The hard part of owning a Border Collie is to give them plenty of mental and physical exercise. Their grooming needs are the opposite, they only need the basics!
A great chunk of caring for your Border Collie’s looks is brushing their coat and teeth. The process is quite straightforward, along with their other grooming needs.
While that may be the case, your Border Collie may give you a hard time at first. It is easy to drive this sensitive and curious breed into a state of panic.
The slightest mishap in any grooming session can sour their mood. When this happens, grooming them in the future will become trickier.
Are Border Collies Low or High Maintenance?
When it comes to grooming, Border Collies are low-maintenance dogs. They need only need occasional baths and regular brushing. But apart from that, they do not care about how they look.
The same goes for show dog Border Collies. Apart from baths and brushing, they only need minimal trimming for their feet and legs. Some kennel clubs will even penalize heavily groomed Border Collies.
Do You Groom Border Collies?
All dogs, even your Border Collie, need some grooming. The good thing about this breed is that their grooming needs are minimal.
The most tedious task would be brushing their coat regularly. This breed is a seasonal shedder and this can drive you mad when the time comes. But brushing their coat more during shedding season can make this more manageable.
Other coat care that they need is bathing and trimming. Border Collies only need a bath around every 3 to 4 months. Any more than that can dry out their skin and this may lead to skin issues. But if your Border Collie loves to get their coat dirty, you can give them a bath whenever they need it.
For trims, you only need to maintain the fur around their feet and on their legs. This breed does not need an in-depth trimming session and they also do not need shaving. The latter can even damage their coat, making their hair growth irregular.
Of course, you also need to factor in the following when grooming your furry friend:
- Nail Trimming
- Ear Cleaning
- Eye Cleaning
The last one needs to be more frequent and you should do this at least thrice a week. You should trim their nails every few weeks, or when you find them too long already. For eye and ear cleaning, do this whenever you see that these areas are getting dirty.
Are Border Collies Easy to Groom?
Since Border Collies have simple grooming needs, maintaining their looks is pretty easy. This applies whether you have a smooth or rough Border Collie. Although if you have the latter, you need to put more care into their long, flowing coat.
Smooth Border Collies have short coats that are the easier to maintain of the two variants. Their short coat does not get tangled easily, and when they get dirty, a quick wipe will do fine. This makes them the ideal dogs for working outdoors.
But with rough Border Collies, you need to brush their long, flowing hair more to prevent tangles. You need two types of hairbrushes for them too.
A pin brush for detangling their topcoat, and a slicker brush for their undercoat care. Having these two will ensure that you remove most of their shedding hair. This is especially important during shedding season.
Keeping a rough Border Collie’s coat clean is harder too. Dirt and debris may dislodge deep in their thick and lustrous coats. So they need more than only a wipe down.
Even with this, Border Collies, both smooth and rough, are easy to groom. Compared to other breeds, you can groom them at home with some tools. This saves you a lot of money as you do not need to go to a professional groomer as often.
What Kind of Grooming Does a Border Collie Need?
A Border Collie’s grooming routine only involves the necessities. So to keep your Border Collie looking their best, you need to include the following in their routine:
- Regular Coat Brushing
- Frequent Toothbrushing
- Occasional Baths
- Regular Ear Cleaning
- Eye Cleaning
All these are the basics, but there are some extra steps you can take.
Giving your Border Collie a trim is optional, but it is great to keep them looking tidier. You should only trim the fur between their paw pads and around their paws, though. This will prevent them from slipping around too much when walking on smooth surfaces.
You can also trim the fur at the back of their legs to keep them looking neat. But remember, this is for aesthetic purposes. It is not necessary to do these extra steps.
How Often Do You Need to Groom a Border Collie?
This will depend on what kind of grooming you do. While they need a bath every few months, you cannot brush their fur monthly too. So below, you will find the frequency of each of their grooming needs.
- Baths: Every 3 months or when needed. Bathe your furry friend whenever they get dirty as well.
- Nail Trims: At least once a month.
- Coat Brushing: About twice or thrice a week. But you should brush their coat daily during shedding season.
- Toothbrushing: At least thrice a week. The more you brush your Border Collies teeth, the better.
- Eye Cleaning: When needed. If you see debris or discharge in their eye area, wipe this with a damp cloth.
Keep in mind that this is a general guideline. Dogs are individuals with varying needs, so you may need to do some of these less or more.
For example, if your Border Collie has ear problems, you may need to clean their ears more. If they are working dogs who always get dirty, you may need to bathe them more often as well. Grooming your Border Collie will depend on their health and their lifestyle.
When Should I Start Grooming My Border Collie?
You should start grooming your Border Collie while they are young puppies. This way, they will get used to grooming sessions and even the tools. You will have an easier time brushing or bathing them in the future as adults, as they are more likely to stay still.
Grooming sessions are also a great opportunity for you to check their health. If you have a well-behaved Border Collie, this will be easier for you.
You can check their fur for any tick or fleas, their eyes for discharge, and more. This way, you can also check their paws and belly to look for debris after playing or working outside.
How to Groom Border Collies
A good brushing session is often the highlight of grooming your Border Collie. But this is not the only thing you should do. And with each step of their routine, there is a lot to consider in the process.
But do not worry, grooming this breed is not too daunting of a task. To help you out below is a step-by-step guide to grooming your Border Collie.
Step 1: Use a Detangling Spray
Border Collies have double coats that make them prone to tangles and mats. So before you brush their fur, spritz some detangling spray on their coat.
A detangling spray will make the brushing session easier for you. It minimizes tugging as this softens any tangles that your Border Collie may have.
By using a detangling spray, you lessen any hair breakage. But the most important thing this does is to make your Border Collie more comfortable.
Step 2: Groom Their Undercoat
Inspect your Border Collie’s coat to see if there are any spots with tangles or mats. If you spot any, focus on those areas. Freeing your Border Collie of tangles and mats will make them more comfortable.
The best brushes for their undercoat are either an undercoat rake or a slicker brush. These are also great for removing debris from their coat.
Brush through their coat with a firm yet gentle pressure. Do several passes on their coat until you do not see any more fur shedding off.
Step 3: Groom Their Topcoat
For their topcoat, use a pin and bristle brush and do several passes on their coat as well. Start by brushing them with the pin side until you remove most of their loose fur. Switch to the bristle side after to make their coat smooth and shiny.
Step 4: Clean Their Ears
Your furry friend’s ears will get dirty from time to time. So take time to examine their ears during grooming sessions too.
If their ears are dirty, dampen a cloth with lukewarm water and wipe their outer ears. Only clean where you can see and do not go any further down their ears.
Step 5: Clean Their Eyes
If you see debris or discharge around their eyes, you can wipe their eye area with a damp cloth as well. Do this whenever you see that their eyes are getting dirty.
Step 6: Trim Their Nails
Keeping their nails short is crucial for good posture and gait. If their nails are too long, this can hurt their paws and affect their walking.
So trim their nails as short as you can without cutting through the quick.
Take their paw and hold it firmly. Using nail clippers, cut the tip of their nails off until you reach the area where their nail thickens. This thicker part is usually where the quick is, so be careful when you reach this.
If you cut the quick, stay calm. Wipe the blood off and put some styptic powder on their affected nail. This powder will help in stopping the bleeding.
How Do You Groom Border Collie Ears?
You can trim the tufts of your Border Collie’s ears if they get too long. But keep in mind that this is not necessary. And if you do trim their ears, be sure not to overdo it.
Begin by pressing their ears forward and against their head. By doing this, you expose the tufts that you can cut off. Using blunt-nosed scissors, trim only the fur strands that are longer.
You can also trim the hair that grows out of their ear. Cut as close as you can get to their ear but be careful as you may snip their ears.
Do Border Collies Need Professional Grooming?
