12 Best Brushes for a Shiba Inu

Congratulations on having one of the most adorable breeds of dog in the whole world! While your pup may be the most brag-worthy cutie on the block, show off her beauty with pictures rather than fur all over your clothes and furniture. Regular brushing is important not just for your dog’s health and happiness, but for keeping your home clean. Dog hair everywhere can be one of the irritations of having a pet but choosing the best brush for your Shiba Inu will mitigate that frustration.

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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As a dog parent, you naturally want to help your pup look and feel their best. Regular brushing helps remove shed fur, and with it dust, dirt, and detritus. This keeps your dog cleaner, but also prevents that dirt from transferring to your clothing and furniture. Removing excess fur also helps your pet stay cooler and more comfortable when the weather is warm. Brushing distributes natural skin oils through the coat to keep it softer, healthier, and more comfortable and can reduce problems like dandruff or excessive scratching and licking.

Shiba Inus need to be brushed once or twice a week for most of the year, but more often during the twice a year when they blow their coat. These little foxlike dogs have a truly impressive ability to coat the whole house in an instant when they are going through their seasonal shedding. To help manage the mess and to keep your dog healthy and attractive, choosing the best brush for a Shiba Inu is the place to start.

What types of brushes are there to choose from?


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  • Comb – Just like a comb for human hair, a dog grooming comb can be used to detangle, remove large particles like leaves or grass, and to smooth the coat. Special combs for de-matting have blades to cut through the tangles and allow the loose fur to be removed.
  • Slicker brush – Good for regular coat maintenance, these brushes have many short metal tines that will help remove shed fur.
  • De-shedding brush – A must for shedding season, these brushes dive deep to remove lots of shed fur.
  • Bristle brush – With many soft bristles, these brushes smooth the coat and distributing oils for a silky, shiny coat.
  • Pin Brush – With protective tips and a flexible base for the pins, these brushes provide a gentle touch.
  • Rake – This is a deep brushing tool, used for thick undercoats to detangle and remove shed fur.
  • Glove – An innovative tool for a quick and easy grooming session or for a dog that is skittish and nervous about tools.
  • Blade – An excellent tool for quickly removing a lot of loose fur from the outer coat, this is a thin strip of metal, usually with different length teeth on each side.

What factors should you take into consideration when choosing a brush for your Shiba Inu?

  • Coat type – Shibas are a medium coated breed, although a few are longer haired. Shiba Inus have a double coat with a very thick, fluffy undercoat. Both layers will shed some throughout the year, but especially in the spring and fall when they blow their coat.
  • Seasonal differences – Shiba Inus are notorious for their extreme seasonal shedding. You may want additional tools for these times when increased shedding is an issue.
  • Dog’s temperament – While most Shiba Inus are true to breed with a bold, sometimes stubborn temperament, each dog is an individual and will have their own likes and dislikes. That independent spirit may manifest as an extreme dislike of a certain type of brush.
  • Unique needs – Your dog may have special considerations that will affect what type of brush will work best for him. A rescue pup might have fears about grooming tools or a dog with allergies might have sensitive skin that requires more gentle grooming.
  • Personal preferences – We are talking a lot here about the dog’s needs, but you matter too! Conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome may lead you to choose a brush more specifically suited to your needs, like angled handles or self-cleaning features.
  • Convenience – The best brush for your Shiba Inu is the one that you will use regularly without any problems. If it is easy and enjoyable for you both, you are more likely to use it consistently.

Overall Best Brushes for Shiba Inus

FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • 90% reduction in loose hair with regular use for stress-free couch cuddles
  • Stainless steel construction for durability
  • Curved edge for comfort
  • Ergonomic handle

Best Overall – The FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush is fantastic both for regular maintenance grooming and for managing seasonal shedding. It has a contoured rubber handle that makes it easy to hold and the brushing blade is curved to conform to the shape of your dog and avoid hitting any spots too hard. It is a gentle brush while still being very effective at reaching the undercoat. Stainless steel for the blade means that it will be both durable and easy to keep clean. The FURejector button on top pushes out and releases the collected hair for super simple clean up.

This brush is a great choice for ease of use and all-around versatility. It feels comfortable in your hand and is seriously good at removing a lot of shed fur. Choose the long hair version for Shiba Inus to reach through their thick coats.

Pros:

  • Sturdy construction
  • Very effective
  • Easy to clean
  • Curved edge is less likely to scratch skin

Cons:

  • Price – one of the more costly brushes
  • Can be harsh – Some users complained that it snagged in long outer coat fur

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • Two sides for double duty
  • Cushioned base on the pin side for gentle grooming
  • Safety tips on pins to prevent scratching
  • Nylon bristles to redistribute natural oils for a softer, smoother coat

Best Combo – The Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush from Hartz is a nice blend of functions. It has two brushing heads to provide more functionality in a single package.

On one side is the pin brush, with a cushioned base and plastic tips on each stainless steel pin it is very gentle and perfect for dogs with sensitive skin or who are nervous about grooming. The pin brush side does a good job of removing tangles and loose fur.

