A perfect example of a herding breed, Australian Shepherds are energetic and trainable, with minds that can run almost as quickly as their legs.

This medium-sized breed, often simply referred to as “Aussies” are happiest when their keen minds and physical abilities are put to use and they are given a job. This is why they have historically made such excellent herding dogs.

Even if you don’t have any livestock that need herding, Aussies can make excellent companions for active owners who are willing to take the time to train their furry companions. Once trained, this breed is incredibly loyal and loving, but the work does not stop there.

Because they have abundant double coats, Aussies require regular brushing. During their shedding seasons, brushing will need to happen every few days to prevent your home from being totally overtaken by fur.

With so many brushes on the market claiming to be the best, it can be hard to see through the crowd to what is actually the most appropriate option for your dog. That’s why we have created this guide. We will discuss different brush types, and how they benefit Australian Shepherd coats, then we will list some of our favorite brushes for Aussies!

Keep reading for everything you could want to know about selecting a brush for your Australian Shepherd.

Different Types of Australian Shepherd Brushes

Aussies have coats that can be assisted by almost every type of brush you’ll find available online; here is what they are, and why they are useful.

  • Undercoat rake — An undercoat rake is an incredibly important tool for dogs with double coats like Aussies. It generally comes equipped with 1 or 2 rows of sturdy, wide set teeth that penetrate the top layer of fur to reach the undercoat. This section of the coat is primarily responsible for shedding, so thinning it out is important for heavy shedding dogs.
  • Shedding brush — As the name suggests, this is another important tool to combat shedding. These brushes usually have fine metal teeth that sift through a dog’s coat and collect any loose fur. Some variations are made of rubber or silicone and have wider, blunt teeth that cling to fur.
  • Slicker brush — A departure from the first two brush types, slicker brushes have wide heads filled with fine wire bristles. These are particularly good for sorting out tangles and mats (Aussies are prone to getting them behind their ears), but they also help with shedding prevention and cleaning.
  • Comb — Combs are a good final step for a brushing routine. The sturdy, even teeth will fluff and separate Aussie fur so that these thick-coated dogs don’t look messy or weighed down. Combs can also help with small tangles and knots that may arise in coarser parts of an Aussie’s coat.
  • Pin brush — Pin brushes are essentially human hair brushes made for dogs, so they are sturdier and the pins are placed further apart. These brushes are good for cleaning Aussie fur, sorting out smaller snags, and distributing natural oils throughout the fur.
  • Bristle brush — These brushes look just like they sound: heads of varying sizes, filled with pliable bristles. They serve to add smoothness and shine to a dog’s coat; properly groomed Aussies should look quite smooth and shiny due to the texture of their topcoat.

All the brushes you encounter while shopping for one for your Australian Shepherd will be variations of one of these types.

Different Types of Australian Shepherd Coats

Though Aussies all have the same coats in that they all share a texture, type, and grooming requirements, there are a few aesthetic variations. These are the three main divisions in Australian Shepherd coat types.

  • Merle — This type of coat will contain 3-4 different colors in a splotchy pattern. Aussies can be red or blue merle (meaning their main coat color is either warm or cool), and this type of coat often yields blue eyes as well.
  • Tri-color — Aussies with this type of coat can be primarily black or red with white and a third accent color. Patterns in tri-color Aussies vary slightly, but they are in solid swaths rather than splotches.
  • Solid — Solid coated Aussies are sometimes (more accurately) referred to as bi-color. They can be primarily black or red with a white accent on their chests and legs.
The differences in these three coat types is purely aesthetic, as far as grooming is concerned. All Aussies have a thick, double layer coat that will shed year round (but especially heavily semi-annually).

Our Top Picks for Brushes for Australian Shepherds

Now that we have had the opportunity to offer a little bit of background education on the subject, we’ll begin listing our favorite brushes for Australian Shepherds!

JW Pet Gripsoft Double Row Undercoat Rake

Key Features:

  • Non-slip padded handle maximizes your comfort
  • Two rows of teeth for extra effectiveness
  • Very affordable compared to similar brushes
  • Curved to contour to your dog’s body

Overall Best Brush for an Australian Shepherd — Anyone who has a double coat dog knows how important it is to have at least one great undercoat rake. This one does double duty by using two rows of thick, blunt teeth as opposed to one. At just $10, this brush is extremely affordable has shown a high level of effectiveness at removing excess hair from the undercoat.

Pros:

  • Excellent price for the quality
  • Second row of teeth adds value
  • Will help greatly reduce shedding

Cons:

  • May scrape skin below the undercoat
  • Teeth may be too wide to retrieve hair

FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • Comes in 3 sizes
  • One style is specially equipped for long hair
  • Skin guards shield sensitive pups
  • Fine metal teeth clear out loose fur

Best Shedding Brush for Australian Shepherds — This brush claims to reduce shedding by 90% when used regularly, and it has the reviews to back that claim up. The fine metal teeth are sturdy enough to work through even thick coats like an Aussie’s, and the skin guards on the edges ensure that your pup won’t get cut while you clear out dead fur.

