There are a number of different dog brushes on the market — many of which cater to specific types of dog hair. A short-haired terrier, for example, will benefit from a different brush then, say, Afghan Hound. Here’s a list of some of the different types of dog brushes (as well a number of other tools) and their specific functions

The Three Main Brush Types  

In essence there are three types of brush you can get for your dog

Bristle brushes — a bristle brush is made up of stiff hairs that are either loosely distributed or tightly concentrated on the brush. A longer haired breed would benefit from a brush with wider gaps between the bristles whereas a shorter-haired breed requires a tighter gauged bristle.

Wire-Pin brushes — comprised of tiny wire pins, this brush is ideal for medium to longer coat breeds as well as breeds with curly or wooly hair. Most of these brushes are tipped with rubber heads on each wire pin to safeguard against damaging the skin.

Slicker brushes —  like the wire-pin brush, the slicker brush is comprised of fine wires. However, this brush works more like a bur or sticker thistle in that is meant to act like velcro on your dog’s coat. It’s main purpose is to remove mats and knots from your dog’s hair.

Combs and Knives 

There are a number of metal combs (also called rakes) and stripping knives on the market which are meant to strip excess dead hair from your dog’s coat. On the whole, a slicker brush will perform this function fairly well, but for some show-quality dog coats, it may be wise to learn how to use a stripping knife or comb effectively. A “coat king” is a stripping tool par excellence and would make an excellent addition to your dog grooming tool box. The rake can be used to get detritus and excess lint out of your dog’s coat.

Dog Coat Types 

Here’s a short list of dog hair types and what the best treatment for each hair type is.

  • Thin and Delicate Coat — As in a Yorkshire terrier. With a wire pin brush, brush against and with the gain of the dog’s fur. Use the slicker to remove mats.
  • Short and Smooth Coat — As in Hounds, Beagles, Retrievers, etc. With the coat’s grain, brush with a tightly-gauged soft-ish bristle brush
  • Short and Wiry Coat — As in most terriers. Brush with a slicker brush or hard, tightly-gauged bristle brush. Coat stripping with a coat king or stripping knife is also recommended.
  • Medium-Long Flowing Coat — As in Golden Retrievers, Spaniels,  Lhasa Apsos, etc. Brush with the coat’s grain using a wire-pin brush or a hard loosely gauged bristle brush. Use a slicker brush for stripping.
  • Harsh Outer Coat, Soft and Wooly Undercoat —As in Chow, Pomeranians, Sheepdogs, etc. Using a wire-pin brush or a firm, loosely-gauged bristle brush, brush with the grain on the outer coat and against the grain on the undercoat. Use a slicker brush to remove mats.