There is an endless variety of grooming tools available, and the equipment you choose
will depend upon your dog's breed, coat length, coat type and condition.
To keep it simple, the two main tools that we recommend for most long-haired dogs are a
medium-toothed metal comb and a slicker brush (short, bent, wire teeth).
In our opinion, the most important grooming tool is THE COMB!! It's necessary to comb the
dog in order to work right down to the skin and to make sure all the mats and loose hair
have been removed. The grooming job is done only when the comb can be pulled
through the coat all the way down to the skin.
Once the mats and/or loose undercoat have been located with the comb, a slicker brush
will help remove them with less discomfort to the dog. Slickers come with soft, medium, or
firm teeth. Before you use a slicker, you should test it by brushing it along the inside of
your forearm to determine how it will feel against your dog's skin. When you brush your
dog, you can brush with the lay of the coat, or against it, but be sure to brush in such a
way that repeated strokes are not scratching the dog's skin. After brushing, check the job
by pulling the comb through the coat.
If your dog's coat mats easily (the comb can't be inserted down to the skin and pulled
through with little resistance), then you might also need a mat-splitting tool. These are
available in single- or multi-blade varieties, with a great range in price. When you bring
your dog for grooming at JJ's, we will give you a single blade mat-splitter to use for
grooming at home.
A mat splitter is used to cut large mats (often behind the dog's ears) into smaller mats that
can then be brushed or combed out.
For safety's sake we recommend that you NEVER USE SCISSORS TO CUT MATS OUT of your
dog's coat. We have seen too many cases where an owner has badly cut the dog's skin
If your dog is too matted for simple mat-splitting and brushing at home, we recommend
that you consult with a professional groomer as to whether your dog can be humanely
de-matted or should be shaved.
For short-haired dogs, the slicker and comb are also useful, but you might find that a
regular pin brush (straight teeth), bristle brush or a grooming glove will work well, too.
© JJ's Dog Grooming
3. What equipment do I need to maintain my dog's coat at home?