Looking for the best brush for your Labrador Retriever? We can help. Labs are incredibly popular, very sweet family dogs. This beloved breed consistently tops the most popular dog lists. In fact, this breed has been ranked number one in the U.S. for 31 years in a row.
Labrador Retrievers are big, lovable, energetic pups. One of their most admirable features is their soft, glossy full coats. Anyone bringing one of these pups home must be ready for regular brushing and grooming.
Doing it yourself grooming is helpful to keep your dog’s coat healthy and is a special bonding time for owners and pups. Investing in high-quality tools is the first step owners should take to keep their pet’s coats full and soft. It is a big job to brush a Labrador retriever, and there are different tools owners will need. We have reviewed some of the best brushes for Labrador Retrievers below.
At A Glance: Best Brushes For Labrador Retrievers
Note: Clicking the above links takes you to Amazon.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
- 1 Labrador Retriever Coat
- 2 Labrador Retriever Grooming Habits
- 3 Types of Brushes
- 4 Top Brushes For Labrador Retrievers
- 5 Managing Labrador Shedding
- 6 Managing Shedding Triggers
- 7 Grooming Tips
- 8 Final Thoughts
Labrador Retriever Coat
Labrador Retrievers are known for their lush, full coats. They have a double coat of fur, meaning they need a lot of brushing. The double coat consists of a soft, water-resistant underlayer covered by a longer, less smooth coat of hair. This soft undercoat helps keep a Labrador warm and works as sunblock. When temperatures rise, the undercoat works to help keep the dog cooler. Because of this double coat, Labrador Retrievers shed a significant amount.
Along with regular shedding, Labrador Retrievers will go through a couple of periods of heavier shedding every year. This is referred to as “blowing” their coats or molting. Labs will shed their heavy undercoat in the summer to cool off and again in the winter to let a new, thicker undercoat grow in. Labs shed quite a bit regularly and much more during their molting seasons. Owners should be prepared for this. Regular brushing throughout the year can help make these periods of immense shedding more manageable.
Labrador Retriever Grooming Habits
To keep their coats soft and healthy and to prevent the buildup of dog hair throughout your home, it is best to groom Labrador Retrievers at least twice a week. Owners may want to groom their dogs more than that. We recommend three times a week or even every couple of days. Once every three days is a good guideline to stick to.
Along with regular brushing, having the right tools for the job will help make this process more enjoyable for your dog and more effective in managing hair. All dog brushes are not created equal. Some are designed for specific breeds, some for high shedding breeds, and others to clear out dead skin and extra hair.
Types of Brushes
Labs have thick double coats and are known to be a higher shedding breed. They are also a larger breed. Because of this, some products will work better for them than others. It is essential to make sure the brush you are using can work through both coats. Grooming tools should not be painful to dogs or cause them discomfort and fear. Labs have sensitive skin, so always look for gentle brushes that are less likely to cause pain or discomfort.
A slicker brush is made up of short, thin bristles, often made of wire. These brushes are flat, with bristles close together. Slickers work very well for dogs like Labs, as they get through both coats. These are very useful for removing debris and mats, and working out tangles.
Pinhead brushes are also called pin brushes. They are often confused for slickers. Bristles are thicker and farther apart. They are also longer, often with rubber tips. The wide spacing helps work through the thick, double coat of fur without getting caught in tangles.
Bristle brushes look much like human brushes. This is often the brush people think of when they look for a dog brush. These brushes have thick bristles that are moderately spaced apart. These brushes do not work the best with high shed breeds but can be suitable for a quick once-over.
Rake-style brushes are good for removing packed-in dead hair but are not daily-use products. These are shaped like a T with pins or bristles across the tops. They are helpful for Labs when they experience heavy shedding.
Grooming gloves are extremely helpful for dogs who are stressed out about getting brushed. Gloves with small soft bristles will help remove pet hair as owners pet their pups. These are not a great substitute for a brush with teeth but can be particularly good for quick maintenance. For big double-coated dogs like a Lab, grooming gloves can be helpful with managing the amount a pup sheds. They should still be brushed at least twice a week.
