How to Comb Saint Bernards

Grooming your pup is a good time to bond with him.

Grooming your pup is a good time to bond with him.

Your gentle giant has two different coats, rough and smooth. Both coats are dense and need twice a week grooming, and every day when shedding. Combing your Saint requires more than a comb. Gather up the slicker brush, a rake brush, wide-toothed comb and narrow-toothed comb, and you'll be ready.

Combing Your Puppy

Place your pup on a grooming table or a table lined with a towel. He can stand for the grooming session. This will make it easier for you to reach all areas, since he hasn't yet reached his 150-pound massive size.

Brush your pup's coat using a soft brush. Starting at the head, brush in the direction that the hair grows. Brush the body, legs and tail. Reward your pup with praise and an occasional treat. If he's curious about the brush, let him smell it.

Wet any tangles with detangling spray. If the tangle is loose, you can work it out with your fingers. If it is matted, pick at the outside of the mat with the end teeth on a narrow-toothed comb. Work toward the middle of the mat. Finish detangling with a wide-toothed comb.

Comb your pup's hair with the wide-toothed comb. Double check the areas around his ears, tail, neck and back of legs for any hidden tangles. As a pup grows, these are the areas that tangle easily. Give your Saint a hug, and send him off to play.

Combing Your Adult Dog

Place your Saint on his side. Standing is asking a lot of him since combing your adult Saint takes more time than a puppy. The hair is denser and there's a lot more to comb.

Brush his hair with the slicker brush. If he is molting, use the rake brush. Brush the sides of the body and then his legs, looking for tangles on the back of his legs. Spray the tangles with detangling spray and work them out with your fingers. If that doesn't work, use the end teeth on the narrow-toothed comb. Pick at the edges and work toward the middle. Finish combing out the mat with the wide-toothed comb. Go over his side and legs with the wide-toothed comb.

Roll him on his back to brush the belly. Because the belly hair is thin, switch to a wide-toothed comb. Work out any tangles with your fingers and the comb. Use the detangling spray for stubborn tangles. Roll him to the other side and brush the side and legs with the slicker brush. While he still is on his side, brush the tail with the slicker brush and then comb with the wide-toothed comb.

Brush around the underneath area of the neck. Spray any tangles with the detangling spray. Try to work out the tangles with your fingers. If that doesn't work, use the end teeth on the narrow-toothed comb and pick at the edges. Once the tangle is loose, comb through with the wide-toothed comb.

Sit your pooch up and concentrate on grooming the head. Brush with the slicker brush and then switch to the wide-toothed comb to comb the long hairs around his ears. Be careful to avoid his eyes. Finish by brushing and then combing his bib and the center of his back. Praise your pup and give him a treat for being such a good sport.

Items you will need

  • Soft brush
  • Detangling spray
  • Narrow-toothed comb
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Slicker brush
  • Rake brush


  • Whether your Saint has a rough or smooth coat, the brushing and combing process basically is the same. Longer haired Saints may have more tangles, so more combing is needed.


  • If he has tangles and mats, don't bathe him until you have removed the tangles.

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About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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