Dogs with long hair require regular grooming to look and feel their best. While it may seem like a big undertaking to commit to daily grooming, this is really the best way to prevent tangles from developing. Once you get into the habit of grooming your dog, perhaps in front of the television each evening, it only takes a few minutes. If it has been a while since you brushed your dog, you may need to invest some overtime in combing out his tangled coat.
Spray your dog's coat thoroughly with a detangler spray. A variety of commercially available sprays soften the coat, loosen tangles and make it easier for knots to slip out. Dampening the hair has the added benefit of keeping loose hair from flying around, coating you and everything else.
Pick up a small section of coat, about one inch wide, and comb it, starting at the ends and working toward the skin. When this section is tangle-free, set it aside and move on to the next section.
Pick apart mats with your fingers. When you get to a tangle that your comb won't penetrate, use your fingers to pull the tangle apart, working from either side rather than the top or bottom.
Use a mat breaker to remove stubborn mats. The mat breaker has a blade to cut through the mat. Place it in the mat and cut away from your dog's skin. Make several cuts into the mat, then work the tangle loose with your fingers.
Brush your dog all over with a pin brush or slicker brush to smooth the coat and make sure all his tangles are out.