How to Brush a Dog's Undercoat

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

So many different breeds of dog have a thick undercoat to help protect them from the cold. Breeds like Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky, Border Collies, American Eskimo, and many others have become increasingly popular over the years. Taking on the responsibility of being Mom or Dad to a dog with a thick undercoat adds an extra dimension to your monthly grooming schedule. While it might add an extra challenge, not caring for your pup's undercoat can lead to massive mats that have to be cut out and tangles that make your pup look and feel bad. 

Dog's Perspective

You might not think it possible, but your pup does care about how he looks. He will always be much happier if you take the time once a month to groom his undercoat and the rest of his hair. You will be happy too, because regular grooming will help make the job easier. This also gives you plenty of time to look for fleas, ticks, cuts, scrapes, bruises, or anything else that might need the attention of your pup's vet. 

The Brush and Comb Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Step
1
Round up the tools
Start by grabbing an undercoat grooming rake, a slicker brush, a comb, and a bottle of vet-approved spray detangler. You also need a de-matting brush or comb, a pin brush, and a boar hair bristle brush.
Step
2
Grooming rake first
Start by working a grooming rake through every inch of your pup's coat, this is the longest part of the task. Brush his coat until it feels nice and smooth.
Step
3
Slicker brush up
Use a slicker brush on the thicker hair that tends to grow on your pup's hind end.
Step
4
Comb over time
Use a comb to comb out all that long hair on the backs of your pup's back legs.
Step
5
Spray me up
Spray detangler on any bad mats you found in your pup's hair and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use the de-matting tool to work out the mats or remove them for you.
Step
6
Smooth and shiny
Go over your pup's coat with a pin brush and then a boar hair bristle brush to give it that super smooth and silky finish that is sure to make your pup look and feel his best.
Recommend grooming method?

The De-Matting Tool Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Start with the right tool
This step requires the use of a de-matting tool or brush. This is a special tool that has a retractable cover over a very sharp blade. The blade is designed to cut through mats when the brush cannot be worked through them. Go over your pup's coat, starting at his head and working towards the tail, then work from the center of his spine to the center of his belly. Go slow and take your time, this will help you remove the mats.
Step
2
The loose hairs first
Grab a shedding brush or comb and go over his coat again, working in the direction in which his hair grows. Use short brush strokes (6 inches or less) go over his coat again. Keep the loose hairs from clogging the brush by removing any buildup. You should keep working until the brush comes out clean.
Step
3
Time to hit the showers
Okay so now you have him all brushed out and looking good. This is a good time to think about giving your dog a bath. Bear in mind that many breeds do not need to be bathed frequently. Some, like Alaskan Malamutes, may only need to be bathed when they start to smell. If you are not sure, you can always ask your vet.
Step
4
Use the shampoo
Get your pup wet from head to toe, and then using a vet-approved shampoo, wash your pup from head to tail. Be sure to keep the water out of his ears. (You can use cotton balls for this.) Then rinse him thoroughly to make sure you get all traces of the shampoo from his coat.
Step
5
Give him time to dry
Give your pup time to dry and then go over every inch of his coat with a boar bristle brush to smooth it out and remove any tangles you find. Lastly, stand back and enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be sure that any product you use including soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and detanglers, are vet-approved as those made for humans can cause serious injury to your pup.
  • If you need to use shears to remove mats from your dog's coat, be sure to use very sharp safety shears. Dull shears will rip the hair out instead of cutting it.
  • You should never shave this type of dog down to bare skin as this can lead to sunburn, dry skin, and various other skin conditions.
  • When your pup is enjoying his semi-annual shed, you should be brushing his coat using a shedding brush or comb to remove the loose hair faster and keep it out of your vacuum cleaner.
  • If you are not sure how often your particular breed should be bathed, call your vet, they can tell you.
  • Be sure to rinse the shampoo or conditioner thoroughly out of his coat, as extended exposure can lead to allergies and skin reactions. 

Conclusion

Keeping a dog with a thick undercoat properly groomed can be challenging. But, when you step back and look at your handiwork, all that hard work will have paid off. This is the perfect time for you to go over your pup's skin looking for any problems such as fleas, ticks, cuts, scrapes, and anything else out of the ordinary. Be sure to take your pup to see his vet if you find anything of concern.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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