Collies come in many different shapes and sizes, from long, light haired rough collies to shorter haired darker border collies. Whilst they might originate from the same breed, these herding dogs have coats which differ greatly from type to type. We’ll focus on the much-loved border collie for grooming tips. These dogs are an intuitive breed that come in both smooth and rough-haired varieties. All border collies have double coats and whilst considered a low maintenance breed, still need regular grooming to keep their coats in top condition.
Collies are often prone to mats and tangles and can shed with the seasons. It all depends on your breed and the individual dog as to how much maintenance its coat will need. To keep your collie’s coat shiny and healthy, a thorough brush through once a week, getting deep into the coat will help to free loose hairs, massage the skin and keep your pet in great condition. You can use a slicker brush or a pin brush to do this. It’s a good idea to get your collie used to grooming from a young age – being so bright and inquisitive means it will benefit from a routine where it knows what to expect with brushing, combing and nail trimming.
Often a working dog, collies are used to getting a bit dirty – and they generally don’t seem to mind. The breed should be bathed every four months or so, but if your dog has had a long walk or a day out on the farm, a hose down won’t hurt. Generally, breeds with a double coat should be bathed seasonally. Give your collie a good brushing to remove any dead hair before your collie gets in the bath. Avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose and give them a good wash with pet shampoo. Rinse your dog off thoroughly and towel dry – your collie will be fresh smelling and there should no longer be any loose hair.
As with any dog, their nails need clipping. This can be done with either a dremmel tool that shaves down the nail or with a pair of clippers. Be careful not to cut the quick of the nail – this is more visible in light coloured nails and is where the pink area begins – this holds the blood supply. Cut the nail in small increments to avoid getting too close to the quick. A handy tip is that if a portion of the nail feels squidgy compared to its hard end, that’s where the quick will be and you need to stop trimming before that part.
Border collies tend not to have excessive facial fur, so there’s no need for their whiskers or eyebrows to be trimmed unless you decide you want to.