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Hard-working herding dogs, border collies have easy-care coats that are classified as 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.
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Establish a grooming routine
Brush your border collie once or twice a week, advises VCA Hospitals. This will keep tangling to a minimum before they become mats that can irritate your pet and be difficult to remove.
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.
Before bathing, you must thoroughly brush your dog's coat to remove loose hair and debris. Use a grooming tool designed for long-haired dogs, such as the Lumo Ridgeback Long Hair Self-Cleaning Dog Grooming Tool. The instrument has long rakes to detangle, short rakes to collect hair, and an easy push-button cleaning system.
Prevent hair breakage by spritzing with a detangling spray such as Chi for Dogs Detangling Spray. 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.
Bathing your border collie
When you bathe your border collie, use a shampoo designed for dogs. Never use human shampoo on your dog. Canine pH differs from humans, so products made for people can irritate a dog's skin.
Use a dog shampoo that will help condition your border collie's skin and undercoat, such as FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo for Dogs. Ingredients like Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids, papaya leaf extract, and calendula extract help soothe and condition your dog's hair and skin. Customers using this product enjoy how soft their pet feels and the reduction in shedding after including it in their regular grooming protocol.
Rinse your dog thoroughly with comfortably warm water. Follow up with FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Conditioner. You can keep your border collie detangled and smelling fresh and clean between baths with a product such as Furminator Waterless Detangling Spray.
Use products that are formulated to work together with one another. Mixing and matching brands can cause chemical interactions that can leave your dog itchy or with other allergic reactions.
Trim the details
Trim the hair between the pads on your border collie's feet at least once a month with a short, straight pair of blunt-nose scissors such as the Miracle Care 7 1/4" Curved Blunt Tip Shear for Dogs & Cats. This helps keep his feet clean and prevents slipping. Snip away just the hair that extends beyond the toe pads.
Flyaway hair behind the ears can be shaped with Pet Magasin Professional Thinning Scissors with Toothed Blade or other blunt-nosed thinning shears. Finally, trim your dog's nails regularly using nail clippers or a grinding tool.
Use a grinding tool made particularly for use with pets, such as the Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit. Multiple speeds let you choose the right approach for your pet's nails and the clear cap collects dust and prevents cutting into the quick. The motor is also quieter than run-of-the-mill grinders, meaning it's easier on your pet's ears and nerves.
Border collies can be touchy around their feet, so if you are not experienced in these tasks, take your border collie to a groomer. Many groomers offer services that include face-feet-and-tail trims or just nail trims alone.