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Hello wonderful dog people.

My dog is an 8month old English Springer Spaniel, and I notice he has huge matted chunks of greasy hair under both ears. He's never been to a groomer because I can't afford it (heck, I haven't had my hair done professionally in 3 years). I want to cut the mats off but they're too close to the skin. Also all I have to use to cut hair are scissors meant only for paper. They're kind of thick scissors too.

Know this, I'm not rich at all. So I'm wondering if anyone knows a cheap way to rid my dog of those gross balls of fur under his ears? Like special shampoos you make, or very cheap instruments?
Thank you!
 

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As bad as those mats sound there's no way you are going to get them off of him with paper scissors.

You are going to have to spend money on decent tools, or just pay to have the mats removed by a groomer.

I know of nothing that you can make that will get mats like you describe out. You may be able to get them out yourself if you have a decent pair of hair cutting scissors, or batter yet an electric shears.

Paper scissors are not going to get through that type of mat. If you want to see what I mean go try and cut through a stack of papers as thick as that mat it.
 
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You can try sitting with him on the couch and pulling/splitting the mat with your fingers. It could take hours but will make them easier to brush out with a slicker brush. Normally a Spring has 1/4 of the ears shaved which prevents these mats and allows air up into the ear canal. Do you know anyone with a pair of cheap pet clippers you could borrow? That would be the only other safe way to get them out.
 

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Hello wonderful dog people.

My dog is an 8month old English Springer Spaniel, and I notice he has huge matted chunks of greasy hair under both ears. He's never been to a groomer because I can't afford it (heck, I haven't had my hair done professionally in 3 years). I want to cut the mats off but they're too close to the skin. Also all I have to use to cut hair are scissors meant only for paper. They're kind of thick scissors too.

Know this, I'm not rich at all. So I'm wondering if anyone knows a cheap way to rid my dog of those gross balls of fur under his ears? Like special shampoos you make, or very cheap instruments?
Thank you!
Welcome to the forum! Groomers arent cheap i know this by owning my first long haired puppy ( shih tzu x australian terrier) except she started matting at 6 months along her spine then at 8 months matts everywhere.

Here is what you need

Slicker brush- brush him/her twice a day to keep matting at a minimum if possible.

De matting comb these are fantastic you tease the matt so the hair comes free it is traumatizing when they yelp but its all normal.

Styling scissors now i still need these and want to get a pair but i making do with tiny pair atm, i cut Jessie ears short, as well as her hair on her backside, around her legs, chest etc. Feel around daily for any matts that way you get them in early stages and can easily cut them out.

Just beware it will get worse before gets better!

You can also get some detangling sprays. I also bath jess once a month with oatmeal shampoo, before i do i comb and brush her then i blow dry her dry while brushing her as it speeds it up and get a glossy coat.

Also when drying him dont rub dry but put towel over the dog and pat around the body dry before blow drying him/her this prevents the hair matting when wet.

Hope this helps! Please try cut all the loose hair with styling scissors from pet store/site and do it weekly. def check under arms too
 

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The coat of the field-type Springer is fairly easy to maintain and regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush will keep it looking good; the show-type Springers' coat needs more attention. Both need baths and dry shampoo only when necessary, but check the ears regularly for signs of infection. Springers with longer coats will mat if not brushed often and particular attention needs to be given to the ears and the feet. If the hair is not kept shaved on the underside of the ears, it can lead to chronic ear infections. The hair on the feet needs to be trimmed to prevent burrs and foxtails from becoming imbedded. The longer coats will pick up burrs and branches and need to be combed out after outside exercise or it will mat badly. The show type Springer does not have as much coat as the American Cocker Spaniel, but it needs regular attention. This breed is a constant average shedder.

thought that may help you. Also beware the shedding can get extreme this period is known as puppy blow and i beleive lasts a few months
 
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You are gonna have to cut them out and vow to do better next time.

Dogs cost money. You sometimes have to put out a little money up front to save in the long run. I do my own grooming as it would get ridiculously expensive among other reasons. I bought a $60 clipper and have loved it. They sell cheaper clippers but since I need them to do more detailed work I got these...they sell more expensive, too. For that area you could get away with a cheap set I bet (under $20). If you don't have $20 to spend for something that will be used over the lifetime of the dog, reevaluate your situation...that is a drop in the bucket in the cost of owning a dog.

