Dogs come in various shapes and sizes and require different types of care depending on their breed. One vital part of canine care is grooming, which should be carried out periodically depending on your dog’s coat type. There are different types of fur, with some dogs having curly fur, double-coated fur, fur that grows more like hair and some dogs that don’t even have fur at all! But what is the best brush for a dog? Let’s look at the different types of brushes that are available and what breeds they would suit best.
Different fur types
A dog’s coat type will determine its grooming schedule, with some coats being more high maintenance than others. For example, it would be substantially easier to groom a Labrador’s fur than a Poodle’s, as a Labrador has a shorter, smoother coat. We can categorise fur into five different types:
Breeds that can have wool coats include Bichon Frises, Poodles and Curly Coated Retrievers. Wool coats are thick and curly in appearance, growing quickly and continuously. This type of coat is prone to getting knotted and matted and can be regarded as high maintenance.
Rough Collies, German Shepherds and Old English Sheepdogs are breeds that can be classed as having a double coat. As the name suggests, this type of coat has two layers, with the top coat consisting of longer fur and the under layer being thick and soft.
Silky coats vary in length and sometimes look more like hair in appearance, due to the fine texture. Breeds that often have a silky coat include Spaniels and Afghan Hounds.
Breeds that can have wire coats include Westies and Wire-Haired Dachshunds. Wire-coated breeds have a harsh, wiry top coat with a thick, softer undercoat.
Smooth-coated breeds generally have the easiest coat to maintain. It is short in length and close to the dog’s body. Breeds that have this coat include Boxers, Staffies and Dobermanns.
Different brushes for different coats
Okay, so now you may have established which type of coat your dog has, we can pair you with the best brush to suit your dog’s coat so you can keep their fur in tip-top condition!
Pin Slicker Brush
The pin slicker brush is suitable for all types of coats, especially those with long, thick coats. The pins are fine pieces of wire that are bent to aid in removing loose hair. Only apply light pressure as this brush can cause skin abrasions if used too vigorously. This brush is great for loosening matts and knots.
Soft boar bristle brush
The soft boar bristle brush is often used on wire-coated dogs. This allows dirt and debris to be removed from short fur. Due to the dense bristles, it is often unsuitable to use on longer coats as it does not penetrate the fur.
Metal combs are often used as a ‘finishing’ tool to finish off a groom. They are available in a variety of different sizes. You can also purchase combs that have a bigger or smaller gap between the teeth of the comb to better suit your dog’s coat. These are especially useful in dogs with longer coats and can be used to detangle knots, but can be used on a variety of different coats.
An undercoat rake is used in breeds that have a double coat. Care should be taken when using a rake as it can cause damage to a dog’s skin if too much pressure is applied. The rake helps to detangle knots and remove dead hair from the undercoat.
Deep pin brush
Deep pin brushes have long metallic pins with rounded ends. These rounded ends help to protect the skin. This brush is useful for the majority of coats but tends to be most useful in thick coats, double coats and long coats.
What about dog brushing mitts?
Dog brushing mitts tend to be more of a novelty than anything else. They may be useful in some breeds where small amounts of the top coat can be groomed out whilst wearing the mitt, however, they are usually unable to penetrate deep enough into the fur. They might come in handy for puppies, where they can be used to desensitise them to having their coat brushed.
Don’t have time to brush?
Before adopting a furry friend, it may be worth researching their coat type and how much maintenance it requires. With Poodle crossbreeds becoming increasingly popular, it is important to understand how much time and money needs to be invested in keeping their coats matt-free. Matts and knots can become increasingly more uncomfortable for the dog the tighter they get, and this can sometimes make the skin sore.
That being said, if you simply don’t have the time (or patience) to brush your dog, it may mean that you need to book more regular slots at your local groomers. Regardless of how often you brush your dog, it would be beneficial to book them in for a professional groom routinely so that they receive a good old deep clean! And if you’re doing anything that your dog doesn’t like – stop, and ask a professional! It might be that the tool isn’t quite right for their coat, or it may be that there’s another problem, but that’s when you need to get advice.