This incredibly cute mix of Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog may not be as well-known as the much-loved Labradoodle or Goldendoodle, but they are gaining in popularity. One of the key reasons for this is their unique coats, which come in jet black, clear white, rust, or a stunning mix of all three. If you have one, you know (and you’re probably wondering what the best brush for Bernedoodles is).
Picking the perfect brush to suit their coat can be a daunting task. Not only are there an enormous variety of brush types to choose from, but a large number of different features for dealing with specific issues. Getting your head around all of this can be a real challenge.
Luckily, we have compiled this guide, which is packed full of useful information and recommendations to help you find the best brush for Bernedoodles, no matter his coat type.
Before we get into it, though, I’d love to share with you Whitney and Chloe’s
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Brushes (and Combs) Doodle Owners Swear By
We went through some online forums and retail sites and gathered up the most recommended brushes for Doodles. Later on in this post, we will dive deeper into each product. In the meantime, here are the top 3 best brush for Bernedoodles and each product’s key features:
- Pick #1:
Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush. Removes tough tangles and mats, pin bend picks up more coat, flexible cushion protects skin, ergonomic handle reduces hand fatigue.
- Pick #2:
Chris Christensen Pin Brush. 100% static-free steel pins, smooth and polished tips for safety, lightweight wood body designed for comfort, ergonomic handle for easier grip.
- Pick #3:
Safari Steel Comb. Eliminates tangles, dirt, and loose hair, wide and narrow teeth for greater versatility, durable stainless steel construction, perfect for that just-groomed look.
Bernedoodle Coat Types: A Quick Overview
Combining breeds is a tricky business; you never quite know what the outcome will be. Bernedoodle pups inherit one of three coat types from their parents: curly (wool), wavy (fleece), or straight (hair). Each has its own specific grooming needs.
Generally, the most sought-after coat for Doodles is the curly or wool coat because of its low-shed, near-hypoallergenic properties. This comes from the poodle side of the equation, But… and this is a big BUT… what most people don’t know about this coat type is it’s actually one of the hardest to take care of. Those soft, fluffy curls can all too easily turn into a chaotic mess of knots, tangles, and matting that is all but impossible to deal with.
At the other end of the scale is the hair coat from the Bernese Mountain Dog. Although also called ‘straight coats,’ these tend to have a slight wave in the Doodle offspring. This is the highest shedding variety of the Berne coats and thus the most likely to spark allergies. Hair Bernedoodles can also inherit double coats. With this type, there is less concern with tangles and more with great clumps of hair about the place, especially at certain times of the year.
Often, though, a Bernedoodle’s coat sits somewhere in between these two extremes. This is known as the wavy or fleece coat and is the most manageable of the three. It is comparatively low shedding and less prone to tangles and mats. That being said, without proper care, attention, and the right grooming tools, these issues can rear their ugly heads.
Popular Bernedoodle Brushes
There are a seemingly endless amount of canine brushes; however, not all are well suited to Doodles. You may have heard of rakes, designed to strip the dense undercoat on breeds such as German Shepherds or Malamutes, and bristle brushes, perfect for short-haired dogs like Pugs and Jack Russell Terriers. Well, we’re not going to talk about those in this guide. Instead, we’ll focus on the ones that are going to be most beneficial for you and your Bernedoodle.
Typically rectangular in shape to cover a larger surface area and with hundreds of densely packed pins, these brushes are popular among owners of fleece or wool coat breeds. This is because they are pretty great at removing mats and tangles, as well as dead hair and dander.
A word of caution: you need to be careful when using slickers as too much pressure could cause discomfort.
These brushes, which look very similar to the ones we use, are excellent for long hair or fleece coats that are less vulnerable to knotting. They come in different shapes and sizes and with varying numbers and lengths of pins, making it a piece of cake to find the perfect one for any coat. Pin brushes are excellent for regular grooming and much gentler than other brushes.
Not technically a brush, but nevertheless an incredibly useful grooming accessory. Combs are good on all coats for dealing with knots in delicate or hard to reach places. They are also wonderful for tidying hair around the face and paws, and even removing fleas and ticks. The teeth come in various sizes and spacing. A good rule of thumb is that wider-spaced teeth are better on tangles, while more tightly spaced ones can be used to remove any dirt or loose hair left after brushing.
