And since the matting is gradual and happens over time there may not be one big matting symptom for the owner until the fur on top also appears ill-kempt.
Victoria Aldred, a groomer at Barker's Pet Motel and Grooming in St. Albert, Alberta has seen that kind of unruliness all-too often.
"Lots of owners want their dogs long and fluffy but they think that growing it out simply means not cutting it for a very long time," she tells The Dodo. "The dog ends up getting terribly matted. When they finally go to the groomer for 'just the ends tidied', we have no other option than to shave."
What can you do to stay on top of it?
Firstly, know what kind of dog you're getting into.
Short-haired breeds like the ultra-low maintenance Chihuahua are obviously not going to become tumbleweeds under any circumstances. Not at all like those fluff-mongering labradoodles.
"Doodles are so popular right now, but they have one of the most high maintenance coats around," Aldred explains. "Lots of people get them without realizing this."
Also, please no scissors.
"Using scissors or even clippers at home is not recommended because it can be dangerous with tight mats close to the skin," Ahlgrim says. "It can sometimes be difficult to discern the end of skin and start of hair."
Sit Style Stay suggests grooming long-haired dogs like labradoodles every three to five weeks, while making time for regular combing at home.
And this: "Please know, if you bathe your doodle you really need to blow dry and brush out right after. Moisture, be it a bath, rain, swimming, snow etc are all going to amplify matting."
Learn more about how to prevent matting here.