Taking your Border Collie to a professional groomer may not be necessary. They have basic grooming needs that you can do at home with the right tools and techniques. Border Collies also do not need haircuts that most people would go to a groomer for.
But if you have trouble grooming them at home, you can take them to a professional groomer. This is a convenient way for you to keep them looking fresh without the hassle.
The advantages of going to a groomer are their expertise and their tools.
Working with a variety of dog breeds means that they know how to handle them. So they know how to deal with a dog that gets anxious or aggressive during grooming sessions. Groomers know how to handle these types of dogs and they even have a muzzle for this reason.
They handle everything for you, even the unpleasant stuff, like cleaning anal glands. With their trained eye, they know what your Border Collie’s specific needs are. If they have skin issues, they will use the appropriate shampoo to bathe your furry friend.
Most importantly, they can spot any issues that need immediate action. Grooming your Border Collie is also a great opportunity to examine their condition. If the groomer sees anything unusual, like parasites, they will let you know so you can go to the vet for help.
There are many benefits to seeing a professional groomer if you have the budget for it. But since this breed is low-maintenance, you can do all these at home with the right tools and knowledge.
How Much Does It Cost to Groom a Border Collie?
Having your Border Collie professionally groomed will cost anywhere between $40 and $75. But this price can vary depending on your location, their size, and the services that you want.
Even if you go to a professional groomer, you need to care for your Border Collie at home. Continue to brush their coat and teeth, and clean their ears and eyes. By doing so, you may be able to reduce professional grooming costs as you only need standard services.
How Do You Groom a Border Collie at Home?
Grooming your Border Collie at home mainly involves coat, nails, teeth, and ear care. To do this, you first need to have the proper tools. The basic tools you need in your arsenal include the following:
- Slicker Brush or Undercoat Rake
- Pin and Bristle Brush
- Mat Splitter
- Dog Shampoo
- Dog Conditioner
- Detangling Spray
- Dog Toothbrush
- Dog Toothpaste
Now that you have your tools, here is how you make your Border Collie look fresh at home.
Brushing your Border Collie’s coat takes up a huge part of their grooming routine. This breed is a heavy shedder when it is shedding season, which is around spring and autumn. But you can lessen their fur getting everywhere by brushing them daily.
Use a slicker brush or an undercoat rake to take away the loose undercoat fur. Then use the pin and bristle brush to get rid of the fallen topcoat that they have. Start with the pin side and then use the bristle side to make their coat shinier.
When brushing their coat, do several passes on each area until you do not see any more hair sticking onto the comb.
When picking out a shampoo for your Border Collie, choose one that targets their needs. If they have skin issues, use a medicated shampoo recommended by your vet.
But even if they do not have one, it is best to use a gentle shampoo. Border Collies can be prone to skin allergies. And many dog shampoos on the market have ingredients that trigger this.
Brushing your Border Collie’s teeth is not only to freshen their breath. This will help to prevent dental issues which can turn nasty. In severe cases, teeth and gum diseases can shorten your Border Collie’s life.
Use a toothbrush that is specifically for dogs. Usually, you will find ones with rubber bristles that you can wear on your finger. Some also use a toothbrush made for human babies, which is gentler on the teeth and gums.
You should also choose a toothpaste made for dogs. Never use human toothpaste as these contain fluoride, which is toxic to dogs.
Hold your Border Collie’s muzzle and push it back to expose their teeth. Then scrub their pearly whites with your tools, making sure you reach their molars. Their back teeth are prone to plaque and tartar buildup as they are hard to reach.
Clean your Border Collie’s teeth whenever you see that they are getting dirty. Or if they shaking or scratching their head more, this is a sign to get them cleaned too.
Using a damp cloth, clean the outside of their ears and get rid of wax and debris. Only clean as far as you can see and do not go inside their ear canal. You should never use a q-tip to clean their ears as you may damage their eardrums.
You can also get an ear cleaning solution from your vet and place a few drops of this in their ear. Then massage the base of their ears to loosen wax buildup. Your Border Collie will shake their ears afterward to loosen the debris in their ear canal.
After this, you can wipe the outside of their ears with a cloth or cotton ball.
Giving your Border Collie a trim is not necessary. But in certain areas of their body, a trim may be worth being part of their grooming routine.
This includes their paws, behind their legs, and the hair growing out of their ears. Keeping the fur on these areas short can bring your Border Collie comfort.
But when you do trim these areas, use a blunt-nosed scissor to be safe. For their paw pads, you can use an electric shaver to speed up the process.
How Do You Groom a Border Collie With Clippers?
You should not shave your Border Collie’s coat unless there is a medical reason to. In general, this breed does not need to get any haircuts. But you can trim excess fur off their paws, back legs, sanitary areas, and tail.
If you do decide to use clippers on them, you may damage their coat. It will not grow back the way it should. Some areas will grow faster, slower, or may not grow at all, resulting in an uneven coat.
It is understandable why you may want to clip their fur during summertime, you want to keep them cool. But come winter, they will have a hard time keeping warm since their coat did not grow back in the same way. This is an issue if your Border Collie loves to go outdoors even when it is cold outside.
So instead of clipping their fur, the best way to keep them cool during summer is to brush them a lot. This way, you get rid of the loose hair that is ready to fall off or any tangles and mats. All these can restrict the airflow from reaching your Border Collie’s skin. Without these tangles, mats, or loose hairs, they will get the ventilation they need on a hot day.
Also, other than coat care, there are other ways to keep them cool during summer. Use a cooling mat, keep them in an air-conditioned room, provide them shade outside, and more.
Taking these conservative measures will ensure that you do not damage their coat. Remember, the weather will not stop your Border Collie from having fun outside. And their coat is their main protection from the sun and snow.
Do Border Collies Smell Bad?
Border Collies are more hygienic than other dogs, so they are less likely to smell bad. While they may still have that doggy smell, you will find that this is milder in this breed. But sometimes, your Border Collie may smell bad and this has several possible causes.
So if your Border Collie smells funky, it can be due to the following:
- Too Many Baths
- Paw Problems
- Dirty Fur
- Nasty Habits
- Dental Issues
- Skin Issues
- Ear Infections
- Leaky Anal Glands
Excessive Bathing Routine
Bathing your Border Collie will keep them clean and smelling nice. But too much of this can do the opposite, causing them to smell unpleasant.
The reason for this is that when you bathe them, you strip off the natural oils in their skin. Normal amounts of this oil will help in their hygiene and keep them smelling nice.
But if their skin lacks oils, it overcompensates and produces too much oil. The smell of their natural oils can make your Border Collie smelly and makes their coat greasy. But an excess of this also irritates their skin, which can add to their funky smell.
Lack of Paw Cleaning
This workaholic and outdoorsy breed are on its feet most of the time. So their paws get dirty a lot and you cannot avoid this. Unfortunately, a lot of dog owners often neglect cleaning their furry friend’s paws.
Dirt can get stuck in their paws, like rotten food, animal feces, and more. So if you do not clean their paws at the end of the day, this can make them smell bad.
Lack of paw hygiene can lead to yeast infections. This makes your Border Collie smell musty or like corns. If you suspect that your Border Collie has this issue, take them to your vet for medications.
Dirt or Debris in Their Fur
Border Collies like to frolic around outdoors. So their fur can get quite dirty after each outdoor session.
They get stuck in bushes, roll around in the dirt, swim in dirty bodies of water, and more. Foreign objects can get stuck in their fur too, and sometimes, you cannot see them so it stays with them.
At the end of the day, make sure to give them a good brushing session. This releases dirt that gets stuck in their fur to keep them smelling nice without the need for baths.
Odd Doggy Habits
No human may ever understand this, but dogs love nasty stuff. When they find any rotting garbage or other animals’ poop, they will roll in it. So the unpleasant smell will transfer and stick to their fur.
