Are you looking for a grooming brush for your short-haired pet? Or are you tired of sofas and floors being covered in hairs? In this article, Richard Cross reviews five of the best dog brushes for short-haired breeds.
One of the advantages of a short-haired dog breed is they are less likely to develop tangles or mats. Short coats are also less time-consuming to groom.
All dogs require some grooming though. In fact, even short-haired dogs (such as Labs, Rottweilers, Beagles and Boxers) need regular brushing to stay healthy and looking their best.
This is because brushing is vital for removing dirt and dust from hair fibers. It also spreads healthy oils across your dog's skin and is a great opportunity to bond.
As an extra bonus, brushing with the right types of brush (more on that in a moment) can remove loose hairs. Grooming won't stop shedding completely, but it can make dog hair more manageable. After all, every hair removed by a de-shedding brush is one less on your floor or sofas!
Not all dog brushes are suitable or effective for short-haired breeds though. To help you get the right brush for your pet, I've put together a list of the best brushes for short coats.
Note: If you want more information about choosing the right brush, check out our best dog brushes guide.
What Types of Brushes Work Best with Short Coats?
Before we get to the top picks, which types of brushes should you use when grooming a short-haired breed?
The answer depends on what you want to achieve and the type of coat. Some of the most important types of short hair dog brush include:
- Bristle Brush. Bristle brushes are great for removing dirt or other debris that's caught in hair. They also leave a healthy shine. For short-haired breeds, look for closely-spaced and short bristles. Coarser coats require stiffer bristles, while soft bristles are best for soft hair.
- Slicker Brush. This is a useful brush for almost any coat. It has rows of pins on either a flat or curved head, which allows it to pass through to the undercoat. Slicker brushes are great for detangling and removing loose hair (along with a shedding shampoo.) If your dog tends to tangle a lot, take a look at our guide to detangling sprays.
- Shedding Blade. If your dog molts a lot, a shedding blade can remove loose hair. It's particularly effective on short or flat coats. These blades can be dangerous though, so should only be used by experienced groomers.
In general, you should avoid wire-pin brushes. These are more useful for dogs with long and silky coats.
Top 5 Best Short Hair Brushes (+ Mini Reviews)
Listed below are five of the best brushes for shorthaired dogs. The first three are my top picks, while the fourth and fifth are cheaper options that are worth considering if you're on a tight budget. Make sure you read each review for the pros and cons of each brush.
1. FURminator De Shedding Tool
The FURminator is arguably the most well-known dog brush - and for good reason. It's an excellent deshedding tool that does a great job of removing loose hair. The FURminator is more expensive than most brushes, but is available in several sizes and has a "short-hair" option.
If you're tired of the never-ending battle with pet hair, then a de-shedding brush is an essential purchase. These brushes remove loose hair from both the guard layer and undercoat before they can fall onto your floor.
The FURminator is one of the best de-shedding tools. It's designed to gently pass through the top layer to reach the undercoat, which allows it to remove more loose hair than a bristle brush. There's also an ejector button for disposing collected hair.
It's hard to describe just how much hair the FURminator can remove. Even if you think you've groomed your dog properly, you'll still end up with a big pile of loose hairs. In fact, the FURminator is so effective that you need to be careful not to overdo it. Just a few minutes of brushing each day can greatly reduce the amount of loose hair in your home.
While the FURminator is great for getting rid of loose hair, it's not designed to untangle mats. For this reason, it's best to use a different brush to remove mats first.
Note: There are two types of Furminator depending on hair length. Make sure you choose the "Short" option for short-haired breeds, as it's designed for coats that are less than 2-inches in length.
Quick Summary: When it comes to de-shedding a dog, the FURminator Short-Hair is the king. It does a great job of removing loose hair in the undercoat layer, so it justifies the higher cost. A word of warning though: you'll probably want to use it outside due to the quantity of hair it removes!
- Type: De-Shedding
- Brand: FURminator
- Price Range: $$
- Excels at removing loose and dead hair
- Designed to glide through topcoat without causing discomfort
- Ejector button for disposing of hair
- More expensive than other brushes
2. LA Beauty Labs Bristle Brush
The LA Beauty Labs Bristle Brush is a great option for general grooming. The boar bristles make it effective at removing debris while leaving a healthy shine to your pet's coat. The bristles also won't scratch like nylon or metal alternatives.
