5 Simple Ways to Groom a Dog that Hates Being Brushed

Dog Hates Being Brushed

Have a dog that goes berserk as soon as he sees a grooming brush? Here are some tips for single dog owners who are struggling to brush their dog or puppy.

1. Use a Pet Grooming Glove
Some dogs may have a fear of brushes due to a number of reasons, such as previously having a painful or uncomfortable brushing experience. One way to potentially get around this is to use a grooming glove instead. These gloves work decent for medium haired-dogs.

Grooming gloves, such as the DELOMO glove, are a win-win scenario because they give you an opportunity to “pet” your dog while their coat is being de-shedded. It’s also very easy to clear away the clump of dead hair once you are done massaging the dog’s coat.

2. Find the Right Grooming Brush
Not all dog brushes are the same. Your dog may hate being brushed due to the discomfort and pain your current brush creates. A dog brush should be picked based on the shape and size of the brush, and the type of coat your dog has. There are four general types.

  • Long coat – applies to dog breeds like Yorkshire terriers, Border collies, and Cavalier King Charles spaniels. A large slicker brush and wide-tooth comb works well for these dogs.
  • Short coat – applies to dog breeds like boxers, Dachshunds, and French bulldogs. A boar-bristle brush works well for these dogs. Coat tangling is less of a concern for short-coated dogs.
  • Curly coat – applies to dog breeds like Spanish water dogs, poodles, and American water spaniels. A soft slicker brush or pin brush works well for these dogs.

Dog Coat & Brush Combo

Here are the most common types of dog grooming brushes you will come across in the pet store. Each type of brush can serve a unique grooming purpose.

  • Slicker brush – typically rectangular in shape with fine bristles that are tightly packed. They are good for removing dead hair and releasing tough tangles.
  • Pin brush – typically brushes with wire pins that have tin protective covers at the end. The protective covers prevent scratches on the skin.
  • Bristle brush – used to gently remove shedding hair and to smooth out the fur. Bristle brushes work well for brushing sensitive areas of the dog’s body.
  • Undercoat rake – looks like a pin brush but with longer and fewer pins. Undercoat rakes help to prevent matting and is also used to remove loose undercoating.

3. Brush the Dog after a Long Walk
In some cases, the best opportunity to groom an uncooperative dog is after a long walk or a heavy playing session. The dogs, especially if they are puppies, won’t have as big of an urge to “attack” and play with the brush. Start brushing when they look like they are about to fall asleep.

Frozen Kong Peanut Butter Treat

4. Make Brushing a Positive Experience
This is a gradual process but works well for dogs that appear to have a fear of grooming brushes. The goal is to associate the brush with a positive experience by offering treats while they are being brushed. At a high-level, here is a step-by-step process of introducing a brush to the dog.

  • Step 1: introduce the brush to the dog and offer a treat. Do this a couple of times.
  • Step 2: once the dog is comfortable with seeing the brush, offer a treat to take away his attention then quickly touch his body with the brush a couple of times.
  • Step 3: if the dog shows no reaction to being touched by the brush then repeat step 2, except you will be doing quick brush strokes.
  • Step 4: eventually, you should be able to brush your dog without him showing any sort of negative reaction. Be sure to offer treats once you are done brushing to maintain the positive association.

5. Treat Distraction Method
Similar to method #4 except you are distracting the dog by offering them a treat to lick while he is being brushed. You could offer something as simple as a peanut butter-coated spoon, or you could fill up a Kong toy with treats and let your dog have at it while he is being brushed.

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian when in doubt.


  1. Jane May 15, 2019 at 2:47 am

    John, in a lot of occasions, it is not thought of how important the type of brush you use for pet grooming. I have found that the really good qualified dog groomers have a wide selection of brushes and use the one that suits that particular pet. Thanks for the article.

  2. Ashley Johnson August 7, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    I liked that you said that one thing to consider when you need to keep up with the grooming of your pet is to make sure that they are comfortable with the use of a brush so that they will remain calm when getting their fur maintained. I have been thinking about getting a puppy but I have been worried that my puppy would have a difficult time getting groomed, resulting in a shaggy pet. I would be sure to introduce my puppy to a brush early on in their life so that the professional grooming process would go by smoothly.

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