Brushing A Dog That Hates To Be Brushed

Dogs need regular brushing not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for their health. Knots and mats can cause physical injuries to your beloved pooch’s skin as well as feel uncomfortable in general.

Unfortunately, some dogs hate being brushed. While it’s ideal to introduce a canine companion to brushing or combing as early in life as possible, you can still teach an old dog new tricks with the right equipment, environment, and energy.

Let’s go over some ways to brush or comb your resistant dog with as little drama as possible.

Consider Using Treats As Motivation

Dogs love treats. You can definitely use these to help Fido become more amenable to being brushed.

  • First, have them sniff the brush or comb. 
  • Next, give them a treat.
  • Gently brush or comb for a few minutes. If your dog stops cooperating, talk softly to them and give them another treat.
  • At the end of the grooming session, give a larger treat or multiple treats.

Use A Detangler

Sometimes a dog resists brushing or combing because it hurts. Consider spraying a detangler on areas not near Rover’s face to help the brush or comb go through their fur more easily.

Don’t Rush The Process

Make the environment as comfortable as possible for your dog. Use towels and couches as appropriate. Try to groom in a quiet, secure location.

If you’re in a hurry or nervous, your pet will pick up on this and mimic the same energy. So, only try to brush or comb Fido when you’re both in a calm, unrushed mood.

Consider A Brush/Comb Alternative

Grooming mitts and gloves are excellent alternatives to classic brushes and combs. You would wear one on your hand and your dog will feel more like they’re being petted than brushed.


If your dog absolutely refuses to be brushed or combed, talk to your veterinarian or a trusted dog groomer or behavioral professional. Do not ever force any type of grooming on your dog.