7 Best Brushes for German Shorthaired Pointers with 5 Simple Brushing Tips
GSPs – as they’re often called — are intelligent, friendly dogs with beautiful liver and white-colored coats. Often described as noble and aristocratic, they average about 24 inches in height and weigh around 50 to 60 pounds. Endlessly energetic, they require two fairly substantial activity periods each day.
While their exercise needs are high, their grooming requirements are far more reasonable. They have a short, dense undercoat beneath a stiff, water-resistant topcoat. According to the American Kennel Club, brushing should occur weekly.
The breed regularly sheds, although not excessively. Generally, shedding increases during spring and fall, tapering down in summer and winter. Even though they have short coats, without proper grooming, their loose hairs can pile up quickly around your house.
Fortunately, grooming is usually fairly easy. GSPs are easily trainable, so most will sit still while you brush them. Plus, with the right brush, grooming will feel enjoyable instead of annoying to your furry friend.
Weekly brushing provides a variety of benefits. First, it noticeably helps reduce hair accumulation. Brushing collects all the loose and old hair from your dog’s coat. Otherwise, if the hair falls out naturally, it’ll end up on your furniture, carpet, and everywhere else. Collecting it from the brush is the cleaner and easier alternative.
Additionally, weekly brushing helps keep your GSP looking their best. Removing the old hair allows new, healthy hair to take its place. Plus, brushing spreads your dog’s natural skin oils evenly through his coat, helping add strength and shine.
Also, brushing helps keep your dog clean. Dirt and outdoor debris are often easily trapped underneath the dog’s topcoat. Typically, you don’t want to bathe your GSP each week, as doing so can dry out his skin and coat. However, brushing is a water-free alternative to keep your pup clean. Removing dirt helps remove any related bacteria, too.
Finally, brushing is an excellent bonding experience for you and your dog. This breed loves to spend time with their owners. Brushing is a calm, soothing activity that helps your dog feel safe and connected to you. Plus, you’ll likely enjoy the time spent, too!
What is the Best Brush for a German Shorthaired Pointer?
If you don’t have time to read the entire guide right now, here’s a quick breakdown of the seven best brushes for a GSP:
Different Types of Popular German Shorthaired Pointer Brushes
You’ll certainly find no shortage of dog brushes. They’re available in all shapes, sizes, and styles. However, dog brushes generally fall into one of four main categories:
Bristle brushes are usually the best, most versatile option for short-haired dogs with a smooth coat, such as a German Shorthaired Pointer. These brushes have multiple, small clusters of bristles. The bristles are typically made from either:
- Natural fibers
- Boar’s hair
- A combination of the above
The tightly-packed bristles remove loose hair and stimulate hair follicles. Collecting the hair in the brush prevents it from covering your furniture and carpet. Additionally, stimulating bristles help promote healthy hair and skin.
Many bristle brushes have wooden bases, although plastic and metal bases are also available.
Pin brushes aren’t just commonly used on dogs; you probably have a pin brush or two you use yourself. They’re typically oval-shaped with flexible wires arranged loosely. Each wire has a tiny ball on the end to prevent scratching.
Pin brushes have benefits and downsides when used on a GSP. They remove loose hair, but not mats. Plus, they don’t stimulate the skin like bristle brushes. Most people use pin brushes as a finishing brush. After a thorough brushing with a bristle brush, you can follow up with the pin brush to add fluff and shine.
You can also find a variety of brushes with bristles on one side and pins on the other. They’re an easy all-in-one tool that incorporates the two best types of brushes for short-haired pups.
Slicker brushes consist of short wires placed close together on a flat or curved surface. They’re effective at removing mats and tangles. Typically, they’re best for dogs with medium-to-long hair or curly hair.
You shouldn’t use just any slicker brush on a short-haired dog like a German Shorthaired Pointer. The fine wires can irritate or even hurt your dog’s skin if the brush is designed for use on long hair.
You can find special slicker brushes for use on short hair. However, they still require a gentle touch when used. Also, slicker brushes aren’t ideal for regular brushing; they’re only used to remove mats.
Rakes have two to three rows of long teeth. Shaped like a straight razor, they’re designed to treat tough tangles, and a condition called dead undercoat where the second coat becomes packed with loose, old hair.
