12 Best Brushes for a Labrador

Known for their friendly exuberance, the Labrador retriever can grow to between 21 and 25 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 80 pounds. These dogs were first discovered in Newfoundland but then bred to refine specific traits by the British. Their coats are dense and hard to keep ice from matting up their hair if they need to swim in icy waters. They have gentle mouths for retrieving, and they may be easily-trained because they are eager to please.

Best Combo Brush

Hartz Groomer’s

  • Detangles hair
  • Affordable

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Overall Best

FURminator

  • Easy to use
  • Reduces shedding

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Best Slicker Brush

Chris Christensen

  • Easy to clean
  • Two sizes

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Labs love the family to which they belong and will remain loyal for their lifetime. Typically good with children and with other dogs, Labs make suitable pets for most families. They require regular and rigorous exercise and will generally remain healthy with the right care and regular checkups. Labs shed quite a bit and should be brushed weekly, but they do not require frequent bathing. A good dog brush will be an important accessory for your Lab.

8 Different Types of Brushes for Labradors


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It’s important to have the right brush for your Labrador, but finding that brush may seem complicated. It may take some trial and error to find the brush that works best for you and your Lab, but the first hurdle is wading through the variety of brushes. There are several different types of brushes that could be suitable for your Labrador, and we have outlined the qualities of each below.

  • Comb – Dog combs look very similar to human combs and with either widely spaced or narrowly spaced teeth or both. Typically made with stainless steel teeth, these combs are good for detangling, de-matting, and at times helping to remove fleas or burs. They come in several different sizes and depth of teeth to match the needs of the dog.
  • Slicker Brush – Typically a rectangular shape with fine wire bristles, this pet grooming tool is primarily used to remove debris, loose hair, and/or mats or knots in your dog’s coat. The bristles of this brush are densely packed close together, distinguishing it from a pin brush.
  • De-shedding – A de-shedding tool is typically a tool of choice for large and long-haired dogs. These tools have a special, horseshoe-shaped edge that is capable of reaching through the topcoat to remove loose undercoat without causing damage to the skin or coat of your dog.
  • Bristle Brush – The bristle brush works best on dogs that have short and/or wiry coats. These brushes are designed to help distribute the natural oils from your dog’s skin and coat to create a nice shine. Additionally, they are helpful for removing surface-level debris.
  • Pin Brush – Typically oblong in shape, the pin brush bristles are spaced further apart than the bristle brush, and it is made to both remove loose hair and debris while distributing the dog’s natural oils. It is best for medium and long coats.
  • Rake – These T-shaped brushes with rounded pins are made to remove dead coat without causing harm to a thealthy coat. With varying length and shape of teeth, this tool is best used on double-coated, heavy-coated, or rustic-coated pets.
  • Glove – This is a brush you wear on your hand, usually with soft, rubber teeth that gently removes mats, light tangles, and loose undercoat. It’s great for stimulating and distributing natural skin oils to increase softness and shine. This brush is a great option for dogs with short, medium, curly, or long coats.
  • Blade – The blade brush is what it sounds like. It is a long blade that has been bent to secure both ends in one grip and has teeth on both edges of the blade. Typically, one side of the blade has coarse teeth and the other side has fine teeth. The coarse teeth work effectively to remove dead hair, and the fine teeth help to smooth and shine shorter coats.

6 Key Considerations When Looking for the Right Brush for your Labrador

When you’re looking for a brush for your Labrador, or any dog, you may be wondering what you need to consider before you purchase. To help you move in the right direction, we’ve identified 6 thoughts you should consider before buying a brush, or two, for your Lab.

  • Length of coat hair. Some brushes work better for long hair than short hair and vice versa. Any time you brush your dog’s coat, you don’t want to risk damaging his or her skin or healthy coat. Look for dogs that are designed for your dog’s coat length. Labradors have double coats, but theirs tend to be dense but not necessarily long.
  • Texture of coat. The texture of your dog’s coat also matters. Certain brushes are designed to be better for curly hair, coarse hair, and other texture types. The right brush can help ensure that you don’t damage your dog’s hair by trying to brush it. Labradors typically have coarse yet shiny coats that are water-resistant.
  • Shedding frequency. Some dogs, especially double-coated dogs, will shed a layer either yearly or twice a year, maybe more frequently. These dogs need tools specifically designed to help them shed their coats. Labradors typically shed twice a year, so keeping them groomed will help contain the mess.
  • Climate. Particularly if your dog sheds a lot or sheds one of two coats, it’s best to have the right tool in hand if your dog needs to shed quickly in warmer climates or keep it for colder climates. Additionally, if your dog has a water-resistant coat, it may be helpful to ensure that you have the right brush to adequately spread the natural oils that help keep it water-resistant and healthy.
  • Lifestyle. If you live on a farm with your dog with long grasses and sticker burs, you may want to consider brushes that will help gently remove debris from your dog’s coat. Additionally, if they tend to play in dirt or mud, or if you live in an environment where they can pick up fleas or ticks, it is helpful to ensure that you have the proper tools to keep their coats clean, shiny, and free of unwanted visitors. Labs love water and will find a way to bathe at every opportunity. This means mud, so keep that in mind when you are looking for a brush.
  • Preferences. Your dog may not love being brushed all of the time, but perhaps there will be things they do like. Additionally, while you may need to start with a detangling or de-matting brush, finishing with the gentle massage of a glove brush may be enough to entice them to sit through the first round of brushing. Finding what your dog will tolerate will help you in the end. Labs love to be loved and will enjoy a brushing that involves a good massage.

