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Thread: Cleaning Recommendations - Very Dirty & Matted Farm Border Collie

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Cleaning Recommendations - Very Dirty & Matted Farm Border Collie

    Due to the location of this animal, a Pro Groomer is not an option. So please don't say, hey you know you should bring him to a groomer. Sorry but it just isn't an option here.

    We have a family member who lives on a farm with a border collie that prefers to not be indoors or under shelter and is often gone for days coming back filthy and often times matted.

    The last time we were there, we ended up having to help them shave him down. Yes, I know not the most ideal but he was so filthy and matted from his latest adventure it was the most logical thing to do at the time. Now reading about double coat breeds it seems that this was not the ideal solution.

    What can they/we do to help clean this dog up when he returns from his little adventures? What are the steps we need to take in the future that doesn't require us to use clippers on him further damaging his coat?

    What steps do you take when you get let's say a rescue dog with a double coat and severe matting? What tools, shampoos/conditioners, etc. do you use to clean them up?

    Thanks for helping out.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member DaySleepers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Re: Cleaning Recommendations - Very Dirty & Matted Farm Border Collie

    If these are serious mats close to the skin your only option is shaving. No, shaving a double-coated dog isn't great, but trying to comb out severe matting is cruel - to the point where good professional groomers will also refuse to do it. You'll see double-coated dogs shaved right down in rescues if they come in with severe matting. It's not ideal, but it's the only humane choice.

    If these are looser mats and tangles and not tight to the skin, but you can't work them out with your fingers, your best bet is to get a dematting comb - basically, a 'comb' that's really a set of blades you slide under the mat and slice through it with - and combing out gently with a regular comb (look up 'greyhound comb' to get an idea of what I mean) while using a liberal amount of de-tangling spray. You can buy the spray, or make your own, but it will be a huge help.

    Only AFTER you get out as many mats and tangles as possible do you want to bathe the dog. Bathing beforehand will actually tighten all those knots and make it that much harder to get them out painlessly. Any shampoo and conditioner made for dogs should be fine, but do condition - it'll help prevent the fur from tangling for a time and make it easier to comb out regularly.

    And honestly, that's the thing. Your family member needs to be containing this dog better for, well. Lots of reasons, including the dog's safety and the safety of local wildlife (it's illegal in many places to let your dog run at large during times when big game have babies on the ground, for example). But strictly in terms of grooming, checking over the dog daily and combing out any forming tangles and mats before they get bad will go a long way towards preventing the need for shaving again.

    It's great that you're concerned about the dog's well-being in terms of coat, but a lot worse things can happen to it than damaged follicles on its 'adventures'. I appreciate that this is not your dog and you probably are aware of this already but have no control over how it's kept, so I can only wish you - and the pup in question - the best.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: Cleaning Recommendations - Very Dirty & Matted Farm Border Collie

    If they would keep his undercoat thinned out using a tool like a Mars Coat King once a week after a through brushing out and trimmed his coat all over to a couple inches a couple times a year then there would be fewer mats. Trimming doesn't have to be a big deal, get the backs of the ears, pantaloons, leg pits trimmed with the aid of a partner, brush up the fur all over and trim. My dogs have fuzzy feet, I trim the bottom fuzz flush with pads, brush up the tops of the feet and trim even with the short hair on top of the toes.

    I'm wondering if the only time they touch his coat is after these excursions. He might normally have a coat packed with shed undercoat that looks fine on the surface then mud and brambles turn it into a solid mess.

    If he wanders then he needs to be kenneled at night. One of these days he isn't going to make it back home.

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  6. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Re: Cleaning Recommendations - Very Dirty & Matted Farm Border Collie

    If he is matted all over and it's close to the skin shaving definitely is the most humane option, just start over. However, if it's just mats located in certain areas, try getting under the mat with a greyhound comb to separate the skin from the mat and then CAREFULLY cut the mat out with scissors. You can then work out small mats and thicker area's using a tool like the Paws Pamper undercoat rake which will de-mat and remove loose hair without pulling the coat. It also has rounded blade edges so it won't irritate the skin. Afterward, give him a nice cozy bath using oatmeal shampoo and finish up with a slicker brush and treat after drying.

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