Brush Buying Guide
By now, you’ve got a good idea of the type of brush you’re looking for, but there are a few other things to consider. Not every brush is created equal. Some do more harm than good, painfully pulling on your dog’s coat or scratching their skin. Listed below are the things to look out for. You can also watch our video on how 4 different slicker brushes ranked across 8 categories.
It goes without saying that brushes made with high-quality materials last longer. Materials like plastic, silicone, and wood are popular for the body of the brush as they are smooth but non-slip. For the pins or teeth, stainless steel is a good choice, so they don’t rust. However, it’s important to also look at how the brush is made. Joins indicate weaknesses; too many of these and the brush may just fall apart.
Obviously, the part of the brush that could do the most harm is the pins. Ideally, they will be rubber or plastic coated to protect your pet’s skin. However, on a slicker, this could compromise the effectiveness of the brush. Instead, they are often carefully rounded off. On any brush the pins should be set into a cushion to reduce pressure when brushing.
Always test a brush on the underside of your forearm before using it on your dog.
A brushes design is not just about aesthetics; it also matters for the ease and comfort of use. Both size and shape are important. Large, flat brushes are great for getting the job done quickly but might not work so well on your pooch’s underside and legs. On the other hand, curved designs are excellent for fitting the various contours of your Doodle’s body, but it may take longer to brush them head to toe. Either way, a long handle with a comfortable grip is an absolute must. This allows you to really work through those tangles without straining your hand or wrist.
Best Brush for Bernedoodles: Reviews
Best for Wool or Fleece Coats
Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush
Dubbed ‘the miracle brush’ by owners in the know, the Big G Slicker comes highly recommended for dogs with poodle-like coats. The long, smooth, and dense collection of pins have been designed with a slight bend. These effectively reach through the layers of even the thickest coats, working on mats and tangles and lifting away loose and dead hair with ease.
For many groomers, this has become their go-to brush, especially if they spend a lot of time working on Doodle coats. Not only does it effortlessly deal with pesky knots and tangles, but the brush’s high-quality construction, which includes a flexible cushion, extreme curve back, and ergonomic handle, means that it is safe, comfortable, and just generally great for dog and owner alike. It makes coats super fluffy and soft. Not to mention the brush itself looks great!
The biggest (and only) problem with this brush is the price tag. However, most doodle owners would agree that it is absolutely worth every cent. After all, you get what you pay for. Cheaper slicker brushes can break, damage your pup’s coat, be uncomfortable to use, and are often a bit rubbish at removing knots. But there’s no need to worry about any of that with the Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush.
- Cuts grooming time right down
- Pain-free removal of knots
- Traps and collects dead hair and debris
- Comfortable to use
- Pricier than other slicker brushes
- Not suitable for short coats
Best for Hair or Fleece Coats
Chris Christensen Pin Brush
A top choice among professional handlers, the Chris Christensen Pin Brush, available in different shapes to suit different sized dogs, is great for smoothing out hair coats and adding a touch of shine. The pins, which come in a variety of lengths, are ground and polished for the smoothest possible finish. They effortlessly glide through hair and fur alike.
Made from high-quality materials, many owners talk about how comfortable this brush is to use and how gentle it is on their dog. The lightweight wooden body and easy-grip handle make the brush easy to hold, while the round-tip pins, set in a firm yet flexible cushion, gently massage your pup’s skin and distributes natural oils throughout their coat.
This brush may not be the best choice if your Bernepoo has a wool or fleece coat that is super prone to matting, unless you are simply using it to finish the groom. Other than that, it’s a great all-rounder. Again, people might grumble about the price. Still, this brush is likely to be the only one you will ever need for your hair-coated or slightly wavy Doodle. You could probably use it on any other pets too – bonus!
- Different styles to suit any dog
- Protects coat from damage
- Great even on sensitive skin
- Designed for safety and comfort
- Pricier than other pin brushes
- Not effective on thick knots and matting
Best for All Coats
Safari Steel Comb
While a comb is not a suitable replacement for a brush, it can be used alongside one to tackle specific hair problems. The excellent design of this sturdy and stylish comb makes it ideal for pretty much any coat type, and most Doodle owners would consider it a crucial part of their grooming kit.
