One of the most common questions that I’ve gotten over the years is, “Which brush should I get for my Newfoundland?”
To make it easy for you to choose an everyday pin brush for your Newfoundland I thought it would be fun and educational to break down different types of pin brushes and which one is best to use on your Newfie.
This might to too much information but pin brushes are more complicated than you think!
First, let’s talk about that amazing dense coat that the Newfie has!
A Newfoundland’s Coat
Dogs are usually categorized into different coat styles and while I would love to tell you exactly what those are, it seems as if no one can agree on a set number of categories so to err on the side of caution we’ll keep it simple and stick with the “Newfies have a “double coat” category.
Some other dog coat types I’ve seen on lists are:
- smooth coat
- coarse coat
- drop coat
- wire coat
- double coat
- heavy coat
- curly coat
Newfoundlands have a dense, long water-resistant coat.
The outer coat of a Newfie is coarse and long.
Some outer coats will be straight while others may have a slight wave to them.
Their undercoat is soft and dense in the colder months and less dense in the summer months.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all Newfie coats are the same.
Some are thicker, some thinner, some coarser and some are shorter.
Genetics, lifestyle and age can all play a role in your Newfie’s coat so keep that in mind as we talk about grooming tools.
When To Use a Pin Brush On Your Dog
Both the topcoat and undercoat on a Newfie need to be brushed regularly to avoid mats, and tangles, remove debris and keep the natural oils moving through the coat.
Pin brushes are mostly used as a daily maintenance dog brush.
They don’t remove as much loose hair as a comb, rake or slicker brush but they will still remove some loose hair, dirt and debris.
I use my pin brush daily but a pin brush is not superior to a dog comb!
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You wouldn’t think that those pins on a pin brush would make much of a difference but they sure do!
Not all pins are created equal and some pins can actually do more bad than good to your Newfies coat and skin.
Type of pins
There are tons of different pins that can be found on a pin brush including:
- dipped pins
- wooden pins
- plastic pins
- stainless steel pins
- brass pins
- straight tipped pins
- rounded tipped pins
Dipped pins will be pins that are dipped in a protective coating.
While dipped pins will work well at first, the dip part tends to wear away after time.
This leaves a straight pin that can actually scratch the skin and damage the coat.
Straight-tipped pins, those that are cut and shoved into the pad of the brush and sold can actually cause scrapes on the dog’s skin and even brush burn.
Plastic pins are more affordable but they tend to break easily and cause static.
Stainless steel rounded tipped pins are my favorite.
Not only do they cut down on static but they glide through hair, hold up longer and are better for the coat.
Wooden pins glide through the hair easily and are a great starter brush for puppies, senior dogs or dogs with sensitive skin.
Wooden pins don’t get stuck and they almost feel like a massage. They’re also 100% static-free and don’t get hot!
I just bought one and I’m still testing it out!
I’ve never used a brass pin brush but I’ve read that they can help with static in the coat.
No matter what pin brush you get, make sure the tips are rounded and polished.
If you question the gentleness, brush your arm first.
If it leaves scratches on your arm, it’s most likely going to leave scratches on your dog’s skin.
The pad or cushion
That thing that the pins sit in is called a pad or cushion and not all pads are the same.
That’s crazy, right?
Some pads are soft, medium and firm.
Some pads have a little hole for proper airflow and flexibility.
The pad determines how much flexibility you get with every stroke.
I use brushes that have a firm pad.
Size of pins
The size of pins matters too!
The longer the coat, the longer you want the pins.
I’m stuck on using a 20mm pin for everyday use and I’m trying to break my habit of this because I should be using longer pins.
A 20mm is great for shorter length hair on a Newfie and it will work well across the entire coat but technically, you should use something more like a 27mm but there’s also a 35mm too.
I’m trying, I just LOVE my 20mm oblong brush so much and I’ve used it for years!
The shape of the brush depends on the dog and you.
I always tell people that I have small hands therefore it’s more comfortable for me to use a smaller brush even though my dogs are big.
I like oblong pin brushes because they don’t hurt my hands and I can brush for hours!
Common shapes that pin brushes come in are:
- T-shape (this brush is good for gliding through thicker areas of the coat like the pants)
I have a few of each but I always grab for my oblong brush first!
The bigger the brush, the more area it will cover.
The handle and base of a pin brush can vary based on brand.
It’s mostly wood and plastic and personally, I’m always going to go with wood.
It comes down to personal preference and what fits into your budget.
Most wooden brushes will cost a little more than a plastic pin brush but wooden ones will hold up longer.
Where To Buy Pin Brushes For Dogs
You can pick up a pin brush at almost any pet store, feed store, and online stores.
A few places that I buy my pin brushes from are:
- Chris Christensen
- Pet Edge
Best Pin Brushes For Newfoundlands
I did a poll on Instagram a few weeks and almost every Newfie owner that responded said, “Chris Christensen Pin Brush” and this is my vote too.
Another Newfie favorite was Bass Pin Brushes which I’ve never used but they look great and are less expensive than the Chris Christensen brush.
I recently bought the Chris Christensen Oval Breezy Brush and I liked it.
