How to Comb Out the Undercoat of a Dog

The German shepherd is one of several dog breeds with a thick undercoat.

The German shepherd is one of several dog breeds with a thick undercoat.

Double-coated dogs such as German shepherds have thick undercoats that frequently come out in large clumps during the summer months. Combing your dog's undercoat can help prevent excessive shedding. It will also remove loose, itchy hair and keep your dog cooler during hot weather.

Give your dog a bath. Bathing your dog will help loosen the undercoat and remove dead skin. If you have a dog washtub, simply fill the tub with lukewarm water and give your dog a thorough scrubbing. You can also take your dog outside and, while ensuring you have a good grip on his collar, use the hose to wet your dog and then rinse him off. Scrub thoroughly with the shampoo, making sure to wash the belly, hindquarters and chest -- areas where the thickest parts of the undercoat tend to grow.

Towel-dry your dog and allow him to shake off. Your dog should be damp, but not soaking wet, before you brush her undercoat.

Brush out your dog's coat using and undercoat rake. Begin at the top of your dog's neck, brushing in the same direction of hair growth in short, even strokes. Work your way to the back of your dog and then begin brushing his chest and then belly. Brush his tail and legs last. Comb each area until hair is no longer coming out in clumps.

Items you will need

  • Hose or washtub
  • Dog shampoo
  • Towel
  • Undercoat rake


  • Give your dog lots of treats during the bath and grooming to help him develop a positive association with grooming.

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About the Author

Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.

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