Now to prevent future mats, a very cheap solution is to take a metal combed dog brush (available at Dollar Tree even for $1) and weave rubber bands that are used to hold broccoli or asparagus together in the grocery store (FREE) through the tines of the comb. This is great to run through his feathering and pull out the undercoat which is the part that mats. My sister struggled for years with matting on her dog despite brushing 2 times a week and since she has used this trick told me she has cut her brushing time down and NEVER gets mat. I use it with my own dog and I have to brush left often. He has never gotten a mat.
 

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@Rain - Heh, yeah, the paper scissors is a silly idea.
I definitely won't have the money for groomers anytime soon, but I'll ask some friends/relatives to borrow any decent grooming stuff. Thanks for the info! :)

@LynneMarie - Lol, tearing apart the mats with our fingers is what me and my mother tried this morning. Seriously tough mats this dog has. My mother kept thinking they were part of his ears. I've watched the springer grooming vids, and I do see they shave most of their fur off. Too bad I don't own an electric shaver. I did borrow my friend's rabbit's grooming stuff today, so I'm hoping it will help. Thank you for replying! :3

@crazy - Thanks for the welcome. I know, my g'pa used to take his Lhasa Apso (may she R.I.P) to the groomers all the time, and I was shocked at how much he always spent on that.
I just borrowed a Slicker brush (though meant for rabbits) from a friend today. I'll try to brush at least once a day ;_;
Did not know 'De matting comb' existed. O-o I'll look into that next time.
Definitely will get hair scissors next time I have extra $$
My springer gets baths a lot cause he gets smelly fast, but I haven't been drying him right.

I don't know if my springer is show or field. Luckily, I still have ear cleanser from the last time he went to the vet. The rest of him seems to not mat at all, just under the ears. Thanks for all the helpful info! :D

@marbear - I will try to remember under the ears. ;_;
When I got him last year in Nov I had more money to spend. Apparently I forgot how long haired he was going to be and wasted more money on chews and toys (which are now destroyed). This year is like everything wants to break (car/fridge/car again/arm) and money just isn't there. I have an extra ten$ every two weeks to spend on leisure so yeah, $20 isn't too bad. Since I don't want to show him or anything, it's not going to be super costly.
Wow, thanks so much for the helpful advice! ;D


Always such a helpful forum.
 

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You're welcome!

I learned this one the hard way with the little fluff ball in my avatar, before bathing a dog make sure to brush him completely out, paying special attention to the parts that tend to mat. If you don't and he has any mats you'll just be making them worse by getting them wet and scrubbing them because when they dry they tighten up.

I do understand not having money, like Crazy and Marbear, I do my own grooming. I invested in a good pair of scissors and around 4 different brushes, non of them are top dollar but they are decent. I don't need clippers but the scissors are a must as are the brushes. If you to try to work the mats out, once you have a decent pair of scissors, I'd start by cutting into it towards the skin using the fingers of one hand to keep from nicking him (it's really easy to nick them if you aren't careful!) so that the mat will loosen up, then try working it apart with your fingers then comb and brush. If you just want to cut it out then again use your fingers as a guide to keep from nicking him and cut it out as close to the skin as you can, then gently comb/brush the rest of it out. You need to be really careful cutting it out whichever way you choose to remove it since mats tend to pull at the skin and what you think is just fur can actually have skin pulled in to it, that's why it's best to use clippers but even with them you have to be very careful..
 

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Talking of bathing rain i had to bath Jessie as she was caked in mud! not fun i tell you
 

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Talking of bathing rain i had to bath Jessie as she was caked in mud! not fun i tell you

LOL, I miss those days!

Shadow was never a problem, he'd carefully lay in puddles only wetting his belly and chest, so I could usually just brush him out and wipe him down.

Jersey (rip) was a whole other story. She'd find the muddiest puddles she could, lay down in them, shove her muzzle under the water, then roll from side to side till she was covered in mud. If I saw where she was headed before she actually got in the puddle and called her she'd come back, but once she'd got in it was to late she was going to roll.
 
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didnt have jessie down to be a mud dog! thats ozzy lol.

she was caked in it! when i was drying her mum said oh my god the sink is absolute filthy!!!
 

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take him in to a groomers. and ask them if tey will just shave out the matts. it will probbably be around 10 bucks if that for a quick spot shave. using scissors on such a tightly matted area is very dangerous and will probably just result in you cutting your dog badly.
 

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@Rain - lol I can't imagine the time you must spend just grooming the fluff ball in your avatar.
Thanks for the advice of how to remove those mats. I've borrowed a few rabbit grooming things from someone, now all I need is to give him a bath tomorrow. ;D

@tankstar - I didn't think groomers would shave just one spot, I thought they would try to get you to shave the whole dog for a fancy buck. But I could be wrong, I never checked to see. Thanks for replying.
 