I grabbed the wooden pin oblong brush and I’m still on the fence with it.
I do think that the wood brush would be great for puppies or for dogs that aren’t digging their current grooming brush.
Was that too much information and now you’re having a hard time deciding which pin brush to get for your dog?
Tell me about it!
I have 5 pin brushes at the moment because I couldn’t make a decision.
But I’m always going to recommend the 20mm Chris Christensen oblong pin brush because it’s the first professional brush I purchased over 20 years ago and it’s still my favorite dog brush ever. This brush is more of a finishing brush and not an all-over brush but I use it all over.
However, you might NOT like it so in that case, I would recommend the 27mm CC oval pin brush or the 27mm Bass brush. (Neither of my Newfies have a super thick coat at the moment so the 20mm might not work as well on a dog with a denser coat)
But the Breezy Brush is climbing up the ladder too, I just need more time to get to know it.
The wooden pin brush, while I don’t think it would be great for a Newfie with an adult coat, I do think it would be a great starter brush for a puppy, for a dog that has been clipped for the summer or for a dog with sensitive skin.
Keep in mind when you’re looking for a new pin brush that not all Newfie coats are the same.
Different brushes work better on Odin’s coat than they do on Lou’s coat because Odin has a more coarse topcoat and Lou does not have his full adult coat yet.
If you’re not a fan of Chris Christensen’s brushes you can also check out Bass Brushes.
Do You Need More Than 1 Pin Brush For Your Newfoundland?
If you have a pin brush that you love and it works well for your Newfie, you don’t have to spend your money on another one!
1 good pin brush is enough.
Some reasons why people like myself might have more than 1 pin brush are:
- they have multiple Newfies with different coat types
- they often lose their pin brush (*cough*cough* ME!)
You’re better off spending your money on saving for a new dog dryer, getting some combs or spoiling your Newfie and getting some delicious fish treats from Icelandic+.
Caring For Your Pin Brush
If we’re being honest, I’m horrible at cleaning my brushes but I’m trying to be much better about this!
Cleaning and caring for your grooming tools will not only help them last longer but will also keep your dog’s skin and coat in good shape.
Not cleaning your dog brushes regularly can redistribute dirt and dander and also spread gross bacteria.
I mean, think about it. Our Newfies pick up some pretty gross things as they skip through every bush and mud puddle that they possibly can.
Then we run a brush through them and let the brush sit there allowing all the gross things to marinate.
Some grooming tools will need different cleaning techniques but cleaning your pin brushes is pretty easy.
Cleaning Wooden Pin Brushes
While I would love to give you a step-by-step guide on how to clean your dog’s pin brush, there’s no set guide to follow because it depends on your brush.
The Chris Christensen brushes that I have are made out of wood so I don’t soak them in water.
They also have a little hole in the pad that will hold water so submerging them probably isn’t the best idea.
I’m still working out an easy and good way to clean them but right now I’m just removing the hair and dipping the pins and pad quickly in the lather of warm water and Dawn.
Then I set the brush with the pins down on a towel to airdry.
You can also use your high-velocity dog dryer to dry the brush quicker.
Vinegar wipes, dog wipes or a soft toothbrush would probably work too!
As I mentioned earlier, I recently bought a few new pin brushes to test out so I could you some honest feedback.
I had a chance to get Lou up on the table on Friday and give them all good go and here are my picks in this order:
- My original 20mm oblong CC brush 10/10
- CC T-brush (27mm) (the more I use this brush, the more I like it. I used it on Lou, Odin and Finn and had good results all the way around!) 10/10
- CC Breezy brush (the Breezy brush works better on Odin’s coat than Lou’s coat right now) 9/10
- CC Ice Slip brush (this brush is meant to be used with the Ice on Ice detangler spray. I like it but the pins are thicker than the original CC brush and there are fewer of them. It might move up the ladder with more use but right now I don’t think it’s worth the extra money. 7/10
- CC Wooden Pin Brush. I don’t think that I can give this brush a fair trial until winter because I want to see how it does with static. It does glide nice but it won’t be the first brush I grab) 6/10
*CC stands for Chris Christensen in this list
The grooming spray that I’m using in the video is Magic Mist
Alright, I don’t think that I can possibly write anything more about pin brushes for dogs but if you have any questions, you know where to find me!
Friday 31st of March 2023
Thank goodness I have finally found your site. I have read so many different things I don't exactly know what to think. Thank you for down to earth information and a few tips included.My first newfoundland so I do need some direction.
Wednesday 15th of June 2022
I do have a question. How long do the brushes last? $28 is not cheap, but if it lasts a long time, I can see investing the money. If they are going to fall apart quickly, I'm going to be more reluctant to purchase it for my boys. One has very long wavy hair, the other has shorter (still long) more straight hair.
Thursday 16th of June 2022
I've only had most of these brushes listed in this post for a few weeks so I can't answer honestly for them but I've been using the original CC oblong brush for over 15 years. I've had I think 3 of them over that time and they last pretty well as long as they're taken care of. I left one of them out in the snow for a week and the pins rusted and I think 1 brush that I had for 5 years lost a pin at one point in time but I feel they're pretty durable.