You should never use a rake on a German Shorthaired Pointer. Dead undercoat and severe tangles aren’t common problems with this breed. Using a rake on a short-haired dog typically results in skin irritation, pain, and potentially even injury.
Overall Best Brush for a German Shorthaired Pointer
|Our 2019 Picks: German Shorthaired Pointer Brush Recommendations|
Check out our favorite choice for brushing your German Shorthaired Pointer.
Wags & Wiggles Dual-Sided Bristle and Pin Brush
From trusted dog experts Wags & Wiggles, this dual-sided bristle and pin brush is comfortable for both you and your pet. It allows for quick, easy, and professional-level grooming.
The first thing you’ll notice is the brush’s shape and style. It’s a fun light purple with an hourglass handle and a rounded, diamond-shaped brush head.
However, it’s not just fashionable; it’s functional, too. The brush head covers large areas quickly, to cut down on grooming time without a reduction in quality.
Also, the easy-grip handle has an ergonomic design and long-lasting, molded-plastic construction. It’s lightweight with a secure grip, so it won’t slip out of your hand when brushing away mats and tangles.
Use the bristle side to remove dirt and loose hair, allowing soft, new hair to shine. Follow up by using the wire side to remove mats and tangles without damaging your dog’s topcoat or skin.
6 More Top-Rated German Shorthaired Pointers Dog Brushes
Check out the rest of our favorites.
Safari Combo Brush for Dogs
You probably already have a wide selection of toys and gear. Why add two brushes when one will work even better?
Safari’s combo brush has a bristle side and a pin side. You can prevent shedding and add style to your dog’s coat without having to switch brushes.
The main side has a series of small clusters with tough but flexible bristles. It’s used to brush your dog’s entire coat. The bristles gather up loose hair and debris to help reduce shedding and promote new, healthy hair growth.
Once you’ve brushed your GSP with the bristle, flip the brush over for a quick session with the pin side. The flexible wire pins help remove additional loose hair from the topcoat. Pin brushing also helps add shine.
Overall, the brush is well-made and durable. The plastic construction securely holds both the bristles and pins in place but allows a slight give for comfortable brushing. Additionally, the handle has an ergonomic design with raised sections for extra grip.
Martha Stewart Adjustable Strap Massage Bristle Dog Brush
Martha Stewart makes products for pets, too, and they’re the same high-quality as her products for people!
You might’ve read that GSPs benefit from a “horse brush.” While this can mean a brush designed for horses, it’s often a term used to refer to this style of horizontal, strapped bristle brush for dogs.
Martha’s brush has a contoured plastic housing with soft, natural bristles. Placed within the bristles are 14 rubber nubs. As the bristles remove loose hair and dirt, the rubber nubs massage the skin.
Weekly use not only helps reduce shedding around the house, but the massage action stimulates blood flow for increased follicle health.
Plus, the massage feels good, too! Keeping the dog relaxed makes grooming easier. It also creates excellent opportunities for bonding.
The contoured top is comfortable to hold, and a soft, adjustable hand strap secures your grip. Guide the brush across your dog’s coat for fast, comfortable grooming.
Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog Slicker Brush
Even though GSPs have short hair, it’s often dense. Penetrating this thick fur to remove mats often requires a slicker brush.
As mentioned earlier, you only want to use a slicker brush designed for short-haired breeds on your GSP. Hertzko’s Self-Cleaning Brush is our pick for a GSP-friendly slicker brush. While you probably won’t want to use it during every grooming session, it’s the best way to remove the toughest tangles and mats.
The semi-flexible bristles have a slight curve allowing them to pass through the topcoat into the undercoat, but without going so far that they scrape against the skin. However, as with any slicker brush, you’ll want to use it slowly and gently to avoid accidental scratching.
The best feature here is the automatic retraction button. By pulling the bristles into the brush housing, you can collect all the gathered-up loose hair for easy disposal.
Four Paws Magic Coat Gentle Slicker Brush
Another excellent slicker brush for German Shorthaired Pointers is this Magic Coat Brush from Four Paws. Like any slicker brush, it untangles tangles and removes mats in the undercoat.
However, unlike a traditional slicker brush, this one is specifically made for breeds with short coats and sensitive skin. The bristles are extra gentle to prevent painful contact.
