Contents of Article
- What is the Best Brush for a St. Bernard?
- Different Popular Brush Types for St. Bernards
- Understanding Your St. Bernard’s Coat
- Overall Best Brush for a St. Bernard
- Best St. Bernard Matted Hair Brush
- 3 More Top Rated Brushes for St. Bernards
- 9 Tips on Brushing your St. Bernard’s Coat
- Final Thoughts on Brushing your St. Bernard
Grooming your St. Bernard may feel like a bit of an overwhelming job considering your dog’s size and all the hair but maintaining a regular schedule for brushing your St. Bernard is important for a healthy and happy dog.
Since St. Bernard’s are prone to tangles, matted hair and shed frequently, brushing can help keep your St. Bernard’s coat looking and feeling smooth. Brushing is an important step in grooming, but you may not want to spend the money and time at a professional groomer. The best dog brush for St. Bernards makes grooming easier.
In this article we’ll discuss:
- The different popular brush types for St. Bernard’s
- Understanding your St. Bernard’s Coat
- The overall best brush for a St. Bernard
- The best St. Bernard matted hair brush
- Other top-rated brushes for St. Bernards
- Frequently asked questions for grooming your St. Bernard
What is the Best Brush for a St. Bernard?
Different Popular Brush Types for St. Bernards
Many dog owners assume that any type of dog brush is suitable for their dog, but some brushes work better than others. Before you head to the pet store and buy the first grooming brush you can find, take some time to consider choosing the right St. Bernard brush type.
The popular types that work well for most St. Bernards include:
- Slicker brush
- Pin Brush
- Grooming comb
- Deshedding tool
- Dematting tool
A St. Bernard slicker brush is likely to be a type of brush that you will use most often. Slicker brushes typically have fine and short wires that are close together on the flat surface of the brush.
Slicker brushes are effective at helping to prevent matted hair by removing loose hair. These types of brushes are available in a variety of sizes.
When selecting the right size slicker brush for your St. Bernard, make sure the handle is comfortable and gives you good control with applying too much pressure to your dog’s coat.
A pin brush has many of the similar features of a brush that you might use on your own head of hair. Rather than tight wires, the wires on a pin-style brush are more flexible and set wider apart.
While a pin brush may reach further down into your St. Bernard’s coat, it may not be the best St. Bernard matting brush.
Many people prefer to use pin brushes as a finishing brush. If you only have a pin-style brush, it may be effective at removing loose hair and dirt from your St. Bernard, but it’s best to have other types of grooming brushes on hand.
While technically not a St. Bernard brush, a grooming comb may be a great option to consider when selecting the right grooming tools for your St. Bernard.
Like other grooming brushes, a stainless grooming comb is effective at removing loose hair and may work through some smaller mats in your St. Bernard’s coat.
Grooming combs are best suited as a finishing tool, rather than an everyday “go-to” grooming tool.
Rake-style brushes typically have one or two rows of metal round-ended pins. Depending on the length of your St. Bernard’s hair, you may benefit from either one or two rows. Rake brushes require little pressure and are effective at gently removing loose hair from thick coats.
When looking for a rake-style brush, it’s best to find one with pins that are approximately the same length as your St. Bernard’s hair. We recommend a double row rake if your St. Bernard has long hair.
Deshedding tools may not be the best grooming brush to use on your St. Bernard, but it can help during heavy periods of shedding. Deshedding tools (brushes) are designed for heavy shedding, but we do not recommend using this type of brush on matted fur.
Since de-shedding tools may cause your dog pain when using, always make sure you understand how the brush works before you use it, and you may even want to ask your vet if it’s the best type of brush for your St. Bernard.
As a St. Bernard owner, you may think that a de-matting tool is necessary to get rid of your dog’s mats. De-matting tools have serrated teeth and may do more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing or if it’s not the best brush for your St. Bernard.
It’s best to use this type of brush as a last resort and double-check with your vet to ensure it’s the best method to remove tough matted hair.