Flip the brush over for the nylon bristle side and give your pup a soothing, smoothing spa treatment that spreads the oils through her coat for a silky shine she will proud to show off at the dog park before she rolls around in duck poo.

Pros:

  • Dual-purpose – twice the brush
  • Price – about the same as a matcha latte
  • Bristles for coat softness and shine

Cons:

  • Lack of durability – Some customers complained that it did not hold up well
  • Not great for undercoat shedding – This brush is more for regular maintenance grooming and is not as effective for serious seasonal shedding.

Chris Christensen Long Pin Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • So many pins!
  • Extra-long handle
  • Gently removes shed undercoat
  • Bend in pins lifts fur

Best Slicker Brush – This is a very serious brush for when you are ready to get professional about maintaining the beauty and health of your precious pooch’s coat. The Chris Christensen Long Pin Slicker Brush is the top of the line for professional dog grooming brushes and the quality shows when you use it. This brush features so many more pins than other brushes that it picks up a significantly greater amount of fur, plus the unique angle of the bend in the pins pulls fur up for better loosening and fluffing.

This is a brush that groomers use and it can take some adjustment since the increased number of pins engage more fully with the coat and can make it pull if you are not careful. Taking the time to learn how to use it does pay off though with the increased efficiency and the beautiful final result.

Pros:

  • Increased efficiency – does more work in less time
  • Excellent results
  • Long pins reach to the undercoat

Cons:

  • Expensive – Way more than you’re probably expecting to pay for a dog brush
  • Too big – Many reviewers said it was too large for their small dogs, but it does come in a smaller size

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

Key Features:

  • So easy to use!
  • 2 gloves – a whole pair
  • Works well wet or dry
  • Soft and gentle

Best Gloves – Mr. Peanut’s Hand Gloves are just that – a pair of gloves, except that they’re not just gloves. The palms are covered in soft silicone nubs that loosen fur and hold it for collection. These are a fantastic option for dogs who are nervous about grooming or scared of the tools. Your pup will just think he’s being pet! Using your whole hand will collect lots of fur and you can use just one or two fingers for smaller spots around the head. The texture provides a nice massage, especially in the bath.

Gloves like this have become very popular lately, but this one stands out for two reasons. One, it is a set of two gloves, so you can use both hands at once and two, the adjustable Velcro strap on the wrist provides a secure fit. This is a fun way to build a solid grooming relationship with your dog.

Pros:

  • Fun and easy
  • Great for in the bath
  • Less threatening to nervous dogs
  • Massages as well as brushes

Cons:

  • One size – very small or very large hands might have difficulty
  • Shallow brushing – won’t reach the undercoat as well

KONG Dog ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush

Key Features:

  • 2-in-1 tool for brushing and massaging
  • Perfect for bath use
  • Dogs think it is a toy
  • Very gentle

Best Multi Use – The KONG ZoomGroom Multi-use Brush is super fun to use, for humans and dogs. It looks like a toy so is a great choice for puppies. It works well in the bath to lather up the shampoo and loosen all the fur and dirt. The gentle nubs are long enough to reach down into the undercoat but nice and gentle to feel like the best scritches. Using a circular motion gives a massaging effect that stimulates blood flow to improve coat health and oil production to help a Shiba Inu’s naturally weather-resistant coat.

Shibas are famous for voicing their displeasure, so if bath time is a challenge, this brush might be the ticket to distracting and engaging your dog for a more pleasant experience. Whether or not your dog objects to bathing, this brush is fun to use for you both.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Massaging
  • Cleans easily – just wash in the sink with soap and water
  • Trusted brand – KONG has built its reputation on indestructibility

Cons:

  • No handle
  • Not a detangler
  • Does not collect fur – some customers complained that the fur flew everywhere

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

Key Features:

  • Removes the toughest tangles and mats
  • Rounded ends and curved blades to protect your dog
  • Serrated blades to cut fur without pulling
  • Anti-slip handle with thumb rest for excellent control

Best De-Matting Brush – Sometimes the floof can be a bit too much! Shiba Inus are not generally prone to matting, but occasionally their thick fur can get rubbed by their collar or their fuzzy bums can accumulate enough fur to get matted. Mats can be painful to dogs by pulling on the skin and trapping moisture and dirt that allows unpleasant things to grow. If your canine companion has developed this difficult condition, you might consider professional grooming, but you can also tackle them at home with a special de-matting tool. Matted fur is practically impossible to untangle, so cutting through and removing the mats is the best option.

The Safari De-Matting Dog Comb is well designed to scoop under and through mats to remove them while protecting your dog’s skin with rounded ends and smooth backs on the stainless steel blades. The rubberized handle gives you a firm grip and the thumb guard allows more control. Save this tool for when the fur situation gets out of hand, but it is a lifesaver when you need it.

