Border Collie - Breed and Grooming Tips

The workaholic of the dog world, the Border Collie is the world’s premier sheep herder, prized for its intelligence, extraordinary instinct and working ability. Medium-sized and athletic, the breed controls stock with stalking movement and an intense gaze known as "eye." The Border Collie coat can be rough or smooth and includes any color in bi-color, tri-color, merle, sable, or solid patterns.


A Look Back

In the border country between Scotland and England, Border Collies (first classified as the "Scotch Sheep Dog") were invaluable to shepherds by allowing them to maintain large flocks of sheep. The breed as we know it today has been around for more than 100 years. In the second half of the 19th century, Queen Victoria spotted a Border Collie and became an active enthusiast. At this point, the divergence between our modern Collie and the Border Collie began.


Right Breed for You?

This high-drive breed is extremely energetic and requires exercise beyond just a walk around the block or a romp in the yard. They thrive when they have a job to do and space to run. Due to their tendency to herd objects and people, they do best with mature, well-behaved children. They love their families, but may be somewhat reserved with strangers. They are seasonal shedders, and require regular brushing.


Source:  American Kennel Club - www.akc.org


Grooming

General: The Border Collie is a herding dog. Herding dogs have a high energy level and are very intelligent so they need a job so they do not get bored. The Border Collie has a double coat with the guard coat longer than the undercoat and needs to be groomed every 4 – 8 weeks, with more frequent grooming during the shedding seasons of spring and fall when they change coats. As long as the undercoat is removed the outer guard coat will provide shade for your dog.


Eyes: Optisoothe Eye Wash is a must. Flush the eyes of any foreign matter and keep the eye moist.


Ears: use Ear Care to clean the ears and help dry out any moisture deep within the ear, this will help with the odor and prevent infection. Only clean as far as you can see.


Paws: Because they herd out in the field, they need Paw Balm to keep their pads soft and pliable to keep them from drying and cracking.


Bathing: The first bath is for general cleaning to take off the dirt and grime. Follow up with the second bath and target the need of the dog. If your dog has allergies or skin irritations use Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo followed by a medicated shampoo. Border Collie’s with normal skin and coat can be bathed with any of our wonderful scent renewal products for long lasting fragrance. Be sure to end the bath with conditioner. This will help keep the coat hydrated to protect against harsh weather conditions. Simple Shed Shampoo and Simple Shed Treatment during the spring and fall shedding season will help release undercoat so the seasonal coat can come in properly.


Coat Care:  Because of the double coat of the breed, brushing is essential. Simple Shed and Static Spray as you brush during shedding season, or Aloe Hydrating Spray in between shedding cycles is recommended to help protect the coat.


Show Dog Tips: High Sheen Finishing Spray will add that extra bit of shine before entering the ring while not leaving an oily residue. Aloe Hydrating Spray between shows will keep away dander and keep the coat hydrated and looking its best. Quick Finish Styling Spray helps the coat to dry faster and helps prevent tangles if used regularly. Freeze! Styling Gel while fluffing the coat will add volume where needed in the ring without leaving a sticky residue.


Common Problems: Double coated breeds are prone to hot spots due to their thick dense coats. Shave the area around the hot spot and apply Hot Spot Foam to dry the area out and keep them from licking the wound. Due to the energy level of the Border Collie they have accidental injuries and you should keep 3 in 1 Healing Cream on hand.


Tools: An Undercoat Rake during shedding season pulls out undercoat while leaving the guard coat. Between shedding cycles brush and comb daily to weekly to keep the coat on good condition.

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