7 Best Brushes for Poodles with Helpful Tips for Proper Grooming

You may think of France when you imagine a poodle, but these dogs actually initially came from Germany.

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Poodles were bred as water retrievers to hunt and retrieve ducks and other foul, and got their name from the German word pudel, meaning “splashing in water.” This breed can be extremely active thanks to their origins in the field, and many modern-day poodles still love the water.

Poodles have famous coats because of the fancy poodle clip. However, the poodle haircut did not begin as a fashionable trim. It was for functionality to keep a poodle’s joints and torso warm when retrieving in cold water. The fancy haircut also freed up parts of the dog’s body to dry faster and remain less waterlogged while swimming.

Poodles are often thought of as frou-frou, and some people connect them with the world of fashion or trendsetters. Poodles are actually one of the most intelligent breeds of dog, though. Speaking of breeds, while there are three sizes of poodles, standard, miniature, and toy, there is only one breed of poodles.

Poodles are considered actually to have hair instead of fur. Fur itself is categorized by shorter strands that regularly falls out during shedding. Hair grows longer and does not fall out the way fur does, but instead only occasionally drops strands of loose hairs or sometimes with hormonal shifts in a poodle’s body. For the sake of reviewing brushes, we will refer to their coats as fur occasionally, but technically your poodle has a body coat of hair.

A poodle’s coat is extremely thick and curly. It is because of this dense, textured hair that poodles can be particularly prone to mats, which can get so bad they need cut off if neglected. Taking care of your poodle’s coat is a vital part of taking care of the whole dog.

Doing so prevents uncomfortable tangles and even the need to shave them—therefore allowing them to get colder—if mats get out of control.

Using the correct brush for your poodle is not only imperative to remove mats and keep their coat under control, but also to work through the densely packed strands. Their undercoat is so thick that even when parting their fur it can be hard to see through the multitude of hair, so picking a brush that can make its way through the tangle is crucial for getting all of those tiny mats you might otherwise miss.

Different Types of Popular Poodle Brushes

Poodles, of course, are known for their coats—whether it be a fancy show cut on a standard poodle or a natural curly coat on a miniature or toy poodle. With this curly fur and thick undercoat, poodles require some special brushes/combs and brushing techniques.

Once you are in the habit of keeping your poodle mat-free, it can be simple to maintain their initially daunting coats.

Slicker Brush

Slicker brushes are fantastic for many dog breeds, but especially for thick poodle hair. A slicker brush, with its delicate, flexible metal bristles is ideal for working through a poodle’s fur and performing line brushing, an essential technique with poodles.

Slicker brushes are also excellent for deshedding your poodle regularly. This brush is a go-to necessity if you have a poodle for using during regular brushings, detangling before bathing, and checking for daily mats.

Wide-Tooth Comb

A wide-tooth comb is not necessarily needed for every kind of dog, but these are ideal in working with poodles. After using a slicker brush, you can go back and check your work with a wide-tooth comb.

Doing so will alert you to any tangles you might have missed, but the wide-set tines of this type of comb will prevent excessively harsh yanking if you do comb across a small mat.

Deshedding Tool

A deshedding comb is helpful for poodles during warmer seasons or times of the year when they lose more of their coat, such as summer or during hormonal changes. These blunt-tipped combs should be used after line brushing with a slicker brush and checking for small mats with a comb.

After the full coat is brushed through, a deshedding tool can work wonders at going back through and doing a final, thorough job smoothing fur.

Undercoat Rake

When used correctly, an undercoat rake can be incredibly helpful with the thick, curly coat of a poodle. Undercoat rakes de-shed loose fur partially and cut small amounts of strands to very slightly thin out the undercoat. Using an undercoat rake will help keep varying lengths in your poodle’s coat, staggering the undercoat, and also minimize mats.

This is a helpful maintenance technique can be done every few days to every couple of weeks, depending on your preference and your poodle’s specific needs. Once you remove mats with a slicker brush, you can use the undercoat rake, and then go back over it with a deshedding tool to pick up any leftover loose hair.

Best Poodle Dog Brush

Li’l Pals Dog Slicker Brush with Coated Pins

Our Hands Down Favorite

The Li’l Pals dog slicker brush with coated pins is ideal for miniature and toy poodles but can be used on standard poodles, as well. The smaller size of this brush offers more control, and even on large poodles, it is a significant benefit when brushing out hard to reach areas or the creases of your dog’s legs, for example.

What we love most about this brush, though, is the small coated tips of the flexible metal bristles. When brushing a poodle regularly, you want to avoid giving them “brush burn” on their skin. The coated tips help prevent scraping on the epidermis.

6 More Top-Rated Poodle Dog Brushes

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

Hertzko’s self-cleaning slicker brush is a genius idea for those who dislike cleaning the fur out of combs and brushes. The removable plate comes off and takes the buildup of fur with it, so you don’t have to struggle to pull hair out from between the pins.

The flexible, angled metal bristles have enough “give” to contour along your dog’s body, while still being firm enough to remove loose fur and distribute oils through their coat. It also comes in two sizes, which is ideal for poodle lovers. Regardless of whether you have a large standard poodle or a toy poodle, this is a fantastic brush.

Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush

The Andis premium large pin pet brush is ideal for poodle owners, especially those with standard poodles. The curved, cushioned paddle is excellent for those who like a pin or slicker brush but don’t like the hard, flat surfaces of slicker brush paddles.

