How to Brush a Smooth Coat

Easy
5 - 10 Minutes
3 Week

Introduction

The good news about smooth coated dogs is that they don't get mats or tangles in their fur, and are relatively easy to groom. The bad news is, they tend to shed! Regular brushing will be important to remove dead hair and to distribute body oils so your dog's hair stays in good condition and his skin is moisturized. If you own a smooth coated dog, like a Beagle, Boxer Bulldog, Great Dane, Greyhound, Labrador, Pug, or Rottie, chances are that with the occasional bath and a regular brushing every few days your dog’s coat care needs will be met, and your smooth coated dog will look smooth and shiny!  

Another benefit of regular brushing is that you get to spend quality time with your dog. Most smooth coated dogs enjoy being brushed, it feels a lot like being petted really, and it gives you the opportunity to check for cuts and bruises, parasites, and other health concerns that can show up on your dog’s body. Be sure to pay attention to your dog's skin as his coat does not provide a lot of protection from insect stings or sunburn, and when brushing your dog you will notice if he has skin irritations that need addressing.

Dog's Perspective

A smooth dog’s coat does not provide much of a barrier between his skin and grooming tools. Be sure to use the right kind of brush, a bristle brush, to groom your smooth-haired dog. Depending on the thickness of his coat and his skin type, you may choose a bristle brush with stiff bristles, or for a sensitive dog with a fine coat, a softer bristle brush may be required. Do not use pin brushes with hard bristles that can scratch skin through the smooth coat. Because their hair doesn't tangle, most smooth coated dogs do not object to being brushed with a soft brush, as it feels good and you are not pulling on a tangled coat.

The Bristle Brush Method

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Step
1
Use correct brush
Use a bristle brush that is appropriate for your dog; large dogs require larger brushes. A large outside dog may require stiffer bristles to remove dirt and debris then a smaller indoor dog who requires a soft bristled, smaller brush. Natural bristle brushes are popular as they are more effective at creating shine on your smooth coated dog.
Step
2
Position your dog
Have your dog stand in front of you on the floor, or on a raised surface like a grooming table. Put your hand under his muzzle and gently hold it up to stretch out wrinkles in his neck, so you can reach the skin and coat of your dog with the brush.
Step
3
Brush using long strokes
Start at his neck and work backwards using long strokes across the surface of the skin to remove dirt and hair.
Step
4
Flick dirt away
If your dog has a lot of dirt, loose hair, and debris, flick your wrist at the end of each stroke to direct debris away from your dog, so you are brushing it off, not just spreading it around.
Step
5
Reach difficult spots
Lift legs to get under limbs and reach the belly. Work carefully and gently around the eyes, ears and mouth.
Recommend grooming method?

The Grooming Glove Method

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Step
1
Brush first
Use a bristle brush to remove dead hair and dirt. Work all over the body including head, neck, torso, rump, legs, and belly.
Step
2
Use grooming glove
Use a rubber grooming glove, made from rubber with little nubs all over. This grooming tool slips onto your hand.
Step
3
Stretch out skin folds
Hold your dog's head so that his neck is stretched out and wrinkles smoothed out, and start working with the grooming glove at the neck, making small circular motions.
Step
4
Use circular and long strokes
Work all over your dog's body making circular motions and then making long strokes to stimulate skin, distribute body oils, remove dead hair, and increase blood flow much like a massage.
Step
5
Reach all areas
Lift legs and wrap the glove around your dog’s legs, stroking down to each paw. Reach under armpits and stoke the belly. Some dogs like to lie on their back and have their belly massaged.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Because smooth haired dogs do not have as much protection for their skin, you need to work gently with a bristle brush that will not scratch or irritate skin.
  • Check your smooth coated dog’s skin for irritations like bug bites or dermatitis from heat or moisture.
  • Even though your smooth coated dog does not get tangles, he still needs regular brushing to remove dead hair and distribute body oils to avoid dry skin and other conditions such as fungal infections.
  • Make sure you get in armpits and neck folds by stretching out the neck or limbs to brush in these areas where moisture and dead hair can become trapped.

Conclusion

Your smooth-haired dog requires less brushing then his longer haired canine cousins. However, he still needs regular brushing to remove dead hair, and because smooth coated dogs do tend to shed quite a lot, you will want to make sure his smooth coat ends up on a brush, not on your furniture. Use bristle brushes and grooming gloves which are softer than pin and slicker brushes, so as not to scratch your smooth coated pooch, and work gently. Check for skin conditions while brushing--distributing body oils should help prevent conditions like dry skin.  

Most dogs enjoy being brushed. Provided the right tools are used, being brushed feels like being petted or having a nice massage, and who doesn't enjoy that!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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