Getting knots out of Cockapoo Fur (3 proven methods)

Written by Jo Littlewood

As Cockapoo owners, we’d be lying if our Cockapoo didn’t get mats or knots from time-to-time. Unfortunately, keeping on top of our Cockapoo’s grooming is certainly a drawback of Cockapoo ownership (there are many positives too, though!) When knots and mats form in Cockapoo fur, it can be a bit of a headache to get rid of them. In this article, I want to detail the three methods that we use to get rid of our Cockapoo’s knots.

At the end of the article, I also give some helpful tips about ways you can prevent knots and mats from becoming an issue in the future. First things first, though, let’s dive into what causes knots, and why they aren’t that great for your Cockapoo. 

Why do Cockapoos get knots and mats in their fur? 

Cockapoos get knots and mats in their fur because their coat doesn’t shed. This means that the fur can start to wrap around itself to form clumps as it grows. Over time, these clumps can get bigger as the fur grows, and the tangles get harder and harder to pull apart. Your much more likely to get mats if your Cockapoo’s fur is curly rather than straight. 

While these tangles will occur naturally in Cockapoos if they are left ungroomed, water and dirt can cause knots and mats to occur much more frequently. Water does this because it sticks the fur together, so if you let your Cockapoo swim a lot, or don’t dry them properly after a bath, then these “stuck bits” can dry to form ready-made knots. Dirt and mulch from the ground can do the same thing. The fur will tangle around a small twig, say, and starts to grow together into a clump.

As you may expect, the most common places for knots and mats to form on a Cockapoo are: 

  • On their paws
  • In their groin and armpit areas 
  • Around their bottom
  • On their tail and belly 

Common areas for Cockapoo Knots (1)

When you have one or two of these clumps, these are called knots. When you have multiple knots forming together, then you get mats. 

The difference between mats and knots, as you might have guessed, is that knots are considered to be less serious of an issue than knots. Generally, if you keep on top of things, you can make sure that your Cockapoo never gets mats. But, if they do, don’t panic! There are solutions for everything… read on to find out more! 

Why are knots and mats bad? 

Aside from making a Cockapoo’s fur less strokable, knots, and especially mats, can be extremely uncomfortable. This is because they can start to pull against your Cockapoo’s skin if they sit in the wrong position, or move in a certain way. 

As mats are essentially multiple knots knitted together, then often they can cause a Cockapoo enormous distress even when they are just trying to get to sleep! If your Cockapoo has mats, it might be a good idea to look at the third method below to help you get mats out of your cockapoo’s fur. 

Knots and mats are also prone to developing around Cockapoo bottoms, which can mean that poop gets obstructed. Not only is this not hygienic for your pooch or your home, but it will also mean that you’ll end up cleaning your Cockapoo’s bottom much more often! 

Methods of getting knots out of Cockapoo fur

There are many methods to try and get rid of knots and mats, however, we’ve found these three methods most effective for our Cockapoo.

Use thinning shears 

This method is super simple and good for removing small knots from your Cockapoo’s fur. Thinning shears for dogs do the same thing as thinning shears at the hairdressers. Essentially, they are scissors that create lots of little snips and thin out hair rather than slice in a straight line. 

We use these shears that we got from Amazon, and they haven’t let us down yet. To use thinning shears to get rid of a knot, all you have to do is hold the knot in one hand and snip across the middle of it. 

This photo is clickable!


If it’s a small knot, this normally releases some of the tension from the knot and will allow the fur to be moved a little. From there, it’s just a simple thing of rubbing the knot a little between two fingers and prising it apart – and voila, the knot will disappear. 

We also use conditioning spray to help us if the knot is particularly tightly wound and needs a bit of help coming loose! 

Snip and Brush

If you’re faced with a large or stubborn knot in your Cockapoo’s coat, then I can’t recommend this trick enough. We discovered it by accident once, and have never looked back. 

All you need for this method is a pair of round-tipped scissors and a detangling brush. Don’t skimp on the brush – you need to get this one from Pet Teezer (they have a patent and everything!). We’ve used special de-matting brushes in the past, but personally, we’ve never had much luck with them.

What you do is simple:

  • First, cut little snips into the knot (this is why round-tipped scissors are best). This will release some of the tension in the knot without creating a bald spot. 
  • Second, and this is optional, spray it with a little conditioning spray to reduce the friction between the fur strands. 
  • Third, grab your detangling brush and brush at the knot in a direction that’s away from your Cockapoo’s body. Make sure to hold onto the knot with your other hand to prevent the brushing from pulling at your pooches skin. 

Once you’ve brushed the knot, you’ll either find that it’s a lot less “knotty” or gone completely. Don’t worry if it’s still a little knotty. We’ve found if you wait until the next day to do a repeat brushing then nine times out ten it will go away with minimal effort. I think that this is because the snipping relieves the tension and the knot starts to naturally unwind a little over time. It’s a theory at least! 

Doing this method is a really effective, low effort way of getting rid of a stubborn knot. 

Use dog clippers to remove the knots and mats 

If you’ve tried the above methods, or read them and thought that they just won’t work – don’t worry, there is a much more effective solution. This method of getting rid of Cockapoo knots is perhaps the last thing you should try, but it does work. 

It is also the quickest and simplest way of getting rid of heavily matted areas. 

