Archived Message
Maltese mats

by Feather

Hello, First let me thank you for a VERY informative Internet selection. I've just finished reading and looking at your information and it's great. Perhaps you can help me with my problem. Our Maltese is a fiesty, aggressive, 2 year old male, house pet. Grooming is a problem. He STILL HATES to be brushed. Sometimes I win, sometimes it's a battle. One of the major problems is tats & mats. I've sent him to two groomers in the past (this is where the hating to be brushed started). They seem to have a better cream rinse/conditioner/or detangeler than I can find. Someone on the net said they used Nova Pearls, but no manufacturer or place to obtain the product. I brush him at least once a day, and try to get a few of the tats each time. He plays hard (loves to rub & scrub) so I get out two mats and by the end of the day he's put in 3.

What can you suggest in the way of other shampoos and conditioners, etc. I can try. His hair is semi-long and cottony texture. I know nothing will completely stop the problem & I'll always have to brush each day. But if I can prevent some of the mats with a product that makes his hair more silky like the groomer had, he would stay mat free longer and brushing could become fun again instead of a chore. I'm currently using Lambert Kay white shampoo and cream rinse. Any and all info is appreciated.Please help!! Thanks so much.


Lambert Kay No Tangles is a useful product to use with daily brushing. You mist it on the coat and brush lightly. Sadly, a cotton coat only gets worse with age, so one solution for the comfort of your Maltese might be to clip its coat down short on its body and leave its legs, tail, ears, and face a little longer.

I too have a Maltese thats mats something terrible even though I keep his coat in a puppy cut. I am not sure where I read it but satin pillow cases help alot. Its worth a try.
-carol armstrong

For years I had this problem with Cloud, and then one day someone said, "have you tried to use a slicker brush." Well, I tried it and it worked wonders, not perfection, but wonders. I think I was probably the last Maltese owner on the planet to discover this "secret," but just in case you or someone else hasn't tried it I figured I would mention it.

Carina, This may be a "duh-umb" questions, but what's a slicker brush?
-cathy brown

A slicker brush is a brush with hundreds of little wire pins in a cushioned back. They are great even on the leg coat of show dogs--you wouldn't want to use it on the body coat of a show dog. The very best slicker brush is the Doggie Man Slicker small size. It is white with a blue stripe on the handle. It is the softest, gentlest one. I have used them for years, and friends with show Poodles use them also all over the coat. Make sure not to dig into the skin though, because you can give the dog a slicker burn. (Run it on your arm first to get an idea of what you are doing to your dog.)

Cathy, certainly it's not a dumb question, but maybe a little difficult to answer in writing. Your local pet store should carry them and I think that name is pretty universal (at least in the states). If you ask for a brush that works on mats the people who know about it will usually lead you right to it. It has a little handle that fixes perpendicular to a rectangle head. On the head there are a series of extreemly tiny pins. Sorry that description is really not very easy to picture, but as I say I think that if you ask for a slicker brush at your local pet supplier (mine is Pet Smart) they should have it. I had seen them for years, and had ignored them, because all the little pins looked ominous to me. But Cloud and Clancy don't seem to mind, in fact they like the daily brushing better because it goes quicker.

Thanks you guys. I will hit PetSmart today. Usually Lucy goes to the groomer every few weeks, but with summer coming she rolls around on the ground and mats grow like the grass.
-cathy brown

I brush my sweet dolly right before we go to bed, we're both tired & mellow, she doesn't fuss much & it is a relaxing activity for both of us. The only problem with this is that she looks beautiful then & by the next day & she rolls around, she looks a bit scruffy...oh well, at least she's not matted. as for mats, the sales person at PetSmart suggested 8 in 1 Perfect Coat: Clear Choice Grooming Spray. i've had alot of luck with it. i sometimes use it when i'm just brushing & also when bathing. i trim her hair myself, since she's a bit wavy anyways, my "hatchet job" doesn't look so bad & it saves on groomers bills :) good luck with your grooming, ps...a treat when done does wonders too!

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