When we bring our dogs to the groomer, we often see a dog being placed in a standing position on a table during the grooming session. This is to facilitate the groomer’s control of the dog movements.
However, we do not necessarily have to do it the same position if we were to groom the dog ourselves. It is more comfortable and relaxing to have the dog lie on its side on the floor for grooming.
Regardless of what type of brush you use, try to brush in layers starting at the feet and belly and work up toward the spine. When you brush in layers, then you won’t end up removing only the surface fur coat leaving the underlying dead hair untouched. This is why we often hear owners claim that they brush their dog’s coat everyday but it still ends up having a lot of matted and tangled hair. Please take note that the belly and genital areas are sensitive to brushing.
Additionally, always comb and brush your dog’s fur before bathing. Wet hair will make mats and tangles worse and harder to groom.
Generally, there are 3 common types of brushes being used, depending on the length of your dog’s furs
– This brush is meant to grab/ catch dead hair which fell off during grooming. Soft bristle brushes are also gentle on the underside of dogs where the hair coat may be thin and in some areas may even be bare.
Slicker or Wire Brush
– This brush helps to remove loose, tangled and matted hair and undercoat. It contains small metal pins set into a rubber backing. Some may have a plastic coat on the tip for comfort. Certain slicker brushes also have thin wires angled at the tip which gives more flexibility to the grooming action.
– Beware of putting too much pressure on your dog’s skin while you are brushing. If you press too hard, you may scratch their skin and create a rash – this is not the purpose. The right way to do it is to angle the brush near the skin but not against the skin.
Below we have differentiated for you the different tools and steps to groom your dog based on 3 categories of fur length: short, medium and long.
Short & smooth coat
Examples: Chihuahua, Boxer, Basset Hound, Parson Russell terrier, German shorthaired pointer, Basenji.
•They are best groomed with a soft bristle brush
•Brush Once a Week
•1st Step: Use a Rubber Brush to remove dead skin and dirt
2nd Step: Use a Bristle Brush to pull up any dead hair, distribute natural oil throughout the dog’s coat and increase blood circulation to the skin
Medium coat or Short but dense fur
Examples: Retrievers, German Shepherds
• Brush Once a Week
• Such breeds require a bit more than just brushing.
•1st Step: Use a Slicker or Wire Brush to pull up dead hair, undercoat and tangles
2nd Step: Use a Bristle Brush to finish off with a good brushing to distribute oil and circulate blood to skin
• Some grooming tools are double-sided containing both slicker and bristle brushes
Long & luxurious coat
Example: Yorkshire terriers, Shih tzu, Collies
•Daily brushing is most recommended
•1st Step:Use a Slicker Brush to remove tangles & undercoats. If some parts are too matted and too painful to be removed by the brush, you may want to just use a scissor to cut off the matted section
•2nd Step: Use a Bristle Brush to brush her coat for final smoothing