Best Dog Brush For Golden Retrievers [2 Popular Types]

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[Updated July 2019]

What is the best dog brush for Golden Retrievers?  In this article, we are going to look at 2 of the most popular types.  Plus you’ll find out which brush I prefer to use on my Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers are a very popular breed and with good reason.  They are gentle, smart, loving and have a way of making you laugh.

But, they have a lot of hair!!  This breed is definitely not for allergy sufferers.  They shed a lot, and require regular brushing to manage all that hair.

All that hair might discourage you from owning this wonderful breed, and you may think that maintaining a golden’s coat requires a lot of work.  It does take some work, but it is easier than you think.

How To Begin Brushing Your Golden Retriever

Getting any dog used to something new and unfamiliar is always a bit of a challenge.

If you are wanting to brush your puppy for the first time, you will have to show your puppy the brush and let him sniff it.  Don’t be surprised if you start brushing and your puppy runs away.

It will take a bit of time for your puppy to get used to being brushed.  Make sure to start out slow and brush gently.

Praise and reward your puppy with affection or treats, or both to let him know that being brushed is a good thing.

If you make brushing a part of your regular routine, your puppy will learn to enjoy the experience or at least tolerate it.

Golden Retrievers Love Being Brushed

Headshot of a happy white Golden Retriever.

This is a pretty bold statement, and it may or may not be the case with your Golden Retriever, but it is the case with mine.

I am the proud owner of a female Golden Retriever named Ellie, we affectionately refer to her as a Diva.

Ellie loves getting beautified, any attention put on her the better. It wasn’t always that way.

When she was a puppy every time I tried to brush her she wanted nothing to do with it. She would see the brush and run away!

So, how did she turn into a Diva you ask? Well, it took time to get her used to being brushed.

I was persistent with her, showing her the brush, letting her sniff it and gently brushing her, and offering a treat after.

I did this daily, and over time she started getting used to it.  Sometimes she would see the brush as a toy and grab it in her mouth and run away with it, making me chase her. All in good fun.

The Importance Of Brushing Your Golden Retriever

To Keep Their Coat Looking Its Best

Golden Retrievers have a double-coat, consisting of a dense water repellent outer coat, and a thick undercoat.  Some coats range from being wavy, to straight.

Regular brushing, I recommend daily brushing, will help to maintain your golden’s coat and keep it looking its best.

If you brush your golden every day for just 10-15 minutes, you will find that it is easier to maintain your dog’s coat than if you only brush once a week.

Reduce The Hair That Sheds

Golden Retrievers shed a lot!!  You will notice heavy shedding in the spring and fall when they lose their summer and winter coats, and then moderate shedding during summer and winter.

By brushing daily, you will remove the loose dead hair, and help to reduce some of the shedding.

Find out the 10 important tips to control and stop Golden Retriever shedding.

Less Hair In Your Home

When brushing your Golden Retriever, I suggest you do so outside.  By brushing daily and going outside to do so, you will help eliminate some of the hair that ends up in your house.

I brush Ellie outside in the yard, she likes to chew her sticks while I brush her.  It is a win-win situation.  I don’t have to deal with all the hair flying around in the house, and she gets to enjoy time outside.

Eliminate Tangles And Matting

All of that long hair can easily get tangled and without regular brushing can lead to matting.

Matting can be very painful for your dog, and sometimes in extreme cases shaving your dog is the only option.

Regular brushing keeps your golden’s coat free of tangles and matting.

Keeps The Coat Healthy And Shiny

Brushing will stimulate your dog’s natural oils in their skin, helping to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Keep Dirt And Debris Out

Golden Retriever rolling in sand on the beach.

Golden’s love to get dirty and roll in the mud, among other things! (dead smelly animals). They also love to go into the water. Brushing will help keep the dirt and debris out of their coats.

Monitor Changes In Health

Regular brushing will also allow you to keep a close eye on any changes in their skin, ears, and paws for any potential issues.  You will be able to notice any lumps or bumps that shouldn’t be there.

Brushing Is A Good Bonding Experience

Having a strong bond with their dog is something that every dog owner strives to achieve.

Brushing your dog is one way to strengthen your bond with your dog.  It is quality time spent together.

Find out 11 tips to help strengthen the bond with your dog.

What Type Of Brush To Look For

When looking for a brush for your Golden Retriever, you need to look at brushes that are specifically designed for long thick hair.

