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I need tips on grooming my long coat GSD. I'm not sure which grooming tools are best to use. I brush him at least twice a week, but he still keeps getting matts behind his ears. So far that is the only place he has matted is right behind his hears where it is hard to brush good. How do you get a matt out besides cutting it out? What is the best tool for getting down to the undercoat good?

Also, would it be ok to trim him up some? We have mud in our yard frequently and he gets mud caked in his leg feathering. I was wondering if it would hurt to trim just his legs and a little under his belly where the worst of the mud gets so it'd be easier to clean him up.
 

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I know many people with long coats who do indeed trim the belly and leg feathers, especially with males who "splatter" when they pee, or like to accidently pee on thier front legs. I would say trim away!

As for grooming, I like to use a comb. It gets deep down into the thick areas of the coat, pulls the old undercoat out, and does a really nice job. A smaller comb would probably work well for the ears. As for the mats behind the ears, maybe trimming there would help a little too!
 

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At the groomers they used a small comb, like a flea comb for the matts behind Z's ears. Try to hold the hair above the matt. If you do trim the matts out, depending on how close to the ear they are, it may take awhile for the hair to grow back. I trimmed several matts behind ears before going to the groomer and the matts were right next to the skin. Luckily I didn't nic his skin, but that hair took quite awhile to grow back and he had a bald spot(not terribly noticeable unless you know to look for it) from where I cut it out.
 

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I use a metal rake, a pin brush and a metal comb. You can pick these up most anywhere. The rake works well to seperate the coat and the undercoat if your dog has one. Kinda like a detangler. The pin brush is great at removing loose hair and sometimes will detangle a mat that has just begun. The comb is great for behind the ears, mine has two teeth sizes, half is normal and the other half is closer spaced.

Mud is a huge problem, especially in Spring and Fall here where I live. I hose his legs off and belly but that isn't an option in winter. Mud when dry brushes right out with a regular brush. My brush of choice is a human hair brush, the oval kind with the rubber piece under the bristles. (They make these for dogs and cats too) but I find the human kind has more choices for sizes and is less expensive.

If you spray on some detangler for kids, on a mat that isn't realy tight it will allow you to comb it out. Creme Rinse also works for this but then needs to be rinsed out.

If you have the time, daily or every other day light grooming helps to keep the fur nice. This helps to avoid mats all together. For really bad, tight mats I just cut them out with a sissors or use a clipper. (Actually use my DH's beard trimmer-gosh hope he doesn't read this) It is small and does the job better then my animal clippers in tight spots.

Hope some of this is helpful.
 
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