Best Brushes for Golden Retriever

Wen Duan
Written by Wen Duan

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Best Dog Brushes for Golden Retrievers


In our experience, golden retrievers do best with at least one weekly brushing. They have two coats and shed on a regular basis. It is best to brush them on a daily basis (brush, not comb) if you can. Brushing is a great way to reduce shedding, check your dog's skin, and of course bond with your dog! 


In this article, we will be going over the following to help you find the best dog brush for your gold retriever: 

  1. Different Types of Dog Brushes
  2. Golden Retriever Hair and Brushing Routine
  3. What you need to look for in a golden retriever brush
  4. Best Brushes for your Golden retriever
  5. Best Undercoat Rakes for your Golden Retriever

1. Different Types Of Dog Brushes

Slicker Dog Brush

A slicker brush removes knots and tangles. It also smooths the fur for a shiny coat. It has fine wire bristles with protective nubs to protect the skin. Be careful not to scratch your dog's skin. 

  • Made for medium/long hair
  • Best for curly coats
  • Great for heavy shedders 

Undercoat Dog Rake

These help remove the undercoat hair. By removing the hair you can prevent matting. This is great for dogs that shed their coat in clumps. The wide set of teeth will pass through the top coat and pull out the dead undercoat hair. 

  • Great for double coated dogs (Goldens, Huskies, Pomeranians, etc)  
  • Great for heavy thick coats 
  • Too much pressure with the brush can hurt your dog.  

Rubber Dog Brush

Rubber brushes are great for massages and shampooing. It is great for removing loose hair and helps stimulate blood flow on your dog. 

  • Great for all coat lengths (short hair especially) 
  • Great for dogs that shed a lot
  • Great for massages 

Double Sided Dog Brush

Double sided brush are the best of both words. There are two sides. The pin brush removes the tangle and mats in fur. The other side is the bristle brush which is great for smoothing.

  • Great for multiple dog hair types
  • Medium to long hair dogs
  • Great for smoothing and detangling 

Bristle Dog Brush

Bristle brushes are great for smoothing hair and distributing healthy oils in your dog's hair. This is a great brush for short haired dogs. Short bristles are best for short hair dog and longer bristles are best for long hair dogs. 

  • Great for shorter hair
  • Great for daily brushing

De-Shedding Dog Tool

De-Shedding dog tools are great for cats and dogs with short or medium hair. It's a popular model that is great for different types of hair, but not great for dogs with undercoats. 

  • Helps de-shed hair 
  • Not meant for golden retrievers  (dogs with undercoats)

Mat Breakers

Mat breakers are great for long hair dogs and help to remove hair knots. Do not use it on smooth coated dogs. Not needed for golden retrievers. 

  • Recommended for mat coats 
  • Have sharp blades that cut through matted areas
  • The blades are sharp and avoid applying too much pressure 

Shedding Blades

These are professional tools used by experienced groomers that are great for coverage and shedding.

  • Great for shedders
  • Has a bit of a learning curve
  • Should not be be used on more detailed areas (face, back of legs, etc)


2. Golden Retriever Hair 

Golden Retriever Hair Type

Golden retriever have two coats of medium length hair. Their hair helps them maintain temperature in both the winter and summer months. In the winter time, their undercoat grows to keep them warm. When spring comes around, the will shed their undercoat. 


They have longer hair (called feathering) around their neck, under-body, tail, and back of legs. These areas are prone to matting so make sure to brush these areas well. 

Golden Retriever Shedding

Golden retrievers shed all year round. To keep this under control, it's best to brush them on a regular basis with an undercoat rake and bristle brush. Daily brushing also keeps their hair from matting. Keep on top of shedding by brushing them on the regular. 

Can I shave a golden Retriever?

Do not shave your golden retriever. You can decrease shedding by using an undercoat rake when it starts getting warmer. This will help decrease shedding. They need their hair to help them keep warm or to keep cool. Shaving them will hinder their ability to maintain their body temperature. 


You can keep it trimmed, but not shaved. 

Brushing Routine

Daily Dog Brushing Routine

Brush with slicker brush or combination brush to detangle the fur and to help remove loose dog hair. Do not go over the same area more than 3 times with a slicker brush, as that can cause brush burn. Use a long pin brush to reach deeper into their coat to remove tangles and helps reach places where your slicker brush cannot. 

Weekly Brushing Routine

Use a dematting tool on your dog to help clear out tangles from the undercoat. Also use the undercoat rake to help remove hair from undercoat and to keep it from matting. Golden retrievers are prone to matting hair behind the ears, tails, and on the back legs so make sure to get those areas. 

Monthly Brushing Routine

Give your dog a bath. This will greatly reduce shedding. 

What to look for in a hair brush for golden retriever

1.

Undercoat rake and slicker brush: These are the best two brushes you will need to maintain your dog's hair to avoid matting and to keep shedding under control.


A slicker brush is a usually rectangular and has a lot of wiry bristles. It is made to remove lose hairs and dead skin cells. 


An undercoat rake has small sharp blades that close to remove the undercoat. They can remove dead, fuzzy, undercoat in minutes. Undercoat rakes can be used on a wet or dry coat. You do need to be careful when using this as it will cut the top coat while removing the undercoat. 

