Dealing with knots and tangles in a dog may tempt you to break out the clippers -- in severe cases, that may be the only option. With some patience, however, you may be surprised at the tangles and mats you can work out of your pet's coat. Of course, the best option is frequent grooming to prevent tangles from developing in the first place, but life sometimes gets in the way; when it does, some aggressive grooming on your part may be enough to get your pup's coat back in top shape.
Spray your dog's coat with a detangler spray. Detangler sprays soften and smooth your dog's coat, making it easier for tangles to slide out of the hair.
Work your way through the coat with a metal comb. Comb the hair in small sections, working through one session completely before moving on. Pay special attention to the area under the collar, at the base of the ears and where the legs join the body, as these spots are particularly susceptible to tangles.
Separate mats with your fingers as much as possible, then use a mat splitter. When your comb comes to a stop in the coat, you have hit a mat. Use your fingers to work as much of the mat loose as possible, then cut the remainder out with a mat splitter. Use the splitter to cut into the mat, working from the skin out -- never cut toward your dog's skin. Make several slices in the mat, then finishing picking the mat out with your fingers.
Finish with a slicker brush to remove loose hair and smooth the coat down. Start just behind his ears and work down his body to his tail. Don't forget his belly.