Ideally the best way to combat knots is regular bathing and thorough grooming whilst you blow dry them.
If growing a show coat I think the best maintenance is a once weekly bath and a mid week groom through.
If I had 1 or 2 lhasas purely as pets I would be bathing them every 2-3 weeks
Also a good practice on a daily basis is to pop the dog on a table and just groom his or her tail and facial furnishings including the ears.
When mats do happen – and they will, my solution is to spray the coat with some kind of grooming spray,
and handling a slicker brush in the manner shown in the photograph below, use quick short, light to medium strength brush strokes avoiding the dogs skin,
to tease out the tangled loose coat.
Keep stopping to comb through in between slickering to remove the dead coat you’ve loosened.
A good tip is to hold the dogs coat at the root with the fingers of your other hand, so that when you brush – you are pulling against yourself
rather than the dog’s skin. Put as little pressure on the dog’s skin as possible to avoid their discomfort.
Imagine if your hair was very knotty and a hairdresser just pulled straight from the roots through the knot with a brush or comb – ouch!
If I wouldn’t like it doing to myself I try my utmost not to do it to a dog!
If the knot is really horrendous – and you will be amazed how with some patience and persistance the above method works on seemingly impossible knots,
then use a tool such as a mikki mat breaker, which can cost around £12-£15. This is a plastic handle with a set of blade combs on the head,
and if you use this through the knot using a twisting motion of your wrist as you do, it will literally slice through the mat.
Take great care as it is also capable of slicing skin if used in a careless manner, and try to use it sparingly, make a couple of passes at the knot
and alternate with the slicker to save as much coat as possible.
Alternatively you can cut through a knot with a small pair of scissors, but don’t cut inwards towards the dog,
slide the underside blade between the knot and the dogs skin pointing directly out, and away cut through the knot, and then slicker as above.
Never cut across a knot as you will cut out a blunt chunk of coat which will leave an ugly result.
Personally I would not cut a knot with scissors or use a matt breaker on a show coat, I would persevere with slicker, comb and spray.