Do you have a double-coated dog like a Husky?
Do they shed profusely throughout your home despite your endless brushing?
You might have been brushing your dog wrong the entire time!
I’m going to teach you about Line Brushing.
It’s a great way to brush out all the hidden coat without having to bathe and blow dry your dog.
What is line brushing?
When most owners brush their dog, they’re only really brushing about 50% of the coat. That’s because your dog’s coat comes in layers.
Line brushing is a very simple method used by groomers to ensure we’re brushing out every layer.
We do this by moving the coat up and away with one hand, and brushing down with the other.
Why Line Brushing Makes A Big Difference
Your dog has two layers of coat:
- The Top Layer (called the Top Coat) which has a rough texture and acts as the first line of defence.
- The Under Layer (or Under Coat) which is thick and soft, and acts as an insulator for cold and heat.
Most of the shedding hairs come from the undercoat.
But when you’re just running a brush over your dog you’re only brushing the top coat.
That’s why we Line Brush – to brush out the main source of shedding coat.
How To Line Brush
Let’s get a few things:
- An undercoat rake
- A pin brush with a flexible pad and soft pins
- A long pinned steel comb (optional but very helpful)
- A spray bottle with some water
Here’s my favorite version of each:
Step 1 – Spray
Lightly mist your dog with some water or grooming spray.
We’re not soaking down the dogs, but just adding a little moisture.
Use your hands to work in some of the water into their fur.
Step 2 – Undercoat Rake
From the neck down – rake over the surface of their coat with your undercoat rake. Be sure to go with the growth of their hair.
Pay special attention to the bum and around the hind legs, as this is where they shed the most.
This helps remove a lot of excess undercoat.
Step 3 – Line Brush
Now it’s time to start line brushing with your pin brush.
Pick a section of the coat to work on, give it a little spray of water.
You will push some of the hair up (against the grain) with your off hand, and brush down (with the grain) with your brush in your dominant hand.
You are brushing each line of the coat, hence – Line Brushing.
As you brush down a lot of loose hair will be stirred up. Just let it fall down the coat and onto the floor as your brush.
If the spot gets dry, just mist it with a little extra water again.
Don’t brush too hard or firmly, we don’t want to create brush burn.
If You Hit A Snag
This is where a steel comb comes in handy. Even huskies get matting and tangles, and a pin brush isn’t ideal for brushing that out.
Use your steel comb (aka greyhound comb) to get deep into their coat and help gently remove tangles.
Once you can easily move your steel comb through that spot, revert back to line brushing with your pin brush.
Finishing The Job
You’ll know a spot is finished when you only get a few hairs out (instead of thick chunks of hair). Then it’s time to move onto the next spot.
Continue doing the entire body, one section at a time, from the neck down. Pay special attention to the bum and hips as these areas produce a lot of hair.
If you’re in a hurry or your arm is getting tired – you can do one section of your dog and do another section the next day.
Help! My Husky Is Shedding worse the Next Day!
After a good brush or bath you may notice your Husky sheds significantly more over the next day or two. That’s completely normal!
When line brushing we loosen up a LOT of hair.
Despite our best efforts, some loose hairs remain trapped in the coat.
Those hairs will become airborne as your dog goes about their day.
Don’t be surprised to see a lot of extra loose hair for up to 2 days after line brushing.
Afterwards you’ll notice a dramatic drop in shedding coat.
Combine with Other Techniques for ultimate deshedding
Other things like a good bath with deshedding shampoo, or blowing out their coat with a high velocity dryer will make a big impact too.
The combination of all these techniques will give you good control over loose hairs.
You’ll never be completely rid of shedding hair, however.
Husky shedding is a force of nature that cannot be controlled. But with Line brushing and other techniques you can greatly reduce it.
When Husky Shedding is at it’s worst
There’s a few times per year when shedding really turns up a notch. Namely, spring and fall.
We call these periods of shedding “blowing out their coat”. As your dog is exposed to more or less sunlight, their coat naturally adjusts for the upcoming season.
During this time period I recommend you brush your husky out once per week until things settle down.
If left unchecked, your husky will just casually shed all over your home, blankets, couches, etc…