In this case, a brushing session may not be enough to remove the smell. So you may need to bathe your furry friend to remove this foul odor. This is why you should always inspect your Border Collie’s coat after any outdoor play.
Your Border Collie’s foul odor may come from their mouth. This can be due to the following:
- Wrong Diet
- Eating Something Foul-Smelling
- Dental Infection
- Rotten Tooth
- Gum Diseases
All these are avoidable with a proper dental cleaning routine. Without one, this can lead to disease of the teeth and mouth. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis. And this can further lead to periodontitis, which can then lead to heart diseases.
Infections, parasites, and dry skin can irritate your Border Collie’s skin. The buildup of bacteria on their skin due to these can make them smell foul.
Skin issues include ringworm, folliculitis, and yeast infections. Your Border Collie’s skin can get dry and irritated if you bathe them too much. This is because baths strip away their natural oils, which are crucial for skin moisture.
Border Collies are likely to develop ear infections. They have long hairs around their ears that trap moisture. This makes their ears a good breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.
If your Border Collie loves to swim, you should pay extra attention to their ears. You can avoid ear infections by keeping them clean and dry.
Border Collies who have ear infections will exhibit the following:
- Frequent Ear Itching or Rubbing
- Ear Redness
- Head Shaking
- Ear Sensitivity
- Ear Discharge or Scabs
Leaky Anal Glands
Does your Border Collie smell fishy? If so, they may have an issue with their anal gland.
Anal glands are a part of your furry friend’s anatomy, near their rectum. Without issues, these structures should not bother you. But if there is, the smell can be a big issue for both you and your Border Collie.
The smell can be horrendous to you, but this can make them very uncomfortable. Your Border Collie will lick their back end to groom it or as a soothing behavior. So the smell can transfer from their anal glands to their mouth.
So if you notice excessive licking or scooting on the floor, take your Border Collie to the vet.
How Do I Stop My Border Collie From Smelling?
There are many ways to keep your Border Collie smelling nice and they are simple to do. Even if your furry friend does not smell bad right now, adding these to your routine is still a good practice. This way, you prevent foul odors before it even becomes a problem for you.
Do not give up on your smelly yet lovable companion right away. Below are some tips you can follow for this.
Check your Border Collie’s coat a few times a week, or every day if you can. This will help you find any dirt or foreign object or substance in their fur right away. So when you do see one, you can take immediate action and get rid of it.
Regular Coat Brushing
This goes hand in hand with inspecting your Border Collie’s coat. Do several passes on their coat with a quality brush to get rid of any debris that can contribute to their odor.
Have one brush for their undercoat and their topcoat for a thorough grooming session. A slicker brush and a pin and bristle brush are always great to have with you for this.
Some dog owners say that regular brushing helps with odor management. This helps their dogs smell nice even without regular baths. While this varies from one dog to another, it is worth trying.
Paw Cleaning Routine
Since their paws get dirty a lot, you should clean your Border Collie’s paws after going outdoors. Dirty paws are one of the main reasons why your Border Collie can smell bad. So by keeping them clean, you can prevent and get rid of foul odors.
Remember, you do not have to use shampoo all the time. This can dry out their skin and cause more issues.
So you can clean their paws with lukewarm water and a cloth to get rid of dirt or debris. After this, make sure their paws are completely dry. Leaving their paws damp can lead to infections, which is what you are trying to avoid.
Strict Dental Hygiene
Regular teeth cleaning can prevent your Border Collie from having bad breath. Take brushing sessions as an opportunity to inspect their teeth and gums as well. If you see anything unusual, you can take them to the vet.
What your Border Collie eats can affect their health and how they smell, either from their skin or mouth. Choose high-quality foods for your Border Collie to prevent this.
Clean Their Favorite Spots
Your Border Collie has spots around the home where they love to lounge in. Since they spend a lot of time in these areas, it can dictate how they smell. So if their favorite spots are filthy, you can expect your furry friend to smell the same.
Keep Them Dry
Bacteria and yeast are always present in your Border Collies coat, no matter how you clean them. If their fur gets wet, the wastes left by these microorganisms break down. This causes the foul odor you get a whiff of whenever a dog gets wet.
Drying your Border Collie with a towel may not be enough. So use a blow dryer to completely dry their fur.
Dog Wipes and Dry Shampoo
If your Border Collie loves getting dirty, you cannot bathe them all the time. Keep in mind that this can dry their skin and make them smelly dogs.
With this, dog wipes and dry shampoo are your best friend. Wipe the dirt on their fur and especially their paws after playing outside. Finish this with dry shampoo to keep them fresh and tidy.
How Do You Clean a Border Collie?
Bathing your Border Collie is a great way to thoroughly clean their coat. But this is not the only way and excessive baths may do them more harm than good. Experts recommend that this breed should only have baths around 4 to 5 times a year.
A meticulous brushing session is enough to keep them clean in most situations. But when they are extra dirty from playing outdoors, you can use doggy wipes to clean your Border Collie.
For their paws, you can clean them with lukewarm water and loosen up dirt between their paw pads. You do not have to use soap or shampoo all the time, water will do fine.
But remember, you should dry their fur after each cleaning session. If you do not, they will give off that infamous wet dog smell that you may not like.
Do Border Collies Like Baths?
Some Border Collies may like or tolerate baths, while others hate them. Although most of them tend to like water, bathing can still be scary for your furry friend. This will all depend on how you introduce your Border Collie to water and bath time.
A slow and gradual introduction is necessary to get them used to this. This way, you can help them have a positive association with taking a bath. But if you place them in the tub and start bathing them right away, this may scare them for the rest of their life.
Why Do Some Border Collies Hate Baths?
When a Border Collie dislikes baths, it is because they have a negative association with them. Each dog is an individual though. There is something specific about bath time that they find scary.
Knowing what that is is crucial in helping your Border Collie tolerate or even like baths. So below, you will find the common reasons why some Border Collies dislike baths.
They Have Past Trauma
Something bad could have happened during their previous bath sessions. As a dog owner, you would know that anything could go wrong with bathing them.
They may move around too much and slip in the bathtub. Their shampoo can go into their eyes and sting them. The water temperature may be too hot or too cold.
These are only some of the things that they may have experienced. So they will associate bath time with fear because they do not feel safe in the bathroom.
They Are Not In Control
You may wonder why some dogs love swimming but they hate getting a bath. Getting wet is no problem to them, but the difference lies in their control over the situation.
Splashing around in a puddle is fun because they choose to do it. But bath time is often forced on your canine friend and they do not like this. They feel cornered and upset that they do not have a say in this.
They Are New to Baths
Puppies or dogs who are not bathed often are not used to the sensation of getting bathed. This unfamiliarity will drive them into panic mode, creating a stressful situation. You cannot expect them to like this right away, so take your time and ease them into it.
They Do Not Like the Sounds
Again, if your dog is rarely groomed, the sound of running water is scary. This is especially true for Border Collies who have very sensitive hearing. If this is the case for your furry friend, you need to desensitize them to this stimuli.
Instead of using your showerhead, use a cup instead to pour water on their body. This lessens the sound that the water makes and it might help them calm down. Once they get used to the sound, you can switch to the showerhead for convenience.
They Find It Stressful
Bath time can be scary as it is for dogs. If you jerk them around, shout at them, or cause them fear, you are worsening their experience.
Other than that, your Border Collie can mirror your emotions. They are great at picking up cues and following what they see from you.
So if you are getting frustrated, they feel this and will mimic this as well. This is why you should stay calm and try to make them comfortable while bathing them.
How Often Should a Border Collie Be Bathed?
You can bathe your Border Collie every 3 or 4 months, which is about 4 to 5 times per year. This is in line with expert recommendations as overbathing can cause a lot of issues.
