Golden retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds today. They are athletic, intelligent, friendly, and make great family pets. They remain puppy-like until 3 or 4 years of age, longer than many other dog breeds. Because they are so active and love outdoor activities, regular grooming is important for your golden retriever. In this article, we are going to talk about why you should brush your dog, golden retriever coats in particular, and the different types of dog brushes. Finally, we will review five popular brushes and discuss which are the best brush for golden retriever.
Why Does My Dog Need Brushing?
There are several reasons to regularly brush your dog’s coat. First, it helps to remove excess hair, which means less dog hair on your furniture, clothes, car seats, etc. Second, brushing also removes dirt and helps to spread the natural oils that keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Third, it prevents and removes tangles and mats, and keep the skin clean and irritant free. Most importantly, regular brushing helps you check for any skin irritations, lumps or bumps, and any fleas or ticks your dog may have picked up outside. According to the ASPCA, the presence of little black specks may be flea dirt, indicating that your dog is hosting a flea family.
Golden Retriever Coats
Golden retrievers are double-coated dogs. They have a thick undercoat and a dense, water-repellent outer coat, with fur “feathers” on the back of the front legs and thighs, the chest and underbody, and the tail. Some coats are wavy and some are straight. The undercoat is actually a golden retriever’s puppy fur, and it thickens as the longer, outer coat grows in. A golden retriever that spends most of its time outdoors will have a thicker coat than one that lives indoors. Golden retrievers are heavy shedders, particularly in the spring and fall.
Bristle brushes have either natural or synthetic bristles and come in different lengths and softness of bristles. For short-haired, smooth-coated breeds that shed, bristle brushes remove loose hair. For dogs with an undercoat, bristle brushes are used as a finishing brush to smooth the dog’s coat after tangles, mats, and dead undercoat fur have been removed. Stiff bristles work well on coarse hair. Bristle brushes help stimulate the skin and add shine to a dog’s coat.
Pin brushes resemble human hair brushes and have small pins on the heads of flexible wires. They help remove loose hair and can remove minor tangles in medium length coats. Pin brushes are best for finishing and fluffing a coat hat has already been brushed with another type of brush. Larger size pin brushes are good to use on wet fur because they won’t cause the fur to break like other types of brushes.
Rubber brushes are used primarily for heavy shedding. They have soft rubber nubs that help massage the coat while removing loose hair, dirt and dust. They often are shaped like a glove. Rubber brushes should be used in a circular motion.
Slicker brushes are used to remove mats and tangles from all coat types, but are primarily used on medium, long, or curly haired coats. They also remove dead hair from both the undercoat and outer coat and are often used after an undercoat rake. Slicker brushes are made of tightly spaced rows of short wires so it is important to not use too much pressure or you may cause your dog some discomfort. The wire bristles are good for distributing the hair’s natural oils for a shiny, healthy coat.
Undercoat rakes are great for dogs with thick undercoats. They have one or two rows of tightly-spaced pins and are sometimes shaped like a shaving razor. Undercoat rakes are the most effective at removing tangles and mats and dead hair from the undercoat. You should choose a rake with pins that match the length of your dog’s hair as pins that are too short will miss the undercoat and pins that are too long can irritate the skin.
Which Type of Brush Should You Choose?
Because golden retrievers have a double coat and love the outdoors, it is best to have several different brush types for proper grooming. Both bristle brushes and pin brushes are good for regular brushing if the coat does not have too many (or large) mats or tangles. A slicker brush will help remove the loose hair and brush out tangles and mats in the outercoat. An undercoat rake is best for tangles and mats in the undercoat and for removing dead hair from the undercoat, especially during spring and fall shedding.
Best Brush for Golden Retrievers – Five Reviews
Andis Premium Pet Grooming Tools
Buy now from Amazon
This pin brush from Andis features a large brush head and is lightweight with a soft grip handle. The large head is a good size for brushing a golden retriever. The ergonomic handle provides user comfort while brushing and reduces hand fatigue. The pins are coated on the ends and are gentle on the skin. Users report that it’s easy to clean the fur out of the bristles. This brush is good for daily brushings and minor shedding, but it’s not the best brush if your dog has mats or tangles or if you need to thin the undercoat. Based on user reviews, this Andis pin brush is better than the pin brush included in the For Your Dog Combo brush below. The Andis pin brush costs approximately US $10.00.
For Your Dog 2-in-1 Combo Brush
Buy now from Amazon
The For Your Dog Combo Brush has a pin brush with fine bristles on one side and a traditional bristle brush with nylon bristles on the other side. Its large size is ideal for a golden retriever. It has an ergonomic handle with grooves for added user comfort and control. The pin side works well for removing mats and tangles while the nylon bristles are good for removing loose hair. Most users agree that their dog loves the way the brush feels on its back. Other users have reported the metal pins bending or falling out, while some have stated that the nylon bristle side is hard to clean. This combo brush costs approximately US $10.00.
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
Buy now from Amazon
This slicker brush from Hertzko does a good job of removing mats, tangles, and loose hair. The wire bristles are slightly bent to make it easier to reach the undercoat. It has a soft comfort grip and no slip handle to prevent hand and wrist strain. A great feature of this brush is that it’s easy to clean. You just press a button to retract the bristles into the brush head, making it easy to remove the hair. Its advertised for both dogs and cats, but many users report that it is too big for cats. The size is ideal for a golden retriever. This Hertzko brush costs approximately US $15.00 and is a good everyday brush.
FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs
Buy now from Amazon
The FURminator deShedding Tool comes in several sizes, but the large size is ideal for golden retrievers. It is one of the highest rated deshedding tools. FURminator guarantees that this brush will reduce shedding better than any other brush, rake or comb. The 4-inch long stainless steel edge can easily reach the undercoat to remove loose hair. It has an ergonomic comfort grip handle to reduce hand strain. One of the features most liked by users is the button to retract the edge and quickly remove the pet hair from the deshedding tool. Users caution beware of fakes being sold online so be sure you purchase a genuine FURminator. Other users report the tool breaking after several months or the tool not reaching the undercoat. Most users report that it works great for a thick coat and undercoat and that you don’t need to press hard to remove the hairThe FURminator costs approximately US$25.00.
Pet Company GripSoft Double Row Undercoat Rake Dog Brush
Buy now from Amazon
This undercoat rake from JW Pet Company features two rows of metal teeth and a rubber non-slip handle. The two rows of teeth are different lengths to help loosen matted hair and remove loose hair. The teeth are rounded on the ends and are turned 90 degrees so that they stay parallel to the skin and don’t scrape or irritate the skin. The rake handle is made with JW Pet Company’s Gripsoft technology that is designed to provide a comfortable grip and grooming easier. Despite advertising that the teeth have rounded ends, several users have reported that the teeth are sharp and have scratched their pet’s skin. Other users have stated that it works great for grooming the undercoat and removing hair. This undercoat rake costs approximately US $5, making it a good value for the money.
We’ve discussed why brushing your dog is important and the different types of brushes that are available. We’ve also reviewed the specific coat of a golden retriever and which brush is the best brush for golden retriever. It is important to have several different brushes in order to properly care for your golden retriever’s coat. The brushes reviewed above are some of the most highly recommended by users and should help you decide which brushes to buy. I hope you have enjoyed this article and found the information useful.