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Thread: Border collie grooming?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Border collie grooming?

    Hi there,

    Does anyone have advice or tips on how you should groom a border collie? I have a 7 week old puppy.



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  3. #2
    Member Craftydeb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Border collie grooming?

    These instructions are for Shelties but I would think it would be about the same for your Border Collie.

    Tools and Equipment:

    Slicker brush. Large pin brush. Pure boar bristle brush. Steel comb

    (fine/medium). Long hair molting comb. Wood utility comb.

    Scissor. Thinning shear. #10 blade. Ear cleaner. Medicated ear

    powder. Protein coat conditioner. High velocity dryer. Nail clipper.

    Tearless protein shampoo. Cotton balls. Oster A-5 clipper.

    Grooming Procedure

    Spray the entire coat with protein coat conditioner. This adds body
    to the coat and helps repair split ends. Brush through the entire

    coat with a large pin brush, alternating with a slicker brush in

    matted areas and a molting comb as needed. Work layer by layer,

    alternating brush and comb to remove mats and loose undercoat.

    Lift the coat up with your hand, working on thin layers at a time.

    Brush down and out until all mats and loose hair are removed.

    Work deeply into the coat, but do not brush to the skin; otherwise,

    you will cause abrasion. Start at the rear of the dog, at the bottom

    of the skirt area. Work through the entire coat until the outer coat

    is separated well and combs smoothly. Work vigorously. The more

    hair you remove now, the less hair you need to wash and dry.

    Comb through the entire coat with a wide-tooth utility comb. Use a
    fine-tooth steel comb on the soft hair behind the ears. With your

    fingers, strip out dead hair behind the ears.

    Swab the ears with a cotton ball that has been moistened with ear

    cleaner. This will remove dirt and control ear odor. Follow with a

    dry cotton ball and dust the ears with medicated ear powder.

    Cut the nails with a guillotine-type nail trimmer. Nails should be cut

    Check between the foot pads and under the feet for burrs, tar, etc.
    Scissor the hair under the feet even with the pads. Trim any hair

    around the paw that touches the ground and neaten the entire foot.

    With thinning shears, trim the hair growing between the toes, which

    should lie close like a cat's foot.

    Bathe the dog with a tearless protein shampoo that is pH-alkaline.
    This will add fullness and body to the coat and restructure

    damaged hair.

    Use a high velocity dryer to blow excess water off the dog while the
    dog is still in the tub. This will speed up the drying time and help

    prevent the coat from becoming overly dry. Cage dry the dog until

    the hair is damp. Then finish drying on the table, using a blow dryer

    and a pin brush to separate all the hair and remove all of the loose


    Brush the entire coat and be sure to brush to the skin, using the
    dryer to style and separate the hair. Follow by combing the entire


    The whiskers may be removed with scissors to improve the
    expression, although this is optional.

    Use a fine comb to finish the head and the ears. Excess hair behind
    the ears may be thinned with a thinning shear.

    Comb out leg feathering. Trim excess hair on the feet and hocks.
    The hind legs are to be smooth below the hock joint with a

    perpendicular line from hock to ground. Leave full the feathering

    on the forelegs but trim it so that it naturally meets the pastern and

    does not touch the ground.

    Scissor any long hair under the tail that hangs over the anus. Be
    sure the anus is clear, and then use a #10 blade to blend down

    under the tail area so that it does not collect fecal matter.

    Lightly mist the coat with protein coat conditioner to add brilliance
    and fragrance. Back brush the coat with the pin brush so the coat

    stands out, away from the body.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: Border collie grooming?

    In my head, border collies fall into my golden retriever, sheltie, Australian Shepard category - regular brushing, minimal trimming, and a good, thorough bath and brush to blow out the undercoat. As a groomer, I'd say have the dog professionally washed and groomed/trimmed every 6-8 weeks. But as a dog owner and a *realist*, I'd say if you're one to regularly brush the dog (I'd say once a week or so), and walk the dog (especially on concrete or keeps the nails worn down), you could get away with going even longer, if at all. Now, I say that with caution. I would highly recommend having the pup professionally groomed at an interval - it'll help with shedding at home, and the dog will just feel good. As a puppy, you can definitely take advantage of discounted prices/puppy packages (smaller pup, smaller price tag!), which will allow the dog to get used to the whole grooming process.

