Your shopping cart is empty.

How do you vacuum dog hair?

March 4, 2006

We have 2 Golden Retrievers (our furkids!) and I would be really interested in finding out what you use or special skills you have to clean up dog hair...what kind of vacuum do you use?

Our vacuum wraps hair around the beater bar and we have to cut it off.

Thanks in advance,


Comments (39)

  • pkguy

    Let's see, I have two long haired black border collies who shed continually and our house is almost fully carpeted. On top of that I have quite a few caged birds in the rec room so I know messes.
    Even more odd, I collect vintage vacuum cleaners and have about 40 different types of various makes and styles.
    Want to know the which one is the out and out winner..a Hoover upright, specifically if you can find one, a Hoover Powermax or Concept upright, even one of those old Hoover convertibles from the 60/70's with the big bag on the handle. Nothing but nothing is better. Kirby's come pretty close but only a Hoover will pick up matted in dog hair in one pass. If you don't want to try and find one of them used get a new Hoover Windtunnel that uses bags, forget bagless, too messy to clean out.

  • pkguy

    I've never yet had to pull or cut dog hair and string from a Hoover brushroll. That problem usually occurrs with vacs that have too small a diameter brushroll in the first place. The only Hoover negative to be completely honest is that they're noisy.

  • dlynch

    We just tried a Dyson and took it back. Heavy matting on the roll.
    You're comment on the size of the brushroll is interesting. That was my wife's guess. (I thought she was wrong..)
    Could the material in the brush roll make a difference? Is static electricity a contributor?
    What is the brush roll made of in a Hoover?


  • pennyinphx

    I have a husky, a malamute/lab mix and a beagle. Talk about a dog hair problem! I tiled my entire house, a bit extreme, but it is great. I still have to sweep/vacuum constantly. I have huge area rugs, but the hair doesn't seem to get as deep as it did with carpet. I did use my sister Dyson Animal while staying at her home and was absolutely shocked at the amount of hair it pulled from her carpet.

  • dlynch

    I appreciate your posts. pkguy, thanks!

    We don't have much carpet downstairs. Vacuumed with the dyson. Lots of hair. However, there was so much wrapped around the bar...took me longer to cut and pull it off the bar than it did to vacuum! Not impressed. Took it back and got a refund.

    I'll look at the Hoovers.

    BTW we have a sebo (sp?) power head--commercial I understand on our Beam central vac. We have a Miele that has been tempermental. It has one of their power heads.

    Up until a week ago we had 3 Golden Retrievers, (Bentley RIP) so hair is a reality.

    Thanks all!

    Dave L
    Mississauga Canada

  • martyg

    I have a Hoover with Hepa Filter, self-propelled. I also have 3 dogs and 3 cats. BUT one dog is a Schnauzer and another a Silky - low shedding. The Lab/chow/collie mix I keep shaved year around since she's inside most of the time. She likes it, not much brushing to do, and less hair to vacuum. Still got hair since she has the chow undercoat, and longer hair between trims.

    The 2 grey cats shed a lot. They look like Russian Blues, thick, cotton-like undercoat hair. Marty

  • mamabear_on

    I have a golden + other pets and I found for the money and the power a shopvac words best for us. It is noisy, but gets the job done and I don't have to worry about damaging it.

  • Cadyren

    We have two english springers and so far (6 months) I like my Sebo X4 better than any vacuum I have owned. It is so much better than my previous Hoover windtunnel self propelled upright. I have not had a problem with hair wrapping around the roll, but if it does, the roll comes out easily without tools.

  • terrasage

    I have a Newfoundland, a Border Collie and an Afghan House as well as a long haired cat and a short haired cat as well as a parrot!

    I inherited my mother's Rainbow vacuum and thank her in my prayers every night. :) I could never afford one, but boy are they fantastic with getting animal hair and NO problems with it getting caught in the roller.

    Prior to the Rainbow, I tried a Dyson and wasn't happy with it but for different reasons (I just didn't find it comfortable to use.) A lot of newf owners swear by it though.

  • sebo

    Get a sebo vacuum x4 or new felix series
    Best kept secret in vacuum world!!!

