The 4 Best Brushes For Double-Coat Dogs, According To A Professional Groomer

A groomer shares her best tips for brushing your double-coat pup.

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border collie red dog outdoors combing, grooming
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The way you care for a bulldog’s short coat differs from the way you would groom, say, a Siberian Husky. Dogs with double coats (common with herding breeds, retrievers, and terriers) need a little extra maintenance in the grooming department. The best brushes for double-coat dogs can help remove excess fur, detangle longer coats, and distribute fur's natural oils for a healthy sheen — all without irritating your dog’s delicate skin.

You’ll likely find that it will require a few different tools to maintain your dog’s luscious coat in-between groomings. Helen Schaefer, a nationally certified master groomer at Heart + Paw, explains to Bustle that using a soft slicker brush is the first necessary step. “This will help break up any thick areas and remove the bulk of the loose shedding hair,” she says.

Next, you’ll want to go in with a single or double-row undercoat rake. According to Schaefer, a double-row rake “will help remove the loose dead undercoat — which is the bulk of what sheds out at home to create those hair bunnies.” After you brush out those extra thick and knotted areas, Schaefer recommends going back through using a wide-tooth “Greyhound” style comb for any remaining loose hairs.

Shop The Best Brushes For Double-Coat Dogs

In a hurry? Here are the best brushes for double-coat dogs:

  1. The Best Slicker Brush: Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
  2. The Best Undercoat Rake: Pat Your Pet Undercoat Rake
  3. The Best Wide-Tooth Greyhound Comb: Shiny Pet Dog Comb
  4. The Best Deshedding Tool: DakPets Deshedding Tool
  5. Also Great: John Paul Oatmeal Conditioning Spray

These four brushes and grooming tools will help your dog maintain a mat-free, shiny double coat — and help you keep shedding in your home down, too.


The Best Slicker Brush For Double-Coat Dogs

— Also available on Chewy, $17

Use the Hertzko slicker brush to collect loose fur, as well as other debris, from all over your dog's body (including around the behind, where fur tends to be thicker). In addition to a grippy handle, this slicker brush has a convenient self-cleaning button; when you're done brushing, just push the button at the base of the handle to retract the metal wires and you'll easily be able to swipe the fur off the brush. But make sure to be gentle when using a slicker brush; if used too forcefully, the metal tines can irritate or scratch the skin of animals with thinner coats.

Expert Tip: “It’s important when working with any style of dog coat to work [the hair] in the direction it lays (with the grain). Going against coat growth can cause irritation to the hair follicles and actually change the way the hair will grow back in!” — Helen Schaefer, nationally certified master groomer and certified canine esthetician

According to one pet parent: “Bought this for our American Eskimo puppy and it worked wonders on her double coat. Easy to use and gentle on our puppy's skin. Highly recommend!”


The Best Undercoat Rake For Dogs

When you need a tool for a dog with super-thick fur, look no further than this undercoat rake. It has a rake-like design with rounded teeth that reach deep into the undercoat to comb out fur and work through tangles. The inside of each of the rake's teeth (aka the part that doesn't touch your dog's skin) has a sharp edge to cut through stubborn knots without causing your pup pain — just be sure to use a gentle hand. The tool is also double-sided for extra versatility. It has one side with nine widely spaced teeth to work through tangles, and it has one side with 17 closely spaced teeth to comb out looser fur.

Expert Tip: “This tool can also be used while the dog is shampooed up in the tub to help loosen the hair and facilitate an easier cleanup! Just make sure to rinse both the tool and dog well and dry both thoroughly!” — Helen Schaefer, nationally certified master groomer and certified canine esthetician

According to one pet parent: “We have a German Shepherd who sheds constantly. We use brushes, of course, but this tool removes the hair easily and quickly. And our dog likes it. She likes how it feels on her skin and we go pretty thoroughly into her coat. If your dog sheds, I recommend this tool.”


The Best Wide-Tooth Greyhound Comb

— Also available on Walmart, $22

A greyhound comb is similar to a wide-tooth comb and is perfect for brushing through your dog’s coat for final touch-ups. This comb from Shiny Pet features round stainless steel teeth to remove loose hair while gently massaging your pet. And to make grooming easier for you, this comb has an ergonomic non-slip handle. Also included in your purchase is a free ebook with DIY grooming tips and tricks. With over 7,700 reviews and an overall 4.7-star rating, pet parents agree this comb is “great for dogs with a double coat.”

Expert Tip: “This comb should glide through the coat easily, with only very little resistance if any at all. If you come to an area difficult to comb through, Head back to that slicker and go over the area again!” — Helen Schaefer, nationally certified master groomer and certified canine esthetician

According to one pet parent: “Omg. I love this comb. I have an Australian Shepherd. It’s so hard to get his coat really brushed well. This comb very easily removed loose hair from his undercoat.”


The Best Deshedding Tool For Double-Coat Dogs

— Also available on Chewy, $15

The popular DakPets deshedding tool is a must-have for thinning out undercoats. It has tiny, closely spaced teeth that are designed to collect loose undercoat hair — plus an eject button to easily dispose of the fur you’ve collected. As with any de-shedding tool, remember to be gentle to prevent skin irritation and keep the topcoat intact. The yellow and hot pink versions are made for dogs of all sizes, while the blue is specifically for larger dogs.

Positive Amazon review: “My dog sheds soooo much!! and I mean sooo much!! and this brush is by far the best brush I've ever purchased for her. it definitely helps slow down the shedding for a few days.”


Also Great: A Conditioning Coat Spray

— Also available on Petco, $12

It’s also worth considering a coat spray for your pup. According to grooming expert Helen Schaefer, a coat spray “can be helpful to ease brushing and put needed moisture back into the coat and skin — especially with the cold, dry winter weather.” This oatmeal conditioning spray comes from John Paul, the co-founder of Paul Mitchell. It has 13 conditioning agents — such as aloe, chamomile, almond oil, and panthenol — and helps your pet retain moisture and prevent tangling. It works similarly to a super hydrating detangling spray like the one you might use for your hair. Pet parents rave about this spray on Amazon and many point out noticing an overall improvement in their dog’s coat and skin.

According to one pet parent: “This product has worked very well on our Goldendoodle! It really helps soften his hair and make brushing more enjoyable for him, and me!”

The Expert

Helen Schaefer is a groomer at Heart + Paw in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. She is a nationally certified master groomer and a certified canine esthetician and has been nominated for several top grooming awards both in the U.S. and globally.

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