Goldendoodles generally require at least a slicker brush and a metal greyhound comb to properly groom.
Groomers typically first use the metal comb to go through a goldendoodle’s fur to find matts, knots or tangles.
After finding a matt, they will use the slicker brush to pull it out, then repeat the process until there are no matts or knots in the dog’s fur.
However, having the right brushes isn’t enough to properly groom a goldendoodle.
Too many goldendoodle owners focus on the topcoat of the dog, but don’t go deep into the undercoat.
That’s why you need a metal greyhound comb: because it can go deep into the undercoat all the way to the skin to find matts.
The problem with brushing the undercoat of a goldendoodle (or any other dog), is that pulling the matt also yanks out the fur strand from the dog’s skin, which is uncomfortable or even painful for the dog.
A good slicker brush will minimize the amount of torn out fur, but it’s inevitable not to pull out some strands no matter how good it is.
Without grooming a goldendoodle’s topcoat and undercoat, dead skin, dirt and dust will slowly accumulate, which can lead to bacteria growth, fungus, skin irritation and even parasites.
Besides the undercoat, it’s important to groom even the more uncomfortable parts of a dog’s fur: face, ears, feet, tail, etc.
Best brushes for a goldendoodle
The best brushes for a goldendoodle, in terms of price to quality ratio, are:
- Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush ($70-90)
- Paw Brothers Slicker Grooming Brush ($15-35)
- Andis Pet Large Firm Slicker Brush ($12)
At first glance most dog brushes look pretty much the same but there are a few criteria you can use to figure out both the quality of the brush, and whether your dog will like it:
- Bristle length. Bristles need to be long enough to pierce through the fur of the dog and reach even matts and knots that are close to skin level.
- Bristle rigidity. Unfortunately for the dogs, sometimes you really need to pull on a matt to remove it from the fur, and brushes with soft bristles aren’t capable of this.
- Bristle sharpness. Poor quality brushes have sharp bristles that can scratch the dog’s skin, causing them to recoil and avoid grooming. Higher quality brushes have rounded bristle tips that “glide” on the dog’s skin rather than poking it.
- Overall construction quality. Brushing can be surprisingly demanding on brushes, so it’s best to find a brush with a solid grip and bristles that feel very well attached to the brush head.
Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush ($70-90)
An expensive slicker brush, but one made for professional groomers.
The pins on the brush are long and firm (which is what you want for raking through poodle type coat!) but very gentle on the skin.
It comes in multiple sizes, depending on how big your dog is.
Construction quality is great, where the brush and handle itself is made from metal, but has a rubber covering that makes it easy to grip and prevents your hand from slipping away.
Paw Brothers Slicker Grooming Brush ($15-35)
Another professional grooming slicker brush. This one is a more economical choice than the Chris Christensen if you keep your goldendoodle’s fur short, rather than long.
Perhaps its biggest disadvantage is that the bristles are a bit short, which is why it’s generally a better choice for short haired goldendoodles.
Andis Pet Large Firm Slicker Brush ($12)
An affordable slicker brush, with firm bristles and a solid handle. Similar to the Paw Brothers, it’s best for shorter haired goldendoodles.
Its biggest drawback is the sharpness of the bristles. Pressing too much against the dog’s skin risks scratching the dog, causing it to whine or recoil away from you.
Best metal combs for goldendoodles
A metal comb and brush combo is necessary to properly groom a goldendoodle, since they complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Below are the best metal combs for goldendoodles, at three different price points:
Greyhound metal comb ($60)
Metal combs for dogs are sometimes called “greyhound combs” after a brand of dog grooming products called Greyhound.
Greyhound combs in particular were of such high quality, many other producers launched “greyhound-like” metal combs themselves.
The recommended comb below is rather expensive, but it does have top notch build quality and 3 combing levels (wide, medium coarse and fine)
Chris Christensen butter comb ($40)
This is a mid price greyhound-style grooming comb that doesn’t skimp on build quality. It comes in multiple variants, depending on your dog’s type of hair.
For goldendoodles, the best combo would be the fine/coarse metal comb.
Build quality is solid, since Chris Christensen primarily make grooming products for professional groomers so they have to sustain a lot of wear and tear.
Andis metal comb ($10)
This steel comb has an affordable price but despite this is still durable and sturdy for the needs of regular dog owners.
It has just two combing widths: medium coarse and fine, but this should be enough for grooming a goldendoodle.
Train your dog to like grooming.
Some dogs just don’t like to be groomed, no matter what brush / metal comb you try.
If this is the case, then a better approach is to train the dog to like grooming.
Start slow at first, where 1-2 brush strokes means 1 treat, and work your way up from there.
For most dogs, the satisfaction they get from a treat far outweighs the discomfort of a little brushing so it shouldn’t be too hard to teach them to at least tolerate being brushed.