My Sheltie's fur is not currently at it's adult coat, he's 9 months old. However we've found that it's matting a lot under his front legs - from his harness.

He gets mats behind his ears as well, however we trimmed them all out and now brush in talcum powder which has basically stopped all the mats.

With his 'under arms' as it were we've tried talcum powder but he's still matting a lot in this area where his harness obviously moves and mats the hair. We originally had a harness similar to:

enter image description here

But now use this exact harness:

enter image description here

When we changed the harness it has improved a little, we can't use only a collar due to the lifestyle we have (regular hiking, if he falls down anywhere on a lead we don't want to have him dangling by his throat therefore choking or breaking his neck...).

The harness does fit correctly, his old one (image one) was worse but in fact too tight, the other is a much better fit. We have two brushes, a slicker and a combo soft bristle / medium spread pin brush.

What can we do to help prevent mats in the area under his front legs? Is the talcum powder route worth continuing?

  • Have you tried trimming the fur short? Nov 24, 2015 at 13:30
  • @JamesJenkins we trimmed the mats out, so it was shorter, maybe not short enough since it did mat again.
    – Aravona
    Nov 24, 2015 at 13:31
  • You are removing the harness when not hiking?
    – paparazzo
    Nov 24, 2015 at 21:16
  • @Frisbee yeah it's only on for walks and hikes
    – Aravona
    Nov 24, 2015 at 21:18
  • May be in a case of just just need to brush the dog out after walks. If you trim too much you may expose skin and have chafing. Looks like you boy has some fur - Sheltie's do.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 24, 2015 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


I have a Yorkie and had the same problem. I found a vendor through Etsy that makes handmade halters for pets: [email protected] - Pamela Martin. Her design coupled with a custom fit has made this harness my absolute favorite. The matting and tangling problems are now a thing of the past. Hope this helps!

  • Hi, that's interesting, however they don't seem to do anything dog related anymore. Common problem with Etsy really, thanks for the info though.
    – Aravona
    Dec 7, 2015 at 5:43

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