But if your Border Collie likes getting muddy often, you bathe them when needed. And if they do not get dirty often, they can go longer than 3 or 4 months without bathing.
As long as you do a thorough brushing of their coat a few times a week, they should be fine. Sticking to a brushing routine will keep their coats clean and will maintain their odor.
Can I Bathe My Border Collie Once a Week?
A weekly bath may be too much for most Border Collies. Frequent baths will dry out their skin, causing irritation and skin problems. When this happens, this can make them smelly dogs, which is what you are trying to avoid.
But this will depend on your Border Collie’s lifestyle too. If they get filthy often, regular baths may benefit them.
Before you make this a part of their weekly routine, you need to choose their shampoo carefully. Choose one that is gentle on their skin to lessen the chances of drying it out. Oatmeal shampoos are great for this, but it is best to ask your vet for recommendations.
How to Wash a Border Collie
Bathing a Border Collie is more than the wash, lather, rinse that humans often follow. Although the process is quite straightforward, there are some extra steps to take. This includes brushing their coat before and after, protecting their eyes, and more.
These extra steps are not only in place to make their bathing session worthwhile. But it can also help in creating bath time more welcoming for your Border Collie.
So below, you will find the step-by-step process of bathing your furry friend.
Step 1: Brush Their Coat
This breed sheds quite a lot, especially during spring or autumn. By brushing them before a bath, you prevent their fur from clogging your bathtub. This will also get rid of tangles or mats that prevent the shampoo from reaching their skin.
Step 2: Prepare Your Tools
Having their bath products at arm’s reach will speed up the bathing session. This is not only for your convenience, your Border Collie may want to get it over with right away too.
So have the following items with you in the bathroom:
- Dog Shampoo
- Towels (at least two)
- Coat Brush
You should also make sure that the water temperature is okay for your Border Collie. It should be lukewarm, not too hot nor too cold. If the water is too warm, it can make them uncomfortable and make their skin dry.
Step 3: Soak Them Up
Run the lukewarm water on your Border Collie’s body, making sure they are dripping wet. Soak them in this order: back, belly, paw, and tail.
If you notice, their chest and head are not included yet. They hate getting their head wet, so it is best to keep this area dry for as long as you can. Cleaning their chest and head will occur later in the bathing process.
Step 4: Lather With Shampoo
Now that they are soaking wet, take the dog shampoo and massage it onto their body. Follow the same order in the previous step. Start with their back, belly, and then their paw and tail.
Take your time massaging the shampoo into their skin. This will loosen any dirt or debris stuck in their fur. If your Border Collie uses a medicated shampoo, this is crucial as the product needs to touch their skin.
Once done, give your Border Collie a good rinse. Make sure you get rid of any traces of their shampoo. Having leftover shampoo on their coat and skin can make them itch.
After that, you can now move on to their chest and head. Give these areas a good rinse. When you soak their head, make sure you cover their eyes and ears with your free hand.
Lather up their chest and head area too. If your Border Collie does not like this, you may have to work faster on shampooing their head.
Remember, shampoo or water in their eyes can make them dislike baths. This can be the cause of their trauma and you will have a harder time bathing them in the future.
Step 5: Dry Their Coat
Take this opportunity to give your Border Collie rewards for being patient. While you are patting them dry, give them some treats to munch on. This will end the bathing process on a positive note, helping them form a good association with it.
Rub the towel on their body, taking out as much water as you can. Towels are not enough to completely dry your Border Collie, so you may need a blow dryer. This can be tough, as this breed is sensitive to sounds and the blow dryer can scare them.
To do this, turn the blow dryer on and put some treats in front of you. Your Border Collie should go to the treats and help themselves to it. While they are munching on their treats, use the blow dryer on them.
In time, they will learn that accepting the blow dryer gets them treats.
Step 6: Another Round of Brushing
Once your Border Collie is dry, do several passes on their coat with a brush. This will get rid of any tangles on their fur that did not dry well. You can use a detangling spray before brushing their coat to make the process easier.
Why Does My Border Collie’s Ears Stink?
Earwax buildup and infections can make your Border Collie’s ears stinky. The treatment they need will even depend on which of the two is the cause. It will also depend on what microorganism is the reason behind the infection.
Although your vet can figure this out for you, you may want to know this before you consult them. As their fur parent, you want to be on top of any issues your Border Collie is facing.
So below is a more detailed view of the common reasons why a Border Collie’s ears stink. This will help you differentiate each of them and what treatment you can expect them to get.
They Have a Buildup of Earwax
The odor from your Border Collie’s ears due to wax buildup is milder compared to ear infections. They may not show any symptoms, so you should check their ears to see what is going on.
Inspect their ear to see if there is an unusual amount of yellow earwax. A normal amount is necessary for their ears to clean themselves. But if you see too much of this, you need to clean their ears with an ear cleaning solution from your vet.
They Have a Bacterial Infection
This type of ear infection often has the most awful symptoms. Other than smelling their stinky ears from a mile away, watch out for these other signs:
- Ear Discharge (Either pus or a reddish fluid)
If you see any of these signs, do not touch or clean your Border Collie’s ears. You should take them to the vet as soon as you can before doing anything about it.
Your vet can confirm if this is a bacterial infection by performing cytology. If it is, your Border Collie needs antibiotics, whether as eardrops or oral ones. In severe cases, your Border Collie may need oral steroids to ease their pain and swelling.
They Have a Yeast Infection
Yeast infections can happen on their paws, skin, and even their ears. You can differentiate a yeast infection from a bacterial infection on the smell. The former produces a musty or sweet smell and some would say it resembles the smell of corn.
Do not clean their ears 24 hours before your vet appointment. Your vet also needs to do cytology to confirm this and clean ears can make the diagnosis hard.
Your Border Collie needs antifungal medication to treat a yeast infection. This can be in the form of eardrops or oral medication, depending on the severity of the infection.
They Have Both Bacterial and Yeast Infections
Having both microorganisms cause ear infections is quite common. The symptoms your Border Collie exhibits will mimic the ones stated above. In severe mixed ear infections, they will show the following:
- Difficulties in Balancing
- Trouble With Coordination
- Turning in Circles
If your Border Collie has these symptoms, take them to the vet right away.
How Often Should You Clean Border Collie Ears?
A healthy Border Collie’s ears should only need cleaning once about every 1 to 2 months. But even if their ears do not get dirty often, you should inspect their ears every week to check for any earwax buildup.
If your Border Collie’s ears get dirty every week or so, this can be a sign that they have ear issues. In this case, more frequent ear cleaning may be necessary.
But before you create an ear cleaning routine, you should consult your vet first. This is so that you know what kind of medication they need and what to watch out for. Your vet may also have you go back after a few weeks to see if there is any progress.
How Do I Clean the Inside of My Border Collie’s Ears?
To clean their inner ear, you need to dispense some ear cleaning solution into their ear canal. So do not use a q-tip for their ears, this is not necessary and you may end up hurting them.
Cleaning your Border Collie’s ears is more than only soaking their ear canal. Here is a safe way to do this using their ear cleaning solution and some clean cotton balls.
- Step 1: Wipe their outer ear using a clean cotton ball to remove debris that you can see.
- Step 2: Gently restrain your Border Collie. Place them between your legs with their rear end facing towards you. You can also have someone else hold your Border Collie.
- Step 3: Position the ear cleaning solution bottle near the opening of their ear. You can also soak a cotton ball and squeeze it to put some solution into their ear.
- Step 4: Place a few drops of the solution into their ear. You can stop when you see the liquid reaching the opening of their ear canal.
- Step 5: Massage the base of their ear while their ear flaps are up. By doing this, you are loosening the debris in their ear canal.