The downside of using clippers to get rid of knots and mats is that they can create an uneven appearance in your Cockapoo. Not great if you want to keep your teddy bear look! That said, it’s better to use clippers than have your Cockapoo in pain and discomfort. 

You will, of course, need a good pair of dog clippers. This set is our preferred choice, and you can read about why that is here. 

Using dog clippers to get rid of knots and mats is quite simple: 

First, look at where the knot forms to figure out how short a setting to use on your clippers. In our experience, the fur looks a little like a pyramid with the knot forming at the top, so if you can get the clippers to cut under the point of the pyramid, that will generally get rid of the knot without causing a bald patch. 

using a dog clipper to get rid of cockapoo knots and mats

If you find that you can’t do that, or your Cockapoo is heavily matted, you might just have to use the shortest setting on your Clippers. Never try and use clippers without attaching a guide comb! 

Second, ask a partner to hold your Cockapoo still. Even if your pooch is super well behaved, they will inevitably move just at the wrong moment! If you don’t have another set of hands, it might be worth considering this grooming stand

Third, position the clipper guide comb against your Cockapoo’s body, at the edge of the knot so that the teeth of the comb can reach underneath it. Basically, what I mean is be careful not to just try and cut into the knot from any angle – the clippers will just get stuck. 

Finally, start to clip! If you find that your clippers are snagging, you may wish to pull gently at the knot as you clip it so that excess fur comes away from the clippers. 

You may need to do one or two passes with the clippers to make sure that you have cut away all of the knot, but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. You can try using scissors to achieve the same effect, but the risk of cutting your Cockapoo’s skin is really high, so it’s best not to do this. 

Of course, it almost goes without saying, but if you are at all uncomfortable with any of these methods, then it may be best to take your Cockapoo to the groomers!

How to prevent Cockapoo Knots and Mats from forming – best practice 

As might be clear from the above methods, the prevention of knots and mats is sometimes better than the cure! Getting knots out of  Cockapoo fur isn’t always the most fun, so taking some simple steps to prevent them is always easier. 

Here are some methods we use to prevent mats and knots from forming in the first place. 

Brush your Cockapoo regularly

This is perhaps the key thing you should make sure you do to prevent knots and mats from forming in your Cockapoo’s fur. Personally, we use two forms of brushes. A detangle brush – and as mentioned, make sure it’s this specific brand – and a slicker brush (the sort with firmer bristles). 

All we do with our brushing routine is use the detangle brush a few times a week (normally after our walks in the woods), and the slicker brush once a week. The detangle brush helps keep Ziggy’s coat nice and clean of random leaves and twigs, and the slicker brush gets deep into his fur to prevent the his curls from winding around each other too much! 

Of course, knots and mats still occur, but not that often. 

Make sure to bath and dry your Cockapoo properly 

I think this is a key tip for new Cockapoo owners. Often, particularly if your Cockapoo’s coat is short, or they’ve recently come back from the groomers, it’s tempting to give them a quick towel dry after a bath. Doing this, though, means that water may still be trapped in your Cockapoo’s fur, which can cause clumps of fur to stick as the water dries off. 

For this reason, I’d recommend using a hairdryer after a bath to make sure that your Cockapoo is nice and dry. We’ve got a whole guide about introducing Cockapoos to bath times, if that’s of interest.

Getting knots out of Cockapoo Fur - cockapoo in snow

Invest in doggy coats and bathrobes (yes, bathrobes…) 

Another tip that works really well for us is using doggy coats and bathrobes. Yes, the second thing may sound silly, but hear me out!

Basically, we use these things to help us on our dog walks. If we know it’s going to be really muddy, wet, or there’s a river (Ziggy loves swimming), we’ll make sure to bring these things with us. This is especially important when walking your cockapoo in winter.

A good dog coat helps to minimise the amount of mud that will cling to your Cockapoo’s belly. We use this brand on Amazon, and it’s survived multiple washes, so we think it’s rather good. 

Dog coat to prevent cockapoo knots 

A doggy bathrobe is perfect for after a wet and muddy walk. Personally, we keep ours in the car. Not only does it help soak up excess water and help dry our Cockapoo a little until we can get home, but it also stops him shaking the contents of the walk all over the back seats! 


Summary: Getting knots out of your Cockapoo’s fur

Hopefully this short tour of methods of getting knots out of Cockapoo fur has proved helpful! If there’s one thing I’d like to leave you with it’s this: don’t worry! Knots can and will occur in your Cockapoo all the time. 

It’s knot a sign that you’re a bad owner (sorry about the pun), or something to be ashamed of. 

If you’ve let your brushing routine slip a little, or perhaps didn’t have one to start with – it’s OK. You’re reading an article on the internet about how to fix the problem – that’s great! 

If you’re interested in caring for your Cockapoo – why not check out some of my other articles on this topic. We have everything from how to trim your Cockapoo’s face, to a complete checklist of everything you’ll need for a Cockapoo puppy. We’ve also got you covered with a quick guide on trimming your Cockapoo’s nails! Enjoy! 

Who runs this website?

Hello, Jo and Paul here! We have owned a number of different breeds of dogs over the years, but none as amazing as our cockapoo Ziggy!

We created this site to share everything we have learned about this brilliant breed of dog!

You can learn more about us, and how we approach the topics we write about on our about us page.