4 Best Brushes to Groom a Long-Haired Dog Without a Struggle

Shetland sheepdog brush

A well-groomed, long-haired dog is stunning whether it's a small dog with a cute bow or a large stately dog. The sight of their shiny, flowing long hair can make even the most ardent cat-lover smile in admiration.

However, maintaining all that fur can sometimes overwhelm an owner.

If you want the look of a long-haired dog, be prepared to groom your furry friend regularly. But, this process doesn't have to be a struggle. Ideally, you and your dog will look forward to the time spent grooming. 

Why Should You Brush Your Dog? 

One of the main reasons for brushing is to help remove tangles and mats. Mats are clumps of tangled loose and live fur. Matted fur can get bunched up against a dog's skin causing them pain and discomfort. The best way to prevent mats is to brush your dog regularly.

Brushing your dog spreads their natural oils which helps them maintain their skin and coat. It also helps remove loose hair, which will cut down on shedding. 

You can use this time to inspect their skin, body, paws, and ears to ensure they are healthy and not experiencing any problems. 

How Often Should You Brush Your Dog? 

Long-haired dogs need frequent brushing. Exactly how often will depend on the breed, type of fur, and their habits. If your dog loves to roll around in the grass and play outside in the woods, you're going to have to groom them more often to prevent mats and remove tangles. 

Many long-haired dogs will need to be brushed three to four times a week including those with long, silky fur and no undercoat like a Maltese and dogs with long coarse coats and a light undercoat such as a Shih Tzus. Dogs with a coarse outer coat and heavy undercoat like Collies will need to be brushed about two to three times a week. 

However, use your best judgment. The goal is to keep your dog's fur tangle and mat-free. So, if you notice your dog's fur is starting to get tangled in between sessions, then you may need to groom more frequently. If you have a breed that sheds seasonally, you may need to groom your dog more often during that time. 

How Do You Brush a Long-haired Dog? 

For all dogs, you want first to remove any mats and difficult tangles. During this part, be gentle and work slowly. If there are lots of tangles and mats, first spray a detangler or leave-in conditioner to minimize your dog's discomfort and make the knots easier to manage.

Brush in the direction that your dog's fur grows. This will be the most comfortable approach and also help your dog's coat lay nicer.

For dogs with a thick undercoat, you might need to work in sections. Be sure that the tool reaches through the thick undercoat to the skin. This approach will help ensure that you remove loose fur from the undercoat. If that loose fur remains, your dog is at greater risk for getting mats. 

What if Your Dog Hates Brush Time? 

For many owners of long-haired dogs, brushing time can become a struggle. If you avoid grooming because your dog dislikes it, then your dog's fur can become extra hard to manage, making the process harder.

This may take time. Be patient. To help them, try using these techniques to make grooming a positive experience for you both. 

1. Groom them in short sessions. 

If your dog gets upset when it's time to groom, plan to brush them in multiple short sessions. The short sessions will help your dog get used to being brushed. As they adjust, you can gradually begin to increase the length of each session.

2. Talk to them in a soothing, gentle tone. 

Your dog responds to your voice. Talk with them in a gentle tone and praise them for cooperating.

3. Work with them when they are feeling tired. 

Take your dog on a long walk or let them play to burn energy. Then get out the brush. Once your dog is used to the feelings, the motion can become very relaxing and pleasurable.

4. Brush slowly and be gentle when you hit a tangle. 

No one likes to have a brush raked quickly through their hair. Neither does your dog. Make sure you are using slow, gentle strokes. If you encounter a tangle, work at it gently, so their skin doesn't get pulled or injured. 

5. Take it slow. 

You aren't in a rush. Pet your dog first before even getting out the brush if they are very reluctant. Once the brush is out, set it beside you, and go back to petting your dog gently.

When your dog is relaxed, intersperse brushing with petting. Start with areas your dog doesn't mind as much, or that tend to have fewer tangles. This will make it more enjoyable for them and give them positive experiences with brushing.  

6. Use the right kinds of brushes for your dog. 

Not all brushes work well for all dogs, especially long-haired dogs. Look for one that keeps their fur and skin nice while being comfortable for them. Finding a brush your dog likes can help them enjoy grooming.

What Types of Brushes Does My Dog Need?

Finding the right kind of brush for your dog can make grooming a more positive experience for your dog and you. It's important to find a tool that doesn't injure their skin. But with so many different kinds available, shopping for a dog brush can be overwhelming.

Ultimately, the type of coat your dog has will help guide your decision on what will work best. Here are the main kinds of brushes that are useful for many long-haired dogs.

Slicker Brush

A slicker brush contains rows of short wire pins. The head of the tool can be flat or rounded. This is a commonly used brush because its design can remove loose fur from a dog's undercoat. This style also works well with most coat types. Using this device as a part of your regular grooming routine can help keep tangles and mats away no matter what kind of dog you have. Given its utility, a slicker brush is useful for all long-haired dogs. 

Pin Brush

A pin brush is similar to a slicker brush but has rubber or plastic on the tip of the pin. This type is particularly useful for long, silky coats, but can also be helpful for long, coarse coats. 


The FURminator may be an excellent solution for dogs with an undercoat. This tool helps remove the excess shedding from a dog's undercoat. It works well on a variety of dog coats, including heavy and double-coated dogs. 

Undercoat Rake

This tool also uses pins, but the pins are longer and spaced farther apart. It's useful for heavy and double-coated breeds.

