Golden Retrievers are notorious for getting knots & tangles behind their ears, as well as under the arms, legs & belly. Those big clumps of hair can be tricky to get out. Regular brushing and thinning of the hair behind the ears is a preventative measure you can take to keep your Retrievers coat tangle free.
Here are some pointers for removing tangles at home:
- First, NEVER try cutting the matted area off. You can almost guarantee you will cut your golden, as the knots pull the skin, which is probably rather painful, if not annoying for your dog.
- Make sure the dog is in a comfortable position. Sit on the floor with the dogs head in your lap or any way you can maintain control of the head
- Start by saturating the tangle with a conditioning agent or using a slicker brush to brush out the smaller tangles around the matting.
- As a precaution, if you can slide a wide tooth comb between the knot and the skin, this will help prevent cutting your dog. Another trick is to hold your fingers like scissors, as if you are about to cut off the knot with your fingers, as close to the skin as possible. Hold your fingers there and using some round nosed scissors, cut strips into the knot, perpendicular to the comb or fingers.
- Take a metal comb and, starting at the bottom, comb out the knots. Combing downward, with the growth of the hair is much less painful on your furry friend.
You can also purchase a mat splitter to remove the mats (knots), which may take less time, but we find the comb and scissors works well enough. There are several varieties available at your local pet supply store.
Here is a helpful video demonstrating the use of a mat splitter:
It can take quite some time to remove the matting, be patient, and give your dog a break if needed.
Regular brushing and thinning the ears with thinning shears will help prevent more knots from forming and keep your golden retrievers coat shiny, healthy & tangle free.