Dog Grooming Basics: Brushing Your Dog

This post is part of the series Dog Grooming Basics

Other posts in this series:

  1. 5 Dog Grooming Basics you can do at home.
  2. Dog Grooming Basics: Brushing Your Dog (Current)
  3. Dog Grooming Basics: Bathing Your Dog

Brushing your dog regularly is just as important as brushing your own hair regularly. Even short hair dogs benefit from daily or weekly brushing by leaving less dog hair floating around your house. With long hair dogs, daily brushing is almost a must.

Regularly brushing your dog helps to remove excess hair, and helps to distribute the natural oils in the dog’s skin throughout the fur keeping their coats looking healthy and shiny. And helps them to stay healthy and feel great.

Brushing your dog daily is also a great time for one on one bonding with your dog. And to check over his body condition, look for new lumps, sore spots, and fleas and ticks.

Choosing a Brush

The first step to giving your dog a good brushing is choosing the right dog brush. There are lots of different types of dog brushes, and choosing the right one can be challenging.

Bristle brushes, wire-pin brushes, slicker brushes, de-matting rakes, shedding blades and rubber brushes, oh my. So which one do you need?

Rubber Dog Brushes or Mitts

The rubber dog brushes, that often come as mitts to slip over your hand, are great for catching loose dog fur from short haired shedding dogs. Most dogs love them for their massaging effect, and they really cut down on the loose dog fur floating around the house.

Bristle Dog Brushes

Bristle brushes can be used on most dogs, as long as you choose the right bristle length and spacing. Shorter, tighter spaced bristles are good for short hair dogs. Longer, wider spaced bristles are better for dogs with longer coats. But bristle brushes are good for getting out tight tangles and mats.

Wire-pin Dog Brushes

Wire-pin brushes for dogs are much like wire brushes for humans. They aren’t good for short haired dogs. But can work good on dogs with longer hair, without too many bad tangles. They are work great for curlier hair, or very thick hair.

Wire-pin dog brushes work great on our cotton ball type Pomeranian, Woobie, as long as he’s brushed at least every other day, and isn’t too tangled.

De-matting Rake Dog Brushes

The de-matting rake is probably my favorite dog brush. It’s a must have for anyone that has a long haired dog. It gets tangles out, and works great on long hair dogs. Used properly a de-matting rake is your best friend with tangled dogs. It helps with those behind the ear, and belly tangles that most long haired dogs are prone too.

Slicker Dog Brushes

Slicker brushes are great for de-matting a dog with an undercoat, to remove dead hair. They are also great for dogs with a thick undercoat, that isn’t too long. With very long hair, a slicker brush will snag and pull the hair too much.

Shedding Blade Dog Brushes

Shedding blades are great during the spring and fall shedding seasons to grab loose hair from short smooth dog hair. Especially for those dogs with a undercoat.

Dog Brushing Techniques

Dog brushing is serious business.
Photo Credit:
Dog brushing is serious business.
Photo Credit: Jggrosch

If your dog is new to being brushed, keep the sessions short until they get used to it.

When brushing your dog, always brush in the direction of hair growth. Dogs don’t like to have their fur ruffled against the grain.

Always be gentle, it’s easy to pull just a little too hard when trying to de-tangle mats.

Take time to work out any mats gently, holding onto the hair close to the skin and working through it with a de-matting rake. You can also buy a de-tangling spray to help work through mats. If the tangles are too much to brush out, it may be best to just cut the entire mat out with scissors.

Here are some great in-depth tutorials on brushing different breeds of dogs:

Dog Brushing for Dummies

How to Brush a Yorkie?

Dog Brushing for your Poodle’s Long Hair

How to Groom your Husky

How To Groom A Golden Retriever

Header Photo Credit: Pleple2000

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