Pros:

  • Multiple sizing options
  • Style specifically made for long hair available
  • Extremely high reviews

Cons:

  • Fur can get caught in teeth
  • Can snag on tangles

Andis Premium Deshedding Pet Tool

Key Features:

  • Lightweight but stable design
  • Curved teeth help protect dogs’ skin
  • Reduces loose fur but does not damage healthy coat
  • Wide teeth for easy hair removal from brush

Best Deshedding Tool for Australian Shepherds —You’ll see the Andis brand name come up quite a lot when you’re searching for a brush for your Aussie; that’s because they produce high quality, trustworthy products, and this tool is no exception. The curved teeth are specifically designed to effortlessly comb through fur to pick up any loose or dead patches and reduce shedding.

Pros:

  • Highly effective at grabbing loose fur
  • Shouldn’t cause your Australian Shepherd any discomfort
  • Lightweight but high quality

Cons:

  • Can pull at especially thick coats
  • May not be much more effective than an undercoat rake for Aussies

Pat Your Pet Two-Sided Undercoat Rake

Key Features:

  • Double sided with two sets of rounded teeth
  • Teeth edges are sharp enough to cut through mats
  • Can be used to thin out especially thick fur when it’s hot
  • Teeth made of stainless steel

Best Undercoat Rake for Australian Shepherds —This rake features two rows of teeth on opposite sides—one with 9 and one with 17. The edges of the teeth are sharp enough to help trim out especially bad mats and thin dense fur during the warmer months. Additionally, this brush will do what any good rake does, and cut back on shedding.

Pros:

  • Double sides add versatility
  • Sturdy design and quality materials
  • Pulls a great deal of the undercoat out

Cons:

  • Blades may be too dull to cut through large mats
  • May pull more fur out than some owners want

Andis Premium Large Firm Pet Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • Broad brush head covers wide area at once
  • Fine wire bristles work through tangles
  • Soft grip handle creates comfort for you
  • Should help remove loose fur and dirt

Best Slicker Brush for Australian Shepherds —This brush is an excellent tool for long haired dogs. The fine wire bristles will penetrate the entire coat, eliminating tangles and knots (as well as clearing out loose fur and dirt) along the way. Plus, since the head on this brush is so wide, it won’t take many swipes before you’ve covered your Aussie’s whole body.

Pros:

  • Large brush head will cover a lot of fur quickly
  • Great for working out tangles and mats
  • Classic design, perfect for Aussies’ long fur

Cons:

  • Difficult to clean out loose hair collected in this brush
  • Bristles are quite tough at first

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

Key Features:

  • Serrated edges can trim through mats
  • Rounded tips protect your pup’s skin
  • Thumb rest over the teeth allows for a high degree of control
  • Can help thin out especially dense coats

Best Comb for Australian Shepherds —This comb does more than just sift through hair and separate tangles. Because of the sharp edges, it can actually thin out very dense hair and cut around especially nasty mats. The design allows you to have a high level of control when using this comb for your Aussie, and the round tips ensure you won’t cut them by accident.

Pros:

  • Trims as well as combs
  • Works specifically with long, thick fur
  • Rounded tips ensure safety

Cons:

  • Can be confusing to use
  • Uncomfortable to remove hair from teeth

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • Double sided brush head equipped with pins and bristles
  • Serves to make coat cleaner and healthier
  • Helps to detangle fur and collect loose hair that would otherwise be shed
  • Padded handle to reduce discomfort while you brush

Best Pin Brush for Australian Shepherds —This pin brush will work doubly hard for your Aussie with its two sides. The safety tipped steel pins help detangle and thin fur one one side; the bristles help promote oil distribution and shine on the other. What’s more, this brush should be especially comfortable for you with its padded handle.

Pros:

  • Double sides add value
  • Costs less than $7 with a 95% recommendation rate
  • Detangles and smooths thick fur like an Aussie’s

Cons:

  • Safety tips can come off of pins
  • Rubber backing tends to come loose

3 More Top Rated Australian Shepherd Brushes

You can never have too many options when selecting a brush for your most loyal friend! Here are 3 more top rated brushes that didn’t top our list of favorites, but that would still be great buys for your Aussie!

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • Slightly curved stainless steel bristles
  • Retractable bristles for easy cleaning
  • Clears tangles while encouraging circulation
  • Helps to snag loose fur from the undercoat

This self-cleaning slicker brush takes the discomfort out of the process for you; you need only press a button, and the fur that the brush has collected will be free from the bristles. The curved design of these metal bristles is intended to penetrate thick coats, like Aussies’.

