used my trimmers it looks choppy to me.

One important thing to remember is if you make a mistake their hair grows back no big deal. If you comb them out b4 a bath it does make it easier after. Between the bath & comb out I can't seem to get it down past 3 hrs so I suggest combing them out a day or 2 b4 bath so you don't overwhelm yourself. Now I also usually Keep Jonah @ medium length, do nails, feet trim & trim up the ends of his hair, face, ears etc.

I hope some off this helps they r gorgeous no matter what haircut so enjoy them & if your life schedule is busy keep on shorter side & less work.


Jan 27, 2015
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sadly a shave job NEW
by:

I adopted Snowy a 1 yr old Coton almost 4 months ago..he had a shorter coat and I wanted him to grow more fluffy before taking him in to get groomed . What a mistake!!! lLast month matts and tangles appeared so fast I couldn't keep up. Then were gone on vacation as well so didnt get brushed...Is Fall a time they tend to shed and therefore matt more? I see pics of many adorable Cotons here with medium to longer coats and I cant believe you can get them that long without severe matts even with regular brushings. I guess it's just alot of work! He also wrestles alot with my cat which prolly causes more tangles ect..lol Theyre buds.. Hes a bouncing lively boy!!
Was so hoping the groomer would just cut most of the matts out and trim him up but she said it wasnt possible : ( also not thrilled with the scrawny Schauzer look he has now. I guess will just have to patiently await it to grow back and just keep on top of the brushing if I want a fluffy Coton. He has a very wavy coat too which probably contributes to the easy tangling? Snowy's a sweet rambunctous boy, so glad we took him in but I just learned a big lesson..never procrastinate a trip to groomers with a Coton! And keep brushing! Any other advice to a new Coton owner greatly appreciated!

Mar 12, 2013
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Les pooches NEW
by: Emily

I use a brush that works wonders on matts & tangles. The brand is "Les Pooches". It is a pricey brush, but I have found that it cuts my brushing time in half, and is much easier on Casper and myself.

Mar 12, 2013
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My Grooming Tools NEW
by: Kathy from SC

Here is a photo of the grooming tools that I use on my Cotons.

Grooming Tools for my Cotons: from L to R --> Mat Remover (I haven't used), slicker brush, curved, blunt tip scissors, dematting comb (I love this one), fine toothed comb (also called a flea comb), plastic cat slicker & blow dryer (quiet with a stand).

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4687150659839&set=a.2304703740155.2116540.1326117922&type=3&theater

I start with the dematting comb and just run it through the coat. If I find a tangle, I let the blade cut through it (the blades on this comb are razor edged). You can turn the blades around if you are left-handed. It has a place for your thumb with the blades up as you comb through the coat. After busting up the mats with the dematting comb, I use the plastic cat slicker and then the flea comb. This usually works well.

I found a groomer who will work with long coats. She said that the thing about getting all the mats out before bath is a rumor. Yes, the loose hair does tangle up in a knot when it's wet, but with a dematting comb, you can bust it even when it's wet & because the fluff factor is lower, you can see the mats when they are wet. Still, if the mat is too close to the skin, you will not be able to get a dematting comb between the knot & the skin, you will have to cut it. As someone else explained, cut the mat vertically to divide the mat. Then try the dematting comb. Just be gentle.

I use a gentle shampoo & conditioner. After towel drying, I use BioSilk oil (or argan oil) on my hands and then onto their coat, massaging into their skin. Then I comb out the rest of the way & blow them dry.

Confession: I let my dogs (3 cotons) get tangled and matted last fall and had to have them shaved -- I called them naked dogs for a while. But they were cute. I just groomed them last weekend -- coats are a little more than 1 inch long now.

Mar 11, 2013
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Crufts 2013 Best of Breed Videos NEW
by: Vicky & Jonah (Az)

If anyone interested Crufts Dog Show in England just got done & they show the Coton De Tulear in the UK.

If u go to the Best of Breed , Group Judging 2013 video the Coton is at 16:43 into the video.

Cowboy Magic is good. I have used it for 5 yrs. It is the Detangler & Shine where u can use a dime size after bath. U also can use on dry coat to help w/brushing. Its great if Coton likes to swim to help w/mats. But u can rub into the mat to help comb out but it is not magic if u have alot of mats it's alot of time.

A 16 oz bottle costs about $26.00 but my bottle is 5 yrs old and a dab will do u. I got mine at a feed store since it is also used to bath horses & u can use it in ur hair. It contains the old contents if anyone remembers of hydrolzed silk & panthenol & the shampoo & conditioner is good also & contains rose water.

Mar 11, 2013
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Cowboy Magic NEW
by: Libby

There is a product on the market called "Cowboy Magic". You can find it online at www.cowboymagic.com. I found mine at a "Coastal Farm Supply" store. You merely rub a little dab into the mat and then brush it out. It works really well.