Grooming combs are especially helpful for working out mats and tangles without hurting your pup. Combs can be made of plastic, metal, or even wood. These should be used with a high-quality brush to help keep Lab’s coats clean and soft. Never yank a comb out or pull it through the opposite direction of the fur growth.
Top Brushes For Labrador Retrievers
We looked at some of the most popular dog brushes on the market to find the best ones for Labrador Retrievers. Products should always be comfortable for the dog, as well as functional. Owners can learn a lot from reviews but should remember that not every product will work with an individual pup. Every dog has unique needs, so always do plenty of research and try out a few products to find the one that is best for your Labrador.
Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker
The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is highly rated and extremely popular with canine owners. It works very well for dogs with thick coats, like the Labrador Retriever. This product was rated best overall for 2022 by Spruce Pets. It has been reviewed and used by millions of pet owners worldwide.
This brush is easy to hold and simple to use, designed for comfort for both owner and pet. Bristles are slanted and retractable, making it extremely easy to remove fur. It is excellent for Labs, as well as cats and even pets like rabbits. This small business brand has created a product that is popular with dog owners and versatile. It works well on pets of all sizes, with all lengths of coats. A similar product by the same manufacturer combines the slicker with a hair dryer.
Pet Magasin Professional Grooming 3 Pack
- 3-pack includes a double-sided bristle brush, undercoat rake, and de-matting comb.
- Great for large breeds.
- For regular brushing, de-shedding, and working out mats and tangles.
- Good for dogs with double coats.
PET MAGASIN Professional Grooming Brushes are a great combination pack. This three-pack comes with a double-sided bristle, a long-toothed undercoat rake, and a de-matting comb. This set is very helpful for dogs with lots of hair and who get tangles or debris in their coats.
Designed for dogs who are high shedders, this set is good for excess fur removal and weekly grooming and upkeep. The double-sided brush has nylon bristles on one side and round-tipped metal pins on the other. The undercoat rake is great for a Lab’s thick double coat. The de-matting comb helps work those sticky situations and painful tangles out. A very affordable option with multiple tools. Works for dogs of all sizes, best for medium and large breeds.
Bass Brushes Large Slicker With Bamboo Wood Handle
Bass Brushes Large Slicker Style with Bamboo Wood Handle is a superior quality bamboo brush with rubber grips. This one has a classic design and is comfortable to hold.
The brush is large, perfect for bigger breeds like the Labrador. It is a straightforward design and incredibly good for regular brushing throughout the week. Metal pins help keep coats smooth and free of debris or tangles. High-quality material keeps this brush in decent shape and working for a long time.
Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker
Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush works for dogs with all hair types and is perfect for working with the thick double coat of the Labrador retriever. Designed for use by professional groomers, this brush features retractable scratch-free pins and cushioned pad. Pins are extra-large, larger than the standard size, to aid in getting through tangles, knots, and thick double coats.
The ergonomic handle makes this brush easy to grip and hold. No hand cramps here! It can be used to fluff and detangle, with no need for additional tools. It comes in three sizes to suit every size of canine. They are designed to work with the thickest coats, curly hair, double coats, and large breeds.
Ruff 'N Ruffus Self-Cleaning Slicker
Ruff ‘N Ruffus Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush features pain-free bristles and comes with a set of high-quality stainless steel nail clippers. We appreciate this gentle reminder not to overlook nail clipping and cleaning as part of a pup’s regular grooming. The slicker is self-cleaning, with retractable bristles.
The brush features a comfortable grip and an anti-slip ergonomic handle. The handle is wide for easy use. Bent wire bristles are perfect for removing dander, knots, and loose hair. Push button fur release makes cleaning a breeze. It works for all sizes of dogs (and cats) and is suitable for long and short coats. Comfortable for dogs and owners alike.
