Dog groomers use a variety of brush types designed for different fur lengths, textures and thicknesses. Some dog breeds require more than one brush type for proper grooming. Brushing removes tangles, loose hair and dirt and stimulates oil glands for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Bristle brushes are available in many shapes and sizes, with or without handles. The bristles can be soft or stiff, long or short. Bristle brushes made from natural boar bristles are soft and suited for smooth-coated dogs and puppies. Nylon bristles are stiff, suitable for dogs with long, thick coats. Bristle brushes with a combination of nylon and boar bristles work well for dogs with thick, medium-length coats.
Pin brushes are oval-shaped and are found in various sizes. Metal pins are mounted on a rubber backing that gives when pressure is applied. Some pin brushes are made with rubber tips on the pins. Pin brushes are not useful for removing mats, but can separate light tangling from long coats. Pin brushes are used for long, flowing fur to separate the top coat without disturbing the undercoat. They are perfect for finishing a well-groomed, long-haired dog.
A slicker brush is a good all-purpose dog grooming brush that removes tangles, mats and loose dirt from most coat types. The brush head is rectangular, mounted on a handle, with bent pins made of fine wires. Slicker brushes have soft, medium or stiff wires. When purchasing a slicker brush try it on the inside of your arm to feel how harsh the bristles are. Always use a light touch with a slicker brush.
Rubber Dog Brushes
Rubber dog brushes have raised bumps on the surface that attract loose fur and massage the skin. Rubber brushes are used for brushing smooth-coated dogs. Their bumpy texture works great for bathing dogs and increases circulation. Rubber brushes are available in two-sided varieties, with small knobs suitable for sensitive areas on one side, and larger knobs for the body and legs on the other.
- Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images