One of the very best things about this comb is how inexpensive it is given its high-quality construction – the durable stainless steel is likely to last just about forever. With its varying spaced teeth, this comb is also incredibly versatile. It’s ideal for removing tangles, mats, loose hair, and dirt and for stimulating the skin and hair follicles. It can even be used for fluffing and finishing for that perfect professionally-groomed look.
Possibly the only downside of this excellent product is that its lack of a handle could make it difficult for some to hold and to use. This may especially be the case when working through a particularly long or dense coat or when spending a lot of time loosening tangles. Neither of these should be an issue, though with a well-maintained Bernedoodle coat.
- Can get at hard-to-reach knots, all the way down to the skin
- Removes dead hair and dander
- High-quality construction
- Great price
- No handle can be tricky to grip
Honorable Mentions: Other Highly Recommended Brushes
Paw Brothers Stainless Steel Extra Long Hard Pin Slicker Large Brush
At a fraction of the cost, an excellent alternative to the Big G is this Stainless Steel Slicker from Paw Brothers. While the design may seem basic and perhaps even slightly scary, this professional-quality brush is comfortable to use and extremely effective at removing knots, mats, and tangles – even in very long, very curly coats.
Andis Premium Pin Brush
For wavy and straight coated Doodles, Andis Pin Brush is a well-made, versatile brush that removes everyday tangles, dead hair, and dirt with ease. The pinheaded bristles are gentle on the skin and perfect for distributing natural oils throughout the coat for healthy-looking shiny hair. At the same time, the soft-grip handle helps to reduce wrist fatigue.
Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Detangling Dog Brush
Speaking of versatile, this excellent 2-in-1 brush has a round-tip pin brush on one side, which is perfect for general grooming, removing dead hair and tangles. Flip it around and you have a bristle brush to clear surface debris, help combat frizz, and leave hair impressively soft and shiny. The grooved grip handle makes it comfortable to hold and easy to control.
5 Tips for Brushing Your Bernedoodle
1. Use a Detangler Product
If your pet’s coat is especially prone to tangles, you may want to invest in a good detangler product. After bathing your dog, use a towel to remove the excess water from their coat, then apply the detangler, working it through their hair with your fingertips.
2. Wait Until Dry
Avoid grooming your pet while still damp. Wet hair is more prone to breakage, and brushes can painfully tug at it. Experts recommend giving your dog a proper brushing before their bath and then again when they are thoroughly dry. (Force drying will speed up the coat drying process – just don’t use it too frequently at a high heat setting, as this can cause coat damage.)
3. Check for Knots
Before brushing your Bernedoodle, run a metal comb (like the Safari one mentioned above) through their coat to see if you can find any evidence of severe knots or tangles. Pay special attention to behind the ears, under the legs, and around the tail. Work at these first, loosening them with your brush or comb.
4. Brush Down to the Base
With especially long or dense hair, many brushes are great at working through the top layer but fail to go any deeper. Pick one that has pins long enough to reach all the way down to your pup’s skin and check that they do. (This is actually a huge advantage of the Chris Christensen Big G slicker brush mentioned above.)
5. Do Regular Deep Grooms
Frequent brushing can keep the worst problems at bay, but make sure you set aside some time, once a week or every two weeks – depending on their coat, to give your Berne a really thorough grooming.
Frequently Asked Questions for Caring for a Bernedoodle
Frequency of brushing is dependent on which coat your Doodle has. With a hair coat, you can likely get away with grooming them just a couple of times a week, whereas a curly coat will require daily brushing.
While it’s not really possible to overbrush any dog, you do need to be careful with your brushing technique. Too much pressure can result in painful pulling and skin irritation.
Clipping your Doodle’s coat can help reduce the risk of matting and keep them cool in the summer. At the very least, you will need to trim the hair around their eyes to ensure it doesn’t obstruct their vision.
While grooming can sometimes feel like a never-ending chore, having the right equipment will save you a considerable amount of time and energy. Finding the best brush for Bernedoodles’ coats can make a big difference. You can be confident in your choice when opting for one of our groomer-recommended products.