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Discussion Starter #1
So, we've had Brenna for about a month now, and I think it's about time for me to give her a bath. She has some minor incontinence issues (probably because of her late spay and having many puppies!), so her tail gets urine on it rather frequently. I wipe it off as soon as it gets wet, but it still leaves a little more doggie odor than we like. So, now I'm wondering what type of shampoo and conditioner to get for her. I will tell you that I don't have any good pet stores within 30 miles, so I would really prefer something I can find at Wal-mart...I could go to PetCo, but it's a little too far away to be practical. I think I'd like something that will be hypo-allergenic since I don't know if she has any skin allergies, as well as a product won't dry out her coat any more. Also, do you recommend using a conditioner on collies, or is shampoo enough?

On a slightly differnt, but related subject, I have just learned that some people "mist" their dogs before brushing each section. Having never owned a long-haired dog before, I was completely in the dark on this until today! It sounds like misting is a necessity with collies...is this true? And if so, could I use just plain water with a little pure aloe gel mixed in for conditioning? (I don't really want to spend an arm and a leg on some expensive spray.)
 

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Any dog shampoo you can find (yes, even at Walmart) is going to be fine. Choose whichever type you prefer. Shampoo has less overall effect on itching, etc. than making sure its ALL rinsed out. On a collie, that is going to be a chore. Be sure you have plenty of water pressure and I wouldn't recommend using something to pour water over her..You are going to need the pressure of a sprayer to get all the shampoo out. I would use a conditioner too on a collie. Any pet conditioner will work, I prefer Coat Handler (cannot get at petstores or Walmart) and use it exclusively, because I don't find others to be effective, but maybe someone else can recommend a good conditioner for you? Again...rinse, rinse, rinse...Then rinse some more.

Yes, your dog's coat will benefit from using a brushout spray when brushing and combing. I would not use the aloe gel and water though. Its going to leave a residue, and make her feel sticky and gunky over time. If you cannot get a spray made specifically for dogs/brushing, then I would just dilute down some conditioner...Dilute it very well..Just enough conditioner in it to give it the scent and some slipperyness to the water..Does that make sense? I would give you a ratio, but different conditioners are going to need different ratios. Ideally, a spray made for dogs is best. Most are not that expensive, especially when bought as concentrate and diluted down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestions, Graco. I didn't think about the stickiness of aloe gel. That makes sense.

And yes, I predict that I'm going to be very wet and tired by the time I have thoroughly washed, rinsed and dried Brenna's coat. But I'm going to have to learn how to do this if I want to get her looking tip-top and keep her that way, since I really can't afford to take her to a groomer like yourself!
 

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A self wash would be a great thing to find for when you are to wash her. They usually provide towels, dryers (which will help you IMMENSLY) and they clean up the mess!
 

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This may be a little off from what you're asking, but...

Toby's underside collects all sorts of foliage in the summer and snowballs in the winter as well as some urine when he gets lazy about aiming. When he gets groomed, we have the groomer almost shave (like a #2 buzz) his belly and around his "privates". It really cuts down on the mess, dirt and matting. It's not the standard collie cut, but it makes all of our lives much easier.

We brush him at home about twice a week. I've never misted him. I just dry brush with a long pin brush.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, Rowdy, I don't think we want to have Brenna shaved...actually I'm dying for her coat to grow out so I can see what she really is supposed to look like! Somebody gave her a really bad haircut before we got her...don't know if she got matts and they just trimmed them out or what. I probably need to get some of those pet wipes for her tail and bottom to clean up the dribbles...just using paper towels right now. But I'm going to have to bathe her every now and then regardless!

Graco...I don't think we have anything like a self-service dog wash around here. We are just in too "rural" an area for something like that. I don't even know of any dog parks in our vicinity, if that tells you anything! Sounds like a great idea, though!
 
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