2.

Handle and Size: Look for a big brush with a larger surface area for your dog. This will help save your arm from fatigue. You also want a brush that is easy to grip and comfortable to hold. 

3.

Brush Pins Matter: For brushes you want bendable pins. High quality brushes have bendable and flexible pins. This is important because you do not want to irritate your dog's skin. When the pins bend back it eases up on the pressure you are applying on your dog thus avoiding brush burn. You also need smoothed tips on your slicker brush. Cheap brushes have sharp pins, which is irritating and not an enjoyable experience for your golden retriever. 

5.

AVOID THE FURNMINATOR: Furminators are great tools, just not for golden retrievers. This deshedding tools can damage your dog's coats instead of just removing the loose fur. With regular use, you will see the Furminator can damage their coat and skin over time. Best practice is to use a good brush and undercoat rake. 

This product went viral in 2018. Why? Because it works. It's a reusable super effective pet hair remover. No matter how much you brush, you are going to get shedding and hair in your home. This will be the best investment you've ever made! 

  • Eco-friendly, reusable over and over again. 
  • Removes dog and cat hair, lint, and dander from couches, beds, etc
  • No batteries needed

The Furminator is the most popular brush out there and it is on a lot of lists. It is super effective when it comes to deshedding your golden. BUT groomers and competition dog lovers have found that overtime the Furminator rips out the undercoat of your golden.  For more information check out our article on this list:

Pros

  • Easy to use 
  • Gets undercoat and top coat 

Cons

  • Rips out undercoat hair 
  • Destroys golden hair and skin if used regularly 
  • Not suitable for goldens

Best Dog Brushes for golden retrievers

Remove hair, mats, tangles, and dirt from your pet with minimal effort. This slicker brush is made of the highest quality material with easy to use ergonomic handles. It is self cleaning with retractable pins. 

  • 5" Brush head 
  • Self cleaning
  • Gentle high quality stainless steel brisltes 

Pros

  • Ergonomic brush design with soft anti slip brush handle
  • Great angled brush
  • Strong quality pins that stay in place
  • Comes in multiple sizes and colors

Cons

  • Finer bristles so you need to brush slower
  • More expensive compared to other brands

These are easy to clean brushes for you pet. It is a comfortable and strong durable slicker brush. 

  • Brush head is 5 x 2 3/4" 
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Harder bristles

Pros

  • Great for long to medium hair dog
  • More affordable
  • Good handle

Cons

  • Not so great with thinner hair

This Kong removes the dead hair from both the undercoat and overcoat. It removes loose hair like a magnet. It's great for removing hair and use during bath time. 

  • Massages your dog
  • Easy to use
  • Easy on your dog's skin

Pros

  • Great for long to medium hair dog
  • Stimulates capillaries and natural oil
  • Use wet and dry fur

Cons

  • Getting hair can be tricky

Stainless steel slicker brush that is great for reducing shedding and work on all coat types. 

  • Super easy to clean 
  • Stainless steel bristles
  • Do not apply too much pressure

Pros

  • Comes in multiple sizes 
  • Smaller bristles
  • Easy to clean
  • Solid handles

Cons

  • Sharper pin heads
  • Button Issues

One of the most gentle brushes on the market. That has very sturdy handle and flexible pins.

  • 4.5" heads 
  • Ideal for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Flexible pins

Pros

  • Gentle bristles
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Works great on dogs with double coat

Cons

  • Not self cleaning
  • More expensive
  • Poor handle quality

Made for professionals. I included this because it will do the job the best, but it will take learning. This brush is really a shedding blade. It's not meant for a deep brush but for removing loose hair for a clean healthy coat. This is a great option for a quick pass through for loose hair.  It will get to undercoat.  This is a grooming tool, not every day brush.

  • Used by highly experienced groomers
  • Covers large area 
  • Do not use on face, legs, tail, ears

Pros

  • Great coverage
  • Super effective

Cons

  • Avoid sensitive areas and applying too much pressure
  • Made for highly experienced groomers

Best Undercoat Rake for golden retrievers

High quality undercoat rake made with the best materials. This is great for dogs with heavy or double coats. 

  • Comes in multiple blade sizes 
  • Made of durable and biodegradable materials
  • Rounded and safe blade tip

Pros

  • High quality
  • Fantastic customer service
  • Gets to undercoat

Cons

  • Small in size 
  • More expensive

Made for dog breeds with medium undercoats. This rake is easy to use  and has a solid handle. 

  • Designed for medium undercoats
  • Erogonomic designs 

Pros

  • Solid handle
  • Really gets into the undercoat
  • Rounded rake bottom

Cons

  • Takes time to run through

This has a 2-in-1 dual head. You can start with 8 teeth then transition on 17 teeth. It works great on mats and tangles. 

  • No scratch rounded outside teeth
  • Cuts well through toughest mat

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Two options for mat and tangles

Cons

  • Be careful not to apply too much pressure

Did I miss anything? Have any tips? Comment down below and let me know what's worked for you and what hasn't worked!


About the author

Wen Duan

Wen Duan

Wen is a proud dog mom and a frequent contributor to our GoldenRetrieverLove.com blog.

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