Best Overall Brushes for Labradors

We’ve taken time to review several great brushes for your Lab. Though so many offer great options for your pet, we’ve identified several in different categories that we hope will help you make a great selection.

FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • Guaranteed
  • Ergonomic
  • Safely removes undercoat
  • Gentle

Best Overall – The FURminator deShedding Edge Dog brush, when moved as directed, safely removes loose hair from your dog’s undercoat without damaging the topcoat. It features an easy-release button to remove the hair collected on the brush. Additionally, the brush features an ergonomic handle making it easy and comfortable to use.

This brush is particularly effective for large dogs with long hair and double coats but also comes in a design for dogs with short hair. The FURminator has curved edges for gentle hair removal, naturally following the curve of your dog’s body. Finally, this brush comes with a guarantee – if it does not work for your pet, you can send in to get your money back.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic
  • Guaranteed
  • Gentle
  • FURejector button

Cons:

  • Pricier

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • Dual-action
  • Ergonomic design
  • Stainless steel pins
  • Nylon bristles

Best Combo Brush – The Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo dog brush features two sides, one for detangling and one for shine. One side features stainless steel pins that sing deep into the hair to remove loose hair as well as untangle any knots. On the opposite side is one with nylon bristles that use the dog’s natural oils to generate shine and softness.

The tips of this brush have safety tips on every pin so that even when working to detangle the hair, it is gentle and safe for your pet. Additionally, the bush is ergonomically designed for comfortable use time after time. This brush is a good, affordable option for your pet.

Pros:

  • Dual-action
  • Gentle
  • Ergonomic
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Unknown durability

Chris Christensen Long Pin Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • Deep penetration
  • Ergonomic
  • Flexible cushion
  • 40 percent more pins than similar

Best Slicker Brush – The Chris Christensen Long Pin Slicker brush is designed to work deep into and through dense coats to get at the root. This brush gently removes loose undercoat and boasts 40 percent more pins than its competitor brand. With a special bend in the pin, it also can fluff and lift cottony coats to give shape and definition to certain styles.

This brush has a flexible cushion which increases the gentleness of the brushing. According to product reviews, it works well for drying and straightening when needed. This is a great brush for dogs with long, unruly hair that needs deshedding and styling help.

Pros:

  • Long pins
  • Pin safety tips
  • Deshedding

Cons:

  • Pricey

Mr. Peanut’s Hand Gloves Dog & Cat Grooming & De-shedding Aid

Key Features:

  • Affordable
  • Soft rubber tips
  • Suitable for all coat types
  • Adjustable

Best Gloves – Mr. Peanuts’ Hand Gloves are great for dogs with excessive shedding. Every package comes with two gloves meaning you can do more at once than with just one brush. These gloves feature flexible mesh and soft, rubber tips to assist with removing dirt and detangling hair as well as working out matted spots.

This glove is adjustable to fit most hands and the design lets you simply pet your dog as you would normally, making it a great experience for you both. The glove traps fur making it easier to clean and remove, and it is perfect for all coat types. This brush is washable, too, making it easy to keep clean.

Pros:

  • Easy grooming
  • Gentle
  • Adjustable strap
  • Two gloves per purchase
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Shallow pins

KONG Dog ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush

Key Features:

  • 2-in-1 grooming and shampooing
  • Gentle design
  • Suitable for all coat types

Best Multi-Use – The KONG Dog ZoomGroom Multi-Use brush is great for shampooing your dog and then brushing him down after the bath. This 2-in-1 tool provides a great massage for your dog, keeping them comfortable and happy during the grooming process. It comes in a small and regular size for best use for small to large-sized breeds.

The ZoomGroom brush is good for dogs with all coat types and helps to leave the coat shiny and smooth. It gently removes hair and stimulates your dog’s natural oil production. Regular use produces the best results and can reduce shedding in and around your home.

Pros:

  • 2-in-1 tool
  • Two sizes
  • Suitable for all coats
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No teeth for detangling

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

Key Features:

  • Gentle
  • High-quality
  • Rust-resistant
  • Comfort grip

Best De-Matting Brush – The Safari De-Matting Dog Comb features long, stainless steel teeth that are gentle and effective at removing tangles and matted hair. It removes loose hair and dander and is sharp enough to cut through the toughest tangles without creating discomfort for your dog. This brush is designed to increase your dog’s blood circulation and make grooming a pleasant, enjoyable experience for your Lab.