ZOOPOLR Pet Silicone Shampoo Brush
The ZOOPOLR Pet Silicone Shampoo Brush for Long & Short Hair is perfect for wet dogs. It is a product designed to be used in the bath. Designed to help make grooming and removing hair an enjoyable process, this brush is made to be used while bathing. Why not remove that extra fur and give dogs a soothing massage at the same time? This brush has dual effects of cleaning and brushing.
This silicone rubber brush is easy to use. It has thick, soft rubber bristles that wash and remove packed-in hair. Pets like the brush’s massage, and some find it very calming. This bath brush will make grooming and bathing far more enjoyable than rigid plastic combs. They were designed for long and short hair. Ergonomic design with bump slip back allows owners versatile control even when wet.
Hartz Groomer's Best Combo Brush
- Combo brush: nylon bristle brush, steel-tipped slicker brush.
- Designed for comfort and control.
- Easy to use.
- Maneuvers well around dog’s bodies.
- Manages tangles, and mats, and keeps coats soft.
The Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Brush makes the list for a few reasons. It is very affordable, highly rated, and works well for all coat types. Made with thin, fine bristles, it gently works through both coats of hair and gently works through mats and tangles. One side has stainless steel tips and a protective coating. The other has dense nylon bristles. This product both removes fur and helps soften coats.
The handle is designed for comfort and the best control. Works very well for high-shedding dogs. Easy to use for regular coat care. The bristle keeps fur soft and smooth, and the slicker side helps to remove excess hair, dander, tangles, and debris. It helps to prevent mats and keep hair clean. Easy to work around the dog’s body and legs.
Managing Labrador Shedding
Labradors shed. This is a commonly known fact about this lovable breed. Owners need to accept that their dog will shed and take steps to manage it. Thankfully, there are a few ways owners can work to keep shedding manageable and control the amount of hair a Labrador leaves lying around.
Managing Shedding Triggers
Labs are going to shed, but some environmental triggers can cause them to shed more. Managing these triggers can prevent excess shedding. Labs shed extra when stressed or have something bothering them like mites, fleas, or a skin infection. Allergies can also trigger dogs to drop excess hair.
A high-quality diet full of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats keeps a dog healthy and is a key factor in coat health. Labradors need a diet rich in Omega fatty acids. These are a pivotal part of skin and coat health. Labs should eat a diet of fresh, high-quality ingredients, not foods with many fillers and artificial additives. Adding in some fresh meat and fresh veggies like zucchini and sweet potatoes can give a nice boost to skin and coat health. Add extra water to keep them hydrated.
Brushing & Bathing Products
Labrador Retrievers have extremely sensitive skin. They can have a bad reaction to shampoos, detanglers, and sprays. Always stick to sensitive skin and hypoallergenic dog products. Never use human products on a dog. These can trigger allergies and shedding. Anti-shed formulated shampoos and calming formulas can help stop extra shedding and irritation.
Bathe Your Dog
Bathing a Lab can be a big job, but it is worth the effort. Regular baths can help keep coats clean and healthy. Just like humans, Labs will shed more hair in the bath. This can be an effective way to minimize shedding.
Labs will need regular, multiple times a week grooming. This may include bathing every few weeks. Brushing should be done at least every three days. Never work against the natural flow of a dog’s coat. Always be gentle and never yank out tangles or mats. Use a de-shedding tool to loosen hair and keep coats free of dead skin and debris. Take your dog to the groomer once every two or three months, along with grooming them at home. This helps keep their cats in tip-top shape. Do not forget dental care and regular nail clipping.
Brushing a Labrador is an integral part of keeping their coats clean and healthy. They are a high shedding breed and will need a lot of coat care and grooming. Owners need to be ready to manage their dog’s shedding, clean up after their pups, and groom them multiple times a week. Investing in top-quality grooming products is a big part of keeping their coats as healthy as possible. Hopefully, our reviews of these top Labrador retriever brushes will help you make your next Labrador grooming session a success.