How to Untangle My Dog's Long Hair

by Lydia Janssen
    Brush your dog frequently to keep him comfortable.

    Brush your dog frequently to keep him comfortable.

    Apple Tree House/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Long-haired dogs need frequent grooming to prevent uncomfortable and unsightly mats from developing in their coats. The more often you brush the tangles out of your dog's coat, the easier the process will be on both of you. If your dog has seriously tangled or matted fur, work slowly and gently so he doesn't dread grooming in the future.

    Step 1

    Secure your dog using a collar and leash if he is uncomfortable standing still to be groomed. This will free up both your hands to work on untangling that hair.

    Step 2

    Use the slicker brush to gently work out tangles. Brush slowly to avoid pulling the skin and check for mats as you go. Remove any loose hair from the brush as you work. Start toward the bottom of the tangled fur and slowly work your way up to where the fur meets the skin to remove the tangles without pulling too hard on your dog's skin.

    Step 3

    Work out any mats you find by teasing it apart as much as you can with your hands, then gently working it out the rest of the way with a metal comb. This process will require patience, and should not be rushed, as working too quickly can hurt your dog.

    Step 4

    Search for any more tangles by running the metal comb through your dog's entire coat after you've brushed it thoroughly. Any place the comb catches is another tangle that needs to be brushed out. Specifically check the backs of the ears, base of the tail, around the collar and on his legs, since these areas are prone to mats and tangles.

    Step 5

    Use the bristle brush to gently remove any loose hair after all the tangles have been removed. This brush will also evenly distribute the oils from your dog's skin, giving him a healthy shine.

    Items You Will Need

    • Slicker brush
    • Metal comb
    • Bristle brush
    • Leash

    Tips

    • If you can't get a mat out, try using a detangling spray. Let it soak into the mat for a few minutes, then start brushing it out from the bottom of the mat, working inward toward the skin.
    • Talk to your dog and give him treats throughout the process to make grooming a pleasant experience.

    Warning

    • Never try to cut a mat out with a scissors, as this could easily harm your dog's skin. If you can't get a mat out, take him to a professional groomer.

    Photo Credits

    • Apple Tree House/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Lydia Janssen began her career writing news articles for the SPCA to connect adoptable pets with their potential owners. She moved into professional writing in 2009 and uses her experience as a dog trainer, SPCA kennel worker and veterinary technician to bring quality information to responsible pet owners.

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