Clean dog, slathered with Coat Handler conditioner and my magic mat brush (a particular four paws slicker) and a stand dryer. Sometimes I'll use the HV to spider web the mats if I can, but if they are too tight, I forgo that. I can de-mat just about anything with hardly any coat loss. The exception is a pelt. Not that I do, but I can. I don't use mat splitters or scissors or thinning shears.