As previously discussed, Rain has some amazingly thick undercoat. Chunks of fur are a frequent sight on top of the protective layer of my bed in the morning, and my evenings are frequently spent picking up dog hair tumbleweeds rolling around the house. Slicker brushes are generally what one uses to remove undercoat, but regular slicker brushes haven’t been very useful on Rain.
Over the holidays I started doing some research about how I might be able to tackle this issue. A consultation with The 3Cs led to the discovery of the Big G brush by Chris Christensen, a company that makes brushes and other supplies for show dogs.
Fun fact: Rain’s mom Skye is a retired show dog!
It sounded as if it would be perfect for Rain! And when Rain’s Uncle Atticus was a puppy I bought a Chris Christensen brush from The 3Cs that not only solved the problem I had but also lasted until after Atticus’ death.
It sounded promising. Really promising.
But…$60? This dog brush had better be magical!
The woman I spoke to mentioned the company would be at the Rose City Classic Dog Show happening in Portland in January. Non-competing dogs aren’t allowed inside the exhibit halls, so I couldn’t take Rain to test the product out before buying.
My mother and I decided to make a morning of it, arriving by 8am for Saturday’s Aussie show and then perusing exhibitor booths (including the 3Cs booth) before heading out.
After a month of waiting, I got to see the Big G brush in person. The pins on this slicker were longer than any other dog brush I’d seen in my brush research. The purpose of the long pins is to reach down through all that fur to the skin and then clear out the undercoat. I didn’t have a demonstration dog to work with but my previous positive experience with Chris Christensen convinced me to take a chance. If nothing else, I reasoned, they’re a friendly company and I might be able to send it back to them in Soap Lake, WA, if I was unhappy with my purchase.
Just before leaving the show, I ran into two of the Aussie handlers from that morning’s show. One of them caught a glance at the price tag for the brush and exclaimed, “Sixty dollars for a brush? That’s really expensive!” When a show dog owner is surprised at how expensive your brush is, you know you have an expensive brush!
That evening brought the moment of truth—using the brush on Rain for the first time. I placed it on her back and pulled it toward me…it barely budged. There was so much undercoat built up that the brush was tough to run down her back! When I lightened my stroke though, the brush started sailing through and filled with fur quickly.
Within 20 minutes a pile of fur was sitting beside us, and the process barely felt like work. Rain’s coat felt softer, less dense on the areas I had brushed.
In the two weeks since then, we’ve been using the brush almost nightly. She lets me brush areas she had been reluctant to brush before, and I’ve been able to remove some mats from her underbelly. This brush also discourages new mats from forming. Her coat is noticeably softer and the silver highlights shine more even if she hasn’t just had a bath. I’d like to think she feels better too.
Ideally we’ll get a little brushing done every day in order to keep Rain’s undercoat in check. I think it’s safe to say that the $60 brush was indeed a solid investment!
It might even be a little magical.