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Thread: How to brush out undercoat?!

  1. #1
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    How to brush out undercoat?!

    Okay, I'm a grooming idiot - really! I have no idea how to brush my dogs, which with three of them is no biggie because they have dane or boxer fur, no undercoat, all they need is a zoom groom and the occasional bath.

    Biko is another story. He's part husky, part GSD, part who knows. He has a neverending undercoat. Like I could brush him 'till he's bald and I think he would still create undercoat from somewhere.

    I haven't found an undercoat brush/comb that I like - metal ones tend to give him hot spots (which could also be overzealous brushing on my part) and the tines are either too far appart or too close together.
    The shedender or whatever that thing is that look like a clipper blade was a disaster. Cuts his top coat and doesn't touch the undercoat, and yup, gave him hotspots.
    Slicker brushes don't go deep enough.
    I found a round plastic rake thing at tractor supply the other day, and that works pretty well, but its so cheap it has already lost several teeth.

    So...
    What do you use to brush your dogs with heavy undercoat?
    Can you ever brush the undercoat out enough that there's not a small dog sweater under the actual dog after you're done petting him?
    "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened."
    ~Anatole France

    How people treat you is their Karma, how you react is yours.

  2. #2
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    Wish you lived near me, as I would loan you my metal rake ( ie collie comb as it used to be called).

    Okay- try this- get a water spray bottle. I have found spraying the rake with water catches the fly aways. Or even spray lightly the area of the dog.
    The best way to get rid of undercoat is to bathe the dog- using a good pin brush or rake with each step- the initial wet down, after shampoo is applied, the rinse out.
    Either way- its great for catching the flying hair. Its also soothing to the dog.
    If the dog has hot spots, maybe a tar type shampoo is a good idea, or any shampoo made for irratated skin would do it. Take it slow and easy- like a massage and good luck!
    /edit- hey Ouesi- take a look at this. Its a great price and just like the one I use in my bath time with my dogs, and same I used on my collies. http://www.prodoggroomingsupplies.com/dog_brush.htm What a great price too! Usually they are alot more money. And a good grip handle for wet hands.
    And if you have this one as well- again great price and complete set- you have all your basics! http://www.prodoggroomingsupplies.co...ooming-kit.htm
    Last edited by BorzoiMom; 07-22-2010 at 04:13 AM. Reason: /edit..

  3. #3
    I don't bother with undercoat rakes. I use a large slicker. It doesn't go deep enough, because you're not supposed to only brush through the topcoat (common mistake). Start at the butt end of the dog, at about the hock. Use your entire palm and flip the coat the wrong way a few inches above the hock which will leave you with a part, and a small section of unbrushed coat. Keep the slicker as FLAT as possible and run it through the coat without bearing down; If you only use the front edge, or dig in too hard, you'll brush burn your dog. Slide your hand up a few inches and brush the small section of coat that flips itself the correct direction. Pull the hair out of the slicker every time it gets close to full. Keep doing this over the entire dog, one side and then the other, being particularly careful not to brush burn the belly. At that point I like to go BACK over the dog, brushing from the front to the back and going against the grain of the coat this time to catch any additional undercoat I missed. I do ears and tail last, always against the grain of the coat there, but again be careful when you're brushing the ear leather (the inside needs to be done as well but since it's a sensitive area you may want to use a small comb with close-set teeth)

    Keep a garbage sack on hand to stuff the undercoat from the brush into. And I would wash the dog AFTER you've freshly stripped a heavy undercoat out or you're going to have a heck of a time getting the dog dry, the hairs will plaster themselves to everything, you name it.

    Yes, you can completely strip out the undercoat, and it really doesn't take all that long once you're used to doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ouesi View Post
    Okay, I'm a grooming idiot - really! I have no idea how to brush my dogs, which with three of them is no biggie because they have dane or boxer fur, no undercoat, all they need is a zoom groom and the occasional bath.

    Biko is another story. He's part husky, part GSD, part who knows. He has a neverending undercoat. Like I could brush him 'till he's bald and I think he would still create undercoat from somewhere.

    I haven't found an undercoat brush/comb that I like - metal ones tend to give him hot spots (which could also be overzealous brushing on my part) and the tines are either too far appart or too close together.
    The shedender or whatever that thing is that look like a clipper blade was a disaster. Cuts his top coat and doesn't touch the undercoat, and yup, gave him hotspots.
    Slicker brushes don't go deep enough.
    I found a round plastic rake thing at tractor supply the other day, and that works pretty well, but its so cheap it has already lost several teeth.

    So...
    What do you use to brush your dogs with heavy undercoat?
    Can you ever brush the undercoat out enough that there's not a small dog sweater under the actual dog after you're done petting him?

  4. #4
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    Yea SS slickers work great as well!

  5. #5
    Bewunderer der Hunde Dog Moderator FourIsCompany's Avatar
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    You've been given EXCELLENT advice! I have 2 GSDs, one that seems to think her purpose in life is to produce undercoat... so I understand your pain.

    I have used the above advice. I use a rake for my dogs (and the technique that Seven suggested) and then a light brushing every day keeps it under control between the more involved undercoat raking.

    Good luck!


  6. #6
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    Thank you all!!
    SevenSins, thank you for the technique walk-through. I will definitely be trying that. I have always been told not to brush against the grain in a long haired dog, but what you describe makes perfect sense.
    Big thanks, and I will post an update after this evening's brushing
    "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened."
    ~Anatole France

    How people treat you is their Karma, how you react is yours.

  7. #7
    Bewunderer der Hunde Dog Moderator FourIsCompany's Avatar
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    You won't be brushing against the grain, you'll be holding the hair against the grain and brushing on the other side of the part. I'll see if I can get a picture.

    The dog's butt is to the right in this picture, so you're brushing with the grain, but holding the top hair up so you can get to the root of the hair:



  8. #8
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    Yea I use a very similar method as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourIsCompany View Post
    You won't be brushing against the grain, you'll be holding the hair against the grain and brushing on the other side of the part. I'll see if I can get a picture.

    The dog's butt is to the right in this picture, so you're brushing with the grain, but holding the top hair up so you can get to the root of the hair:

    Right - that's what I was envisioning too - not brushing "backwards" but lifting the non-brushed hair backwards. Thank you for clarifiying though
    "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened."
    ~Anatole France

    How people treat you is their Karma, how you react is yours.

  10. #10
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    Four has the technique well illustrated.

    I will add: Show Sheen is your friend. Pick it up at a feed store/horse supply store - it comes in a quart spray bottle - and take your dog OUTSIDE and spray him down. (IF you try inside on a slick floor, it will make your floor slippery enough to cause you to wipe out and break your neck!) Proceed brushing as described. I use a slicker and a wooden-backed "poodle comb" to get out undercoat, and believe me, you can get out all undercoat.

    If you have a spare couple hundred dollars, a "force dryer" will do much of the work for you after a bath, but I do recommend that kind of drying be done in a place easily cleaned and that you wear ear protection (I leave cotton balls in the dog's ears) because they are quite loud. They do the job well, though.

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