- Step 6: Let your Border Collie shake their head to further loosen any debris in their ears. After that, wipe their ears with fresh cotton balls. Keep wiping until their ears are free of debris.
- Step 7: Do the same process for their other ear.
Is It Common for Border Collies to Have Bad Breath?
Border Collies are not one of the dog breeds known for having bad breath. But this breed is prone to having dental problems which can make their breath smell foul. This is due to their increased risk of having an overbite due to their face shape.
Bad breath in dogs is often due to a lack of hygiene. Without proper teeth care, plaque and tartar buildup can make their gums swollen. This can lead to gingivitis and if left untreated, can evolve into periodontitis.
Their bad breath can also be due to their diet if they eat smelly food. Sometimes, the cause has nothing to do with their mouths. If they have a leaky anal gland and lick their sanitary area, the foul odor can transfer to their mouth.
All these issues that cause bad breath are avoidable. Regular brushing, at least thrice a week, will do wonders for their oral care.
Why Does My Border Collie Have Smelly Breath?
The most common reason for bad breath in Border Collies, or other dog breeds, is dental disease. This is why oral hygiene is crucial in dogs, it can help to prevent most causes of bad breath. But some possible causes can be out of your hand, no matter how well and frequent you brush their teeth. There are many reasons why your Border Collie’s breath can smell bad:
- Dental Disease
- Eating Something Smelly or Rotten
- Foreign Objects
- Leaky Anal Gland
- Dietary Deficiencies
- Oral Tumors
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Respiratory Tract Issues
If you neglect their oral hygiene, plaque and tartar can build up on the surface of their teeth. This can smell bad, but this should go away when you brush their teeth.
Plaque and tartar buildup can reach your Border Collie’s gums. Once it does, this can lead to gingivitis. Their gums will become inflamed, infected, and angry.
Gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease. This occurs when the bacteria spread to their teeth sockets. With this, the foul odor from your Border Collie’s mouth will be more intense.
Periodontal disease can even lead to tooth-root abscesses and osteomyelitis. It can also increase the risk of heart disease and kidney failure in your furry friend.
Eating Something Smelly or Rotten
The smell of foul food can linger in your Border Collie’s mouth for quite a time. Bad breath can also be due to nasty canine habits. They may eat garbage, rotten food, poop, and more.
Foreign Objects Stuck in Their Mouth
Border Collies are mouthy, they love to chew on anything and everything. But this increases the risk of getting foreign objects stuck in their mouth. And this can lead to bad breath if it stays there for a long time.
Whenever you brush their teeth, always do a thorough inspection of their mouth. Check between their teeth and gums for any wedged items like splinters, strings, and more.
Leaky Anal Gland
What does your Border Collie’s anal gland have something to do with their mouth? They are on the opposite ends, after all. The answer may be grim, but it can explain their bad breath especially if it smells fishy.
When they have problems with their anal glands, they will lick their sanitary areas more. Licking is a self-soothing tactic for the discomfort they feel in that area. So if they lick their butts, the smell will transfer to their mouth.
Your Border Collie’s diet affects them more than you may think. What they eat can disrupt the balance of the bacteria in their mouth or GI system. The growth of one type of bacteria over the other can cause their breath to smell foul.
With this, you should talk to a vet to figure out if this is the issue. Border Collies who have a raw diet are more susceptible to this.
Masses in their mouth, whether cancerous or benign, can cause bad breath. This happens when tumors become infected and the tissues in their mouth start to die. If this happens, their bad breath will keep coming back no matter how you take care of their teeth and gums.
Untreated diabetes in your furry friend can host a lot of issues. One of them is bad breath that smells quite sweet.
This is due to their body breaking down fat and forming ketones. Ketones are what you smell whenever your Border Collie gives you a wet, sloppy kiss.
Liver issues have many symptoms like jaundice, a decrease in appetite, and weight loss. But it can also make your Border Collie’s breath smell foul.
This happens because their liver cannot filter their body’s toxins properly. Over time, these toxins build up and affect how their breath smells like.
How this affects your Border Collie’s breath is the same way liver disease does. Kidneys filter toxins as well and when this has issues, there will be a buildup of a toxin called urea. With this, your Border Collie’s breath will smell like urine.
Nasal infections or tumors and sinusitis can lead to bad breath. These produce pus, which smells quite pungent. This foul odor will often come from the back of their throat.
How Can I Help My Border Collie With the Bad Breath?
The help that your Border Collie needs will depend on the reason behind their bad breath. For some causes, teeth cleaning will do. But for others, brushing their teeth will not solve the problem.
You will always hear the phrase “prevention is better than cure”. This is true for your Border Collie’s oral health. Here are simple ways to keep their breath smelling fresh:
- Regular Toothbrushing: Brush your Border Collie’s teeth at least thrice a week. Daily brushing is better to prevent plaque or tartar from forming.
- Dental Products: Dental chew toys can help maintain oral health. These act like a toothbrush, scraping away plaque or bacteria on the surface of their teeth. Dental water additives are also great to keep their breaths smelling better.
- Dental Treats: There are dental kibbles on the market that you can use too. These act the same as dental chews, cleaning the surface of their teeth.
If your Border Collie ate smelly or rotten food, or if they have foreign objects in their mouth, you can use these.
But if their breath is due to diabetes, liver or kidney disease, leaky anal glands, and more, this will not do much. You should tackle the issue itself, and not their bad breath, which is only a symptom.
To do this, you should seek your vet’s health. You should do the same if your Border Collie suffers from dental disease. A veterinary dentist should help you with this.
Should I Brush My Border Collie’s Teeth?
Brushing your Border Collie’s teeth is a crucial part of taking care of them. As you may know, the most common reason for canine halitosis is dental disease. You can avoid developing this issue with a strict oral-hygiene routine.
Without one, plaque and tartar can build up on their teeth. This hosts a lot of problems and can lead to severe consequences.
During brushing sessions, you can also inspect the condition of their oral health. You can find objects stuck between their teeth or spot anything unusual. This will help you take action immediately before any issue becomes too serious.
Dental issues can affect your Border Collie’s quality of life. In severe cases, it can even shorten your poor furry friend’s life. So it is your responsibility as their fur parent to maintain their oral hygiene.
How Often Should Border Collies Get Their Teeth Cleaned?
You should brush your Border Collie’s teeth as often as you can, daily, if possible. The more you do this will prevent plaque and tartar to form on their teeth. If this is not possible, brush their teeth at least thrice a week to maintain their oral health.
How Do I Clean My Border Collie’s Teeth?
To maintain your Border Collie’s pearly whites, you should brush their teeth. You can combine this with other dental products, like dog dental chews. This is especially important if you only brush their teeth every other day.
Brushing your Border Collie’s teeth is a daunting task. They do not like it as it does not feel natural to them. So before you make this a part of their daily routine, have them get used to their teeth and gums getting touched.
Do this whenever your Border Collie feels sleepy or tired. Touch their mouth, expose their teeth and gums, and feel these with your fingers. Shower them with praise and treats whenever they behave.
This can take you a few days before they are okay with the idea of you exploring their mouth with your fingers. Even if they do not react, you should still be careful. They may nip or bite out of nowhere.
Now, you can introduce the toothpaste to them. Put some on your finger and have them lick it off.
Once they get used to it, try rubbing your finger with the toothpaste on their teeth and gums. Do this for a few days until they get the hang of it.
Then you can move to use the toothbrush and toothpaste together. Again, brush their teeth whenever they feel calm and relaxed.
Expose their teeth with your one hand and brush their teeth in circular motions with your other hand. Whenever they feel stressed, stop brushing their teeth right away. This is to prevent them from having negative associations with the activity.
How Long Are Border Collie Nails Supposed to Be?