Some criteria to consider are:

The Size Of Brush:  

Don’t get a tiny brush.  Look for a brush that has a large head so it can cover more area of your dog’s fur, saving you time.

The Spacing Of The Bristles:  

The space between each bristle is important. You do not want the bristles to be too tight together making it harder to brush through your dog’s thick fur.

Look for a brush with wide spaced bristles, so that you can easily brush thick fur and not cause any pain for your dog.

Sturdy Handle:

Make sure the brush has a good sturdy and firm handle. It should feel comfortable in your hand, this is especially important if you are going to be brushing on a daily basis.

Get A Brush Meant For A Dog:

Also, make sure that the brush you buy is actually meant for a dog!

Don’t make the same mistake that I once did by trying to save money and just buying a human hairbrush at the local drugstore. It was so not the same thing!! Lesson learned.

A Look At 2 Popular Types Of Brushes

1. Slicker Brush:

Slicker Brushes usually have a rectangular shaped head, with fine wire bristles that are spaced tightly together. The bristles are slightly angled so that they do not scratch your dog’s skin.

This type of brush quickly and effectively removes any loose fur from your dog’s coat.

Slicker Brushes are good at removing mats and tangles, and dead skin.

This brush type is mainly used for thick or curly-haired dogs, that require a more rigorous grooming routine.

Look for a self-cleaning slicker brush, which means that there is a button on the back of the head that you push and the bristles will retract and you can easily clean the dog hair away.

It is very important to note that slicker brushes need to be used gently.  If you apply too much pressure with this type of brush, you could scratch your dog’s skin.

My Slicker Brush Recommendations:

Paw Brothers Slicker Brush

This brush is made for medium to large sized dogs that have thick or double coated hair.  It is a large size brush with stainless steel pins and a non-slip rubberized handle.

GoPets Self-Cleaning Professional Slicker Brush

This brush penetrates deep into the hair and grooms the undercoat without scratching the skin.

It has a button that you push to retract the bristles so that the hair in the brush can easily be removed.

It has a comfortable gel gripped handle that helps prevent hand and wrist strain.

2. Pin Brush:

Pin Brushes usually have a rounded/oval shaped head, with wire pins with smoothed ball tips to prevent any scratching to the skin.

Pin brushes are a good choice for long-haired dogs because the bristles have a wide space between them that allows for gentle yet thorough brushing.

Look for a pin brush that has all wire pins. A brush with all wire pins will effectively remove any loose hair and tangles from your dog.

Avoid a pin brush that has rubberized tips. I find that the rubberized tips are not effective at all in removing any tangles or loose hair. The tips are too big and smooth to be able to grip anything.

Because pin brushes are so gentle and massaging, your dog will likely enjoy the brushing experience. This will allow you to be able to brush your dog more frequently.

My Pin Brush Recommendations:

Andis Pet Tool

This brush is great for medium to large sized dogs and ideal for long hair.  It easily detangles and removes dirt and loose hair.

Boshel Dog Hair Brush & Rubber Dog Hair Remover

This is a 2 in 1 brush that easily detangles your dog’s hair, and the other side of the brush removes the dog hair off of your clothes or any other surface.

Advantages and Disadvantages

1. Slicker Brush


  • Effectively removes mats and tangles.
  • Able to penetrate deep into the fur.
  • Massages the skin.


  • Wire bristles can scratch your dog’s skin, if not used gently.
  • Uncomfortable for your dog, because of the above reason, and therefore may not be used daily.

2. Pin Brush


  • Gentle on your dog, with smooth rounded tips.
  • Wide spaced bristles, allow for a thorough brushing, and gentle removal of tangles.
  • Good for daily use.


  • Not as quick and effective at detangling the coat.
  • Doesn’t penetrate down to the skin.

My Preferred Type Of Brush

I own both a slicker brush and a pin brush with wire pins.  A slicker brush is great at removing more hair from your dog because it quickly penetrates down into the coat to remove fur.

However, my Golden Retriever does not enjoy the slicker brush at all!  Even when lightly brushing her she pulls away.  It is painful for her, so I don’t use it.

The only brush I use is a pin brush.  I love it and so does Ellie.  With a pin brush, I am able to brush her thoroughly every day.  It is very massaging for her, and I don’t need to use anything else.

Final Thoughts On Best Dog Brush For Golden Retrievers

I hope that the above article has given you some perspective about the type of brush to use on your Golden Retriever.

