Basic Grooming Tools

 
 
 

The pin brush is the main tool used in grooming an Old English Sheepdog. This should be a large oval brush (usually about 9.5 inches in length) with medium length pins. Pin length may vary for different manufacturers but generally is in the range of 20 to 27 mm. The brush should have straight pins without ball tips. The best brushes will have “ground” and “polished” pin tips. This makes the tips rounded which reduces drag on the hair and associated hair loss. The pins should also be set in a rubber base to make them more flexible and less likely to pull out coat.

Pin Brush

 

Coarse Comb

 

There are numerous manufacturers of suitable pin brushes including PSI, Chris Christensen, Number 1 All Systems, Hindes, Madan, and Vellus. All make high quality brushes.

This page defines the basic grooming tools required to maintain your Old English Sheepdog in full coat. While there are literally hundreds of different dog grooming tools available from pet supply companies, your basic tool set can be limited to a pin brush, two combs, a grooming table, and a spray bottle. This is what you will use for most of your weekly grooming. For final grooming and trimming refer to the Advanced Grooming Tool web page accessed via the main Grooming page.

A sturdy coarse comb is one of the most versatile tools for the OES. You can use this comb to break up matts, gently comb through the coat to detangle hair, or to strip excess coat from the neck and other areas of the dog. We have tried many different manufacturers and models of combs. For the OES we recommend the Oster coarse groming comb with handle. This is a very sturdy comb with long round tip pins.

If you use this tool properly you can comb through the coat with a minimum of undercoat loss. For stripping, the comb can be used at a 45 degree angle to grab and pull out undercoat.

Medium/Fine Combination Comb

 

In general you will want to maximize the use of the pin brush and minimize the use of any combs when grooming your sheepdog. Still there are times when you will need a medium or even fine comb to clean the beard, ears, or other parts of your dog. We generally use an 8 inch combination or greyhound comb for this purpose. There are numerous manufacturers that make suitable combs.

Grooming Table

 

All of your grooming should take place on a table. This not only makes it much easier to work on your dog, it also is used to train the dog to behave for weekly grooming sessions. You will need a sturdy table that is 42 to 48 inches long by 24 inches wide. A 48 inch long table is probably best for grooming at home because it provides extra length for larger sheepdogs and provides space for tools as you work. We prefer a 42 inch long table for show grooming because of its portability while still providing adequate length.

You can find quality tables from several different manufacturers listed with the dog supply sites contained on our Links page. One of the manufacturers we have used is Champagne Tables. They provide 36, 42, and 48 inch long tables in multiple heights. They also manufacture an adjustable height table which can be helpful if you need a lower or higher table for optimum comfort.

Spray Bottle

 

It is always best to lightly spray the dogs coat with water as you brush. Any standard spray bottle that produces a fine mist can work. We often use plain tap water for our spray solution. There are also many different coat spray products you can try which may provide additional benefits in maintaining a clean and static free coat. Be careful to avoid any products that will build up in the coat or that soften or alter the coats texture. A Sheepdog should have a coarse coat so you do not want to soften the coat as you brush.