The extra-long pins are fantastic for reaching deep into long poodle hair, while the coated pin tips protect against brush burn. This brush has an ergonomic handle and a classic design, making it excellent for daily brushing, taking it with you when you travel with your dog, or taking your pup to shows.

Pet Republique Dematting Rake

Pet Republique’s dematting rake is ideal for those who like to keep their poodle’s hair longer but are concerned about frequent matting. While poodles have a reputation for being hypoallergenic and not shedding, they do still lose hairs and can drop hair during different life phases, such as after having puppies.

This dematting rake, or undercoat rake, is excellent at thinning out their coat just a little and removing loose hair from, especially mat-prone areas. With a dull outer curve but sharper inner blades, this rake actually cuts some of the undercoats to keep it more in control. Using this rake during hotter months can also provide your poodle with a bit of added comfort when their thick fur is thinned out.

Andis Steel Pet Comb

The Andis steel pet comb is a vital tool for going back over a brushing job to double check for tangles and mats. For difficult tangled areas, this comb can also be helpful to work through the spot after initially working through the knot with your fingers. The broader-set tooth side can be used, starting from the bottom and working your way up, to detangle before using a slicker brush.

When line brushing, this comb is a fantastic tool to go back through and check your work to see if there are any tangles or mats that you missed. The thick handle of this comb is more comfortable to hold than many other wide tooth combs, making it essential for those who plan on daily brushing.

Dakpets FURblaster Deshedding & Light Trimming Tool

The Dakpets FURblaster deshedding and light trimming tool have an ergonomic handle with a comfortable grip, 90° angled comb. The comb itself is removable for cleaning and even more thorough washing if your poodle is particularly dirty.

This deshedding tool is ideal for poodle owners who are extra sensitive to the hair around the house, or who have a poodle going through a hair-thinning period in their dog’s life. The blunt-tipped tines are made to pull through the hair without scratching the skin. First, go through and brush your poodle’s coat. Then go back through with the deshedding tool to remove excess hair.

Safari Dual-Sided Shedding Blade Dog Grooming Tool

The Safari Dual-Sided Shedding Blade is excellent for a final smoothing job on poodle coats. What is fantastic about this affordable model is not only the two sides with two different sizes of teeth but also that it can be used on miniature poodles and large standard poodles.

You can unlock the curved “blade” and open it up for coverage over much larger dogs. Your poodle may not shed much, but this is great to have around when they do lose a little of their coat now and then, as well as for a smoothing brushing.

5 Simple Tips to Properly Brush a Poodle

Poodles have quite distinctive coats made of thick, curly hair with an undercoat. Because of this unique fur, brushing over the top of a poodle’s hair will not work the way it does with other canines that have silky, long, or straight coat. Follow these tips to brush your poodle effectively.

  • Use the line brushing technique to get to the undercoat of your poodle and make sure you are correctly removing even the deep (close to the skin) mats.
  • Make sure you hold the dog’s skin down, so you are not tugging their skin. Especially if your dog has a lot of play or looser skin, it can be painful if you pull too hard. Keep a firm but gentle grip on the epidermis above the line you are brushing.
  • Go back through with the line brushing technique with a wide-tooth comb to make sure you caught all mats in the undercoat and near the skin.
  • Always brush your poodle before bathing, as getting mats and tangles wet can exacerbate the problem.
  • Poodle’s coats need regular maintenance to avoid severe matting. Make brushing a routine, at the very least a few times a week to prevent problematic tangles.

Poodles have such thick coats you will need at least two different brushes/combs to regularly maintain mat-free fur. If your poodle gets chronic, terrible mats, use an undercoat rake more often in the trouble areas to thin the hair a little. Remember, dogs feel pain, too.

So, always think about how hard you are tugging when you brush and keep an eye on their skin to prevent brush burn.

FAQ Regarding Poodle Brushing/Grooming

  • Do Poodles shed? Not much, but they can lose hair. Many people have the misconception that they don’t shed at all because they are considered hypoallergenic dogs. While they lose less hair than many other breeds and can trigger fewer allergies, poodles still lose a natural rotation of hair, just as people loose hair and grow back new strands. They can also lose more significant amounts of hair during different seasons of their life.
  • How often should I brush my Poodle? Ideally, you should brush your poodle daily or every other day. Poodles have such thick coats; they can mat easily, and in the long run, this can turn into substantial mats that may need cut off in an extremely short trim if neglected.
  • What do I do if my Poodle already has mats in their fur? Start with your fingers to gently work the mats apart before going in with a brush. You should always brush your poodle out before bathing because mats and tangles can worsen and tighten up in the bath. Be patient and go through carefully with your fingers, then gently begin the line brushing technique with a soft slicker brush. If you have troublesome spots, you can use a dog detangling spray while working through a specific mat.
  • Can I overbrush my Poodle? Yes, especially if you are not careful with their skin or tug too much. Dogs can get brush burn from tiny scrapes if they are brushes too roughly or multiple times a day. Always be sure to brush gently, especially if done frequently.
  • How do I keep my Poodle from sitting while brushing? Consider investing in a harness if you have a lot of trouble with keeping your poodle still. There are table harnesses that groomers use, and while you likely won’t have a whole setup like a groomer’s, setting up a table in a spare room or basement is an option for some people. No-sit haunch holder harnesses can be extremely helpful, even if you need someone to hold it up for you while brushing. Installing a secure hook to hold the harness up is ideal if possible.

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