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Removing Poodle Tangles and Mats

young Poodle with soft hair


This section will discuss how to remove tangles from your Poodle's coat, how to get rid of mats and knots and the best way to fix even badly tangled Poodle hair.

There are 2 important elements help with Poodle tangles:
  • Follow the instructions correctly
  • Patience - Some tangles can take hours to remove and may need to be worked on several different times- it does all depend on how big the knot is.

Untangling Matted Poodle Hair

With enough patience and practice, even the largest mat can be removed with little coat loss. When deciding if a matted coat is just too twisted and tangled for fixing and you are thinking about clipping the coat....You must consider the comfort of your dog.

The Steps For Properly Removing a Matt from a Poodle's Coat

First, have the right aides.

The easiest and fasted way to save as much coat as possible and to restore the hair to optimum condition is to use a tangle removing product along with de-matting tool (comb or gentle rake) 

Detangling Products: There are several top-rated products that you can choose from... Some that we recommend are: John Paul Pet Detanglng Spray, “The Stuff” Conditioner and Detangler or Tropiclean D-Mat Tangle Remover. These have gentle conditioning oils to add body, help repair damage that is caused by the matting and help to reduce further knotting problems. 

Tools: For slight to moderate tangling, we like the “Tan Comb Dog” Untangler (a simple yet smart grooming tool, which works very well for small minor to moderate tangles. For moderate to severe tangling, the Untangler Mini Rake and the Untangler Super Groom Tool work very well. 

One thing that you must remember is that despite the names of all of these products, they are not "magic" in a bottle. They do help, but removing mats is often a tedious job and will depend just as much on your hands as the products themselves.

You can find these products, along with user ratings in the Poodle Specialty Shoppe.
Then, you are ready to work the mat out.

1. Saturate all of the matted hair on your Poodle with the detangling product of your choice. Make sure that the mats are completely wet; use your fingers to massage the detangler deep into the matted clump (s). This is very important because the combination of lubricants, detangler product and conditioning oils work by lubricating the locked barbs so that 1 hair slides over the other and breaks the friction of the static lock.

2. Allow the product to remain on the coat until the hair is damp or almost dry.

3. Use your fingers to pull apart large clumps of mats, separating them into smaller sections. Then brush out each small section.

4. Keep breaking the mats into smaller and smaller sections and brushing the hair until the dog is completely tangle free. Always remove tangles from the tips of the hair first...And then gradually work down the hair shafts toward the skin. Some grooming guides advise using scissors (with one blade pointed downward) to split through densely matted areas; be VERY careful if you try this as it is easy to accidentally cut the skin of your Poodle...That is why we do not recommend this.

5. If your Poodle has a lot of tangles or a huge knot, don't even try to finish the entire job in 1 sitting. Stop when you feel tired or when your dog becomes restless.


To save time in a busy dog salon, some professional groomers would prefer to deal with tangles while the Poodle in still in the bath. In this process, the dog is shampooed and rinsed well. The coat is squeezed to remove as much dripping water as possible and then plenty of creme rinse, conditioner or liquid detangler is applied to the damp coat and worked into the matted areas.

The groomer then gently begins to break up the tangles on the Poodle, before rinsing out the product, starting at the hair ends and gradually working down to the roots. Once the tangles are removed, the coat is thoroughly rinsed one last time.

Severe Matting on Poodles

In very severe cases of matting, it may be necessary to clip off the body and leg hair with a #5 or #7 blade. If these won't go through the mats easily, it will probably be necessary to then switch to a #8-1/2, #9 or #10 blade. 

Try to save some topknot hair and the tail pompon.

Once the mats are off, the new coat can start growing in.  If you had to shave very low, it can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months for that spot to catch up with the surrounding hair.  

Keep in mind that neglecting the new coat will result in matting just as before! This is why proper care of your Poodle is so important.
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