  • florabelle1

    I have had long-haired dogs for decades...LARGE long-haired dogs...collies. They seem to shed hair in clouds. I'm forever bending over and picking up collie puffs.

    I had the problem with the long hair winding itself around the brush roller of my upright vacuums. I got one of those carpet rakes and I rake the carpet first. The rakes with the long handle just like a mop handle, and the rake part itself has nylon bristles or teeth - gentle but totally effective. Absolutely amazing (and scary) how much hair can be picked up that way first.

    Then vacuuming is a snap.



  • haras

    I have the sebo felix and it does a fantastic job with dog hair. I love the fact that you can just slide the brush out if it does need cleaning and you dont have to use a screw driver also it has no rubber bands that can break.
    I also find that my dog likes it when I vacume him with the
    hose and this also cuts down on the dog hair around the house. This vacume is light weight and much better than the hover wind tunnel or the dyson both of which I had and hated.

  • mc_hudd

    I swear by my Oreck! :)

  • ebear1271

    Florabelle, which carpet rake do you have? You listed 2 links for rakes and both looked good but one cost twice as much as the other. I've always wanted a rake but never knew what to get. Thanks!

  • graywings123

    I have not had a problem with my golden's fur getting wrapped around the brush bar on my Dyson.

  • ebear1271

    You might want to check an old issue of Consumer Reports, the March '07 I believe. They should have back issues at your library. Anyway, CR did a review of vacuums and a Kenmore rated higher than the Dyson Animal for picking up pet hair. Since their reviews are unbiased you may find some useful info there.

  • duajones

    Long hair whether it be human or animal can be a challenge for vacuum cleaners. Ive seen vacs that were rated highly by CR that were discontinued because of problems so I wouldnt just look there. Id stay away from bagless, especially the Dyson, if you have dogs. A worn belt can cause the hair build up in the center of the brushroll as the brush doesnt turn fast enough to sling it off. But its the hair that gets into the ends of the brushroll that will damage it and possibly the housing as well. For those that dont take the time to clean the brushroll regularly, a vac with a metal brushroll would be a good choice. Riccar makes some nice models that clean the carpet well and also are exceptional with the attachments. For those that want a budget vac that will do the job without attachments, Eureka model 2094 is a solid unit with a metal roller that sells at Sams for around $140.00
    I have seen static electricity come into play with fine hair as well. A light application of Static guard will take care of that, just dont vacuum while its wet. In the case of upholstery or furniture with pet hair, a hand held turbo tool that fits on the end of vac hose, really helps.
    Having a wife with long hair and several dogs had me going through a vac a year or so until I got into a decent unit.

  • jjkadaba69

    I actually just posted this to another post and felt that you needed the info too!

    I'm the proud owner of a Golden Retriever (Slipper) for four years now and I've got the vacuum for you! Most of the hair, unless they're really long, don't stick in the roller brush. They end up in the canister and you dump it in the garbage when you're done. It's unbelievable when you see it all balled up in there! My hair is another story, that, I need to pull from the brush once in awhile!

    Here's my other post:
    Saved changes to RE: Vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors (Follow-Up #8). Return to the Cleaning Tips Forum.

    RE: Vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors (Follow-Up #8)
    posted by: jjkadaba69 on 11.10.2007 at 07:55 am in Cleaning Tips Forum

    Oooh! I've been trying to find a good hard floor vacuum for years and I've finally found one!

    I use the healthy home by bisell and you can turn off the rolling brush for hard floors so it doesn't scratch or kick around bigger pieces of dirt or small objects! It has nice big rubber wheels on it that won't scratch (especially pergo/laminate) floors.

    I had a home in Cali with dark walnut colored pergo flooring and my old vacuum ganged up with a little rock one day and made a long scratch right by the doorway. Not even furniture pens or polish was absorbed to hide it. Really sad when that happened. So I was determined never to vacuum a hardwood floor again after that. Until now.

    I love this vacuum and it has all the attachments with a hand held rotating brush handle (great for pet hair on furniture and the car-golden retrievers grow 10 new hairs for every 1 they shed). I'm also obsessed with having a clean vacuum so I can literally take apart the canister and wash it! After every use, I go out to the garage and vacuum my vacuum with the shopvac!

