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Dog Grooming: Choosing A Grooming Brush

Because you are a good responsible pet owner, you agree with Oliver and me that brushing your dog every day, regardless of the type of coat he has, is the right thing to do.  But do you have the right tools to do it properly? There are so many choices available to you for dog grooming that it can be overwhelming, but don’t sweat it. Start with the basics and add accessories as you identify your dog’s special needs. Picking a basic brush is easy because there are basically only three different types…


- Bristle Brush

- Wire Pin Brush

- Slicker Brush


Poodle        Terrier           Chihuahua


Each of the three grooming brushes works a little differently and is designed to take care of a certain type of hair. Identify the characteristics of your dog’s coat, then match up with the proper brush.


Safari Bristle Brush for Dogs

Bristle Brush for Dogs


Bristle Brushes are the most versatile and can be used on any type of coat. Different bristle brushes have different spacing between the bristles to accommodate the type of hair. Short, close together bristles work best for short hair, while wider apart, longer bristles work well for longer hair.


JW Pet GripSoft Pin Brush Dog Brush

JW Pet GripSoft Pin Brush for Dogs


Wire Pin Brushes tend to be longer which work very well on medium to long hair dogs. They are available with rubber tips at the end of each pin for added comfort.


Safari Pin and Bristle Brush Combo

Safari Pin and Bristle Brush Combo for Dogs


My personal favorite brush is the Bristle/Wire pin combo. The bristles are great for the short parts of my dogs coat, like the head and body, while the wire pins work great on the longer more delicate hair on his ears and the “booties” on his feet and legs.


Evolution Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs

Evolution Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs


Slicker Brushes go to work on the mats and tangles of longer hair.


Now every dog, regardless of breed has a different type of hair cut so it’s tough to give exact recommendations of what you need just based on breed, but it does give you a place to start. You would likely benefit from a variety of brushes and accessories, but here’s a little guidance to get you started.


Dogs with short, smooth hair similar to that of Chihuahua or Boxer require the least maintenance. A bristle brush with soft/ medium bristles positioned closely together work best here.


Short and curly type breeds like many Terriers do well with a slicker brush or bristle brush with firm bristles close together.


Medium/long coats like Golden Retrievers and Irish Setters are best cared for with a wire pin brush. A slicker brush may also be needed.


Thicker, rougher coats, as in Collies and Shepherds are best paired with a bristle brush that has firm, wide spread bristles.


Delicate haired pooches like Yorkies and Malteses require a wire pin brush and a slider for the mats and tangles.


There are more accessories available to customize your dog’s haircut and particular needs such as rakes, mitts and combs, but these basics will get your started without too much of a headache. Then we’ll talk later about the supplemental goodies you can get to make the most of brushing time.


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