You should be able to see your Border Collie’s nails, but they should not be long enough that it extends past their paw. If you hear clicking sounds when they walk, this is a sign that their nails have reached the bottom of their paws. And this means that their nails are too long.
How Often Do Border Collies Need Nails Clipped?
Most Border Collies will do fine with monthly nail trims. But for others, their nails may need trims every 2 weeks or so. But since long nails can be very painful for them, make sure to check their nail length every week.
Can You Cut Border Collie Nails?
Nail trims should be a part of your Border Collie’s grooming routine. This hyperactive dog likes to be on their feet all the time, doing something that interests them. With this, their nails should always be at a comfortable length to maintain their quality of life.
If you neglect their nail care, their gait will change. Every step they take will only bring them pain. And they may not act like the same bubbly Border Collie you know and love.
This is a bigger issue if your Border Collie is a working dog. Paw discomfort can affect their performance, which is not something you would want.
How to Cut a Border Collie’s Nails
When trimming your Border Collie’s nails, you first need to look for the quick. And with the appropriate-sized nail trimmer, cut the nail below this. Cutting your Border Collie’s nails, though, is not as easy as it seems, as you have a lot to consider.
So here is how you can choose the right tools, locate the quick, and cut their nails properly.
Picking the Right Equipment
You have two main options for their nail clippers. One is a guillotine type and the other is a scissor type.
While both are great for nail trims, the guillotine type has its limits. It cannot cut your Border Collie’s nails if they are overgrown. But the scissor-variant nail trimmer can do this with ease.
As long as you always keep your Border Collie’s nails short, you can go for the guillotine type.
But your main consideration here is what feels better in your hands. You should go for one that gives you the best control.
Apart from the trimmer type, you should also choose the right size trimmers. The appropriate size gives you the best control and quick visibility. One that is too big or too small for their nails will give you a hard time.
Locating the Quick
The quick is where you can find the nerves and blood vessels in your Border Collie’s nails. You should avoid this at all costs as cutting through it will result in bleeding. Not only that, this can be very painful for your furry friend.
If your Border Collie has light-colored nails, you will have an easier time finding this. This will show up as a pinkish part of the nail that stops about half the length of their nail.
If your Border Collie has dark-colored nails, you will have a harder time looking for the quick. You can use a flashlight and shine it through their nail. The quick will show up as a shadow against the light.
Cutting Their Nails
Pick up your Border Collie’s paws and hold them firmly. Isolate one of their nails by pressing one of their thumbs to extend the nails. If they have furry feet, push the fur away or give it a trim before cutting their nails.
Experts recommend that you should cut your Border Collie’s nails at a 45-degree angle. This will help you avoid the quick much better than cutting straight across.
Look for the quick and then cut the nail below it. Even if you have good visibility of the quick, you should cut off small pieces at a time. With each cut, check the middle of their nails so you know whether to keep going or not.
Once you see that there is a pink- or light-colored mass in the middle of their nail, stop cutting. This means you are already close to the quick.
Do the same steps for the rest of their nails and remember to shower them with rewards afterward! This will show your Border Collie that nail trims can be a fun experience.
What Should I Do if I Cut My Border Collie’s Quick?
If you cut through your Border Collie’s quick, stay calm and prepare your styptic powder. Do not panic, as your Border Collie will sense this and they will start to worry as well. This will stress them out and this can affect future nail-trimming sessions.
Now take your Border Collie’s affected nail and dip it in styptic powder. This powder will contract the blood vessels in the quick to stop the bleeding. If you do not have styptic powder with you, you can use either flour or cornstarch instead. The bleeding should stop after a while. But if it does not, you should take your Border Collie to the vet right away.
Cutting through your furry friend’s quick may leave you feeling guilty. But this happens to dog owners at least once in their life, so you should be too hard on yourself.
The important thing here is to stop the bleeding and end this session on a positive note. Shower them with lots of praise and cuddles as a sorry or a thank you for staying calm. Give them a lot of treats, too, as a bonus.
Should You Trim a Border Collie?
Trimming your Border Collie’s coat to give them a haircut is not necessary. But there are some areas where their hair gets too long. So you can spot trim your Border Collie’s paws, behind their legs, tail, and their ears. Keeping the hairs on these body parts at a certain length has benefits. The main ones are for their comfort and sanitary reasons.
For example, their paws collect a lot of dirt if they get too furry. Ice can also form between their paw pads, especially when the fur gets too long. And the hair on their ears can also prove to be an issue in keeping their ears clean.
Sometimes, trimming them may be necessary when they have very thick mats. Your Border Collie may not sit through mat removal sessions with a mat splitter. In this scenario, it is better to have the mats trimmed instead.
You can do this at home, but if you have the budget, going to a professional groomer is best. Especially if your Border Collie is skittish and nippy whenever you try to groom them.
How Do You Trim a Border Collie?
When trimming your Border Collie, you should only cut hairs that stand out or their excess hair. So before you trim them, inspect their coat first. Figure out which body parts have hairs that grow long and fast as these tend to get dirty most.
Prepare Your Tools
You should also have your tools ready with you. Blunt-nosed scissors work well for trims, but you can have an electric trimmer with you too. The latter is great for taking out heavy mats that a mat splitter cannot.
Brush Their Coat
Before you trim their hair, make sure to give them a thorough brushing session. Take off any fallen hair and loosen any tangles they may have. Use this as an opportunity to look for any mats, too, and get rid of them before trims.
During summer, they will heavily shed. So use a shedding blade before you comb their coat with a slicker brush. Do several passes from their head to tail until you no longer see any hair coming off.
Have your mat splitter ready and use this to remove mats on your Border Collie. You will often see one in areas where their hair grows long, like behind their ears and their tail. If the matting is too thick, you can use the electric trimmer instead.
Trim Excess Hairs
Now you can trim the hair off of certain areas where their hairs grow long. You can start with their ears, working your way down to their tail, legs, and then feet. Border Collies are notorious for not liking their feet getting touched, so you may want to do this last.
You may want to switch between your scissors and electric trimmer from time to time. Use the scissors to cut longer hairs and then the electric trimer to even things out.
Remember, your goal is to tidy them up. So only cut the hairs that stand out most. Be careful not to cut their hair too short, as you may damage their thick undercoats.
If a major haircut is necessary, it is best to take your furry friend to the groomer instead.
How Do You Trim Border Collie Hair?
To trim your Border Collie’s hair, use blunt-nosed scissors or an electric shaver. You can alternate between the two, depending on what feels more comfortable for you. But whichever you choose, remember not to take off too much hair.
Your focus when giving your Border Collie a trim is to make them look tidier. Remember that haircuts are not a need for this breed, so do not go overboard with your scissors. Take off a short length of hair with each cut, focusing on stray or excess hairs.
How to Trim Border Collie Ears
Before you trim your Border Collie’s ears, make sure you brush their hair first. Use a detangling spray and comb through their ear hair. Take note of any mats on their ears for later.
Now take your blunt-nosed scissors and get their ears into position. Begin by pinning their ear to their head to expose any stray hairs. Keep adjusting the position of their ears depending on where you want to make your cut.
Trim the stray hairs around their ears to your desired length. Once their outer ear is tidy, you can also trim the hairs poking out of their inner ear.
Remember to always support your Border Collie’s ear with your free hand. This will give you the best control whenever you cut. Trim the long hairs poking out of their ears as short as you can, avoiding their actual ear.
How to Trim Border Collie Feet
Trim the excess fur on their paws with blunt-nosed scissors or with an electric trimmer. This may seem straightforward, but many Border Collies do not like it when you touch their feet. And this is what will make their grooming session tricky.
So before you trim their feet, make sure that they are calm, tired, or sleepy.
Electric trimmers will do a faster job at cutting the fur on their paws. But if they are not used to the sound of an electric trimmer, use scissors instead. This will take more time, but you can achieve the same results as well.
