Border Collie Grooming is an important part of your regular Border Collie care.
These dogs are active, energetic working dogs that can pick up dirt and debris in their day to day activities. So, regular maintenance is required to keep their fur free of knots and tangles.
Border Collie coats vary from dog to dog. They can have long or short coats that come in rough or smooth textures. So, Border Collie grooming needs will also depend on these qualities.
Let’s dive into what we will cover in this grooming guide.
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- The Border Collie breed and coat
- Do Border Collies need grooming?
- Why is grooming so important?
- Border Collie shedding
- How to groom your Border Collie
- How often should you groom your dog?
- Grooming during shedding season
- Border Collie grooming tools
- Border Collie haircuts
There’s a lot to cover! So, you can jump to the section you need with the links above, or just keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about Border Collie grooming.
The Border Collie Breed
The Border Collie is a popular pet breed for families, and for those looking for a working, herding dog. In fact, they’re so popular they have an entire online museum devoted to them.
As herding dogs, this breed is tireless. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Border Collies are very smart and are bred to work for hours on end.
But what does this mean for the coat and grooming needs?
How This Impacts Grooming
This active lifestyle means that your Border Collie will be picking up plenty of dirt. You can also expect your dog to find creative ways to entertain herself when bored.
To hear many Border Collie owners tell it, this may also mean rolling in interesting things when opportunity knocks.
You will need to stay on top of this by brushing and raking your Border Collie’s coat as needed to keep tangles and mats at bay.
Baths are also definitely included in keeping this breed properly groomed, along with other techniques.
But, is Border Collie grooming necessary if the dogs aren’t working?
Do Border Collies need to be Groomed?
Border Collies generally fall into two coat categories: smooth coat and rough coat. Within these two umbrella categories, of course, there is still plenty of variation.
For example, some Border Collie coats are wavy to the point of being curly while other coats are quite straight.
The Border Collie’s coat features two layers. The top layer of fur is naturally weather and water-resistant, and can be either shorter and coarse-feeling or mid-length and feathery soft.
Then the under-layer of fur closest to the skin is thick, soft and very insulating.
So, whether your Border Collie is a working dog, or just a family pet, they will need regular grooming. Long haired Border Collies will need more than short-haired ones.
Even just running around your house and yard can create tangles! So, yes, all Border Collies need grooming.
Why is Grooming so Important?
Grooming your Border Collie serves multiple important functions.
First and foremost, of course, the time you spend grooming your dog can strengthen the bond you share together.
But grooming also gives you a perfect opportunity to check your Border Collie all over to make sure all is well. Eyes, ears, teeth, nose, paw pads, toenails, tail, skin or fur are all good check-in spots.
When you catch unfolding health issues early, your dog (and your wallet) will generally have a much easier time recovering.
Like most purebred dog breeds, the Border Collie can be more prone to some health conditions than others. In particular, they can struggle with dry, itchy skin.
When you are aware of potential issues and know what to look for while you are grooming your dog. You can catch developing issues more quickly and ease unnecessary discomfort.
Border Collie Shedding
You can expect the Border Collie coat to shed fairly consistently all year long. This is because the breed relies on this specialized coat to stay warm when outside at work in the elements.
Shedding helps keep the coat replenished and effective at doing its job.
Plus, twice each year when the seasons change, the coat will shed quite a bit more. This is an event some Border Collie owners like to call “blowing coat”.
During these seasonal coat sheds, you will want to have your grooming tools, vacuum cleaner and lint roller handy at all times.
How to Groom your Border Collie
Here is a general tutorial for Border Collie grooming. You can find links to recommended Border Collie grooming tools in the section that follows this one.
There are 5 easy steps you need to follow when grooming your Border Collie. So, let’s dive in!
Step 1: Detangling Spray
Many Border Collie owners like to spritz on canine detangling spray before beginning to brush their dogs.
This minimises hair breakage compared to brushing dry fur. It will help to soften those tangles and make them easier to brush out.
We’ll recommend some of our favorites towards the end of this guide.
Step 2: Undercoat Grooming
Begin by using your de-shedding tool of choice (undercoat rake or slicker brush) to remove debris and shed hair from your Collie’s undercoat.
You may want to make several passes until you don’t see any more shed hair in the teeth of the comb or brush.
With proper use (gentle but firm pressure), you will also be stimulating circulation beneath your dog’s skin and redistributing valuable, nourishing skin oils throughout your dog’s undercoat.
Step 3: Top Coat Grooming
Now you can switch to using a pin and bristle brush to groom your Collie’s top coat.
Many owners like to start with the pin side, using the pin brush to remove shed hair and debris from your dog’s top coat.
Once you have removed the majority of the shed hair, you can switch to using the bristle side to give your dog’s coat that lovely final shine.
Step 4: Ear Cleaning
Because Border Collies are such active, energetic dogs, you want to examine your puppy’s ears every time you brush and groom your dog.
This will help to prevent waxy build ups, as well as helping you keep on top of any injuries.
Talk with your dog’s veterinarian about the right products and best method for cleaning your dog’s ears.
