5 good reasons to brush your dog’s hair regularly
1) Removes loose hair – so it won’t get on your furniture, clothes or in your nose.
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2) Prevents mats and tangles – Mats hurt your dog; making them scratch and lick, and can pull the skin off.
3) Helps rev up vital oils in the skin for healthy hair – Healthy skin = healthy coat
4) Allows you to monitor your dog’s health regularly – Be the first to notice changes and problems on their skin especially. Always be touching your dog.
5) It builds a strong relationship between you and your dog – Your dogs will love you more!
But not all brushing is created equal. There is a wrong and right way to brush your dog’s hair/fur. With lots of practice, professional groomers know the right way. You will learn to brush like the professionals, only better and faster.
We must first consider the end goal. Is it to smooth, soothe, detangle, or deshed? Is my dog a medium-haired type, short hair, long hair, or hairless? These answers will dictate the kind of brush to use.
There are all kinds of brushes to buy—straight pin, slicker, bristle, rubber curry, large medium, or small. With so many types of hair, the pin brush is what most people seem to have on hand. Professional groomers lean toward the slicker brush, which can be universal. The slicker is the right brush I use that will do everything I need for medium length, long or some short-haired types of hair. Here are examples:
The Right Brush For Almost All Coat Types– the SLICKER
In case you didn’t know, it is believed the earliest slicker brush came from the wool carder. According to one source, the carder was two flat square boards with pins sticking out of a layer of leather. During the 18th and 19th century, the carding process was part of preparing wool for spinning into yarn where wool was brushed between two hand carders to align fibers in the same direction. The wool was rolled off the carder into a rolag and then spun to make thread.
*Credit to National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution for the info and image.
Fast forward to 2020, the slicker brush has evolved to a smaller, cleaner and longer lasting brush. The Master Grooming Ergonomic Slicker Brush is my professional favorite because I use it for all types of coats except super short and hairless dogs. Here are all the reasons why I love it:
The Master Groomer Ergonomic Slicker Cost: Large $15, Extra small $11 – K9 Kids Co. (coming soon to this website- Become a K9 Kids Fanatic VIP and learn FIRST when the kits go on sale! Sign up here
- It’s ergonomic with a contoured handle that is easy on hands
- Scientifically designed to be efficient
- Versatile – brush upside down and utilize the brush corners for dematting and detangling
- Safe for the dog and you
- Prevents fatigue and repetitive motion injury. It’s used by professionals for hours without causing muscle cramps.
- The handle is “beefy” enough to be held without overlapping fingers
- Pins are bent at an angle to grab tangles without tearing or breaking the handle
- Cushioned for effortless brushing
- Comes in a trio of sizes M, L, XS in the same style
- Could replace picks, splitters and other sharp tools
- The Handle will not break – it’s Guaranteed for life
- The Large brush allows you to use the corners of the brush to slice through small area mats and tangles
- It can go in several directions comfortably and still get the job done
- Use the brush head everywhere; up, down, around and even against the grain.
CAVEATS: The Master Groomer slicker brush is very sturdy and stiff and will scratch your dog’s skin if you bear down and brush in one place constantly. Moving to other parts of the body will avoid injuring.
How to Brush Using The “1-2-3 Count Method™”
(aka “The K9K 1-2-3 Brush Method“™)
This way of brushing repeats every 3 counts. For example, Brush-brush-brush then, move to another spot; brush-brush-brush then move to another place. All the while counting 1-2-3 while you brush helps you keep the rhythm.
Why brush this way?
- It prevents brush burn. (Definition: a burn caused by friction of a rapidly moving object against the skin.
- Allows concentration in one spot for a limited time to accomplish the goals of smoothing or detangling without damage.
- It moves the process along so that brushing is faster
- Less irritating to the dog, and more pleasant
- Use this method to clip with scissors, clip hair with clippers or comb for a fast and effective way of grooming your dog.
- It works!
Demonstration of the K9K Count Method (aka 1-2-3 Counting Method)
Brushing the Back, Sides, Neck, Chest, Butt
- Use the entire head of a slicker brush.
- The bent pins are meant to “straighten the hair” and make curled or wavy hair easier to detangle.
- For large dogs: avoid standing over the dog. If you can, get your dog to lay on their side or brush facing the dogs side. Place small dogs on a table.
- Use your whole arm instead of just your wrist to make long (1-2-3) and short strokes (1-2-3).
- Lift the hair upwards with your free hand and brush the hair down out of that hand in the directions of the hair growth.
- Keep your wrist straight to prevent the pins of the brush from contacting the animal’s skin preventing brush burns.
- Use the “corners” of the head of the brush to tackle mats or tangles in small areas. Spray with a dematting or conditioning spray, then 1-2-3, while holding a small piece of matted hair in your free hand.
- Clean hair is best and yields better results. The brush goes through the hair easier with minimal pulling, resulting in a more pleasant experience for you and the dog.
- Dematting and detangling sprays work wonders and actually relieves “most” matting.
Brushing the Front and Back of Legs/Arms
- When brushing sensitive areas, especially front of legs (forearm) brush lightly around the leg to remove tangles. (see Video)
- If feathering on the back of legs is long, hold your hand BEHIND a handful of hair and brush your hand holding the hair in the flat of your hand. Try not to brush down on the shin (front) of the leg, brush around the legs, lightly with minimal pressure.
- Contrary to conventional thinking and practices, brushing against the growth of the hair is NOT detrimental. With this brush, you can brush upward on forelegs, hips/thighs, neck, the top of the head, and undercarriage.
- The brush should do the work, not the pressure you make.
Brushing the Ears and Tail
Hold the ear flat in your hand, brush lightly with the brush. If tangled and matted, use THINNING SCISSORS to slice the mats, then brush in your hand until mats dislodge.
Brushing the Top of the Head, Face and Muzzle (nose area)
Use dematting spray, thinning scissors, and lightly brush with the XS MG slicker brush or any brush you have. Careful not to bear down, you could scratch the dogs cheeks or jaws.
How to Keep the Head Still
- HOLD the dog under their chin. Firmly but gently.
- You can also gently, but firmly hold onto any beard hairs while you brush or comb the top of the head, face or muzzle. Use the 1-2-3 Count Method™ here.
There are 5 very good reasons to brush your dog regularly, including that it will strengthen your bond, allow you to monitor their skin and body health, as well as minimizing mats and tangles. The K9 Kids 1-2-3 Count Method™ is a fast, easy and efficient way to brush and reach every part of the dog safely without having to use a whole bunch of other tools like picks. It is recommended that thinning or blender scissors are best to cut out mats and thin thicker areas of hair. A detangling or dematting spray is a must-have product to brush out tangles after a bath or anytime you brush. All of these recommendations make brushing fun and fast as well as give you immediate results. Brushing is good for both of you.
Buy the Master Grooming Ergonomic Slicker here. (Coming Soon)
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