We looked at 2 of the most popular types, the pin brush and slicker brush.  There are many brushes available to use on your golden, but I highly recommend a pin brush.

If your golden does not enjoy being brushed, it might be the type of brush you are using, maybe try a pin brush.  Because of its massaging bristles your dog just might learn to enjoy it.

Please keep in mind the importance of regular brushing, and with the right type of brush, your dog will likely enjoy being brushed on a regular basis.

What About You?

Does your golden enjoy the brushing experience?  What is your favourite brush to use?  Have you tried a pin brush?

Please share your thoughts and comments below.  I would love to hear from you.

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16 thoughts on “Best Dog Brush For Golden Retrievers [2 Popular Types]”

  1. I have Belgian Sheepdogs. The dogs and I like Madan pin brushes. They can be hard to find; sometimes, Amazon has them. The pins stay out and have a very comfortable handle. They are half the cost of Chris Christenson brushes and last longer. My dog brings me the brush for grooming time!

    • Hi Nancy,
      I am so glad that you and your dogs love using pin brushes and that you have found a brand that works great for you. The way the brush feels in your hand is very important and makes all the difference. I love that your dog tells you it’s grooming time by bringing you the brush, that is so sweet.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

  2. Hi there,

    I agree with all your points regarding the importance of brushing your dog. Most dog owners tend to think that it’s just beautification and maintenance when it goes deeper than that. It is also a way of unconsciously checking any physical changes that may lead to more serious illnesses with our dogs.
    Say hi to Ellie for me 😀

    • Hi Cory,
      Brushing is very important as part of your dog’s daily routine. It allows you to check for any changes with your dog’s skin and allows you to stay on top of their health. I am glad you agree with my points. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. I didn’t realize brushes were so important for a dog’s coat health, I thought any dog brush would do but now I don’t believe so. I have a dog and he isn’t a Golden Retriever he is a golden colour with long hair though and I will be getting him a slicker brush. Thanks for the good quality articles. Will be looking forward to your next.

    • Hi Vanissa,

      Getting the right brush for your dog is so important, as it makes all the difference not only for you but for your dog as well.  A slicker brush is a good choice for your dog with long hair, as it will easily penetrate down into the coat to remove loose dead hair.  In the beginning, I too thought any brush will do, but I was wrong!  

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


    • Hi Gordon,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Great question.

      There are so many grooming tools and brushes available for Golden Retrievers!! Honestly, I have never used anything other than a slicker brush and a pin brush! I don’t even use a slicker brush anymore because my Ellie doesn’t like it. I brush her daily and only use a good pin brush. That is all I need. That being said, there are many people that use undercoat rakes as well as wide tooth combs. Because I don’t have experience with either I cannot recommend.

      I highly recommend a steel pin brush to thoroughly brush and remove any loose or dead fur. I have never needed anything else. If you have any experience with using an undercoat rake or comb I would love to hear how it worked for you.
      Once again thank you for your comment.
      Take care,

  4. Hi Jenny,
    Thanks for your review. We own two Sheltie’s so we do a lot of brushing lol. We love the slicker brush. They have such a thick coat, it’s the only brush that really works. And it works well. Really gets into the undercoat.

    • Hi Suzanne:
      Thank you for your comment. Glad to hear that you enjoy using the slicker brush on your 2 Sheltie’s. Take care,

  5. I personally like the slicker brush. I watch dogs on a daily basis and I could use a good brush. One dog I watch, Rocky, like to roll in the grass and comes in filthy. So having a brush on hand just for him would be perfect. Great information, thanks!

  6. Great post, the tips you’ve shared will help me when I get our dog in a month’s time. Although she’s not a golden retriever, you’ve helped me understand the difference between the 2 types of brushes and how they work on the dogs. I would never have guessed that the pinned brush is actually less scratchy on dogs. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Kat, thank you for your comment. You will have to let me know how you are doing when you get your new dog. I would love to hear from you and see some pictures.

  7. Great article, thank you. I have a short-haired fox terrier who gets mats like crazy. His fur is short and straight. Which brush would work best for that type of dog breed? Thanks in advance, Karen

    • Hi Karen, thank you for your comment. The brush you could try for your fox terrier is called a Kong Zoom Groom, it has rubberized cones which help grip the hair. The size of the brush fits in the palm of your hand. A lot of people with fox terriers say this brush works well. Also, you could try the rubber glove brush, or a soft bristle brush. Hope this helps.


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