I have a foster dog awful coat mats -- I'm looking for groomer techniques to clear the mats.
He's around 2 and was probably never, ever been brushed. He lived outside on a chain, so his coat is very rough, and the undercoat is thick. Old undercoat matted with new over his lifetime, creating a dense, thick layer of insulation, especially on the hind end. His neck fur is also matted from the massive collar that was on him. The mat is like a shadow of his former life imprinted on him. His tail fur looked shorn--super short--until I started working it and realized it was just one continuous mat.
I spent a good hour today with a single-row shedding rake, working small sections, making painstakingly slow progress. As I started getting under coat loosened, it unleashed a dandruff factory--tons of skin flakes came out with the dead under coat bits. It was probably matted so long the dead skin just stayed trapped in there.
The only way I've found to make any head way is to do a sideways motion with the rake parallel to his skin, against the fur's grain, catching a small piece at the edge of a mat and gently working it free, a wee bit at a time. Thankfully, he didn't mind (much).
There's got to be a better way. Pros, can you share any techniques to de-mat an undercoat?
Here's Ernie, the dog hoping to benefit from your advice: