Are You Using the Right Dog Brush?

girl brushing her dogWhen you’re unsure if you’re using the right dog brush –or you’re just in the market for a new one—how do you start the hunt?

Picking the right tool to give your dog a shiny, healthy and comfortable coat really just comes down to a simple consideration: how does the hair category fit the brush category?

If the two match up, you and your dog are good to go. Of course, the way you brush is important, too. We’ll cover that later.

Step one: Choose your dog’s hair type.

Is it short and smooth, like a Retriever or Hound coat?

Is it more wiry, but still short, like a Terrier?

Is it long and flowing, like a Spaniel or Setter coat?

Is it protective and double-layered, like coats on Collies, Shepherds or Sheepdogs?

Or is a more delicate type, like a Yorkie coat?

Step two: Choose your brush type.

Bristles are appropriate for any coat type, but are a broad category. If a brush has widely spaced, longer bristles, it’s more appropriate for a long coat, whereas a short, smooth coat would do well with more densely spaced and shorter bristles. Look for stiff bristles for coarse hair, and bristles with a little give for smoother coats.

Fine wire bristle brushes, called slicker brushes, are better for mat removal and tangles, so are more appropriate for coarse or unruly coats.

Wire-pin brushes are good for curly, wooly, or especially long coats. These look quite a lot like a human’s normal hairbrush.

brushed dogStep three: Learn the style

Use your answer from step one to determine the best way to brush. Short, smooth coats demand with the grain brushing. The more wiry types also need with the grain brush strokes, but with a more firm brush.

For medium or long, flowy coats, use a wire-pin or a soft bristle brush with wide-spaced bristles to again go with the grain. For mats and tangles, pick up the slicker.

The hardest coat to brush is the double-layered. For the outer coat, brush with the grain, and for the undercoat, against.

Finally, for thin and delicate coats, a back and forth style works well. Going both with and against the grain with a wire-pin will get your pup a soft and beautiful coat in a few easy steps.

What are your best at-home grooming tips? Comment below.

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