I use a pin brush on Luke usually every day, and I also have a comb I use on him to do more thorough combing once or twice a week. I also have a de-matting blade. I use conditioner when I wash him, which seems to help. When he starts to get matted, I wash and condition him again. I keep detangler for him, usually just kids stuff, but maybe I'll try something else. If I miss more than two days of brushing, he gets mats. He has his own travel bag, and I keep a brush for him even for traveling. We can't go for a weekend and not brush his hair.
Pippin has really thick fur on and around his ears. Brushing alone doesn't prevent the mats, so he gets his ears and under his ears combed every day, which seems to keep on top of things. I also use a slicker brush after combing which helps to get more of the fine "dead" hair out. Luckily the girls aren't as bad.
Luckily Kokoda's ears don't really mat.
I brush him once a week, but I can go for a couple of weeks without even the smallest tangle forming.
I agree with using the thinning shears to cut them out, and a leave in conditioner /detangler.
If she wont let you use the comb use a slicker brush.
Here is a video for you. It is of a very matted dogs tail. i know her ears wouldn't be like that but it gives a nice clear picture on what to do.
It works without the blowdryer though :)