The purpose of grooming a dog is to help your pet look and feel healthy. The health benefits can be physical, mental, emotional and behavioral. If you and your Border Collie spend a lot of time outside in the dirt or mud then it’s probably going to need a regular grooming regime… but should this include a haircut? Let’s find out!
Do Border Collies need a haircut? Border Collies shed naturally throughout the year, and therefore need regular grooming. A regular haircut is not required as the hair is lost naturally as and when needed, tending to shed more prior to hotter months. A light trim once in a while will be fine as part of a grooming regime. Cutting a dog’s hair on their feet may, in some cases, help prevent matting and dirt from accumulating so this is something as an owner you might consider as part of your regular grooming routine.
Border Collies are known for their rich coat type, with a double coat which is great at protecting them from the elements, keeping them warm in the winter even in the harshest of environments, and allowing them to stay cool in the summer months thanks to shedding. Did you know it even prevents them from getting sunburnt? This article helps you decide if and when your Collie may need a trim and how to start a grooming routine.
How Often Do Border Collies Need To Be Groomed?
The Border Collie is a very athletic and intelligent breed of dog that needs a lot of exercise. Because they are so active and pick up various things from their escapades outside, they need to be groomed often in order to stay healthy and clean. If you want to keep your dog looking nice and healthy all year round there are other things you should consider doing as well as part of a grooming schedule such as brushing, nail trimming with nail clippers and possibly a rare haircut when needed.
Collies are born with a double coat: an outer coat for protection against dirt and debris, and an undercoat for warmth. Some breeds have a rough coat and some a smooth coat.
How often do Border Collies need to be groomed? Collies double coat sheds throughout the year, so grooming should be done on a weekly basis, or more often during periods of heavy shedding to help remove excess hair. This also means that regular haircuts really won’t be required with the exception of some minimal trimming.
Brushing can be done on a daily basis and is sometimes combined with a training session. It is important to brush your Border Collie before bathing him or her because this will get rid of loose dead hair and skin particles that can clog the drains when rinsed off with water. This will not only make them smell better but also keep their skin clean which can prevent infections from happening.
Brushing Your Border Collie
A bath is not required often, whereas brushing is more important to carry out regularly to avoid tangled hair. There is a detangling spray but we would recommend avoiding these and opting for the more natural patient approach. If you are in a hurry then it is okay to just give your dog a quick brushing instead of taking the time to do it properly.
Use a soft-bristled brush with wire bristles rather than plastic ones, especially for dogs with long coats. If you are using plastic brushes to try and avoid damaging their sensitive skin under the topcoat, make sure you are only brushing in the direction of hair growth. This way, you will minimize damage to the double coat and help spread natural oils throughout your dog’s fur.
Take care not to use too much force when brushing or grooming your Border Collie because this can cause skin irritations like red spots or sores on their skin. Brush small sections at a time to make sure all loose fur is gone before moving onto another section. Also, avoid brushing near the eyes since it can cause them to tear up and become bloodshot. If his eyes are very watery then you should bathe him or her first to wash away any dirt or debris that could have gotten into them. Use a damp cloth with warm water for this task because using soap around the eyes will only irritate them more.
Grooming Routine For Border Collies
Make your grooming sessions fun and relaxing for your pup! It’s important when brushing your Border Collie that you move around all parts of the body rather than just concentrating on one spot. For example, when brushing along their backside it’s much better if you start below where they can reach then work your way up to their shoulders. If you go the other way around it can make them feel uncomfortable, especially if there’s a sensitive part of their body you’re brushing in that area.
For this reason – and their love of the outdoors – long-haired breeds are more susceptible to getting knots and tangles than short-haired ones because bits of dirt and old fur will often get caught around their ears. The same goes for fringes or “feathering” on the front legs or chest area – any time they lie down bits of dirty grass will stick to their coat which over time can become very unpleasant for your dog to walk around with.
You should be using several types of brush types when you groom your Border Collie including a pin brush (slickers), bristle brush, metal types such as an undercoat rake, the best type depends on the type of coat your dog has.
Type of Brush
Slickers – These brushes help remove any mats in your Border Collies fur, but they can also cause some pain when used incorrectly. If you use a slicker brush on your dog with pain, it might hurt them and make grooming difficult. You should start with the softest bristle types first and only brush the areas where you feel resistance.
All types of bristles – Bristle types can be either rubber or plastic depending on the brand you get. They help to “fluff” your dogs fur which can cut down on shedding and give them a pleasing appearance. Also remove dead hairs from their fur.
Metal types – Metal types come in many different types of sizes and thicknesses, but they are a favorite for a lot of dog owners because it can help you get out those hard to remove tangles your Border Collie may have. Just be careful not to use the metal types on sensitive areas as it could cause pain or irritation.
Types designed for long or short hair – These types of brushes are great when used together with other types as they don’t go through fur as easily as some types do so removing mats can be much harder. You will also want to make sure that you brush your Border Collie’s fur the opposite way that it grows which is from tail to head if you’re planning on showing him or her at a show.
Remember to keep an eye on your Border Collie while you’re grooming them and make sure that they are comfortable. You can use types of treats or praise to encourage their good behavior and get the best results. Make sure not to do too much at once and tire your dog out early before a show or he will become easily distracted and uncooperative.
Grooming a border collie is easy with the types of brushes available, but if your dog requires more attention than others it may be necessary to seek professional help from local groomers in order for him or her not to feel uncomfortable.
Can A Professional Groom Your Border Collie At Home?
With more and more pet owners choosing to include a canine companion as part of their growing families a professional groomer might be a good option for helping to keep your Border Collie looking and feeling its best throughout the year. A pet groomer can offer all kinds of coat maintenance packages, from basic coat grooming to nail trims, ear cleaning, foot hair maintenance, and bathing. Be warned, an electric trimmer takes some experience and skill, as you will not want to take off too much especially in the winter months!
Regular visits may be quite costly so it might be a better option to invest in grooming tools to allow you to keep up with regular brushing at home. Regular maintenance and frequent grooming will help distribute their skin oils which help shiny coats to stay healthy and allow you to look for any signs of infection or accidental injuries from day-to-day activities that will help to keep this active breed in its best possible health and avoid health issues.
However, to keep costs down, you may choose to watch and learn for a couple of sessions… then take this on yourself, it may be easier and more rewarding than you think (and certainly cheaper!). Here are some more useful DIY grooming tips.