The LA Beauty Labs Bristle Brush is built with reinforced boar bristles. These are soft without being too weak to properly groom, yet are durable enough to last.
The relatively close bristle spacing is great for most types of retrievers (including Labradors), chihuahuas and hounds. The bristles aren't too stiff, but provide enough strength for dogs with more wiry coats, such as terriers.
As this is a straightforward brush without advanced features, there's not much more to say about it. The high-quality construction means it'll last a long time though. If used correctly, your dog will love being groomed with it.
There are a few downsides though. It's pricey for a bristle brush, so it might not be the best choice if you're on a tight budget. The bristles also aren't strong enough for thick and wiry hair, although for most short-hair breeds it does a great job.
Quick Summary: The LA Beauty Labs is a high-quality bristle brush that's great for many short hair breeds. The boar bristles are relatively soft compared to metal and nylon alternatives, but still provide enough stiffness for grooming. If you want a gentle brush that leaves a healthy shine, this is a great choice.
- Type: Bristle
- Brand: LA Beauty
- Price Range: $$
- Soft and durable boar bristles
- Long-lasting design
- Comfortable for your pet
- More expensive than most bristle brushes
3. Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker
For getting rid of tangles, mats and loose hair, a slicker brush is a great tool - and the Hertzko Self Cleaning is one of the best on the market. It's excellent for almost any type of coat, including short hair, and has an easy-clean function to save time after grooming.
As you can see from the photo, the Hertzko has a flat head with a matrix of thin pins. These pass through hair to remove mats and tangles, while also removing loose hair (although not as effectively as a deshedding blade).
This isn't just a basic slicker brush though. The head is relatively wide, so you can groom larger areas in less time. It also has a comfortable anti-slip handle and is suitable for all breeds and coats.
The bristle retraction button is another useful feature. When pressed, the bristles retract into the head, allowing you to remove caught hair without needing to unwind it. If you've ever tried to pull loose dog hairs from a slicker brush before, you'll know this can be a big time saver.
As you would expect from a quality brush, the Hertzko is relatively expensive. Does it justify the higher price though?
In my opinion, it's more than worth the money.
The Hertzko does a great job of removing loose hair and tangles, as the thin wire pins can untangle deeper hair rather than just the top layer. Each pin is also designed to avoid scratching your dog's skin, which is important for ensuring your pet enjoys his groom. If you're looking for a highly effective slicker brush, then this is my top recommendation - even if it costs a bit more.
Keep in mind that the wide head can cause problems when grooming very small dogs or puppies though. You might need to choose a thinner head for the smallest dogs, such as the Li'l Pals below.
It's also important to avoid hurting your pet when using a slicker brush. Make sure you don't press too hard, as this can cause scratching and discomfort.
Quick Summary: The Hertzko Self Cleaning Brush is an excellent slicker brush. It's easy to use, durable and does a great job of removing loose hair. It's also suitable for dogs with short-hair.
- Type: Slicker
- Brand: Hertzko
- Price Range: $$
- Great for removing loose hair and leaving a healthy coat
- Retractable pins for easier cleaning
- Easy to use and hold
- Head may be too big for small dogs
4. Safari Bristle with Plastic Handle
If you're looking for a cheaper bristle brush than the LA Beauty Labs, the Safari is a great choice. It's a simple brush with an easy-grip handle, although the bristles aren't as tough and durable as more expensive options. Even so, it's fine for daily grooming of short-haired dogs - especially those with a soft coat.
The Safari is a simple brush that's available for a relatively cheap price. It doesn't include any advanced features and it isn't made with boar hair, but has a comfortable plastic handle and is durable enough for light usage.
There are a few drawbacks to this brush though. Firstly, it's made in China and the manufacturer doesn't provide details about the composition of the bristles. This is a warning sign that it probably won't be as durable as higher quality products, although this is to be expected from a cheaper brush.