Pros:

  • Safety features to protect your dog
  • Comfortable handle that is easy to hold and use
  • Price – much more affordable than a trip to the groomer

Cons:

  • Rarely needed
  • Cuts the fur – can leave short patches, but this will be true of any de-matting comb

Safari Dual-Sided Shedding Blade Dog Grooming Tool

Key Features:

  • Quick and efficient
  • Dual-sided for different coat lengths
  • Handles can separate to make an open blade

Best Shedding Blade – Okay, this tool looks scary, but it is one of the most efficient tools for fur removal. It is amazing how much loose, shed fur a blade will pull off your dog with just a few gentle strokes. The Safari Dual-Sided Shedding Blade has a couple of special features that make it even easier to use. One side of the blade has shorter, finer teeth that work well on summer fur, while the other side has longer, coarser teeth that are great for the longer, thicker winter coat. Also, the two sides of the handle can unhook to make a long, flexible blade that can quickly brush larger areas. These features make this a particularly versatile tool for year-round use.

Blade type brushes can seem a little harsh, and they do have the potential to be used too roughly and irritate your dog’s skin, but choosing the correct side and using the brush only once a week or so will allow it to be safe and effective. Shiba Inus have very thick fur that can handle and even benefit from firm grooming.

Pros:

  • Very effective for removing large amounts of shed fur
  • Perfect for blowing coat season
  • Versatile for use in different seasons
  • Saves time and effort so you can spend more time walking and giving treats

Cons:

  • Can be overused
  • Doesn’t reach deep into the undercoat

Andis Steel Pet Comb

Key Features:

  • Removes tangles
  • Two sides with wide and narrow teeth
  • Stainless steel for durability
  • Adds the finishing touch

Best Comb – An Andis Steel Pet Comb can be an all-around comb but is particularly good for detangling and fluffing. This is the tool to reach for fluffing fur to get that teddy bear look and achieve the perfect happy flag tail. Shiba Inu fur does not tend to tangle much, especially the stiffer outercoat, so a simple tool like this will usually be adequate for detangling. The more narrow teeth on one end are ideal for smaller areas around the face or legs while the large teeth can reach through the thickest fur on your dog’s neck and rump.

This comb is lightweight for ease of use but made of sturdy and durable stainless steel. Learn to use a gentle hand since the strength of the comb can cause pulling, but you should always be using gentle pressure when grooming.

Pros: 

  • Durability – reviewers gave this comb great ratings for not bending or breaking
  • Convenient size – slim and compact enough to tuck into a pocket or treat bag
  • Extra-long teeth – 1.5 inches to reach the undercoat

Cons:

  • No handle – can be a little tricky to hold comfortably
  • Can pull fur – the stiff teeth make it less forgiving

4 Other Top Rated Shiba Inu Brushes

Miracle Care Slicker Dog Brush

This is a quick and easy to use slicker brush that works well for regular maintenance grooming. It has flexible, angled pins that are effective at removing large amounts of loose fur, but still very gentle. This brush has a unique handle that is easy to grip well and still feels non-slip even when it gets wet.

FURminator Firm Slicker Brush For Dogs

This is an innovative take on the classic slicker brush. The head is double-sided with different lengths and directions of pins on each side to handle different lengths of fur on various parts of the body. The brush pads are flexible, so they bend to prevent too firm pressure and to contour to body shapes. It features a protective cover for storage to keep pins from getting bent or tangled.

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

If only your dog were self-cleaning! A self-cleaning brush might be the next best thing. With the push of a button, the bristles are retracted leaving the loose fur to be wiped away easily. The nicely rubberized handle makes it very comfortable to use for as long as your pup needs or will stand.

Four Paws Ultimate Touch Instant Mat & Tangle Remover

For detangling and removing mats, this brush is your go-to. The long, firm tines can penetrate tough tangles and mats to allow you to gently work them free. Shiba Inus rarely get serious mats, so this brush will probably be all you need, but if the mats are too stubborn or close to the skin, you may need to take your dog to a professional groomer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am overwhelmed! How do I pick the right brush? Shiba Inus have a medium coarse double coat. Since they do not generally have very long fur, it doesn’t usually tangle too badly, but they do shed prodigiously and can have trouble with dry skin and dandruff if the shed hair is not removed. For general use, choose a brush with teeth long enough to penetrate the undercoat and that is designed to remove lots of loose fur.
  2. My Shiba Inu hates grooming! How can I brush her? Try to identify what her issue is. Many dogs are too interested in the brush and need a treat or toy to distract them. Some dogs are afraid brushes because of previous unpleasant experiences and might do better with a brush that looks like a toy or is small enough to be hidden in your hand.
  3. My dog has sensitive skin and yelps in pain or develops a rash. How can I help her? Choose a gentle tool, like a slicker with protective tips on the bristles. If you have been brushing frequently, try cutting back how often you brush her. If a rash persists, take her to see a vet to make sure there is not something more serious.

Brushing and grooming can be an important time to build your relationship if you are thoughtful in your choices. If your dog is not responding well to brushing, trying a different brush might alleviate the problem. Many dog parents try out several different brushes before the find the ones they and their dog like best. You’ve committed to your pup for the long haul and choosing a brush to help care for their health and happiness is just one small step on that path.

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