Hard-working herding dogs, border collies have easy-care coats, either smooth or rough. Smooth-coated border collies wear a shorter coat than their rough counterparts, who carry a double coat consisting of a thick undercoat and a long outer coat that can be straight or wavy. Begin grooming your border collie at a young age to accustom him to the process.
Brush, then Bathe
Before you bathe your border collie, thoroughly brush his coat with a pin brush. Spritz his coat with water from a spray bottle before brushing, so the brush doesn't break the hair. If he's double-coated, brush through the undercoat down to the skin. Follow up with a comb to be sure you've removed any mats behind his ears or legs. Mats become more tightly tangled once they're wet, so remove any before bathing.
Border Collie Bathing
Bathe your border collie only when he needs it or once every few months. Frequent bathing tends to dry out the skin. This breed's coat sheds water and dirt well, making regular baths unnecessary. When you bathe your border collie, use a shampoo designed for dogs. Never use human shampoo on your dog. Canine pH differs from human, so human shampoo can irritate a dog's skin. Wash your dog's face and ears with a gentle, tear-free canine shampoo. Be careful not to get soap or water in his eyes or ears. Rinse him thoroughly with warm water.
Your border collie won't need much trimming. Trim the hair between the pads on your border collie's feet at least once a month with a short, straight pair of scissors. This helps keep his feet clean and prevents slipping. Flyaway hair behind the ears can be shaped with thinning shears. Trim your dog's nails regularly using nail clippers or a grinding tool; if you are not experienced in these tasks, take your border collie to a groomer.
The Final Touch
Brush your dog's teeth every other day with a soft brush and toothpaste designed for dogs. Never use human toothpaste. Brush your border collie's coat with a slicker brush to remove any knots or tangles. A slicker brush helps distribute the oil in your border collie's coat and helps keep it shiny. Keep his coat in top shape with a pin brush used daily.