If you would have told me 20 years ago that a dog comb would be one of the most important grooming tools in my grooming routine, I would have looked at you like you were crazy!
I mean, I love a good pin brush and it’s always the first thing I reach for when I’m about to get my groom on!
Not to mention, combing a Newfoundland sounds like a lot of work!
And it is but in a good kind of hard work way.
So why is choosing a good dog comb such a hard task?
Because when you start browsing dog combs you’re faced with hundreds of dog combs that all look the same but when you look really close and read the description, they’re not.
While most dog combs are made from a variety of different metals, there are also wide-toothed dog combs, thin-toothed dog combs, combs with short tines, long tines, coated tines, uncoated tines and combs with different types of handles.
The good news is, that you’re almost always going to get the most use out of a dog comb with long tines when you’re using it on a Newfoundland.
The bad news is that the handle is going to be based all on personal preference.
Before we dive into the wonderful world of dog combs, let’s first go over why having a dog comb is important.
Why Newfies Need To Be Combed
We all know that Newfies have a double coat which means they have 2 coats.
They have a thick undercoat and a long, water-resistant top coat.
The top coat is pretty easy to maintain but that undercoat can be brutal if it’s not taken care of.
To complicate things even more, some Newfies have a much thicker coat than others.
No matter what the coat texture, all Newfies should be line combed several times a year.
If you’ve never heard of line-combing, you can read THIS POST which goes over what line-combing is and why you should be doing it.
Basically, line-combing is the best way to remove loose undercoat and it keeps your dog’s coat in good shape.
It’s also a great way to keep tangles from forming.
In order to line comb your dog you need a good comb!
But Jen, I thought brushing was the most important of grooming?
Friends, grooming a Newfoundland comes with a lot of important parts and combing is definitely an important part that is often overlooked.
But don’t worry, we’re going to go over everything you need to know, starting with the basics.
The Anatomy Of a Dog Comb
Another word for the teeth on a comb is tine.
The tines on a dog comb come in different lengths and they are spaced differently.
Wide teeth are usually best for thick coats because they get through the coat better, however, there are combination combs that have both wide and fine tines.
We’ll talk about those later!
You’ll want to have a dog comb with longer tines over shorter tines.
Shorter tines work good for the ears but usually won’t make it through the dense coat of a Newfie.
Tines that have a rounded tip are usually the best because they won’t scrape the skin.
Tines or teeth can be made out of several different metals including aluminum, brass or steel.
Some can be wood or plastic too.
Many combs have a coating like nickel to protect from rust while others have a special coating applied to reduce static.
Another important feature of a dog comb is the handle.
If you’re going to be doing line combing, a handle is important to keep your hand from cramping.
For line combing, I like a coarse comb with a big wooden handle.
For everyday combing, I can get away with using a comb that doesn’t have a handle.
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Different Types of Dog Combs
Now let’s take a look at the different types of combs out there in the dog grooming world.
Combination Dog Combs
A Combination Comb, also called a Poodle Comb, is a popular style of comb that most people have.
I have 2 because I lost one, bought another one, found the lost one.
A combination comb has medium and coarse teeth spacing with long tines.
It’s basically 2 combs in one.
A Poodle Comb and Greyhound Comb are usually grouped in this category but they are different.
I believe that a Greyhound Comb has longer tines. (I could be wrong!)
You can get these pretty cheap and they range from $6 to $50.
This is the Greyhound Comb I have and this is the wooden handle comb that I use for line combing.
Honestly, after researching combs I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people group combination combs, greyhound combs and poodle combs together.
Some places you look, a combination comb is called a greyhound comb so if you’re struggling trying to figure out which comb to get for your Newfie, go with COMBINATION comb because you can’t wrong with that one.
I personally prefer the comb pictured above with the blue base.
A finishing comb is a fine-toothed comb that works great for the ears and face.
It’s not a good all-around comb but I do have one.
You can substitute one of your other combs and it will work just as well.
A staggered comb is used to remove mats and tangles.
The tines are different lengths and well….they’re staggered just like the name says.
I don’t think that I’ve ever had a staggered comb but here is one for you to check out.
I don’t think it’s needed but you can be the judge.
Detangling combs are great to have on hand for areas where small mats and tangles like to form like behind the ears, in the groin, and in the armpit area.
I recently bought a new one from Bass and it works great when using the cornstarch method to remove small mats.
I also really like it to comb the ears and featherings on the legs.
But there are several different varieties available and I see these a lot at local pet supply stores.
Here’s one that is similar to the one I bought for under $12.
A Scotch Comb is a comb designed for livestock but also works on dogs with a thick double coat.
I have one and it’s heavy and not one of my favorite grooming tools.
It has short teeth and I’m not even going to link it because it would be a waste of your money.
The Sullivan Comb looks like a rake but it’s actually a comb designed for livestock but it works REALLY well on dogs with a double coat.
It’s not an everyday comb but it’s definitely a great comb to use when a dog is blowing coat or after a bath and blow dry.
It’s pricey but worth it if you’re struggling with blowing coat season and it’s a time saver because it’s BIG.
How Many Dog Combs Do You Need?
I currently have 7 dog combs.
Some of them are the same and some are quite different.
Some combs I use all the time and some I use only on occasion.
You don’t need 7 combs!
Most normal people probably only have 2 combs and that’s perfectly fine for basic grooming.
How Much Do Dog Combs Cost?
The good thing with combs for dogs is that they aren’t as expensive as other grooming tools.
On average most basic dog combs range anywhere from $7 to $100.
I’ve never spent $100 on a dog comb.
Dog combs range in price based on material, name brand and quality.
Where To Buy Dog Combs
Dog combs are easy to come by!
You can buy many varieties of dog combs at local pet supply stores or online.
A few good places to buy combs online are:
- Pet Edge
(Sometimes Tractor Supply carries good grooming tools too, like the Sullivan Comb!)
If you attend dog shows or other dog events, there are usually vendors there that sell grooming supplies too.
Not sure what combs to get for your Newfoundland?
You can’t go wrong with a Combination Comb and a Detangling Comb.
Those will be the combs you use the most.
Nice additions would be a comb with a nice wooden handle for line combing so your wrist doesn’t ache.
A Sullivan Comb is another nice addition if it fits into your budget but this isn’t a comb that you’ll use year-round.
What makes or breaks a comb? Price of course!
Always make sure you get a comb that fits into your budget.
Don’t sacrifice other needs of your dog for a pricey comb.
And of course, just like with all our grooming tools, make sure to keep them clean!
If you’re wondering if you should get a comb for your puppy, it’s always a good idea to introduce your puppy to as many grooming tools as you can.
Puppies don’t shed much and they don’t have a full double coat yet but it’s still good to get them used to the feel of a dog comb.
Monday 18th of July 2022
I would love to see a better picture of your grooming table. Ollie is hopeless, loves to be groomed lying down. Thanks so much.
Friday 29th of July 2022
@Jen, Awesome, Ollie is huge and lazy. At one time he weighed 200 pounds and we both went on a diet. He's 170 and just right, he's very tall, his breeder picked him for me as a service dog. He keeps me standing. I need to show this to hubs, and figure out steps to hold him. We call him Monk, won't get in but one car, it's almost 20 years old. Thanks so much. Linda
Tuesday 19th of July 2022
I have a full blog post with all the details on that grooming table right here: https://mybrownnewfies.com/2020/05/24/diy-grooming-table-for-big-dogs/
Let me know if you have any questions! -Jen