This brush is made with high-quality materials including rust-resistant stainless steel. Its long, serrated blades are great for dogs with long hair and/or double coats. The comfort grip will not slip and fits easily in your hand. This brush is an affordable, effective option for your Lab.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Detangling
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Must be used correctly or can cause harm

Safari Dual-Sided Shedding Blade Dog Grooming Tool

Key Features:

  • Double-sided
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

Best Shedding Blade – The Safari Dual-Sided Shedding Blade dog grooming tool features a two-sided stainless steel blade designed to make the removal of loose, dead hair easy, quick, and painless. The coarse teeth on one side work efficiently through thick coats to remove excess hair. The fine teeth on the other side work to smooth and shine short coats.

The handle of this brush can be unhooked to form a longer, open shedding blade to get to large areas quickly. This brush is good for all dogs and all types of coats. Its vinyl handle is comfortable and easy to grip for a good grooming experience for you and your dog.

Pros:

  • Double-sided
  • Works on all coats
  • Versatile design
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Shorter teeth do not sink as well into thick coats

Andis Steel Pet Comb

Key Features:

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Warranty
  • Detangles

Best Comb – The Andis Steel pet comb is made with both wide and narrow teeth making it a great option for dogs of all sizes. The more widely-spaced teeth make it great for removing tangles and matted hair, but they can also be used to help fluff a coat when necessary. The finer, more narrowly-spaced teeth are great for thinner coats and sensitive parts of the dog’s body.

This comb is made with stainless steel, offering a durable option for your dog. It comes with a 1-year warranty and has been used on the coats of award-winning dogs. It’s a lightweight, easy-to-use, versatile option for your Lab.

Pros:

  • Wide and narrow teeth
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No handle

4 Other Top Rated Labrador Dog Brushes

Though they didn’t make the list of best brushes, the following five brushes are noteworthy options for your Lab.

Miracle Care Slicker Dog Brush

This dog brush features soft, stainless steel wire teeth to detangle and help prevent your dog’s hair from matting. The design also features angled pins to reach gently under the topcoat to remove loose, unwanted hair. This dog brush comes with a comfortable, cushioned handle to prevent grip slip.

FURminator Firm Slicker Brush For Dogs

The FURminator comes in a double-sided design with straight bristles on one side and bent bristles on the other. This brush is a great option for dogs with medium to long and/or curly coats as it easily removes mats and tangles without damaging other hair. Its flexible design is curved and shaped to glide gently against the contours of your dog’s body. Additionally, the FURminator features anti-microbial plastic to keep germs and bacteria at bay.

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is great for getting out tangles and knots in all types and lengths of coats. Additionally, it is easy to clean for future use with a handy button that retracts the bristles for easy hair removal. It both massages and grooms your dog creating a comfortable, enjoyable grooming experience for you both.

Four Paws Ultimate Touch Instant Mat & Tangle Remover

This brush features reversible quills to quickly and efficiently remove mats from difficult to reach areas. Additionally, it is great for dogs with all types of coats, and it helps stimulate the skin for healthy oil production and shiny coat. This affordable option is recommended by pet groomers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What kind of coats do Labradors have? Labradors have a double coat which means they have a soft, downy layer of fur underneath a harder, more durable layer of hair. This is what helps the water-loving Labrador stay warm and dry while swimming.
  2. Should I be worried about puncturing the skin of my Labrador? Any time you take a pointed object towards your dog, you need to pay attention. While most brushes are designed with safety in mind, you should inspect your brush regularly for anything that might pose a puncture hazard to your pet. Bristles may wear down over time and lose their safety tips. Additionally, when using combs, be sure to only use as much pressure as necessary to get through the hair without pressing down too hard on your dog’s skin.
  3. Do I need to trim my Labrador’s hair if it gets matted? Unless you intend to show your dog professionally, it’s typically not necessary to trim a Labrador’s hair. If your dog manages to mat its hair, creating undue difficulty, use a brush designed specifically to gently remove mats. But no, it’s usually not necessary to cut your Lab’s hair.
  4. Do Labradors shed a lot? Their coats don’t seem that long. Labradors do shed, and it can be a lot if not groomed regularly. Generally, Labs shed twice a year, but that’s not to say they won’t shed more often than that. If you want to keep your house mostly free of unwanted fur, be sure to brush your dog weekly. Labs don’t usually need frequent baths, but be sure to brush after bathing as well.

Final Thoughts

In terms of comparative maintenance, a Lab’s coat will require very little. However, they still may enjoy a good massage from time to time, and you can keep their coat looking beautiful with weekly brushing. Additionally, as most Labs love the water, there is opportunity for them to come back to you quite muddy. Regular brushing will remove dirt and debris to keep your dog healthy, clean, and happy.

Labradors quickly become part of the family, and they typically want to be up close and touching you. They love to be rubbed and massaged, so keep that in mind when looking for a brush for your Lab. With the right amount of grooming and the right brush, your Lab will emerge with a healthy, shiny, glowing coat and a smile to match it.

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