Types of Dog Brushes

Dog brushes are an essential grooming tool for any dog owner. They help keep your dog's coat looking clean and shiny. Dog brushes, however, vary in type and function. You should choose a dog brush suitable to your pet's needs.

Types of Dog Brushes

There are several types of dog brushes, each one useful for different purposes and fur types.

  • Bristle brushes are useful on all fur types. 
  • Undercoat rakes are useful for dogs that shed profusely and have thick undercoats.
  • Wire-pin brushes are good for dense, curly coats.
  • De-matting rakes can be used to remove mats from your dog's fur.
  • Slicker brushes can be used to remove tangles from all types of fur. 
  • Curry combs are useful for grooming short-haired dogs.

Choosing Dog Brushes

In order to choose the best dog brush for your pet, you'll have to look at your dog's fur. Bristle brushes can be used for daily grooming on most fur types, but you'll have to choose a brush with the right kind of bristles.

If your dog has short, smooth fur, such as that found on a chihuahua, choose a brush with medium or soft bristles. The bristles should be short, and spaced closely on the brush.

If your dog's coat is short, curly and wiry, such as that found on many terriers, you'll need a brush with firm, closely spaced bristles. If the coat is medium to long, a wire-pin brush, with or without rubber-tipped bristles, is a good alternative to a bristle brush. A slicker brush can help you remove dead hairs from your dog's coat and undercoat; it can also give your dog's coat a smoother, shinier appearance. Use the bristle or wire-pin brush first, then finish with the wire-pin brush.

If your dog has a longer, more flowing coat, such as that found on a golden retriever or lhasa apso, use a medium or soft bristle brush with long, widely spaced bristles. Follow by brushing with a wire-pin brush, and use a slicker brush to remove tangles.

If your dog has a coarse outer coat and a thick, downy undercoat, such as that found on sheepdogs and shepherds, use a firm bristle brush with long, widely-spaced bristles, a wire pin brush and a slicker brush. If your dog has a thin coat, such as that found on Yorkies, throw out the bristle brush and just use a wire-pin brush, followed by a slicker brush to remove mats.

If your dog sheds profusely or is shedding his undercoat, use an undercoat rake to remove dead fur from his coat before mats can form. If your dog's coat is already matted, use a de-matting rake to pull the mats out.

Tips for Brushing Your Dog

Be gentle and patient when brushing your dog, especially when you encounter tangles or mats. Brushing shouldn't hurt your dog. Remove mats and tangles carefully. If your dog learns that brushing is a painful experience, he'll seek to avoid it, and that will make him more difficult to groom.