How to Detangle a Poodle's Hair

With regular grooming, your poodle will rarely have unsightly tangles.

With regular grooming, your poodle will rarely have unsightly tangles.

Poodles are intelligent dogs and strut around with such a spring in their step that they appear to be telling the world "I am beautiful." However, whether their curly coat is black, white or café au lait, they need special attention to get rid of uncomfortable and unsightly mats.

Apply a detangling solution to the tangled sections of your poodle’s coat. Work the solution into the hair using your fingers until it has soaked through. Wait until the hair has had time to dry slightly before getting started.

Use your fingers to separate the tangles by gently picking the hair apart into progressively smaller sections, starting from the outer tips and working inward. Brush the remaining tangles with the slicker brush. Be careful not to pull at the hair while you work. This will not only hurt your poodle, it will cause her to get anxious and impatient.

Remove tangles that have turned to hardened mats by splitting the hair with a pair of scissors. Exercise extreme caution using this method and direct the blades downward and away from your poodle as you snip the mat apart. Use the slicker brush in combination with the detangling solution for best results at removing these severe types of tangles.

Wash your newly detangled poodle with a dog shampoo and conditioner formulated for her curly coat. You can finish her beauty routine and remove any small remaining tangles by blow drying her hair while smoothing with the slicker brush.

Items you will need

  • Detangling solution
  • Slicker brush
  • Scissors
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog conditioner
  • Blow dryer


  • Choose a time to detangle your poodle when you are both relaxed and not rushed for any reason.
  • Maintain a grooming routine that includes regular brushing to avoid future tangles.
  • Do not try to remove large amounts of tangles in one session. This will only serve to frustrate you and your poodle and increase the likelihood she will avoid grooming with a passion.


  • Avoid injury and do not attempt to remove mats that are too close against your poodle's skin. In cases like this, take her to a professional groomer or veterinarian.
  • Do not use the scissor method for splitting hardened mats unless you are completely confident you can perform it safely.

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About the Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004. She wrote a true-crime book published in 2010 and has two more underway. She also has a strong background in business, education and farm living. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.

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