Understanding Your St. Bernard’s Coat
Before St. Bernards became family companions, they were best known as rescue dogs in the Alps. Not only were these friendly dogs big, strong, and smart enough to find stranded travelers, but the dogs also provided warmth and protection to people until they were found by a rescue team.
Centuries later, St. Bernards still have double coats, which are designed to keep them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Dogs with double coats are prone to shedding and matted fur, so brushing is an important part of regular grooming.
Many people are unaware that St. Bernards have two lengths of coats: short and long-haired. Since most St. Bernards have a dense and fluffy coat, it can be difficult to determine if they have a short or long coat at first glance.
The short-haired coat is dense, smooth, and straight. Shorter coats rarely feel rough, and the hair lays flat. Long-haired coats are still dense, but typically have wavy or a slight curl. Both types of coats have a thick and coarse outer layer, a thick insulated undercoat, and are water-resistant.
Since dogs with double coats (or undercoats) depend on their unique coat for temperature regulation and protecting their skin, we strongly recommend against giving your St. Bernard a short haircut. A cut that is too short (like a shave) on your St. Bernard may permanently damage the coat.
While your St. Bernard may benefit from grooming with clippers, it’s important to brush your St. Bernard regularly (regardless of a short or long-haired coat). Brushing is the most effective way to prevent tangles, matted hair, and keeping your St. Bernard’s coat healthy.
Rake-style brushes and slicker brushes do a great job of grabbing the loose hair of the undercoat. We also recommend a pin-style brush, which is either one-sided or has bristles on the other side of the brush head. Whichever type of brush you choose for the undercoat, finding the right length of pins/bristles/tines to reach the undercoat.
Overall Best Brush for a St. Bernard
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There are many types of brushes that are suitable for your St. Bernard, but we’ll start reviewing our top choice for the best brush for St. Bernards.
Andis is a popular brand among professional and at-home groomers. The pin brush is best-suited for large dogs like St. Bernards and is effective at removing tangles, dirt and loose hair in the undercoat.
The coated pinhead bristles are gentle for your dog’s dense coat, and the bristles help to stimulate skin and the hair follicles. Not only is the pin brush more comfortable for your dog, but the handle is specially designed to prevent hand fatigue while brushing.
Best St. Bernard Matted Hair Brush
Even if you brush your St. Bernard frequently, your playful work dog may be prone to occasional matted hair. There are several brushes designed remove mats from dog hair, but some are better-suited for St. Bernards. Check out our top choice of a brush for St. Bernards with matted hair.
Slicker brushes do an effective job of preventing brushes and working through some tangles (which if left untouched lead to matted hair). The Hertzko slicker brush has bristle wires that are slightly bent to reach the undercoat more easily without pulling your St. Bernard’s hair.
The handle of the brush has a comfort-grip and anti-slip design, and the self-cleaning feature makes brushing more convenient. When you press the button on the slicker brush, the bristles retract, and the dog hair is easy to remove.
3 More Top Rated Brushes for St. Bernards
The Andi pin brush and the Hertzko slicker brush are great options for both short and long-haired St. Bernards, but we believe in having options. It’s also a good idea to have more than one brush on hand when grooming your St. Bernard.
Check out some of our other top picks for top-rated brushes for St. Bernards.
The Evolution Grooming Undercoat Rake is another ideal option for preventing matting and getting rid of loose hair. The rake-style brush is available with a single or double row, and the teeth gently rotate so you can brush the coat without damaging the hair.
If your St. Bernard doesn’t enjoy being groomed or is sensitive to brushing, this rake-style brush may help your dog feel more comfortable. While the brush is effective at removing tangles and moderate mats, you should always use gentle pressure and slow strokes.
Another top-rated brush by Andis, this slicker brush as soft and flexible bristles. The wires are slightly bent to help remove the undercoat and prevent matting with minimal pulling. Like other brushes, the soft slicker brush stimulates hair follicles and helps to keep your St. Bernard’s coat looking and feeling healthy.
