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My Maltichon (Maltese/Bichon X), absolutely hates having her tail touched. If you accidentally touch a hair when shes sat next to you she'll jump up and put her tail between her legs. Because of this, I tend to to avoid combing her tail as it genuinely stresses her out. But she has a silky tail which tends to matt pretty easily.
Does anyone have any suggestions on upkeep of her tail so that it doesn't matt so easily?
Few dogs like having their tails touched. None of mine like it much but they allow it.
Bucky bit people and judging from all the mats he had hadn't been allowing anybody to brush him out for a very long time. He is happy when the grooming bin comes down now and is mat free. I am still amazed when I have to pull out a bit of nature that could cause a mat to form and he is fine.
You must train her to accept handling her tail. Get an accomplice to feed her tiny super tasty treats as you handle her tail. Start with a stroke down her back that extends down her tail. Once she is fine with that move to picking up the tail and moving it around then get some sort of brush that won't do a thing to move her fur around a little. I have a silver backed brush that is completely useless for actually grooming but will very lightly pull at the hair. Then do tiny tugs and play with the hair and so on.
Super treats. Moist and meaty is best. Something like shreds of cooked chicken breast or deli meat work great. I always have string cheese in the house. Peanut butter smeared very thin on a spoon works well. While I can do a lot of grooming without treating the dogs I always have something for them and they get extra for particularly good behavior.
If you cannot do this then having the tail fur trimmed short when she is groomed is all you can do. If the tail is matted now then get her trimmed and start the handling training with a well groomed tail. You don't want to work on getting her used to having her tail touched by causing her pain trying to get out mats.