top of page
  • August Clement

Essential Brushing Tips for Every Dog Coat Type

A common question that we’re asked here in the Thousand Hills Pet Resort grooming department is, “What is the best brush to use for my dog?” There are as many answers to this question as there are coat types on dogs! It can also depend on what your brushing goals are: Are you wanting to remove tangles? Battle shedding? Keep an extra shine?

The simplest way to find a good brush for your dog can often be to find out what kind of coat they have. Today, we’ll go over some of the most common coats and the brushes that will be most helpful for keeping them looking spiffy.

The first coat we will cover is a Short Single Coat. This is the kind of coat you see on Boxers, Pitties, and Greyhounds, just to name a few. While this kind of fur may be fairly low maintenance, your dog still needs regular brushing to keep shedding to a minimum and maintain healthy skin. For a dog with a Short Single Coat, a soft bristled brush, a rubber curry brush, or a brushing mitt can help to remove any loose hair by brushing in the direction that the hair naturally grows. You should aim to brush your short-haired companion once or twice a week, using gentle strokes so as not to irritate their skin.

The next coat we’ll be talking about is a Short Double Coat. Some common examples of this would be Labrador Retrievers, Akitas, and Corgis. Dogs with an undercoat will need to be brushed multiple times a week if your goal is to avoid shedding. Having a variety of brushes such as a slicker or pin brush and an undercoat rake can help to tackle any issues without causing skin irritation. Brushing every other day with a slicker brush or a pin brush is great for removing loose fur and keeping them tidy and clean. Adding in a good brush-out with an undercoat rake once a week will help keep you from finding their fluffy undercoat on all of your clothes and furniture. Brushing with the direction of the fur, an undercoat rake will work to loosen and remove any undercoat that a pin or slicker brush wasn’t able to get.

Now, we’ll be moving into Longer Double Coats. You can see these in Golden Retrievers, some Doodles, Shetland Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, and many more. These coats will need both deshedding and regular detangling. Daily gentle brushing with a long bristle slicker brush helps to keep both tangles and shedding down, while a comb is good to keep on hand for areas that you aren’t sure are fully detangled. You can gently comb through an area that you’ve brushed, being careful not to pull, and the comb will help you to find any knots in the coat that the slicker brush may have missed. Dogs with long double coats should also get a weekly deshedding brush out with an undercoat rake. Undercoat that isn’t promptly removed can often lead to matting that’s painful for your dog and may even need to be shaved out by a groomer.

Single Long Coats, which can be referred to as a Silky Coat, may seem more straightforward than a double coat, but they have their own needs as well! A silky coat, often seen on Maltese, Afghan Hounds, and Yorkies, can be prone to tangling and need to be gently brushed and detangled using a slicker brush and a comb. If their coat is long, this may need to be done daily. If they have been trimmed shorter, how often you’ll need to brush your silky-coated dog depends on how long their coat is and how quickly it tangles.

A Curly Coated dog with a single coat, such as Poodles, some Doodles, and Portuguese Water Dogs, often have very thick coats that require detangling all the way down to the root of the fur. Their curls also easily hide stickers or debris that can irritate their skin. Slicker brushes and combs will be your best friend for this task. Using a long bristle slicker brush, part the fur to make sure to get all the way down to the skin and gently brush in the direction that the fur grows. In tangled areas, you may need to brush against the coat as well, but always be gentle and mindful that brushing out a tangle can pull on your dog’s skin and be very uncomfortable. After brushing your dog with the slicker brush, use the comb to make sure that all the tangles and debris have been removed. You can do this by combing out from the root of the fur to the ends.

The last coat we’ll go over is the Wire Coat. Many kinds of Terriers have wire coats, as do Irish Wolfhounds and Border Terriers. A wire coat can be fairly simple to maintain as long as it is regularly cared for. Once or twice a week, depending on their coat length, your wire-haired friend will need to be brushed out with a slicker brush. You can use a comb to remove any tangles or stickers that may have developed since their last brush out, and you’ll be good to go!

Every dog is unique, and you may find that there are tools that work well for you that we haven’t included in this article. The important thing is that you’re maintaining your dog’s coat and being patient and gentle with them while you do so. This can be a great bonding time for you and your four-legged friend as long as you listen to their needs and don’t rush through it.




bottom of page