Now, grab their paw and hold on to it firmly. Use the scissors or trimmer to cut around their feet. So trim the fur on top of their paws and between their paw pads. The shorter the length, the better.
Make sure to keep giving them treats and verbal praise throughout the process. This will make them feel more comfortable in having their paws handled.
Do the same for all their other paws and then you can tidy up their back legs. The hair on this area also grows fast and quite long, so you may want to remove excess hair on this area too.
So comb through the hair on their back legs and use a detangling spray if you need it. If your Border Collie knows the “give me your paw” command, this will make the process easier.
Have their legs up and hold their paw. Cut the hairs on their legs from the top to bottom. And make sure the end of the scissors faces their paw with each cut first.
Then you can have another go, cutting their hair from their paws towards their armpits. This will ensure that you did not miss any spot on your first pass. You can cut their leg hair as short as you can to match the hair on the front of their legs.
Should I Brush My Border Collie?
Brushing your Border Collie’s coat is one of the most crucial parts of their grooming routine. It is even better if you can brush their coat daily, like brushing their teeth. The more you do this, the cleaner they will be and this will also help to maintain their smell.
Not only that, but regular brushing will also make their coat smooth and shiny. This is because combing through their coat distributes the oils on their body.
And as you know, brushing will also remove tangles. By doing this frequently, you can prevent matting from occurring. If you have a long-haired Border Collie, this is even more important.
During shedding season, your Border Collie’s shedding will go out of control. Daily brushing will help in keeping your furniture and beddings hair-free. This is because you are collecting the loose hair on the brush instead of letting it fall off around the house.
With this, brushing your Border Collie has many advantages. Not only for their comfort and looks. But it can also help the cleanliness of your home, cutting down cleaning time.
How Often Should You Brush a Border Collie?
You should brush your Border Collie’s coat at least three times a week. With regular brushing, you prevent tangles or mats from forming. But this will also be a big help in keeping them clean.
An outdoorsy breed like Border Collies is not afraid to get dirty. They will run into bushes, roll on the ground, and more. So you cannot avoid it, but they will have dirt and debris in their fur.
This is not a good combination with their thick undercoat. If you leave this nasty stuff in their fur, this can make them smell unpleasant. And of course, they will not look their best too.
You cannot bathe them each time they end their outdoor sessions, though. This will dry out their skin and cause a lot of problems down the road.
But regular brushing can keep their coats clean without the risks of baths. This will dislodge any dirt or debris stuck in your Border Collie’s coat. All while distributing their natural oils to keep their coat shiny.
How Do You Brush a Border Collie?
Brushing your Border Collie stars with a coat inspection to see what you are dealing with. Run your hands through their coat, checking for any tangles or mats. Focus on areas where their hair tends to get long, like their tail, ears, and behind their legs.
Have your tools ready, within arm’s reach. This will help you switch tools fast, to speed up the process. Prepare the following:
- Slicker Brush or Undercoat Rake
- Pin and Bristle Brush
- Detangling Spray
- Mat Splitter
Now that you have these, here is how you can give your Border Collie a thorough brushing.
Step 1: Spritz Some Detangling Spray
A detangling spray works like a leave-in conditioner. This will soften your Border Collie’s coat so that you can loosen tangles and mats much easier. By using one, you can avoid causing them discomfort as you undo any knots.
Step 2: Work on Mats First
It can be painful for your Border Collie if you brush them while they have mats. Matting creates tension on their skin and when you pull them too hard, you can hurt your furry friend.
So sort them out first with your mat splitter. It will help if you spray some extra detangling spray on each mat. For stubborn or very thick mats, you can use an electric trimmer to get rid of them.
Step 3: Brush Their Undercoat
Use a slicker coat to get rid of loose hair from their undercoat. This brush has closely-spaced teeth which are great for this purpose. You can also use an undercoat rake as an alternative.
Take your time brushing them from top to bottom in swift, short strokes. But focus more on problem areas that are prone to forming mats, like their tail.
Step 4: Brush Their Topcoat
A pin and bristle brush are great to use for their topcoat. Start with the pin side to take off dead hairs on their topcoat until nothing comes off. After this, you will see that their coat is shinier and smoother.
But for added shine, use the bristle side and do several passes on their coat. This will complete the look and now your Border Collie looks fresh!
What Is the Best Brush for a Border Collie?
No one brush works best for your Border Collie. You need at least two kinds of brushes for this double-coated breed.
For their undercoat, use a slicker brush or an undercoat rake. For their topcoat, a pin and bristle brush will help in maintaining their smooth coats.
Different brushes serve different purposes. So a single brush may not do much to groom your Border Collie’s coat.
A slicker brush or an undercoat rake is wonderful for loose undercoat hairs. These pull the dead hair from the undercoat to the surface. You may also use these to separate tangles or mats.
Matting often occurs in your Border Collie’s undercoat. But if you have quality undercoat tools, you will lessen mats from occurring. Of course, you should also put in the work and brush their undercoat regularly.
Pin and bristle brushes are for your Border Collie’s smooth topcoat. The pin side will take off loose hair in the top coat. While the bristle side is a finishing brush, making their coats shinier.
How to Hand Strip a Border Collie?
Hand stripping is not required for Border Collies, as they do not have the coat for it. Only certain breeds need hand stripping and they have a very specific coat:
- Soft and dense undercoat with thin hair fibers
- Long topcoat with thick and wiry hair fibers
As you can see, Border Collies do not meet the criteria. While this breed has a double coat, their hairs are smooth and straight.
So there is a different de-shedding process that you have to follow for your furry friend. The good news is that it is simpler and faster than hand stripping.
You can de-shed your Border Collie by using an undercoat rake or a slicker brush, it is that simple. Do a thorough brushing of their body, from top to bottom. And spend more time in areas where their hairs are prone to tangling, like behind their ears.
Border Collies are low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. So if you have great-quality brushes and a regular grooming routine, that is more than enough.
Should You Cut a Border Collie’s Hair?
Haircuts are not needed for this breed’s low-maintenance coat. Do not make the mistake of cutting their coat too short. This will ruin their defense from the harsher weather during summer or winter.
Cutting your Border Collie’s coat too short will ruin how their hair grows back. Oftentimes, it comes back uneven. Sometimes, some spots may never grow back at all. Given that their coat is their insulation from the hot or the cold, this is bad news.
A patchy coat will not give them enough warmth during wintertime. And if they live outside, they may not be able to withstand the unforgiving weather. Your Border Collie will have an increased risk for hypothermia and even frostbite.
You may think that this will benefit them during the summer. But remember, dogs can also get sun damage.
Their coat protects them from the harsh rays of the sun. If their coat is uneven, the patchy areas will be more exposed to the sun. Your Border Collie may get sunburns more often as a result.
Border Collies love to have fun outdoors. Their coat is their main protection from the weather, pollens, dirt, and more. So a damaged coat can affect their quality of life and well-being.
While a haircut is a no-no, you can cut excess hair on certain areas of their body. This will make them look tidier and will help them stay cleaner.
Their tail, for example, often has quite long hair. With this, your Border Collie’s tail will get dirty often. But by keeping their tail hair short, you can keep this more sanitary.
Other areas you can trim from time to time are their ears, behind their legs, and paws.
How to Cut a Border Collie’s Hair
A safe way to cut your Border Collie’s hair is to use a blunt-nosed scissor. Use this to cut the excess fur from their tail, behind their legs, their ears, and their paws. You can also use an electric trimmer, which is faster, but some Border Collies may get scared of it.
When you cut their hair, make sure you only do so to tidy them up. This means cutting only hairs that stand out and not changing too much of how they look.
But with their paws, you should cut their hair as short as you can. This will make their paws less dirty whenever they go outside.
