The Furminator Dog Brush Review
Our Furminator review: the infamous dog brush we tested on our two insanely fluffy Shetland Sheepdogs. See our photos after brushing.
We sought to test whether the Furminator dog brush is worthy of its infamy. There are videos online showing the brush stripping away dog and cat undercoat with ease. But we wanted to know if it's really that easy? How do Shelties react to the Furminator? And how can you avoid buying a counterfeit?
At a Glance
If you're in a hurry, the short answer is - yes - we do like the Furminator and it's a pretty neat tool for Shelties in particular. Here are our recommended Furminator brushes on Amazon. We suggest a medium or large version of the brush for your Sheltie. Read on to find out how the patented design works differently from other undercoat rakes and brushes.
Types of Dog Grooming Brushes
When you start out dog grooming, there's an overwhelming amount of choice of dog brushes. There's the undercoat rake, the slicker brush, the pin brush, the bristle brush, the shedding blade, and the fine toothed comb to name a few. But DON'T PANIC!
The variety of brushes simply reflects the variety of dog coats in the world. You certainly don't need to use them all on your dog. In fact, we recommend you have two or three brushes max, which I'll describe below as well as how to use them.
Since this is Sheltie Planet, I'm going to focus on the best dog brushes for Shetland Sheepdogs. However you can extend these nuggets of wisdom to other dog breeds with double coats.
Dog Grooming in a Nutshell
Step 1. Groom The Undercoat
First you're going to need a brush that strips out the dead undercoat .
Unbelievably, I spent years parting and brushing the undercoats of our two Shelties with a flea comb. It was the most effective tool I could find in our local pet store. But, my god, it was time consuming. So don't do this.
Instead, use an undercoat rake or de-shedding tool like the Furminator. It's the most critical part of grooming a double-coated dog, so spend at least 20 minutes to do a thorough job. Get ALL of the undercoat out that you possibly can and don't fall behind for next time.
Step 2. Tease Out or Trim The Knots
Next, you want a fine toothed comb (aka a flea comb) to tease out any mats behind the ears, under the arm pits, and around the soft underbelly.
You'll notice the fur here is soft and thin in these parts because there's no undercoat. Do NOT use your Furminator here! If it's really knotty, get a small pair of scissors and chop out the mats because it's not worth the discomfort of detangling your poor pooch in these areas.
Step 3. Groom The Outercoat
Now the finishing touch. Run a slicker brush over the top outer coat to distribute the natural oils and maintain the coat's luster. This is the most relaxing part for your dog. Or if they don't enjoy being groomed - it's the least objectionable part.
The Furminator Review
Now you've got the lowdown on dog grooming brushes, let's get on with our Furminator review.
The Furminator is designed for removing the undercoat and so is particularly effective on dogs (and cats) with long double coated fur. We're talking about the Husky, Chow Chow, Corgi, German Shepherd, Collie, Leonberger, Shetland Sheepdog and many more.
With regular use, the Furminator reduces shedding up to 90% . The brush has caused a splash because of its patented design. Stainless steel teeth reach through the top coat and strip away the dense loose undercoat. This enables you to remove a lot of old fur in a very short space of time vs traditional undercoat rakes.
This feels like a good time for a video demonstration.
With practice you can work really fast through your dog's back, rump and tail, and get lots of undercoat to show for it.
However, if you have a skittish or anxious Sheltie (and boy can they sometimes be skittish) you must be a super gentle groomer. If you catch their skin with the sharp edge of a brush they'll get all freaked out and wont stay still.
For dogs who tolerate grooming well, it's very satisfying to quickly get a huge pile of undercoat out with every Furminator brushing. Besides keeping fur off the couch and carpets, this deep brushing stimulates blood flow and allows the skin to breathe.
It's actually ridiculous how much fur you can extract off the little butt of a heavily shedding Sheltie. In males that's about once a year, just before summer. In females it's way more often - just after each heat cycle. It's not something you can ignore!
There's a slightly confusing array of Furminator brushes for different size cats and dogs. So I've pulled out my recommendations here. For average sized English type Shelties go for the medium Furminator. For larger American type Shelties the large Furminator is your better bet.
Over the years I've accrued 11 different dog grooming brushes, rakes and combs, in search of a better option for our Shelties' massive shedding issue. The Furminator was the last brush I've had to buy because it does a great job: I've not seen anything else demonstrated to top it. Thanks for reading my Furminator review and I hope it makes your dog grooming routine much easier.