When using a slicker brush on a GSP, you want to remain gentle. Fortunately, the brush’s handle gives you excellent control of your movements. The handle has a non-slip grip with several rubberized sections.
Aside from helping control shedding, regular use of this brush also helps improve blood flow throughout the skin. Not only does the Magic Coat brush improve the look of your dog’s coat, but it improves hair health, too.
Mr. Peanut’s Hand Gloves
Although most German Shorthaired Pointers have no problem with brushing, if your furry friend is nervous about grooming, get a pair of Mr. Peanut’s Hand Gloves.
The gloves are made from a flexible mesh and soft rubber. They fit over your hands. You brush your GSP by petting him, which is often far less stressful for the dog.
The gloves have soft, rubber tips that gather loose hair. While they’re not as thorough as bristle or slicker brushes, they still effectively help manage occasional shedding.
An adjustable, fuzzy hand strap allows you to secure the gloves to your hands. Operation isn’t as precise as a brush, but you’ll still have no problem grooming larger sections. When you’re done, rinse the glove with water and let it air dry.
Grooming gloves aren’t the absolute best anti-shedding tool, but they’re an effective solution if traditional brushes give your dog anxiety.
FURminator Curry Comb for Dogs
The FURminator is a classic grooming tool for dogs, although not every version is appropriate for short-haired dogs. If you want a FURminator suitable for use on your GSP, choose this Curry Comb. It’s specifically made to help control shedding for short and medium coats.
It has molded rubber teeth that remove loose hair while also stimulating natural oil production. Regular use helps keep hair strong and shiny.
Additionally, the brush is made from durable, antimicrobial plastic. It’s a “horse brush” style brush with an ergonomic handle. Several rubber sections help you maintain a secure grip.
5 Simple Tips to Properly Brush a German Shorthaired Pointer
Consider these tips the next time you brush your pup.
- Start young. Younger puppies are usually more responsive to training than older dogs, who are more set in their ways. Puppies under the age of 12 weeks typically have no problem with new experiences, including grooming. If you start young, your dog will likely never have issues with brushing.
- Train your dog to stand still or sit. Fortunately, GSPs are typically easy to train. If they can remain calm and relatively motionless during brushing, you can do a thorough job – and it goes faster, too.
- Be thorough. Brush the dog’s entire body, including the back, chest, legs, and head. Use long strokes as often as possible. However, never brush the same area more than three times during a grooming session, as doing so can cause skin irritation.
- Use positive reinforcement. German Shorthaired Pointers naturally want to please their owners. During training, you’ll typically get better results with praise than reprimands. When your dog sits still during brushing, shower him with compliments and treats.
- Keep the brush clean. Remove the collected hair after each brushing session. Also, wash and sterilize the brush every month or so. Regular cleaning helps prevent bacterial buildup, which can spread back to your dog during grooming.
The main takeaway is to keep your dog calm and relaxed as much as possible. An anxious dog is difficult to brush properly.
FAQ Regarding German Shorthaired Pointers Brushing/Grooming
Do German Shorthaired Pointers Shed?
Despite their short coat, GSPs do shed. Although their shedding isn’t as noticeable as with longer-haired dogs, the hair will accumulate in your home without regular brushing. Typically, shedding increases during the transition periods between the warmest and coldest times of the year.
How Often Should You Brush a German Shorthaired Pointer?
Most GSPs only need brushing once a week. Remember, dogs crave routine. Try to brush your dog at the same general time each week. Also, brush him in a quiet area of your home free from distractions.
Can You Overbrush a German Shorthaired Pointer?
You can, and it’s surprisingly easy to do so due to their short coats. Overbrushing can cause skin irritation and discomfort. As a general rule, never brush an area of the dog more than three times during a single grooming session.
What Type of Brush is Best for a German Shorthaired Pointer?
Generally, you want brushes with soft, short bristles. Bristle and pin brushes are often the most effective and comfortable on dogs with short hair. Slicker brushes are useful for removing tangles, but only ones made for short-haired breeds.
What are the Benefits to Regular Brushing?
Regular brushing benefits both you and your dog. Collecting hair in the brush helps prevent it from covering surfaces in your home. Additionally, brushing improves the appearance and texture of your dog’s coat.