The main drawback is that the bristles are relatively soft. This isn't a problem for dogs with soft coats, but it's not suitable for breeds with wirehaired or thick coats. It's also only useful for spreading healthy oils around the skin or removing debris - this isn't a brush for removing tangles.
Even so, if you want a cheap brush for daily grooming - perhaps between using a slicker or de-shedding brush - the Safari could be a good choice for soft-coated dogs.
Quick Summary: The Safari Bristle Brush isn't as durable as more expensive options. The bristles are also too soft for thick or wiry coats. For daily grooming of softer coats, however, it does a good job of removing debris and spreading healthy oils - plus it's available for a relatively low price.
- Type: Bristle
- Brand: Safari Pet Products
- Price Range: $
- Relatively cheap
- Does a good job on soft coats
- Not as durable as the LA Beauty Labs bristle brush
- Bristles are too soft for wiry or coarse coats
5. Li'l Pals Slicker Brush
If you're looking for a cheaper slicker brush than the Hertzko, the Li'l Pals is a great alternative. It's a smaller brush, so it's only recommended for toy breeds or puppies, but it does a good job of gently removing tangles and loose hair.
The Li'l Pals is a highly rated slicker brush that does a great job at maintaining a healthy coat - and it's also cheaper than many alternatives. Who should buy it over other brushes though?
As I mentioned before, the Hertzko Self Cleaning (which is my top recommendation for a slicker brush for short hair) has a large head compared to many slicker brushes. This is great for medium or large dogs, as you can groom large areas quickly. It's too big for the smallest breeds or many puppies though.
For this reason, the Li'l Pals is my top pick for toy breeds or puppies. It has a smaller comb head, so it's more comfortable for small breeds and easier to maneuver. The stainless steel pins are also flexible and come with plastic tips to avoid scratching your pet's skin. This is an important feature, as not all brushes include rubber or plastic tips.
Like most slicker brushes, the Li'l Pals is suitable for most breeds and coats. While short hair breeds often don't suffer from mats and tangles - at least to the same extent as long haired dogs - a slicker brush is still useful for combing the undercoat and removing loose hair.
Without wanting to labor the point, the Li'l Pals is very small. While this is a good thing for small breeds, it would be too slow to use on medium or large dogs. The handle is also relatively small, which can make it uncomfortable to hold for long periods.
Even so, for smaller breeds with short hair it's a great brush. It's safe when used properly, easy to clean and the perfect size for small pets. The pins also cut through the topcoat and help remove any tangles in the undercoat.
As with all slicker brushes, make sure you're careful when grooming with the Li'l Pals. The plastic ends of each pin helps to protect your dog, but if you press too hard it can still cause discomfort.
Quick Summary: For toy breeds or puppies, the Li'l Pals is an excellent slicker brush. The plastic-tipped pins are more comfortable for dogs, and it does a great job at tackling matted or loose hair. It's too small for larger dogs though. The small handle can also make it difficult to hold for long periods.
- Type: Slicker
- Brand: Li'l Pals
- Price Range: $
- Small head is perfect for toy breeds or puppies
- Relatively cheap for a slicker brush
- Plastic tipped pins for added comfort
- Too small for larger breeds
- Small handle can be difficult to hold
Where Should You Buy Brushes?
Most brushes produced by major brands are sold in multiple locations, so where to buy mainly depends on pricing. I'm a fan of Amazon, as they provide good customer service and fast delivery. Other options include Petco, Walmart and Petsmart.
It's also worth looking out for deals and discounts. Many pet retailers run regular sales, so there are certainly bargains to be found. Brushes aren't too expensive to begin with though, and you can find some decent options for under $15.
Dogs with short hair might not need as much grooming as those with long hair, but they still require regular brushing to maintain a healthy coat. It's important to buy a brush that's suitable for short hair dogs though, as some are better for long or silky hair.
For de-shedding, my top pick is the FURminator. The short hair version of this popular grooming tool is great for removing large amounts of loose hair from both the top and under coats. For daily grooming, the LA Beauty Labs Bristle Brush is my top recommendation.
Do you have any questions about choosing the best dog brush for short hair? Or do you think I've missed a brush that should be included? Let me know in the comments!