    It's a bit on the pricey side and it comes with some chemicals for dust mites and germs but I would never use or recommend using chemicals in the home or out. I do however, clean my carpets about every other month with an organic cleaner that kills germs and has a light scent. Carpet cleaners are full of very harmful chemicals and I have two asthmatics at home and a lovely dog(remember the hairy beast I mentioned?) So this works great. I love having a clean house. It's one of my favorite pastimes!

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


  • graywings123

    Id stay away from bagless, especially the Dyson, if you have dogs.

    Why do you say this? The bagless, easy-empty feature is one of the best features of the Dyson.

    As for Consumer Reports being unbiased, that is not entirely true. It is biased against bagless vacuums.

  • duajones

    "Why do you say this? The bagless, easy-empty feature is one of the best features of the Dyson"

    The filters hold the dog smell and the only way to help is to change the expensive filter ($47.99 at Sears) Also, have you looked at the brushroll on the dyson, really cheaply made plastic that doesnt hold up well to hair. It lacks in air flow and agitation. $69.00 bagged hoover will outclean it. Need I say more?
    Ive owned 2 bagless units, a Bissell and a Dirt Devil, both ended up with bad motors because their design allows dust to get into the aluminum fan.

  • graywings123

    The filters hold the dog smell and the only way to help is to change the expensive filter ($47.99 at Sears) Also, have you looked at the brushroll on the dyson, really cheaply made plastic that doesnt hold up well to hair. It lacks in air flow and agitation. $69.00 bagged hoover will outclean it. Need I say more?

    The Dyson has a washable HEPA filter, which to me is a HUGE advantage over the Hoovers and other brands that require the expensive throw-away HEPA filters. And all of the Dysons get an Excellent rating from Consumers for their (lack of) emissions, which I assume is due to the filter. If Dyson can make a washable HEPA filter that I never have to replace, why should I buy a Hoover and then have to pay $50 for a replacement filter every year?

    As far as I can see, my Dyson brushroller has held up fine. Is there some way to look at the roller and see that it is not holding up? Whatever it may lack in airflow and agitation, my Dyson is managing to work because the cannister keeps filling up.

    If you are saying that a Dyson is less efficient in picking up than other vacuums, that may well be true, although Dyson disputes that. However, for my purposes, the Dyson's easy-empty canister, the washable HEPA filter, and the clear canister that shows what it has picked up make me very happy.

    And this is what cheeses me off about Consumer Reports - it doesn't mention or credit the Dyson for the very things I like best about it. Consumer Reports is so money conscious that you would think that it would at least mention the washable HEPA filter.

  • florabelle1

    Posted by ebear1271 (My Page) on Tue, Nov 6, 07 at 23:14

    Florabelle, which carpet rake do you have? You listed 2 links for rakes and both looked good but one cost twice as much as the other. I've always wanted a rake but never knew what to get. Thanks!


    The rake I bought and use is the one that's $14.99. I ordered it through some catalog or another...Home Trends, Improvements, Miles Kimball...one of those. I love my rake.


  • jiggreen

    Wow, I thought I was the only person who cuts dog hair away from the brush cylinder on my vacuum! I own a cat, a beagle and 2 furry border collie pups (almost 6 months old and doggy hair is the least of my problems with these adorable monsters!!). It seems like every week or so I have to get out the scissors and de-doghair my brush roller. I am using a Hoover vacuum, but a canister, not an upright. For some reason, in my home...upright vacuums don't last long, no matter what I buy (although I haven't made the leap to Dyson yet). I find myself replacing my vacuums on average once a year because they seem to lose suction. The canister is seeming to hold up better for me, even with the fur wrapped around the roller.

    As for cleaning the dust bunnies and dog hair tumbleweeds on my hard floors in between cleanings, I find that the easiest thing to do is to get out my canister vac and use the hose to whip around the baseboards real quick. It sucks it all up, and I don't have to worry about cleaning a mop or having a swiffer full of yucky fuzz.