It can also give them a better grip on smooth surfaces. With furry paws, you may notice that they slide around when running indoors. But if you keep their paw fur short, you will lessen this issue and make them more comfortable walking.
Is It Okay to Shave a Border Collie?
You should never shave your Border Collie’s coat unless there is a medical need for it. Shaving can damage their coat as it will grow back irregularly. So when their hair grows back, you will see unevenness and patches.
Their coat is their insulation and their protection from the environment. This breed takes pride in its physical abilities, and sometimes, they can be reckless. Without their thick coat, they are prone to getting wounds, scratches, and more. They will also find it hard to regulate their body temperature, which is not great for summers or winters.
Your Border Collie will also have an increased risk of getting sunburns. If they spend a lot of time outdoors under the sun, shaving is a bad idea. Without their hair protecting their skin, the sun can damage their skin easily.
How Long Does It Take for Border Collie Hair to Grow?
Your Border Collie’s undercoat and topcoat hairs grow at different rates. Undercoats undergo constant growth, shedding, and growing with the season. But topcoats only grow every 2 to 4 years, which will take a long wait.
This is why cutting your Border Collie’s coat too short or shaving them is highly discouraged. Your furry friend will have a patchy coat for a few years before it goes back to normal.
Instead of shaving them, make sure that you brush their hair often. By taking out dead hairs from their coat, you are increasing the airflow to their skin. This is more than enough to keep your furry friend cool during the summertime.
How to Care for Border Collie Puppies
Plenty of stimulation, exercise, a healthy diet, and more are part of caring for your puppy. But many often neglect their grooming needs. This could be because they are low-maintenance in this regard.
Caring for your Border Collie puppy involves a lot of understanding and getting to know them. Not only as a breed but also as individuals. This will help you figure out how you can best provide for their needs and how to work around their quirks.
For example, Border Collies are very sensitive to sounds and loud noises scare them. And as a dog owner, you may know by now that fear can bring out aggression.
A lot of Border Collies also hate it when you touch their paws because it makes them feel vulnerable. But as individuals, each has their tolerance for contact or restraint.
All these examples can prove to be an inconvenience in grooming them. But the key is to get them used to their grooming routine while they are puppies. So as they grow older and stronger, they will stay still as you do the following:
- Brush Their Coat
- Bathe Them
- Brush Their Teeth
- Trim Their Nails
- Clean Their Ears
These are the basics of grooming your Border Collie, both as adults and as puppies. There are others that you can do too, like cleaning their paws, trimming excess hair, and wiping their eyes.
How Do You Clean Border Collie Puppies’ Ears?
There are two major steps in cleaning your Border Collie puppy’s ears. One is cleaning their outer ears by wiping away dirt and debris. The other is placing ear cleaning solution in their ear canal to loosen earwax.
But for both, you first need to inspect their ears if it actually needs cleaning. If you see your puppy shaking their head or scratching it more than usual, this is a sign.
So put them in a comfortable position to start. Check their outer ear by holding their earflap.
Then examine their inner ear. Fold their earflap backward, pressing it against their skull. You should get a good view of their inner ear this way.
If you see any dirt or earwax buildup, then it is time for a clean. Below are instructions on how you can safely clean both their outer and inner ears.
Cleaning Your Puppy’s Outer Ears
For their earflaps, you can use either a cotton ball or a clean cloth for wiping. Dampen these with water or with their ear cleaning solution.
Once you have that ready, firmly hold their earflap with one hand and wipe their ears with your other hand. You should only clean as far as you can see. So do not go into their ear canal as you may harm your puppy.
Do several wipes on their outer ears until the cotton ball or cloth comes back clean.
Cleaning Your Puppy’s Inner Ears
Do not make the mistake of using a q-tip to clean their inner ears. All you need is an ear cleaning solution from your vet and a cotton ball for this.
Start by getting your pup into position. If you are cleaning their ears alone, you can put them between your legs as you kneel on the ground. But if you have someone to help, have them hold your puppy.
Next, hold their earflap with one hand to expose their ear canal. With your free hand, place some drops of the ear cleaning solution into their ears. Do this until you see the solution reaching the opening of their ear canal.
Your puppy will not like this as the sensation of having liquid in their ears feels weird to them. This is why you need to gently restrain them throughout this process.
After this, massage the base of their ears for a moment. This will loosen up the earwax and dirt in their ear canal. Then you can let go of your Border Collie puppy.
Allow them to shake their head to further break down debris in their ears. Put them into position again and wipe their outer ears with a clean cotton ball or a clean cloth.
Do the same steps for their other ear and they are good to go!
How Do You Bathe a Border Collie Puppy?
Bathing your Border Collie puppy starts with a proper introduction. You need to do this for their first few baths for them to form a positive association with this. A lot of things in the bathroom can scare your puppy, especially the sounds.
They may not like getting wet, feeling restrained in the bathtub, or the sound of running water. And since they have thick coats, you will need to use a blow dryer on them. The loud sound can send them into panic mode.
So have them inspect all your tools first and take your time. You should also bribe them with treats and give them constant praise. This will encourage your puppy to tolerate bath time, as it gets them rewards.
If you do not know where to start, here is how you can bathe your Border Collie puppy.
Brush Their Coat
You should always start with a thorough brushing session first. This way, you loosen tangles or mats that they may have. This will also help in lessening the amount of fur getting into your bathtub.
Fill the Bathtub With Lukewarm Water
Do not turn on the tap when you first introduce your puppy to baths. This may scare them away and they may form negative emotions during the process. So have your bathtub ready with lukewarm water. Make sure it is not too deep to start with.
Place them inside the tub for a few minutes to start and give them lots of rewards when they stay still. You can play with them in the tub using a toy or give them treats to keep them occupied.
Run the Water
Once they have calmed down, turn on the tap and give them constant reassurance. Do not get them wet first, have them get used to the sound. Give them plenty of treats during this process to maintain a positive atmosphere.
You may need to do this a few times, around 4 to 5 sessions before you start bathing them. But this will all be worth it because, in time, your puppy will be calmer during baths.
Soak Their Coat
Now that you gave them a proper introduction, you can bathe your puppy. Still, you should follow the steps above so that there are no sudden changes to their routine.
Start by soaking their paws and legs. If they stay calm, move on to soaking their back, belly, and tail. Then do their chest and head last.
Lifting them out of the bath from time to time is good practice. This lets your puppy know that only you decide when they can leave, not them. This lessens their escape attempts in time.
Lather Their Coat With Shampoo
Massage a gentle dog shampoo into their body and take your time with this. This is could be your puppy’s favorite part, as it feels nice for them.
Start shampooing their back, belly, paws, and tail. Then you should also do their chest and head last.
Make sure to protect your Border Collie’s eyes throughout this process. Shampoo getting into their eyes can sting and this can be a traumatic experience for them.
Rinse and Dry
After that, give your puppy a thorough rinse. Make sure you get all the suds out as any leftover can make their skin itchy.
When this happens, your puppy will scratch itself more than usual. This can lead to skin irritation and they may even hurt themselves from all the scratching.
Dry them up with a towel to get most of the water out. But this will not be enough to completely dry them, so you need to use a blow dryer.
Begin by letting them inspect the dryer and turn it on to the lowest setting. Again, give them a lot of reassurance and treats as they get used to the sound. Once they have calmed down, you can now give them a proper dry.
How Often Should You Wash a Border Collie Puppy?
You can bathe your puppy monthly if they love to get dirty all the time. But it is still best to bathe them every 3 months or so to avoid drying their skin out. Especially if your pup is prone to dry skin.
So if you opt for more frequent baths, make sure to use the gentlest shampoo you can find to avoid this issue. You should also invest in a hydrating dog conditioner to bring moisture back to their skin.