Collie - Breed and Grooming Tips

Although a large, active dog, the Collie is both elegant and graceful, appearing to float over the ground as it runs. Loyal and affectionate, the breed is naturally responsive to humans. Marked characteristics include the beautiful coat of the rough variety and the breed’s lean wedge-shaped head. The coat can be rough or smooth and the four accepted colors are sable and white, tri-color, blue merle and white. The best-known Collie is, of course, the famous Lassie.


A Look Back

The exact origin of the Collie is uncertain, but they have existed for centuries as herding dogs of Scotland and England. They were used primarily as a drover dog, guiding cows and sheep to market. The true popularity of the breed came about during the 1860’s when Queen Victoria visited the Scottish Highlands and fell in love with the breed - from that point on Collies became very fashionable.


Right Breed for You?

The Collie is a devoted family dog, especially with children. Although they require daily walks, they can also be couch potatoes. Despite the Rough Collie’s immense coat, they only need to be brushed about once a week, although the need for brushing may increase in shedding season. Collies are also a very clean breed and are noted for not having a doggie odor.


Source:  American Kennel Club - www.akc.org


Grooming

General: The 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 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. 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..


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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