Pros:

  • Saves you from getting poked by bristles
  • Effective at removing knots and mats
  • Helps make fur healthier by improving circulation

Cons:

  • Bristles may prick your pup
  • Not all that effective at reducing shedding

Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush

Key Features:

  • Classic pin brush design
  • Costs just $8.50
  • Helps spread your Aussie’s natural oils through the top coat
  • Reduces tangles and dirt retention

If you want a pin brush that is sure to perform exactly the way it’s meant to, this one’s for you. It has the classic pin brush design that you’ve seen many times before with the sturdy construction and safety tips you would expect from a brush intended for dogs.

Pros:

  • Works through small tangles
  • Promotes healthy distribution of Aussies’ fur oils
  • Comfortable to use for both you and your dog

Cons:

  • Rubber backing tends to come loose
  • May snag some larger tangles

Furbliss Multi-Use Deshedding and Massaging Long Hair Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • Made entirely of silicone
  • Dull teeth attract and attach loose fur
  • Gently massages your Aussie as your brush
  • Can be used on furniture to remove dander and sebum

This brush is wonderfully versatile. The silicone material means that hair will stick to it when brushed through, and that it won’t be too harsh even for sensitive pups. You can use this brush on wet or dry fur, and it also works to remove allergens from furniture.

Pros:

  • Feels more like a massage than a grooming session
  • Versatile design and material
  • Will help reduce shedding

Cons:

  • Teeth may not penetrate all the way through thick Aussie coats
  • Can be difficult to hold on to

6 Tips for Brushing your Australian Shepherd

The grooming process is bound to be a little tedious, but there are ways to mitigate that. Here are 6 tips to help it go a little more smoothly!

  • Make it a routine — Smart dogs like Aussies thrive on routine. The brushing process will be easier on both you and your dog if you work it into your regular schedule and stick to it until it becomes second nature. Choose a day of the week and a time, then brush your dog at the same time on the same day for a month. You’ll find by the month’s end that you no longer dread it, and your dog will probably be used to it by that point, too. Your Australian Shepherd will be less resistant to grooming when they don’t feel that it’s been sprung on them out of nowhere.
  • Adjust for the season — Though one a week grooming sessions should suffice for most of the year, your Aussie will blow its coat twice a year, at which point you will need to tweak your routine a bit. This means that during those periods, you should amp it up so that you’re brushing your dog 2-3 times a week. This may sound tiring, but it will pay off when your home isn’t covered in fur.
  • Offer a distraction — Another trait of highly intelligent dogs like Aussies is an ability to manipulate people. If you allow them to focus on the brushing (which they aren’t likely to love at first) they will try to come up with ways to get out of it. Instead, give them something like a bone or a puzzle to distract them until they’ve warmed up to the routine. You would be surprised by just how crafty a determined Australian Shepherd can be, so take their idle minds out of the equation.
  • Use more than one brush — Because they have double layer coats, Aussies really require more than one type of brush to receive a thorough grooming. This is not to say you have to have every kind of brush we listed at the top of this article, but two or three would be a good idea. You’ll find very quickly that you establish a certain order and rhythm to your brushing sessions.
  • Be gentle — Your Aussie’s fur can get tangled pretty easily, particularly in their hindquarters and behind their ears. Think of your dog like a child whose hair you’re brushing and try to anticipate when you’re about to cause your dog pain. Take it slow and easy over problem areas.
  • Reward your dog at the end — Try to make a habit of offering your pup a special treat after grooming them. Aussies have great memories, so if you do this a few times they will likely be able to put it together that staying still during brushing translates to a reward.

FAQs Regarding Brushes for Australian Shepherds

Still have questions? We’ve got answers! Here are replies to some of the most common FAQs related to brushes for Australian Shepherds.

  • What is the best brush for an Australian Shepherd? There is no single answer to this question. Every dog is different; an Aussie’s lifestyle will play a major role in what makes the best brush for them. However, an undercoat rake is universally important for this breed as they can do a lot of shedding.
  • Can I cut my Aussie’s hair? You can, but you probably shouldn’t. Dogs with double coats are great at regulating their own temperature, so when you shave your Aussie, you upset that natural balance. A little effort toward grooming in the form of weekly brushing should be enough that you don’t even notice fur around your home.
  • What time of year do Australian Shepherds shed? All year. Though they blow their coats twice a year when the seasons change, you will notice a certain amount of shedding all year round.
  • How often should I brush my Aussie? A good rule of thumb is once a week. If you’re still noticing hair around your home, or if you dog is blowing its coat, try to increase that to 2-3 times a week. This will allow you to eliminate loose fur before it is ever shed around your house.

Conclusion

Few breeds are more of a joy to own than a properly trained Aussie. These crafty, agile dogs are fiercely loyal companions to their lucky owners. If you’re fortunate enough to be one of those lucky owners, aren’t you eager to provide your pup with the best grooming experience possible?

A good brush (or brushes) will improve both your Aussie’s quality of life as well as your own. Shop this guide, and see the difference that the right brush can make!

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