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How to Groom a Border Collie (8 Expert Tips)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Groomer brushing a Border Collie

Whether your pet is a dog, cat, or lizard, learning about their specific needs is important. In terms of grooming needs by breed, this is no different! Depending on the type of dog’s coat, they will have different brushing and bathing requirements to keep them at their maximum fur health.

When you think about Border Collies, they can be characterized by their long, straight fur and double coats, but how do you keep their thick coats clean?

This article will review eight tips for properly grooming the Border Collie dog breed.

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The 8  Tips on How to Groom a Border Collie

1. Brush Two to Three Times a Week

If you have a Border Collie, you will need to remember that they have a double coat. This means they have an inner layer of thick fur that provides insulation for their bodies in colder weather. The outer layer is straight and less dense, but there are still regular requirements for grooming your pup.

Typically, two to three times a week is the standard for grooming your Border Collie. This is recommended because although they are low maintenance in comparison to other breeds, they do shed quite a bit. Keeping up with their brushing regularly will ensure that they don’t get knots or mats in their fur.

2. Brush More Often Before Winter

Border collie sitting near a glove brush and dog fur
Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

The Border Collie has a dense layer of fur closest to their skin to keep them warm in the winter months. This is good to keep in mind when you are thinking about their grooming needs because you will see fuller fur right before the colder months. With that said, they will be producing more fur which equals more shedding. You might need to increase your brushing to daily to keep the piles of fur off the floor, furniture, and your clothes!

3. Brush Before Bath Time

Another thing to keep in mind when getting your collie ready for bath time is to brush their fur out before they jump in. When you think about it, a dog who sheds regularly will give off more fur, and this means more fur in your bathtub! Brushing them out before they get wet will ensure there is less fur all over your bathroom and clogging your drain. It will also ensure that any shampoos or other tools you are using get to the root of their fur and their skin. This means they get a better bath.

4. Trim Their Nails Monthly

dogs getting nails trimmed
Image Credit: Duet PandG, Shutetrstock

In grooming practices, sometimes people might forget about the other important part of a dog’s overall needs—their nails! Grooming also includes other areas of their body that they can’t keep well-maintained themselves.

When it comes to a dog’s nails, you should aim to clip them at least once a month. The general idea is that if you notice them getting too long (which can be measured by scratching the floor when they walk), it’s a good time to give them a trim.

5. Use the Right Environment

A great tip to keep in mind when grooming your Border Collie is to make sure their environment is a calm and ready-to-go area. This refers to keeping the bathroom, for example, ready with a towel, blow dryer, treats, their favorite toy, and more. Keeping essential items nearby that you might need to grab periodically is better than forgetting something and running out.

If you’re in the middle of a brush and someone knocks at the door, your dog might get spooked and jump out. Or you notice they’re getting antsy and aren’t feeling the brushing anymore, having their favorite toy in reach ensures they won’t bolt for the door.

6. Use the Right Tools

border collie ready for a bath
Image Credit: Ayla Verschueren, Unsplash

When you think about useful tools for grooming, there may be similar requirements but different needs depending on the breed. For example, every bath needs shampoos, conditioners, a brush, etc. However, your dog may be allergic to a specific ingredient. It’s possible that double-coated dogs need a stronger shampoo or a bigger brush.

Think about their needs and shedding levels before heading to the pet store to purchase all the essentials. Ask a pet store employee or a veterinarian for ideas and recommendations!

7. Keep It Room Temperature

Another really great tip when bathing Border Collies (and any other pet really), is to keep the water you use to bathe them at the right temperature. If you notice your dog jumping out of the water from fright, it might be too cold. Border Collies tend to be sensitive to weather conditions they aren’t prepared for, so putting them in a situation with extreme temperatures can scare them and possibly even hurt them. You want the environment to feel right for them and keep the trusting relationship strong.

8. Don’t Shave Them

Border collie on couch with dog hair fur
Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

This last tip for grooming Border Collies might seem a little obvious, but it needs repeating! It is not a good idea to shave any area of your Border Collie. This is because they have a unique double coat, and this can grow back in irregular patterns and slowly, so they will end up with shorter patches or areas that grow back completely differently. These dogs shed at an average rate and have relatively average grooming needs, so shaving should never feel like your only option.

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Grooming Border Collies in A Nutshell

Border Collies shed at a normal rate and have very common grooming needs when compared to other dog breeds. They do not require any excessive brushing unless it’s right before the colder months hit. Like other pets, they like a calm environment and a calm owner.

Be sure to have everything you need ready before coercing your dog into the bathtub for the best experience. You want grooming to be something that becomes naturally a part of your dog’s lifestyle and not something that can scare them off or that they dislike.

Featured Image Credit: antoniodiaz, Shutterstock

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