  • geguymw


    The Dyson has premotor filters and a post motor filter. The premotor filter has a washable foam filter and a mesh filter(as part of the filter cage) that is washable. The post motor filter is made of a paper material and is not washable. This, last filter is the HEPA filter.


    You said, "For some reason, in my home...upright vacuums don't last long, no matter what I buy (although I haven't made the leap to Dyson yet). I find myself replacing my vacuums on average once a year because they seem to lose suction".

    I am curious which brands of vacuum cleaners you purchased that did not last too long? Vacuum cleaners usually don't just loose suction after a while. What usually happens is the filter becomes clogged. Bagless vacuum cleaner filters must be cleaned after each use. They need to be tapped clean and occasionally rinsed(some models only). After a while, the filter needs to be replaced.

  • graywings123

    Thanks for the clarificaiton, GeGuy. How was Dyson able to devise a HEPA filter that lasts a lifetime? Does it have something to do with the no loss of suction technology, or do the washable pre-filters do all the work?

  • dmlynch_rogers_com

    Appreciate everyone's input. Our best? Sebo powerhead grafted to our central vac.
    Have a lint brush for stairs...it's velcro and it picks up hair on the push stroke and loses it to be sucked up on the pull stroke.
    Our Miele was very poor. Good hearts, they gave us the current power head for free. It's worse.
    Bought the CR rated Kenmore a year ago. It's ok, but very noisy. Hard to pull, because it goes where it wants to go. In fear of damaging walls and such. Power head is better than some; wooden roller.

    I think the secret force is static electricity. Plastic beater bars seem to be terrible. And hair wound around the bearings at the end of the beater bar cause real troubles. I clean the beater bar every time I vacuum; still have problems.

    Thanks for your input.


  • liz1977

    I am a little late reading this post, but wanted to contribute anyway! (2 month late, to be exact!)
    I swear by my Bissell Pet Hair Eraser....this thing is like "Jaws" in the movie Mr. Mom! It picks up all of the dog hair like magic, and I have 4 dogs, and another who visits (my daughter's). I used to have regular meltdowns about the dog hair until I got this vacuum 2 months ago. No more meltdowns and my carpet is the cleanest it's ever been!

  • natalie35_hotmail_com

    Our $700 industrial inside/outside wet/dry vacuum works wonders for our shedding Samoyeds.

  • thankurnmo

    Oh boy- I am just seeing this thread and my automatic reply to how I vacuum dog hair is constantly and griping.
    My dog doesn't technically go on the carpeted areas of the house (but the dog hair from the tile floor sticks to my socks or just gets airborn otherwise and does end up on carpets). My issue is more with the hard surfaces- constantly vacuuming, sweeping, swiffering etc.
    But I am intrigued with the rakes. I know
    I had something like that years ago and it was very good for the stairs. Anyone use one recently? I guess too much time has lapsed so I don't know which one was recommended (the prices have all changed).. any suggestions?

  • oasisowner

    Our Simplicity 7 series upright does a GREAT job on pet hair, although I do occasionally have to cut MY hair off of the beater bar. Unfortunately, we now have all hardwoods, so we are looking at canisters or backpacks.

  • ppasosgait_aol_com

    I have owned an electrolux original canister since 1994. it has a wooden beater bar that prevents dog hair from tangling and it works great. now I would like to find the best attachment to remove hair from dogs. I checked out bissell and dyson so far. any suggestions please reply. the original electrolux is now owned by Aerus, best vacuum I ever owned....

  • musicteacher

    I'm on my second Eureka Boss, (after about 7 years) and for around $150 it does a great job with dog hair. The attachments aren't quite as good for getting fur off the furniture, so ai use this velcro like think that I got at Hancock fabric. It works kind of like the disposable ones you buy at the grocery store but much easier to use, and lasts until you dog decides to use it as a chew toy. One pass and all the hair is gone.

