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What's the verdict on slickers?

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  • What's the verdict on slickers?

    So I've come across a few posts on these boards already mentioning how slickers damage a dog's hair.

    If I brush my dog daily, do I need to use a slicker? I seems that if I only use the pin brush and greyhound comb, that his hair doesnt get as nice as when I use the slicker/pin brush/comb combo.

    I use a detangler spray whenever brushing him also.

    Should I stop using the slicker? :/

  • #2
    First, what kind of dog do you have? Knowing what kind of coat you are working on helps. Is this a show dog? If this is a pet kept in a shorter length than I am not so concerned about a slicker. This is just my personal opinion, but as long as you are using a good slicker brush, like a LEs Pooch or something else where the tips of the pins are ground, you are minimizing damage to the coat. Because most of my clients would not be able to keep up with their pets coat properly with a pin brush I do recommend a slicker to them followed by a comb. I use a slicker on all the pets I do simply because they are pets. When I compete, and have only ever competed in poodles, everyone I see is using slickers and I know some of those dogs are show dogs. Even the breeder who I rented a show dog from used a slicker on her poodles.
    If you are showing your dog then you may want to reconsider as some feel veyr strongly about using a slicker as the more pins you have in a brush the more likely you are to break or damage coat.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


    • #3
      Make sure your slicker brush is in good condition, with no bent (as in outside of their normal bend) or broken wires. Also, as Mylady mentioned, is it a good quality slicker and not just a knock-off? If it is a quality brush in good condition, you should be fine using a slicker.


      • #4

        slickers are just fine for almost all Pets. Show dogs though, such as Bearded Collies and Irish Setters are usually better groomed with a Pin Brush so as not to pull any coat out. When I help with the Irish Setter Handlers at the show we always use Pin Brushes, but getting my Brittany (who's not supposed to have much coat) ready I use a slicker. A couple of show bred Bearded Collies that I do in full coat get Les Pooch (slicker type) brushes since they always have some serious tangles and are her pets, not shown.

        If you have a full coated Yorkie for instance a comb and or a Pin Brush used like daily would be nice. But skip a few days and you might need a slicker.
        Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


        • #5
          Depends on kind of dog you have and what kind of coat you would like to maintain.

          If it is long haired show dog or a pet you want to keep in full coat, use only high quality pin brushes. I really like Chris Christensen T-brushes. Slicker brushes can damage long hair shafts making dogs coat more prone to tangling. Some pin brushes can cause damage too.
          If your goal to grow out beautiful long coat you need to do everything possible to prevent damage. Brushing dirty hair in my opinion creates more damage than any sort of brush can.
          I brush my cocker with T-brush weekly when he gets his bath and blow dry and use single les pooch brush on tangles if he has any.

          If you have a pet dog with short coat and you use generally good quality slicker brush and use detangler you are fine.


          • #6
            I have an all white Tibetan Terrier Pet who I'm keeping in full coat. Since he's just over a year now his hair is about 6-7 inches already but I expect to grow it longer.

            I'm using Natures Choice Mat and Detangler Spray, CC Gold pin brush, CC Mk VI slicker, and a generic greyhound comb.

            The pins over the brushes are in good condition still.

            So should I continue to use the slicker? How do I tell if I'm damaging the hair?

            He stays indoors and gets a bath every other week so never has a chance to get dirty. He goes to the dog park every other week right before his bath.


            • #7
              You are using good quality brushes, I think you are fine. I almost always use a slicker at work, but when showing my Borzoi, I never did. You just don't want to break, or pull out any extra coat if you are showing. If you do end up breaking coat you will get a "frizzy" well... broken coat look, you should be able to tell.

              I would be more concerned with using a stand dryer to dry, (a human dryer can be too hot, and cause hair damage) if you are worried about the coat. Make sure you spray with a finishing spray as you dry (I do anyway on a full coated dog) I use Stazko's and LOVE it will never use anything else ( I use his shampoos too)
              If you sweat the small stuff, all you have is small soggy stuff.....


              • #8
                You are using good brushes and should be fine. But if you want the best coat possible restrict you slicker brushing to bathing days and use you pin brush daily.


                • #9
                  Thanks. I dry him with a HV - Special K. Should I be spraying with detangler while i blow him? I usually dry then spray just before i do the final brushing.


                  • #10
                    Personally I don't care for slickers and rarely use them. Ditto for pin brushes. I'm a comb girl, all the way.

                    If you're being diligent about keeping the coat mat free by frequent brushing/combing, skip the brush and just use the comb. A brush will lie (skip over a mat instead of breaking it up). Combs never do.

                    I even skip the the brushing on dogs with mats. If I can't pick them out quickly with a comb, the dog's getting clipped. I just do not like slickers at all.