Mar 11, 2013
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Coton's Mats NEW
by: Vicky & Jonah (Az)

I think most of us have been where u r & it's ok. I use blunt end grooming scissors just because sharp ones make me nervous which as I laugh is neither here nor there. Get as close to the skin w/the mat as u can & Cut vertically Out Away from the body depending on how wide the mat is 2-3-4 diff. times. Then use ur brush to pick up lose hair. If that does not quite do it cut the mat half way down thru the mat horizonal & again use ur brush to get lose hair.

If that does not pick up all the cotton ball parts of the mat then just cut them out. Most mats contain a jagger or to that they seem to pick it up in dead grass or around. Or if u live in snow area its spring. I forgot to look if u told us ur state.

This will make it #1 easier for ur groomer to even him out. Or if u groom easy for u to even them out by the clippers not getting caught & pulling on a mat. They have alot of hair 9 of 10 chances u will not see a big hole area but if u do again they can be evened ot.

It grows back & u r not putting u & them thru grusome long combing time. This will also make it easier when u r back up to brushing every day. They will not learn to hate it because of their hair being pulled.

My Jonah is 5.5. I keep him medium cut. His picture is on this pg. on the right with the light green backgrd since it was taken at park in the sun. Their is the Coton prayer that is please God let me wake up tomorrow & not find a mat. Yet my pray has never been answered. LOL.

If u let them go for 3 days OMG. Just an opinion but it hurts them if u really try to comb them out carefully. Let alone the time as u try to be so careful not to hurt them. I have learned sometimes u just have to start fresh. U know the funny thing I have found out is short, medium or long they r still handsome dogs.

Another thing I have learned that most real mats, no amount of product or brand will be the magic answer. They r such wonderful family members & great dogs make it easy on u & them & cut away & get rid of the mat their nails may get stuck in if they scratch.

By the way I do not want to forget to tell u he is ADORABLE.......


Mar 11, 2013
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Beware of groomer NEW
by: Coda's owner

My 6 month old, Coda, had terrible mats on her front and hind legs. She seemed to have developed the mats overnight after she got spayed. I think this was the result of her spending a few days rolling around in her crate when she was sedated post-surgery. To make a long story short, I purchased every dematting tool known to man (and dog) and could not remove the mats without causing her a lot of pain. I brought her to the groomer, who shook his head and said they would have to shave them. When I picked her up a few hours later, she resembled a cotton ball with toothpicks for legs. Now I get her groomed every 3 weeks until her adult coat is fully established. I bathe her less often (bathing will make the mats tighter if you are not able to brush them out) and I brush her every other day. Her legs are finally starting to grow out but still a long way to go. I think the best way to deal with mats is to prevent them. I took the shaving as a learning experience and hopefully she will not have to endure the clippers again!

Mar 11, 2013
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Matted Hair NEW
by: Iris Miller

I just went through the tedious job on Tuffy, he sounds just like your dog, he wants me stay away from the feet and butt. I do has to be quick and gentle at the same time. It took me a long time today and I did only a scissor cut, I am terrible with the electric trimmer.and I would suggest you go online and search "how to de-matt a Coton de Tulear", there are videos that give an example. When Tuffy is relaxed, usually when he first wakes up, he lets me pet him and examine him for any knotted hair or matting. I try to separate them as gently as I can with my fingers. A groomer told me to use a metal dog comb, and then the short wire brush. You have to grasp and hold the hair next to the skin as you comb because pulling the hair hurts they are very sensitve and they wont put up with it for long.The vet who shows how to remove the matts online video, tells you how to carefully cut and separate the matted hair, and also how to trim it out with electric clippers. By the way my dog is five years old and had to be shaved down to the skin four times by different Groomers.None of them want to bother with removing the knots, they just shave all the hair off. That is why I am learning to do it so my poor pup does not have to get shaved, it terrifies him. Good luck, I know it's not an easy job, but it's worth it. Another p.s. I once gave him a bath dried and combed/brushed his hair and then put some of my Morroccan Argan hair oil on my hands and combed it through Tuffy's hair with my fingers and then with his comb. His hair stayed tangle free for weeks, it worked better than the pet supply stuff I bought, that didn't really work. Then he went out in the snow and the wet hair matted. I'm not in the best shape either, I have to do this grooming over a period of days.
You know, it's a bother, the matting hurts the dog pulling on the skin, so it is worth it to take care of it, for all the love they give us.
blessings and love, Iris and Tuffy

Mar 11, 2013
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Bill NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi - you may want to try a good old human hairbrush - my coton gets some bad tangles near her ears if I am unable to brush daily - I found that those human hairbrushes with the plastic tips on the end do the trick. I used one in desperation one day and it worked!

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