It is important to brush your dog to keep his hair mat free. Mats form when you allow your dog's hair to tangle. Think of it like dreadlocks. Mats are tight wads of hair that are hard to separate. They grow larger and larger if not removed. Mats also form tightly to the skin, making them painful over time. They can become smelly, harbor insects or debris, and create numerous skin problems. Mats should always be carefully removed with a mat breaking grooming tool or carefully cut out with a pair of scissors.
Another health benefit is relaxation. Dogs loved to be brushed, especially when started early on and done regularly. It massages the skin, loosens up dry skin, and feels wonderful. Many dogs experience a real relaxation from it. If you combine your brushing with sprays formulated from essential oils like lavender or chamomile, the aroma has relaxing properties too.
Double coated breeds have a thick undercoat which is shed out twice a year. It is important to get all of this undercoat out of the dog or it will mat. The best tools for this type of coat are a rake, comb, and a Furminator de-shedding tool.
Terriers and wiry coated breeds have hair that is rough in texture and doesn't shed the same way as a normal dog. Terriers normally have hair plucked out or stripped to keep their coat texture true to nature. The best tools for these coats are a pin brush, a stripping grooming tool, and a flea comb. A flea comb has tightly set teeth, and it will grab dead hairs and pull them out as you comb.
Silky coated breeds like Yorkshire terriers and Maltese have hair, not fur. It will continue to grow and grow and it has a very silky texture. These dogs need pin brushes and combs to keep the hair tangle free and in top condition.
For shorter coated breeds like retrievers, slicker brushes and Furminator de-shedding tools work very well, as do hound gloves.
Dogs that are not used to being brushed often have to be acquainted to the brush the same way as a puppy. Always try to exercise the dog first through a good walk or playtime to wear out some of his excess energy. Then, lightly brush a few times while keeping the dog focused on food or toys.
Keep initial sessions to just a minute or two. If you force a dog to be brushed when he's not comfortable, you will create a lasting bad impression on your dog. For any kind of dog, start with a brush like a pin brush or a rubber brush like the Zoom Groom. These might not be the tools you will most frequently use as the dog becomes used to the process, but they are both very gentle and feel good to the touch. The better an experience your dog has initially with brushing, the more he will enjoy it overall.
Regular home brushing is a great way to have bonding time with your dog. It keeps his skin and coat healthy and gives you a heads up on any suspicious lumps or bumps you might find.
Plus, the more you brush, the less little hairs are floating all around your house!
Some other pages you may be interested in:
Learn how to properly obedience train your dog.
Solve your dog's behavior problems such as excessive barking, digging, chewing, whining and jumping up on guests.
More dog grooming information.
Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.