3 Tips to Brush Your Dog Like the Pros
There's nothing like that beautiful soft, fluffy coat you get when your dog comes back from the groomer. If you've ever tried to get the same gorgeous look at home in between grooms, you've probably discovered that the results weren't quite the same, despite all your hard work. Check out these three tips to help get that professional brushed-out look at home.
1. Choose the Right Tools
Having the right brushes and using them correctly will make or break your brush out. Many people brush regularly but use the wrong kind of tools, resulting in matted dogs and a lot of wasted time. The best type of brush for your dog is dependent on their coat, which varies between breeds and even individual dogs in a breed. Because of this, a google search may not accurately tell you what brush is best for your unique dog. Instead, ask your groomer at your next visit, and they'll be able to recommend tools based on their experience working with your dog's coat. Often more than one tool is needed, so don't be surprised if your groomer suggests two to three items.
Not only does the type of tool matter, the quality does as well. There's a noticeable difference between the results from a low-quality brush versus a high-quality one. Some of our favorite brushes and combs come from the Chris Christensen brand. They are pricey, but work wonders and are built to last. If you're looking for something a more budget-friendly, we also use Tuffer Than Tangles slicker brushes and Andi's stainless steel combs. They may not have quite the same results of Chris Christiensen brushes, but they get the job done.
☞ Remember that brushing at home does not replace a groom. Unless you've been trained, it's easy to miss tangles.
2. Line Brush Your Dog
Line brushing is a technique that groomers use when brushing dogs. It helps you find each tangle, allows you to brush all the way to the skin, and gives you more manageable chunks of coat to work with at a time. This technique is helpful for most coat types other than short coats.
Here's how to do it:
Part the hair. Choose a starting spot for the process, preferably near the bottom of one of their legs. Part the hair so that it makes a horizontal line on your dog's skin. This will allow you to see the chunk of hair below the hair you are lifting.
Start brushing. Using a slicker brush, brush the hair underneath the part you've created. Run through with a comb afterwards to make sure you got all the tangles.
Repeat. Move up about a finger width or two and make a new part. Brush through the hair directly under the new part. Check with the comb.
Keep at it. Continue this process until you've covered the whole coat, moving up each leg and across the body.
If you want a good visual of what line brushing looks like, plus tips for the tricky places, check out this video of a groomer line brushing a Golden Doodle.
3. Use a Detangler Spray
While not necessary, using a detangler spray before brushing can really make a difference in your dog's finished look. It will help you glide through tangles and leave the coat with a nice sheen. Spray a few squirts on your pup and spread it evenly with your hand. Make sure not to overdo it, or your dog's coat could end up greasy or tacky. Our favorite detangler is the Españia Silk Detangler. It works wonders! Added bonus: It will help repel dirt as long as it's on your dog's coat.
Lastly, we know that you can't get that brushed out look at home without actually being able to brush your dog. If your dog struggles with brushing, check out our blog post Preparing for Your Puppy's First Groom. It has some great tips for helping your dog (puppy or not!) get used to all aspects of the grooming process, including brushing.
Once you try our three brushing tips, we'd love to see the results! Be sure to snap a picture of your newly-brushed dog and tag us on instagram!