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How to Brush Your Dog at home: brushing technique in detail

Before a dog can be clipped they need to be 100% tangle free. Otherwise the clippers will catch on the tangles and it will hurt the dog. Here is some detailed, step-by-step advice for brushing at home, with demonstration videos.

  1. For a dog with wavy or curly hair, and a thick undercoat, a slicker brush is essential. This is the one I recommend:

  2. A comb is an essential piece of equipment for checking you have brushed right down. to the root, A good length is between 7.5" - 10" and choose one that has wide-set pins on one half, and narrow-set pins on the other. Here is a good example:

A diagram showing which areas of a dog to prioritise for brushing
At-home brushing advice for dog owners

CASE STUDY: Brushing Mr Big
  1. Video 01: Mr Big Tolerates Brushing for the first 15mins of his groom: Points to note: - Put the dog on a table so he knows it's 'grooming time' - Use a brush that is right for the coat (see above) - Work on a small section at a time (about 2") and always stretch the skin with one hand - Listen for the "crunching noise" when brushing - it means there are knots, and you will feel the resistance through the brush. - Avoid contacting the skin with the brush by not pressing too hard. The pins on slicker brushes can scratch and hurt if used incorrectly. This is especially true of knotty coats. - Move the brush around. Brush in the same direction over the same spot for too long can cause painful 'brush burn.' - Lots of praise with a calm, firm voice

  2. Video 02: Mr Big does let me brush his front legs (at the beginning of the groom!): Points to note: - Lift the leg gently, don't grab it suddenly, give the dog a chance to shift his weight - Support the leg in the right way: the front leg only moves forward and back, not out to the side. - Start brushing at the bottom of the paw, lift the outside hairs up, and work your way up bit by bit. (called Line Brushing). - Lots of praise with a calm, firm voice.

  3. Video 03: Brushing continues after the bath under the dryer: Points to note: - Use the dryer to separate the hairs so you can see right down to the skin - Use the line brushing technique TO GET RIGHT DOWN TO THE ROOT. - Whenever you think you've brushed out all the tangles, you can bet you haven't! - Check the area you've brushed with a comb - if it tugs there are still tangles. - Put the comb down (never use the comb to detangle, it will hurt) and brush over the area again, gently.

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