Vacuum to groom? Dyson's new accessory will make you a believer

Not every dog can be a Westminster champion, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to look like one. With the new groom tool from Dyson, whose line of vacuums already works miracles in homes with animals, even the hairiest of pups can shine like a blue-ribbon winner.

Our test subject, a wiry-haired mutt named Rudy, is no Scottish Deerhound; at a mere 20 lbs., the former shelter dog is a bit skittish and can look like a wet white rat without even getting soaked. But he does share the medium-long fur of the recent Best in Show winner and, under the Dyson brush ($69.99), looked transformed (as best he could) into a well-groomed barking machine. The tool’s 364 angled bristles combed his hair loose of knots and smoothed out the coat, even revealing a patch of color usually hidden in the twists of his fur. The surface area of the brush, about 6”x4”, caught Rudy’s loose hair efficiently, and perhaps even more impressive was the easy disposal of the hair: it gets sucked into the vacuum.

To work it, we attached the tool to the end of the hose on a Dyson DC25 Animal vacuum. First we tried brushing Rudy with the vacuum on, a technique that Dyson recommends for best results. Unfortunately, when Rudy heard that tell-tale “vroom,” he dived into his crate. Seeing pointy metal prongs on the brush didn’t help. So we tried again, this time with the vacuum off and treats to help him stay in one place. The quiet approach worked. With a few brush strokes, the tool was filled with his hair. Now came the fun part: flipping the switch, hitting the tool’s “thumb trigger” and seeing the hair automatically released and sucked down the hose. No hair on the floor, no hair on us.

We later tried again with a less imposing vacuum, the cordless, handheld Dyson DC31 Animal. But without the flexible hose attachment, it was more difficult to maneuver the brush. However, the quieter sound was less frightening to Rudy, and as we combed him we could see some hair already gathering in the bagless, clear canister.

We imagine with time, and further use of the DC25 – a powerful vacuum in itself; it revealed layers of dog and cat hair that we didn’t know were lurking under our feet – that Rudy will become accustomed to the sound of the vacuum, and become comfortable with the brush tool. A larger dog, like that 80-lb. Scottish Deerhound, could very well be a more formidable match for the strong brush and mighty Dyson, but we’ll ease Rudy into the routine. Every once in a while, we want him to feel as handsome as a show dog, just without all the pressure.