January 20, 2021 / by Emily Flournoy

Short coats, long coats, combination coats, oh my! Don’t brush off the task of choosing the right brush for your dog. It can often seem like a painful task, but using the wrong brush on your furry friend can often be uncomfortable and unnecessary for them. Your pooch wants to feel as confident as you do when you get your hair done. Here you can find the right brush for your dog’s coat so they can be mat free and as happy as can be.

No matter the dog’s coat length they should be brushed every couple days to maintain their fur, prevent matted fur and stimulate the oils in their skin.

Pin Brush

You may have a pin brush for your own hair that looks very similar to this. If you’re a girl maybe you have a memory or two of a parent yanking on your hair with this to try to remove tangles. Not the most gentle or effective tool out there but it can work. There are flexible wires with a ball at the end of each wire so the brush glides comfortably against their skin.

  • They are used for: detangling, fluffing
  • Not best for: removing mats in undercoats, adding shine
  • What types of fur they are used on: medium to long haired dogs, works on fluffy long haired dogs the best to detangle and remove some loose fur without causing them discomfort

Bristle Brush

Bristle brushes are clumps of fine bristles spaced out on the brush. These brushes often very in appearance depending on the coat of the dog. Some bristles are soft and loose, while others are stiff and firm. This brush will leave your dogs coat soft, healthy and shiny! This type of brush is also used on humans, horses, and many others that want to keep their hair looking healthy. This will leave your pooch sitting pretty.

  • They are used for: distributing oils in the fur to add shine, stimulating dog’s skin, increasing dog’s oil production to stop excessive shedding, removing loose hair, removing leaves and other foreign objects such as twigs caught in the fur, finishing brush at the end of grooming
  • Not best for: fluffing, removing mats in undercoats
  • What types of fur they are used on: short bristles are used on short haired dogs, long bristles are used on long haired dogs, stiff bristles are used on curly/wiry dogs

Combination Brush

The best of both worlds. This grooming tool has a pin brush on one side and a bristle brush on the other. This brush is great if you are looking to declutter your brush box.

  • They are used for: all the things the pin brushes and bristle brushes are used for, plus they are an efficient two-in-one tool
  • Not best for: short haired dogs because pin brushes aren’t very useful to them
  • What types of fur they are used on: medium to long haired pooches

Slicker Brush

Slicker brushes have thin angled wires on a rounded surface with little protective tips at the end to help with irritation. The angled wires help catch those loose hairs and secure them. Dogs can be often sensitive to this brush when too much pressure is applied.

  • They are used for: detangling, removing masts, removing loose fur
  • Not best for: short haired dogs (often the bristle brush will do this job for them)
  • What types of fur they are used on: Medium to long haired dogs

Rubber Brush

You may also have one of these brushes in your shower to massage your scalp. Maybe you and your furry friend aren’t so different after all. Rubber brushes, sometimes called curry brushes, attract loose hair. The rubber bristles allow the brush to glide against the fur with minimal tugging. They can be used on wet or dry coats.

  • They are used for: Removing loose hair, removing dirt, distributing oils in the fur to add shine, massaging in product during bath time, limiting irritation to the skin
  • Not best for: removing mats
  • What types of fur they are used on: All types, best for dogs that excessively shed


Mats form when hair that is being shed and new healthy hair get a little bit tangled. Some dogs have an undercoat to protect them from weather and insulate them. This rake has bristles that almost look like spikes. They reach all the way down to the undercoat to remove those tangles and shedding undercoat. It can also help remove unwanted twigs, leaves and stickers from their coat. Be gentle when using this brush so that the spikes don’t cause pain or irritation tp your dog. It is fur-real a great brush.

  • They are used for: detangling mats in their undercoat, removing debris caught in their fur, removing loose hair
  • Not best for: dogs that don’t have an undercoat, a finishing brush such as the bristle brush
  • What types of fur they are used on: dogs with double coats

Shedding Blade

This tool can appear to be a little bit intimidating, with its sharp edges and the fact that it is called a blade, but when it is used right your dog may love this tool. It is like the perfect back scratch when used correctly. It has smaller teeth on one side and deeper and wider ridges on the other side. Be gentle and don’t apply too much pressure.

  • They are used for: removing loose hair, removing water from their coat after a bath
  • Not best for: removing mats, fluffing their fur
  • What types of fur they are used on: all types

Grooming Comb

This comb has one length of teeth across the comb. It glides against groomed fur removing any left over loose fur and fluffs their coat. This is a great brush for finishing your dogs grooming because you can detail the final look better.

  • They are used for: detangling, fluffing
  • Not best for: tough mats
  • What type of fur they are used on: all types

Moulting Comb

This functional comb has two different length teeth. The different lengths help to detangle the top coat and the undercoat. It is efficient and is a great tool to finish off the grooming process. Helps your pup stay soft and healthy.

  • They are used for: detangling fur, removing loose hair, keeping the undercoat groomed
  • Not best for: dogs without an undercoat
  • What types of fur they’re used on: dogs with undercoats

Flee Comb

This comb has teeth very close together so that it can pull flees out of your dog’s fur and even eggs. This comb is used on dry fur and can be very effective as a natural way to remove flees from their fur. Flees cause irritation and could carry disease.

  • They are used for: removing fleas, eggs and debris
  • Not best for: adding shine to the fur, removing mats
  • What types of fur they are used on: all types (Tip: for long haired dogs brush them out with detangling brush before using the flee comb)

Grooming Glove

This glove has rubber on one side with small rubber bristles attached to it. You can give your dog some love while also removing loose fur and giving them a nice massage. It is not as scary as the shedding blade and resembles the shape of your hand. You dog may recognize it more easily and prefer it over the other tools.

  • They are used for: removing loose fur, smoothing fur, adding shine
  • Not used for: removing mats, brushing undercoat
  • What types of fur they are used on: all types

Deshedding Tool

This tool targets a dog’s undercoat with its curved and tightly packed edges without causing damage to their top coat or undercoat. The curved edge and design eliminates irritation to their ski. Less shedding means a cleaner house, cleaner car and less fur clinging onto your clothes.

They are used for: detangling, removing dead fur in undercoat, removing loose fur in top coat, smoothing the coat as it brushes through it

Not best for: short haired dogs with minimal shedding

What types of fur they are used on: dogs with an undercoat, adjustable types can be used on all dogs with thick coats that shed

Brushing your dogs coat often can also help you notice any irregularities in their skin. When you don’t brush their coat they can, trap dirt and debris, shed more, and develop painful mats that may make them more irritable.

Finding the right brush for your dog doesn’t have to be so complicated, especially when your dog deserves the best. Brushing your dog can be a relaxing activity for both of you when you’re using the correct tool. Although many of the brushes do help with shedding, hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed as often as breeds like labs still need to be brushed. Their fur often gets tangled and debris can get trapped in their coat. Dogs with double coats such as German Shepherds need to be brushed often to prevent a matted coat and when you brush them more frequently they shed less.

So lay back, relax and letting the brushing begin.