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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to look it up online but couldn't find specific answers. What's the difference between a deshedder and an undercoat rake? Deshedding and dematting, what's the difference?

I've never used an undercoat rake before. I groom my dog every other day; I deshed him, spray some dog perfume (detangler), and finish with a regular brush (and a treat of course!).

Is an undercoat rake a daily necessity for GSDs?

Thanks guys!
 

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I would say no, not necessary. I only used the rake on long, double coats. Collies, Chows and the like. I deshed with a curved slicker. You scoop the coat backwards on a dry dog. I also use it in the tub, soaped up, brush through, gets them clean to the skin and removes a ton of hair. Then while I'm rinsing, I'm brushing, even more hair.

Matts are from dead coat that is not brushed out. They are solid clumps and on Shepherds, come out pretty easily. Shedding is more individual hairs that are loose and clog the vacuum brush....
 

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I use the rake on the parts of my dog that have really long hair: back of the hind legs, tail, top of the rump and around her neck/shouders (mane area). I also use it on her flanks, because the pressure from her lying on those areas makes the hair mat.

I only need it on my show line girl, because her coat is longer and thicker, and does tend to mat a bit in some areas.
 

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Undercoat rake - loosens and pulls out loose undercoat on either long coats or stock coats. (Fluffy parts of stock coats as haunches and ruff)

Deshedder - expensive little number that loosens and removes guard hairs and undercoat on stock coats (current two dogs are stock coats so no experience with this on long coats)
Mat splitter/cutter - Useful on long coats when they develop mats. Mats are clumps of hair that can form (sometimes very quickly) in a tangle of undercoat & top coat often behind ears & areas of angles in anatomy.

What works with all of these is a dusting of corn starch worked in well before grooming. Usually deshedder works without the corn starch.
 

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Personally, I think an undercoat rake is indispensable. Nothing pulls out loose undercoat as well, except maybe a blower. I don't use it every day though. I'm not sure what you mean by a deshedder - is that like a Furminator? If so, I'm not a fan.
 

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I have both. I prefer the deshedder when they are blowing coat as z first pass. Then the rake to work out any knots. Then I take the rake and work it backwards to pull out the undercoat and finish with a comb to pick up the loose hairs.
 

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I use a Kong "Zoom N Groom" first to loosen the easy stuff and get a good 1st/2nd pass, then use the undercoat rake to get more undercoat out. I'd prefer leaving the top coat / guard hairs in place if they're not ready to come out, but get the loose undercoat removed, especially in summer.

Boon sees to tolerate the Zoom n Groom pretty well since it's softer and massage-ier. He only puts up with the undercoat rake, but that thing will get out a big handful of undercoat. I use it 2-3x/wk in summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh okay. Got it. I don't think I'll need to get am Undercoat Rake then. And I hope I've been grooming my boy correctly. Thanks a bunch people!
 

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I always use a rake first and then move onto a slicker to finish it off. The rake is great for getting all the loose undercoat out.
 

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Deshedders are are actually a stripping blade and designed to pull out dead coat on non shedding breeds like terriers who need dead coat manually removed so new coat can grow in properly. I don't use a deshedding blade on breeds that shed, like GSD's, because is can damage the guard hairs, cut them or pull out prematurly. I prefer a rubber curry like a zoom groom to loosen and lift the undercoat then I'll brush it out with a slicker or undercoat rake. I will also finish up with a medium to fine toothed comb. Prior to all this, dogs get bathed and conditioned then dried with a high velocity dryer which blows out the majority of loose coat.
 

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I logged in just to answer this but Bramble’s answer is identical to what I planned to say. I have a Furminator deshedder which I got about 8 years ago when a rescue told me to. It cuts the top hair and nearly ruined my dog’s coat. I have several slickers and rubber tipped type brushes and none of them work very well. I got a Furminator rake and it works the best of any of the tools I have. Slickers are very difficult to clean. I can never get the fine hair out. I also vacuum a lot because I never seem to get mine shed free.
 

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I rake and use the slicker or blower most days. I do have a furminator rake but actually prefer a cheaper one that I got on Amazon made by Kakadu. I have long and short pin rakes. I need the long pin for that mane. Tilly has a short coat with little undercoat and for her, I use a shedding blade. Beau has what could be called a plush coat I think. Not long but abundant with much undercoat.

I had a really good curved slicker that I left outside and Beau demolished. Looking for suggestions. I use the rake to clean out the slicker :). I would like to get a big one and a smaller one. I do those with a light touch to remove the already loose hair.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Already ordered an undercoat rake! See how it goes.

I googled some more yesterday on GSD grooming, apparently it really helps using high velocity dryer. Problem is I live in an apartment so that's out of the picture...
 

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Nancy, I have been using the Oscar Frank Universal curved slicker since 1984, when I started grooming school. I use the 4 x 2 1/2 inch one, the bigger ones are harder to get into the 'tight' places. I used to by them by the dozen for about 4 dollars a piece, Amazon wants $14. (wow) I think one can do better on price. I won't say they will last forever, but I got a lot of mileage out of them in a busy grooming shop.

They de-matt, if done correctly, no pulling, just brisk brushing on the matt and viola, it's gone. The curve is what helps with the matts. They de-shed and get the mud off. I use them in the tub to remove loose hair and get them clean in on shampoo (no rinse repeat around here) and brush the damp dog to get the rest.

If you start at the bottom of the dog, pulling the hair up and brushing down, then work your way up, you will have the majority of the loose hair out in no time.

To clean, I rub it backwards on my jeans and the hair comes out in one clump. You can then stitch them together and make a quilt ;)
 

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Deshedder tool is like the Fulminator.... Very aggressive tool to be used with care. Not something I would recommend to use often. Use when your dog is blowing it's coat.

Undercoat rake is not as harsh to the top coat but still pulls out the loose undercoat hair.
 
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