    Things you can do at home:
    - play with and handle their feet and pads regularly (so they'll get used to having their feet handled when having nails trimmed, pads trimmed, etc.)
    - purchase a soft bristled slicker brush and a greyhound comb and brush your dog regularly (being sure to get the completely down to the skin)
    - give them a bath

    What to expect a "border collie groom" to be:
    - nail trim, ear cleaning
    - bath and dry (groomers use high velocity dryers that really help to blow out a lot of dead undercoat)
    - trimming up of the feathering along the back of the front legs, stomach, hocks and rear
    - feet and pad trimming (clippering the pads, trimming up any long hairs around the feet/toes)
    - sanitary trim (clippering of hair in and around the genital and anal area)
    - armpit trim (clippering of hair in the arm pits - prevents matting in a high-mat area)
    - removal of any mats that might be present

    Unless you specifically request the dog to be shaved down (which I wouldn't recommend but for more info on that see shaving down long-haired breeds threads in the forum) there aren't any "major" clippered parts of the groom for a border collie. It's basically a tidying and tightening up of what they naturally have.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Re: Border collie grooming?

    Honestly, we have shelties and we never go to the groomers. Grooming is fairly easy unless you really want to go for the show look that the other poster has listed. A lot of work for a pet dog, imo. We brush ours out two to three times a week. they get bathed once a month or so. When we bathe, we go all out and do trimming, nails, really thorough brushing and raking and bath/blowdry, etc. It is not too much work as the breed is kept really natural. Trim up the feet and a lot of people do sanitary trims.

    We just had really bad experiences taking the shelties in to the groomers.

    Actually, I'd think with border collies it would really depend on the individual dog as coat type varies a lot within the breed. A show line BC will have a lot of hair, but there are also smooth coated BCs to remember.
    Mia CGC - (8 year old papillon)
    Hank CA NW1 RATI RATN (3 year old Spotty Dog)
    Summer TG3 TIAD - (12 1/2 year old papillon)

  7. #5
    Junior Member agile_bc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Border collie grooming?

    This is my weekly routine for my border collie:

    1. I brush out the coat with a wide tooth comb starting at the hind end. I work my up to the face, taking care of any snarls.

    2. I do the same, this time with a pin brush and a soft slicker

    3. Trim the hair at the bottom of the feet

    4. Trim nails with guillotine-style clippers

    5. Rub face with a rubber curry comb (like one for a horse) and wipe with a damp sponge or papertowel

    6. Spray with a good finishing spray/water and wipe with a damp paper towel.

    Keep in mind you have a young pup. All you should be doing now is getting her used to having her toes handled, being "brushed" all over her body with the back of your hand. Also, you can practice getting her used to taking a bath, and used to the sound and feel of a blow drier. Remember this: Many sources online and in books tell you to sit through any protests, squeals, whining, biting...etc. This is true, to an extent. If she is showing ANY ANY ANY sign of fear (glazed eyes, tucked tail, peeing, trying to hide, "airplane" ears) STOP what you're doing. This helps your pup learn to trust you. You are showing her that if she ever gets scared, you won't force it. It's better to end a grooming session early, rather then set training back a couple days, or a couple weeks.

    hope that helps!

    Owned by Joy, the 18 month border collie

  8. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Border collie grooming?

    Thanks everybody for those great tips! Here are some pictures.


    Last edited by ivyschex; 03-02-2008 at 07:58 PM.

  9. #7
    Senior Member sheltiemom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: Border collie grooming?

    My BC has a medium coat, not as long and fluffy as some you see, and he's pretty low maintenance, especially compared to my shelties. I brush him every couple days, I could do less, but he seems to enjoy it. I use an undercoat rake followed by a pin brush, sometimes I finish with a slicker. Nails and foot trims I do once a month when I frontline and interceptor them...I probably should do them more often, but they're still ok after a month. Baths, all three dogs every 2-3 weeks with oatmeal shampoo and conditioner. Now one of my shelties has profuse coat and I have to take much more time and care with his grooming, much more brushing and I spritz him down too. I've never had any of them trimmed by a groomer.

    I agree with what has been said about getting him used to his feet and face being handled and being brushed. With mine, the one that has the most coat hates being handled the most, but I have DH hold him and let him lick peanut butter out of a kong while I brush/trim nails.

    ETA: Your pup is cute.
    RIPLEY, Shetland Sheepdog
    FROSTY, Shetland Sheepdog
    SHINER, Border Collie
    SCARLETT, Miniature American Shepherd

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