Best Brushes For Golden Retrievers (And Which Ones To AVOID)

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Looking for the best brushes for your golden retriever?

This is an important question since not all brushes are created equal.

Some brushes are great for golden retriever coats, some are ineffective on their coats, and some are potentially damaging to their coats.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The two best brushes for golden retrievers
  • Why not brushing your golden retriever can cause them lots of pain
  • How often to brush your golden retriever
  • The one brush you want to avoid
  • And much more

Let’s dive in!

Why You Need To Brush Your Golden Retriever

best brushes for golden retriever

Before we get into what brushes you need for your golden retriever, it’s important to know why you need to brush your golden retriever.

This is because why you need to brush your golden determines what type of brush to get them.

There are three reasons you need to brush your golden:

  1. Brushing prevents and removes mats
  2. Brushing gets rid of loose fur and debris
  3. Brushing elps you have less loose fur around the house

Preventing and removing mats is the most important reason for brushing your golden.

Mats are clumps of tangled fur that can be painful and lead to skin problems.

If they get too big, you’ll need to cut them out, as brushing them out can be very painful.

It would be like trying to brush out a piece of gum stuck in your hair.

Sounds pretty awful, right?

Well, the good news is that regular and proper brushing can prevent mats, or at least remove them before they get too bad.

top brush for golden retriever

The next reason you need to brush your golden retriever is to get rid of loose fur and debris.

My golden, Oliver, loves to roll around outside, but when he comes in he brings all sorts of things with him.

Leaves, sticks, dirt, and sticky plant seeds cling to him and either get buried in his undercoat (which can lead to mats) or get deposited on the floor.

Brushing gets this stuff out of his fur.

And finally, brushing your golden retriever will get loose fur off of them and onto the brush, rather than off of them and onto your floors.

P.S. Getting a golden retriever puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!

Brushing Your Golden Retriever’s Double Coat

best brushes for golden retriever puppy

The last thing to take note of before we talk about the best brushes for your golden is the unique type of coat that goldens have.

Golden retrievers have a double coat that’s made of a soft, fluffy undercoat, and a long, smooth top coat.

When choosing a brush, you need something that’s tough enough to get to both coats.

If you only brush the top coat, then you could be missing out on harmful mats in the undercoat.

Now, let’s get into what types of brushes to get for your golden!

2 Best Brushes For Golden Retrievers

All you need to brush your golden retriever is a slicker brush and an undercoat rake.

Slicker brushes are made up of fine wire angled teeth that get out tangles, mats, and dead fur.

Many have soft rubber tips to be gentler on your dog’s skin, but you’ll still want to brush your golden lightly so that it’s not painful for them.

Our favorite slicker brush is this self-cleaning slicker brush because it does a good job at brushing your golden, has gentle teeth, and cleans itself by getting all the fur out of the brush with the push of a button.

You can get this slicker brush from Amazon here.

Now, some goldens may be ok with just a slicker brush if they don’t have very thick coats.

However, if your golden has a thicker coat and gets mats in their undercoat, then you’ll also want to use an undercoat rake.

Undercoat rakes are a little tougher on mats and tangles than slicker brushes, and are great at getting out dead fur from the undercoat.

undercoat rake for golden retriever

You can get this undercoat rake from Amazon here.

Other Brushes For Golden Retrievers

Although most people will be fine with just a slicker brush and an undercoat rake, there are other types of brushes for your golden.

Pin brushes (below) are mild brushes that aren’t as tough on tangles or mats, but can keep your golden’s coat looking nice and groomed.

pin brush for golden retriever

Bristle brushes (the back side of the pin brush above) are good for getting dirt out and keeping your golden’s coat looking clean.

Many brushes are 2-in-1 combos of both pin brushes and bristle brushes like this Wahl dog brush.

Combs are another option for brushing your dog.

comb for golden retriever

They do a similar job as undercoat rakes and are useful for getting mats out.

This Andis Pet steel comb is good because it has teeth that are spaced out for when you first start working on a mat, as well as teeth that are closer together to help you finish it off.

However, if your dog has a bad mat, you might not want to brush or comb it out…

How To Get Rid Of Mats & Knots

If the mat is bad, the best thing to do is cut it out with scissors.

Remember the gum analogy earlier?

If you have gum in your hair, it’s a lot less painful to just cut it out, rather than painstakingly try to pry each hair out of it piece by piece.

If you cut out a mat, your golden’s fur will grow back quickly, and they’ll be thankful you spared them from a painful, tedious chore.

What Brushes To NOT Use On Your Golden Retriever

Here’s a controversial topic when it comes to grooming golden retrievers: deshedding tools.

Deshedders, like the Furminator, can actually cut or pull out your dog’s coat and cause irreparable damage.

Most people opt to just use a slicker brush and an undercoat rake since those do a good enough job.

However, some people do love their deshedding tools and use them on their golden retrievers.

What are your thoughts on deshedders?

Let me know down in the comments!

How Often To Brush Your Golden Retriever

brushing golden retriever

Since goldens have long, thick coats and shed like maniacs, you need to brush them 3-7 times per week.

Some goldens have longer, thicker coats than others, and need to be brushed everyday, while others (like field golden retrievers) have shorter coats and need to be brushed just a few times per week.

Another factor that goes into how often to brush your golden retriever is the season.

Most goldens “blow” their coat in the spring and fall, meaning they shed profusely during this time.

Of course, with all the extra dead fur, you may have to brush them more often then.

And here are two pro tips if you want a clean house:

Tip #1: Brush them outside

When you brush your golden hair is going to be flying everywhere.

Unless you want it to fall on your floors, brush them outside.

Tip #2: Rub them down after you brush them

Once you brush them, there will be a lot of leftover fur still laying on them.

Rub them down with your hands in the same direction the fur lies to get it all off before you go inside.

This will spare your vacuum from having to suck up a little extra fur later.

When To Start Brushing Your Golden Retriever Puppy

Here’s a great question many golden retriever puppy owners have: when should you start brushing your puppy?

The answer: as soon as you get them!

But it’s not why you think…

Golden retriever puppies aren’t fierce shedders like their adult counterparts.

However, you do want to brush them early and often to get them used to being brushed.

Give them a lot of treats and keep the brushing sessions short and fun so that they learn to like being brushed.

What you don’t want to happen is you try to brush your six-month-old golden for the first time and they absolutely hate it, try to run away, and it turns into a traumatic experience.


golden retriever brush

The best brush for golden retrievers is a slicker brush.

Some goldens will also need an undercoat rake if they have thick coats or get mats often.

Have any questions about golden retriever brushes?

What’s your favorite brush for your golden?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you liked this article, you’ll love our 17 tips to manage golden retriever shedding.

P.S. Getting a golden retriever puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!

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