Choosing the right brush for your Australian Shepherd is a crucial part of maintaining their coat’s health and appearance.
However, with the plethora of brush types and brands available in the market, picking the right one can be quite challenging.
I know, i’ve been there myself!
Luckily, over the last 10 years or so I’ve been grooming and brushing all kinds of breeds with thick double coats similar to Aussies, including Aussies, and I’ve learned a thing or two about all the brushes on the market.
In this article, we will delve into the two best brushes for your Australian Shepherd and explain why they are the only ones you need. We will also address some frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
The Two Best Brushes for an Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd’s thick double coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting, tangling, and excessive shedding.
The two brushes that work best for this breed are the undercoat rake and the slicker brush.
Hands down, by far the best. Let’s explain why this is.
The undercoat rake
The undercoat rake is a straightforward brush that just gets the job done!
It consists of a single line of moderately long pins, typically made of metal, with rounded ends to prevent any skin irritation. These pins can penetrate deep into the topcoat to extract the dead hair that has accumulated in the undercoat.
The simplicity of this type of brush practically eliminates the possibility of making mistakes (which I will discuss further with de-shedders below). You start brushing, and you’re on the right track.
Moreover, the fact that these brushes are so simple also implies that they are durable and very reasonably priced.
The slicker brush
The slicker brush is a bit more popular since it can be used on a wider variety of pets, including cats.
The slicker brush is ideal for grooming the topcoat of your Australian Shepherd.
The fine wire pins effortlessly capture any loose hair that was brought to the surface by the undercoat rake and eliminate any remaining dirt or debris.
The slicker brush is highly effective and easy to use, which is why I love it. Moreover, it leaves the topcoat feeling very smooth, making it the perfect finishing brush.
You can choose between slicker brushes with fancy buttons that release hair easily (which work wonderfully) or a simple one that requires you to pull the hair out. Either type works well, although I personally prefer the ones with buttons.
How I Use These Two Brushes Together
Using these two brushes together in a single routine can significantly improve your Australian Shepherd’s coat health.
Start with the undercoat rake, brushing in long strokes from head to tail, making sure to cover all areas of the body twice.
Focus on the neck, underbelly, backside, and tail. Spend about 10 minutes doing this, then use your fingers to pick out any remaining tufts of dead hair you can see.
Afterward, pick up your slicker brush and continue brushing in the same manner for about five more minutes.
The slicker brush will pick up any remaining hair left after the undercoat rake has done its job. This routine should take about 15-17 minutes, depending on how much hair your Australian Shepherd is shedding.
So far in my dog-brushing-career, I have not come across or discovered a more effective routine that combining these two brushes together like this. This will absolutely make a difference!
Why I Don’t Use Deshedding Tools
I know shedding can be a pain, and “de-shedding tools” may seem like the perfect solution.
However, I’ve had some bad experiences with them and now avoid them altogether.
Here’s the deal: some de-shedding tools are unnecessarily sharp and can accidentally slice or cut the topcoat layer instead of just removing the dead loose hair from the undercoat. And that’s the last thing we want when brushing our beloved Aussies.
Full FURminator review here (in relation to Aussies)
I understand that it could be a result of misuse, but I believe brushing should be straightforward and safe, without the risk of damaging healthy hair. While some owners have great success with de-shedding tools, I’ve found that sticking to a regular brushing routine works better for my pup and me.
I want to clarify that not all de-shedding tools are sharp, and they can work well with careful use. It’s important to read reviews and watch tutorials before trying them out.
But for me, the risk is just not worth it, especially when I’ve found other brushes that work even better. I’ve had a couple of instances where a de-shedding tool cut my dog’s hair, and I know of other owners who’ve had the same experience.
So, I recommend sticking to safer brushes and finding a routine that works best for you and your furry friend.
Getting The Most Out of Your Brushing Routine
One of the most important things I can tell you is that brushing little and often is the way to go.
A lot of owners struggle with shedding and when I ask them about their routine, they often say they spend hours brushing their dog once a week. Unfortunately, that’s not the best way to handle your Aussie’s shedding.
It’s much better to brush your Aussie every day for just 10-15 minutes rather than trying to tackle it all in one long session once a week.
I know life can get busy and it’s easy to forget, but one long session won’t make up for missing the daily brushing.
The key is to do a little bit every day, with the right brushes and routine, and you’ll find that your floors stay much cleaner and free from hair.
If you want more details on how to handle shedding in Australian Shepherds, check out my full article.
In conclusion, using an undercoat rake and a slicker brush is the best way to keep your Australian Shepherd’s coat looking healthy and shiny. Regular grooming with these two brushes will also help reduce shedding and prevent matting and tangling. With a little patience and the right tools, you can keep your Australian Shepherd’s coat in tip-top condition for years to come.