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I have heard a pinch of cornstarch will help make the mat easier to detangle.

We used to take our dogs to the groomer, but I have lately been doing it myself and i've found if you can acquire the right tools it's not so hard to do.

Good luck!
 

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@mopsydog - Thanks for the tip! I'll remember that next time. I'm in the process of getting all the tools people suggested.

Update: The mats are gone. My trim job may not be pretty (I used hair scissors I borrowed), very uneven, but it will do until I can afford electric shears. :) I appreciate all the helpful replies.
 

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if you just brush and comb that area daily. no matts should turn up and then you would not need clippers.

you are very very lucky you didnt cut the dog. being a groomer. I have seen some horrendeous grooming accidents because owners decide to cut. from dogs now missing eyes, to massive open wounds, ears half off, scratched corneas ect ect list is endless. i actually have one dog covered in abotu 20 scars all over due to her owner cutting out matts.
 

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@tankstar - That sounds awful and I can see how one would be concerned, but I wasn't that trim crazy with the scissors. I only cut the hair under his ears because I read Springers need the hair under their ears trimmed so air can flow through. My friend helped too, so the dog couldn't move much while we trimmed. I would not try to trim his whole body with a pair of scissors.
 

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if you just brush and comb that area daily. no matts should turn up and then you would not need clippers.

you are very very lucky you didnt cut the dog. being a groomer. I have seen some horrendeous grooming accidents because owners decide to cut. from dogs now missing eyes, to massive open wounds, ears half off, scratched corneas ect ect list is endless. i actually have one dog covered in abotu 20 scars all over due to her owner cutting out matts.

That's why if Shadow ends up with a mat bad enough that I cannot work it out with comb, brush, and fingers, I'll use the fingers of one hand as a guard so I cannot get close to his skin when I cut into the mat, I'd rather nick myself then him. I've found that when I get most of it cut out I can usually carefully work the rest out with a brush and comb. I hate removing them though so I've learned to give him a through brushing every week or two, more often during shedding season, and a quick brush down a few times a week.
 

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Hello wonderful dog people.

My dog is an 8month old English Springer Spaniel, and I notice he has huge matted chunks of greasy hair under both ears. He's never been to a groomer because I can't afford it (heck, I haven't had my hair done professionally in 3 years). I want to cut the mats off but they're too close to the skin. Also all I have to use to cut hair are scissors meant only for paper. They're kind of thick scissors too.

Know this, I'm not rich at all. So I'm wondering if anyone knows a cheap way to rid my dog of those gross balls of fur under his ears? Like special shampoos you make, or very cheap instruments?
Thank you!
Have a year old bench boy and his ears were densely matted on top. He is brushed daily (multiple times) but he is a busy fellow so he gets dirty.
I have luck with thinning sheers and a pin brush. Separating the good hair from the mat ball, I gently lift and cut the mat from the top then brush then snip a bit more. Seems to work without bald spots.
 

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Hello wonderful dog people.

My dog is an 8month old English Springer Spaniel, and I notice he has huge matted chunks of greasy hair under both ears. He's never been to a groomer because I can't afford it (heck, I haven't had my hair done professionally in 3 years). I want to cut the mats off but they're too close to the skin. Also all I have to use to cut hair are scissors meant only for paper. They're kind of thick scissors too.

Know this, I'm not rich at all. So I'm wondering if anyone knows a cheap way to rid my dog of those gross balls of fur under his ears? Like special shampoos you make, or very cheap instruments?
Thank you!
My Irish/Aussie mix gets them. I usually bathe them but take them to Petsmart 2x a year. Last time they wouldn't touch those matts, told me to take him to the vet to have it done. Have lost all respect for them and no longer go there (and I used to work at Petsmart!). The only thing to do is hair scissors that you can get online for about $3 or at Walmart for about $5. I put my hand gently pulling on the matt to find where it attaches to the skin. Slip scissors under a few strands of fur and clip. Continue this way until you have completely clipped the matt off. Its tempting to cut off large pieces, but that makes it even more difficult. It can take me an hour per side but you MUST go slow and always carefully watch to avoid cutting skin. I have pinched him twice, but was going slow enough that I stopped without cutting. Once you do it, check daily to be sure another isn't starting. They happen fast but if you catch them early, one snip and that baby matt is gone.
 
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