How to Brush a Small Dog With a Slicker Brush

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Easy
10 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

A slicker brush is the perfect brush for your small, wiry-haired dog. For your small dog, you will want a small sized slicker brush. These brushes will have firm bristles that will help gently pull out tangles with ease. Slicker brushes are perfect for removing small knots, tangles, and even larger mats that you don't want to cut out. If your small dog has a wiry coat, you can use a slicker brush all the time or before you do a final smoothing of your dog's coat with a bristle or pin brush. Slicker brushes are also great brushes for long-haired small dogs. The fine teeth on a slicker brush will detangle and smooth long fur. Be sure you purchase the right size slicker brush for your dog’s size. You have a small dog and won’t want your slicker brush to be bigger than the dog! 

Dog's Perspective

Slicker brushes have wire teeth, so they are often a little sharper than a bristle brush or even a pin brush, which often has capped bristles. Because the slicker brush is a bit sharper than a bristle or pin brush, your dog may be a little apprehensive if his skin is dry or sensitive. Just be cautious, so you're not pushing on his skin and scratching him instead of just brushing his fur.

The Pretreat and Brush Method

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Spray
Slicker Brush
Step
1
Leave-in conditioner
Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a bit of conditioner or use a leave-in conditioner spray. Lightly dampen your small dog's fur with this leave-in conditioner and let it set for about 5 minutes.
Step
2
Tangles
If your small dog has small groups of tangles in certain areas, use your slicker brush to brush out these knots using small strokes on these areas only. Common areas for knots and tangles are under your dog's legs, on his belly, and near his tail, especially if he has a lot of fur.
Step
3
Brush from back
Once you are done getting small tangles out of your dog's fur, brush him with short, slow strokes using a slicker brush from the back of his head all the way down to his tail. Remember the slicker brush has sharper teeth than other brushes so don't push too hard, especially on your small dog’s spine and shoulders.
Step
4
Brush sides
Once you're done with your dog’s back, start again at the neck and brush each side all the way down towards his tail. You want to use the slicker brush to your advantage, having it pull excess fur about to shed before it drops to the floor. Brush from the neck to the tail along his sides. You may need to brush from the spine downwards towards his tummy.
Step
5
Belly
Roll your dog to one side and brush one side of his belly. Start again at his neck and brush all the way down in the direction the fur grows. Be cautious and careful of the sensitive skin on your small dog's tummy. A slicker brush could scratch his skin if you are not careful. Also be aware of his potty area, so you don't scratch the sensitive skin there either.
Step
6
Fluffy tail
If your small dog has a fluffy tail, start at the base of the tailbone and brush out and down to the tip of the tail. Remember, a slicker brush is perfect for getting tangles out with small slow strokes.
Step
7
Treat
Once your little guy is done with his slicker brush grooming, give him a treat for a job well done. If you reward your dog with a treat after every grooming session, he will be more eager the next time.
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The Knots and Tangles Method

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Slicker Brush
Step
1
Full Brush
Brush your little dog from head to toe using the slicker brush. Avoid brushing his face, but start at the top of his head and work around to his neck brushing all of his fur in the direction it grows. Brush down his back, across his sides, down his belly, and along his tail. Pause and make note of any mats, knots, or tangles that need to be worked out.
Step
2
Little tangles
If your small dog is incredibly fluffy or has wiry fur, he probably has a lot of small tangles. Once you have brushed him out from head to tail, remove these small groups of tangles one at a time. As you go through this second brushing pull these tangles out with very short, gentle strokes using the slicker brush.
Step
3
Big knots
Larger knots might need a little more attention with the slicker brush, and they will probably take a little more time. Hold the slicker brush at an angle and work out the large knot from the root of the fur to the tip. Using very short strokes, the slicker brush will help to detangle small tangles as well as large knots.
Step
4
Mats big and small
Use the slicker brush to help remove any mats from your dog's fur. These are larger tangles in groups that will not come undone and have absorbed the surrounding fur. To work out a mat with a slicker brush, you're going to want to hold as much of the mat in your hand and work out the fur, starting at the top of the mat. Once some fur is loosened using a slicker brush, work the next layer. Continue doing this until the mat is down in size or broken down completely.
Step
5
Final brushing
Once you have brushed your dog from head to tail and worked out tangles, knots, and mats using your slicker brush, give him one last brushing from head to tail to smooth out his coat.
Step
6
Reward
Be sure to end your grooming session with a small treat. If your dog needs motivation to stay still while your grooming, feel free to give him rewards throughout grooming.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Slicker brushes are perfect for small dogs with short or long fur.
  • Slicker brushes work great with wiry fur.
  • Using a slicker brush in a wiry dog helps move natural oils through the dry fur.
  • Slicker brushes will have wire bristles that are set in the brush head very close together. This setting helps remove tangles and large mats by layers.
  • Your small dog may require more than one brush for regular grooming. However, a slicker brush is a great tool to have on hand for smoothing out troublesome fur.
  • Slicker brushes can also help to remove debris from your little guy’s fur. If he's had a trip outside and has picked up grass, leaves or even small sticks in his fur, a slicker brush will help remove this debris.
  • Slicker brushes are perfect for wiry dogs such as Terriers and Schnauzers or Cocker Spaniels and even wiry haired Chihuahuas.
  • If your little guy has trouble sitting for a long time to detangle or brush, give him treats throughout your grooming session to keep him engaged and interested in staying.
  • Slicker brush grooming doesn't always have to be a head to tail grooming session. Slicker brushes are great for spot tangles and removing small sections of mats or debris stuck in the fur.

Conclusion

Give your small dog big confidence with a great slicker brush grooming. Get wiry fur soft and silky smooth using a slicker brush, or give your soft long haired small dog the fluff he needs for his big personality. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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