  • gilmoregal

    I am resurrrecting this thread in hopes of getting some updated opinions. My Dyson DC17 Animal has recently begun to lose suction, and I am considering replacing it rather than spending money to repair. I need a vacuum that will do an excellent job with dog hair (we currently have one Golden Retriever and plan to add another soon) but also 'gentle' enough to use on area rugs/hardwood floors without causing damage. It also needs to be durable, as I vacuum almost daily.
    I am considering a Miele, although I'm not yet sure which model might be best for our needs, canister vs upright, etc. I don't really want to spend $$$ but am willing to invest in something which will do the job well and which I can expect to last a number of years.
    I would welcome any thoughts or suggestions. Thank you.

  • sushipup1

    Vacuums are the subject of countless discussions on the various Golden owners' mail lists. A number of people have been dissatisfied with their Dyson's, some people love them, and I caught someone talking about getting a Miele.

    If you can get subscribed to a golden list, you might enjoy it.

    Here are some recent comments, all from Golden breeders or exhibitors with multiple dogs:

    "I have all hardwood and tile and got a Miele canister. LOVE IT. Uses bags, but I bought a whole bunch on a buy 2 get 1 free deal. And I reuse the bags, at least once. When full, my husband empties it with his shop vac since it is mostly hair. When they are dusty looking I toss it out and use a fresh one."

    "I bought the shark rotator recently and have a lot of dog hair and carpets wood and concrete floors. First the power brush stopped working after a couple uses. Now I have a big clog up by the handle that I thought I pulled out but after another 5 minutes use got clogged up again.It was also much more difficult to take apart to repair. Also the cupholder is so tiny it
    requires me to stop frequently to empty. My Dyson dc14 is still going strong but it is a pain to untangle the beater brush.
    (because of my arthritis I bought a second vacuum to keep on a different floor) I think the choice of vacuum is dependent on each persons situation, number of dogs type of floor, daily or weekly cleaning but I appreciate the discussion"

    "Have both a Dyson Slim (10+years old) and a Miele canister vac (20 years old)-- and love them both! Use the Dyson on carpeting and the Miele for floors and everything else."

    "Traded in the dead Dyson for the Miele Olympus a couple of years ago. Why I love the Miele: lightweight, relatively quiet, easy to adjust suction for the area rugs with fringe, low profile fits under the couch, loveseat, most of the wood furniture, bags designed with flap so stuff doesn't spew out when you change it. Easy to change out attachments"

    Here is a link that might be useful: how to subscribe to G@H list

  • Amandiiii

    I have 3 cats and an Amtidy Robotic cleaner. It saved me lots of time and efforts. of course the pat hair got twisted on the brush sometimes, but I could get it off easily~

  • grandmamaloy


    We have an aussie, so I feel your pain! I've had a number of different vacuums. Unfortunately, any that have a beater bar will result in you having to cut off the hair. That being said, the BEST vacuum I've found so far (and I've tried just about everything except a Dyson) is the Shark. The cup does not have to be emptied as often, I've had it over a year and it has never lost suction. I DO make sure to take it apart and rinse the filters out about once a month, but I did that with all of my other vacs too. I think Shark has got a "pet" product now, so I would definitely look in that direction! I even bought my Mom a Shark (and she's always been the white glove queen...lol) It does a FANTASTIC job on keeping up with the hair and does a great job on bare floors too!

  • koszta_kid

    .In my cleaning business pet hair makes me $$$ I also comb and brush my customer's pet out for them. I have fuller brush lint brush -go over furniture first before I vacuum. Lady was shocked how much off her bed -1/2 grocery sack. My canister in Oreck bag less. + Oreck up-right. Got micro-cloth pro swifter for hard wood floors.. You can use static guard for furniture. Helps eliminate cling.

  • Tori Mock

    Does anyone use a lint brush on their floor after they have vacuumed. Id love to know if youre 'this is the best vacuum' statement can be backed by solid evidence. I replaced my Dyson DC14 recently because i lint tested it and it was disgusting. I thought it was old so i got a brand new Dyson kinetic big ball animal. Also incredibly failed the lint test. I had such high hopes. Returned it for that and the fact that functionally it sucks. Got a brand new Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 1650. Much better but still seeing hair on tye lint brush. Could use a longer handle so i dont have to bend down to do edges. Help!!

  • PRO
    Weavers Carpet Cleaning

    I find that Bissel has some of the best products to deal with pet hair.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).