How to Remove Snags from the Hair on a Poodle

Regular brushing keeps fur snag-free and fluffy.

Regular brushing keeps fur snag-free and fluffy.

Your poodle's naturally curly hair is one of his most iconic traits, but it is also prone to snagging burrs and other snarl-enhancing objects. Even if your dog spends most of him time indoors, regularly brushing his coat is essential to prevent tangled locks from painfully matting tightly together.

Mix two parts water with one part dog conditioner and shake it up in a small spray bottle. Trying to untangle your poodle's dry hair is painful for the pooch and can cause hair to break. Spritz the conditioner over the snarled area until it's slightly damp, but not soaking wet.

Massage and separate the snag with your fingers. The lubricating conditioner spray allows tangled hair to slip free. When the bulk of the snarl has loosened, gently run a comb through that section of your dog's hair, starting at the tip and working your way toward your dog's skin. Rather than starting at the root and pulling downward, combing out a little of the snarl each time is a pain-free way to untangle your poodle's locks.

Brush that entire section of your poodle's hair with a slicker brush. This will help reintegrate the formerly snagged hair with surrounding tresses and distribute the conditioning spray evenly through his coat.

Items you will need

  • Spray bottle
  • Dog conditioner
  • Comb
  • Slicker brush


  • Groom your poodle at least once a week, or more if your poodle has long flowing fur.
  • Always remove snags and snarls before bathing your poodle. The combination of soap, water and vigorous rubbing can actually leave tangles tighter and more difficult to remove.


  • In instances of extreme matting, or when a poodle's coat has hundreds of tangles, physically removing the hair by cutting or shaving is often the only option.
  • Do not attempt to remove tangles with a slicker brush. The fine bristles and broad paddle design will aggravate tangles.

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About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.

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