Step 5: Nail Trimming
Nail trimming will keep your Border Collie’s nails short and strong. Regular nail trims are so important to make sure your dog has healthy posture and a normal gait.
When you trim your dog’s nails, you can also examine the paw pads to be sure they are healthy.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing nail trims at home, your veterinarian or groomer can do this for you.
How Often Should you Groom your Border Collie?
Border Collie grooming frequency will depend on their role in your home. If you keep them as a working dog, they may need more grooming than a family pet.
If your Border Collie is a true working dog on a farm or out hunting, you may need to brush and groom your dog on a daily basis to remove debris and keep tangles from forming.
Pet Border Collies will need this less frequently.
Seasonal shedding time is the only exception to this rule—usually. During the twice-annual “coat blows,” you will want to rake and brush your Collie’s coat daily.
This will help to keep shed hair under control—for your own sanity as well as your pup’s health.
Border Collie Grooming During Shedding Season
Some Border Collies will shed more than others. The amount of ongoing and annual shedding depends on what coat type your dog has.
What is most interesting is that sometimes it is the shorter, smooth-coated Collies that seem to shed the most.
This is because Border Collies with longer, rougher, wavy or curly coats sometimes catch the shed fur in their coat, so it doesn’t ever fall out.
With this coat type, you often don’t see much evidence of shed hair until you start grooming your Collie.
But Border Collie owners and groomers emphasize that this dog breed sheds—and quite a lot during “coat blow” season.
So if you or someone in your family struggles with pet allergies, frequent brushing and grooming can really help.
Grooming Will Help to Control This
Grooming during the shedding season is more intense.
You will probably want to do a thorough undercoat rake followed by a whole-dog brushing daily.
This will help collect shed hair before it falls onto your floors, furnishings and you.
Border Collie Grooming Tools
There is so much that goes into bringing a new pup into your life that sometimes it can feel like choosing Border Collie grooming tools becomes almost an afterthought.
But your dog’s coat won’t wait while you research different grooming tools and ponder their pros and cons.
This list of highly recommended and popular Border Collie grooming tools can make it easy and fast to assemble the ultimate dog grooming kit.
Detangling spray can make the process of brushing and grooming your Collie so much easier and more comfortable for you both.
Here are a couple of our favorites.
Lillian Ruff Pet Dog Leave in Conditioner & Detangler Treatment Spray
This highly rated detangling spray* can be used on its own, or after a bath as a leave-in conditioner.
This is made in the USA and has a gentle formula to prevent any skin irritation.
An undercoat rake, as the name suggests, is designed primarily to groom your Border Collie’s undercoat—the inner layer next to the skin.
Here are a few that we think are great.
Coastal Pet Safari Long Tooth Undercoat Dog Rake
This economical and highly rated undercoat rake* is designed for dogs that have medium-length coats.
The handle is ergonomic, and it is nice and long to reach all the way down through both coat layers.
JW Pet Company GripSoft Double Row Undercoat Rake Dog Brush
This is a lightweight choice with an ergonomic handle* and a neat double row of comb teeth to lift out dead, shed undercoat hair.
A slicker brush can be used with or instead of an undercoat rake.
Border Collie owners who have dogs with longer, thicker coats sometimes prefer the slicker brush.
As a bonus, many of today’s modern slicker brushes have handy self-cleaning features.
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
The Hertzko self-cleaning slicker brush* has fine, bent wire bristles designed to help remove your dog’s shedding fur.
There’s a button on the handle. Push this when you are done and the bristles disappear into your brush, to make cleaning easy!
Pin and Bristle Brush
A pin and bristle brush is a great grooming tool for adding shine and smoothness to your dog’s outer coat layer while also catching those last stray shed hairs the other tools missed.
AtEase Accents Natural Bamboo DeShedding Pin and Bristle Brush
This lovely eco-friendly, bamboo handle pin and bristle brush* is double-sided for your convenience.
The pin side features round-tip stainless steel pins to remove shed hairs from the top coat. The brush side features soft nylon bristles to add that finishing shine.
GoPets Professional Double Sided Pin & Bristle Brush
This professional pin and bristle brush* is designed for dogs with short to medium coat lengths.
The pins are round-tip stainless steel, and the bristles are soft nylon.
The silicone-filled soft handle is comfy to use for long grooming sessions.
Border Collie Haircuts
Most Border Collie owners allow their dogs’ coats to grow naturally.
Even show Border Collies are expected to present with natural-appearing coats, although minor trims around the feet, ankles and lower legs are permitted.
Light trims can be healthy if your Collie’s coat is sufficiently long to interfere with running, playing and working.
You may also want to lightly trim hair inside the ears to aid in air flow.
Border Collie Grooming Summary
This was a full overview of steps for grooming your Border Collie.
Do you have any favorite grooming tools or techniques?
Please post a comment to share your favorite tips with other Border Collie dog owners.
Affiliate link disclosure: Links in this article marked with an * are affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission if you purchase these products. However, we selected them for inclusion independently, and all of the views expressed in this article are our own.
References and Resources
- ’A Canine Pedicure,’ Main Border Collies Kennel
- Border Collie Museum
Looking for a professional dog grooming salon for border collies in the Essendon area or close by.