The brush handle has an ergonomic and anti-slip handle to prevent fatigue when brushing and to help you maintain firm, yet gentle, control.
Oster is another popular brand among professional groomers, and the Oster combo brush is a great option for removing tangles, loose hair, and as a finishing brush for your St. Bernard’s coat. The brush is a two-sided pin brush with round-tip pins on one side and firm bristles on the other.
The brush handle is ergonomic with an anti-slip grip for added comfort and reducing hand fatigue or loss of control when brushing your St. Bernard.
9 Tips on Brushing your St. Bernard’s Coat
Brushing may seem like an easy enough step in your St. Bernard’s grooming process, but you may benefit from knowing these helpful tips.
Tip #1: Whether your St. Bernard is a puppy or an older dog, it’s important to help your dog feel comfortable with being brushed. The earlier you start brushing, the better, but it’s never too late to establish a brushing routine with your St. Bernard.
Tip #2: Since many St. Bernards are family dogs, it’s a good idea to teach other members of your family how to brush your St. Bernard. Not only is it a great way to teach responsibility, but it can help your dog feel bonded to everyone in the household.
Tip #3: Once you establish a regular brushing schedule, only brush when you have the time. Rushing while your brush can result in missing matted fur or making it stressful for you and your St. Bernard.
Tip #4: If you find a section of matted hair that is too thick to brush through don’t force a brush through the mat. It’s best to gently and slowly clip the matted section out with grooming shears.
Tip #5: As you regularly brush your St. Bernard, inspect your dog’s skin to make sure it’s in good condition and not irritated. Always use gentle brush strokes whether or not your St. Bernard has any skin issues.
Tip #6: Finding out what type of coat your St. Bernard has (either short or long), will help you determine which brush is best. You may not be able to tell which type of coat your St. Bernard has until they get older, but once you can identify the coat type, it’s best to get the right brush.
Tip #7: Brushing your St. Bernard is easy, as long as you stick to your brushing schedule, but if you need more tips on how to brush your St. Bernard there are several online tutorials available.
Tip #8: Always brush your St. Bernard before bathing to remove any loose hair from the coat. Failure to brush your dog’s coat before a bath can cause tangles and mats.
Tip #9: Don’t hesitate to test out a variety of brushes before settling on one that you like best for brushing your St. Bernard. Since most brushes are affordable, you may be able to buy more than one type without spending too much money.
Have questions about brushing your St. Bernard’s hair? Check out some of these frequently asked questions.
How often should you brush a St. Bernard?
You should be prepared to brush your St. Bernard every week, and possibly more than once a week depending on your dog’s coat. St. Bernards shed or “blow their coat” twice a year (usually in Spring and Fall), and they benefit from daily brushing during this heavy shedding period.
How do you prevent St. Bernard hair from matting?
Since matted hair can cause a number of skin issues, and general discomfort, brushing often and using the right grooming tools can reduce the chance of matted hair.
Do St. Bernards have an undercoat?
As we mentioned earlier in the article, St. Bernards have a soft downy undercoat under their coarse stop coat. The undercoat is what sheds during the two heavy shedding seasons. It’s important to find a brush with wires or pins that are long enough to reach the undercoat.
How to prevent a St. Bernard from shedding so much?
While cleaning up after a dog that sheds can be tiresome, nearly every dog will shed at some point. Even with daily brushing, your St. Bernard will shed. Grooming may help the amount of hair that your dog sheds. Dietary changes may also help, but we recommend talking with your St. Bernard’s vet first.
Final Thoughts on Brushing your St. Bernard
Your St. Bernard has a unique coat that requires a moderate amount of attention, but once you establish a regular brushing schedule and purchase the right brush, you can easily take care of your St. Bernard’s coat.
The right type of brush will not only keep your St. Bernard’s coat looking and feeling healthy, but a mat-free coat will keep your beloved pet happy.