Bristle Brush

These tools have soft, straight bristles. The head is usually flat. These tools are not suitable for long-haired dogs since it's hard for the soft bristles to get through all the layers of the coat. These are best for short-haired dogs. 


It can also help to have a dog comb on hand to help with touch-ups, dealing with a tough mat, and any additional detail work after you've brushed your dog. A fine-toothed comb can be useful for long, silky coats. A wide-toothed comb is helpful for long, double-coated dogs. 

Our Top 4 Picks

Even though you now know what type of brushes you need to keep your dog's long coat shiny and tangle-free, which one works the best? 

The Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush can be used on almost every type of coat and is especially effective for long, silky coats. This device can reach deep into a dog's coat to remove tangles, dirt, dander, and loose hair but is still gentle on your dog's skin. It's also a great tool to remove mats and keep fur soft.

Key features

  • Simple to clean design where you push a button, and the bristles retract allowing you to wipe away the dog hair collected easily.
  • Strong and durable but gentle on your furry friend's skin.
  • Anti-slip, comfort handle which helps you maintain good control on the brush while grooming. 

Why we chose it

This slicker brush features unique curved bristles that penetrate any type of fur to eliminate tangled hair, mats, and loose undercoat without scratching the skin. It's design makes grooming your dog easier with smart features like the anti-slip handle that is comfortable to hold.

The soft-touch from the brush massages your fur buddy’s body, leaving them with healthy skin and a beautiful shiny coat. Lastly, cleaning the brush is a breeze. 

Interested? You can check out the Hertzko slicker brush here.

The Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush uses high quality, stainless steel long pins. It's designed with pin tips that are ground and polished to provide a smooth, comfortable grooming experience for your dog. This brush is lightweight yet durable with a firm cushion and easy to grip handle. Made in Germany and constructed from solid beech wood, it measures 8 inches long.

Key features

  • Pins are made from high-quality steel.
  • Pin tips are ground and polished.  
  • Lightweight with an easy to grip handle.
  • Durable and the pins don't fall out with use. 

Why we chose it

This pin brush provides your dog with a comfortable, enjoyable grooming experience while helping to remove tangles from their fur. The pins are gentle against your dog's skin and help their fur feel soft and look shiny. This tool is especially useful for dogs with long, coarse coats. The long pins reach down easily through thick fur, and unlike many pin brushes, these pins won't fall out. At the end of grooming, the old hair removes easily from it.

If you are interested in this pin brush, you can click here and we will take you to the Amazon listing.

The Shiny Pet Dog Comb effectively removes tangles and helps remove dirt, dander, and loose fur from your dog. Featuring stainless steel teeth that are rounded to provide your dog with a gentle brushing experience. The comb feels like a massage against your pups skin and can help with circulation.

It's made of a rubber anti-slip handle that makes it easy for you to maintain control of the comb. The handle is ergonomically designed so you will be comfortable while combing your fur buddy. This comb comes with a free eBook on grooming your pet and comes with a lifetime guarantee. 

Key features

  • Rounded stainless steel teeth that are gentle against your pet's skin.
  • Anti-slip rubber handle that is easy to hold.

Why we chose it

This comb powers through mats and tangles, helping you remove loose fur, dirt, and dander. It provides a comfortable and soothing experience for your dog due to its rounded, stainless steel teeth. You and your dog don't have to worry about being poked with sharp teeth on this comb!

The handle is designed to help you maintain a comfortable grip without fear of it slipping out of your hand. Given its lifetime guarantee, you can't go wrong giving this comb a try. 

To learn more about the Shiny dog comb, click here.

The FURminator effectively removes your dog's loose hair from shedding, which reduces the amount of fur left on furniture and floors. Easy to use, this tool is used similar to a brush with long, gentle strokes in the direction that your dog's fur grows.

Unlike a brush, you don't need to go over areas multiple times. This deShedding tool effectively removes tangles and mats. When used as directed, it provides a comfortable and safe experience for your dog. 

Ergonomically designed to be comfortable in your hand, it features a curved edge to follow your dog's natural shape. Featuring stainless steel teeth that easily reach into the undercoat, but without damaging the topcoat. The FURminator is available in a variety of sizes so you can find the size that best fits your dog.

It also is easy to clean. You push a button that retracts the teeth making it easy to wipe away the collected fur. This tool comes with a money-back guarantee.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel teeth reach into the undercoat to remove loose fur but without damaging the topcoat.
  • Curved brush head fits your dog's shape.
  • Skin guard at the sides of the tool provides a safe, comfortable experience for your dogs.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to ensure a comfortable fit for your dog.
  • Ergonomic design is comfortable to hold and makes it easy to use.
  • Uses a FURejector button to make cleaning the brush easy. 

Why we like it: 

This is the perfect tool to reduce the amount of fur shed by your dog effectively. It's designed to provide a comfortable experience for your dog and your hand. It comes in a variety of sizes so you can find the fit that works best for your dog. It's durable with stainless steel teeth that reach easily into your dog's undercoat. Clean up is a breeze with the FURejector button. 

If you are interested in this Deshedding tool for long hair dogs, you can click here and we will take you to the Amazon listing. 

Regular Brushing with the Right Tools Can Be Enjoyable

With the right tools and methods, brushing your dog can be a positive, bonding experience for you both. With regular grooming, your dog's coat and skin will be healthy and beautiful. Your dog will love feeling comfortable, and you will enjoy having less loose fur on your clothes and furniture.

Finding the right brush or comb doesn't have to be hard. There are many good options available. When you find the tool that feels good to your dog, you'll find regular brushing is easier. 

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