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Need tips on how to groom a Rough Collie by myself :)

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

  
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Natasha - 美花- ~Beautiful- Flower~

Let's play tag!- You're it!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 20, '12 11:33pm PST 
This is my first long haired dog and she is in desperate need of a proper grooming. I want to do it myself because the groomers around here just resort to shaving down long haired dogs and I don't want her to be shaved.

It rains a lot here and her tail just drags through the mud and grass so it and her belly fur is really nasty, how do I trim her tail so it doesn't pick up dirt as she walks? Also her front neck fur easily picks up dirt as well and I'd like to trim that way back.

My mom suggested using human hair conditioner on her after using the dog shampoo so that her hair will be easier to comb. Is this a good or bad idea? Is it ok to use human hair shampoo/conditioner on dogs?

Are there any websites I can go to see instructions with photos on how to groom Collies?

Any tips and suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks! wave
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 21, '12 1:40am PST 
First off congratulations. She looks like she's really pretty.

Now first off you'll need to pick up a few brushing tools. I would pick up a long toothed Rake. This is a nice one with rotating pins which will catch in the hair a bit less than some others. The second think you will need is a slicker brush or a pin brush depending on what you are more comfortable. I Personally feel that you can do almost all of your grooming with a pin brush and you can but it's a different feel to the brushing.

Next you need to decide if she has mats or if her undercoat is just dirty/and clumpy. If she's matted with a collie I use one of two things. Either a mat splitter or a stripping brush which traditionally is used to get the undercoat out of a wire haired dog's coat but I've found work great for light dematting of some kinds of undercoats.

You will want to make sure she is brushed through completely before you do anything else. You can look up some video's on line brushing and it would help. The best method will be to train her to lay on her side while you brush so that you both can get some enjoyment out of it, and a dog that learns to lay calmly will Be more calm and enjoy the process more if you take your time.

Then I recommend you get her clean... A clean Healthy collie coat will go a long way towards keeping it'self clean. And you would be surprised at what a daily brushing would do to keep down any accumulated dirt, even better than trimming. A good quality shampoo and conditioner will be a must. I personally prefer Plush puppy australia products, but Isle of Dog, Chris Christensen's products, or Coat Handler all are good choices. You will want to shampoo then use a good quality cream rinse, massage the cream rinse into the coat then let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

Now you'll want to dry her completely, preferably while brushing with a pin brush, this will insure that you get her Completely dry... because Collies are hard to dry when you get them completely wet. This will also let you see how her coat looks from the inside out, look for any skin issues while you're there.

Now if you want to do any light trimming you can... but If you want to keep her clean anything more than a very light trimming will be counter productive. If you take too much hair off you'll expose undercoat which will pick up dirt twice as fast as without. Generally Collies are rather wash and wear (and brush) and those coats when kept brushed and healthy through good feeding will repel dirt fairly easy. Much like my rough coated border collies if she get's muddy just wait for it to dry and brush out... it's surprising how easy it all comes out.

The only hair I would particularly worry about is the long hair on her pads and the tops of her feet, this can take practice but if you get rid of this hair (which is actually all the traditional grooming allowed for show ring) not only will her feet look better but she'll track in less mud. There are a number of video's on youtube on trimming feet that will help you. Here is a video of a rough contour trim which I think is what you're looking for, She takes a bit more off than I would but this will give you the basic feel of what to take off. She is using Thinning sheers not standard sheers... and the better quality you have the better. (Thinning sheers will be your best option for trimming all hair other than for under the pads)
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Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 21, '12 7:36am PST 
The only thing I have to add to Happy's FABULOUS post is that you might want a comb. I use a metal comb to do a quick run through after line brushing when Jewel's coat is long.
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Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 21, '12 11:30am PST 
I second Happy. It is amazing how clean you can get a dog just by brushing.

Personally in the past, I have found human hair products seem to leave the dogs' coats too greasy even with tons of rinsing. Do not necessarily shop for shampoo by price...I have a few I like that are $10-15 but you dilute them with 32 parts water. A bottle last me with 2 show dogs 2 years.
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Natasha - 美花- ~Beautiful- Flower~

Let's play tag!- You're it!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 3:19am PST 
Happy, that was a very detailed, thoughtful, and helpful post. I learned a lot, thank you! wave

I wasn't able to find all the grooming tools you and Jewel suggested, but I did find the majority of them. I may end up having to order some online. I ended up having to buy a shampoo recommended by the vet because the brands you listed weren't there, but it worked very well, she smells very nice now, no more dirty wet dog smell! cheer Oh, and thanks Maci & Harley for the tip about not using human hair products, I'll make sure my mom knows this too.

Unfortunately, I discovered that she had a lot more mats than I had previously thought she had. I used the mat-stripper tool quite frequently but after a few hours of doing that, she still had a ton more to go through, so I decided to cut off the mats, especially the ones really close to her skin. After I finished that, she looked like my dad had gone after her with his weed-eater! It was absolutely awful! red face

So, in the end I decided to shave her afterall. It was disappointing, and it was a learning experience so she looks horrible, but definately better than patches of fur cut out! laugh out loud After her bath she did do a victory lap around the house, and was super bouncy, so I assume she felt better without matted fur.

I hope I didn't completly destroy her coat. I know some breeds coats never grow back properly after being shaved, are Rough Collies one of them? Will it grow back properly if I keep it brushed and maintained?

Edited by author Fri Jun 22, '12 3:20am PST

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Natasha - 美花- ~Beautiful- Flower~

Let's play tag!- You're it!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 5:51am PST 
I guess I could've waited until tomorrow when there was better lighting, but since it was just about dark when the photo was taken, it's bad quality.

Tasha's haircut
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Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 7:27am PST 
She looks happy! It may take a long time for the coat to grow back in properly but if she was seriously matted it's probably better this way.

When Jewel first came to me her tail had to be shaved off, I still almost cry when I look at pictures of her without her tail.

Edited by author Fri Jun 22, '12 7:29am PST

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Nicky

bitches love- pantaloons
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 8:29am PST 
I use mainly a pin brush on Nicky and occasionally a slicker. I think the pin brush reaches the undercoat better than the slicker. I start at his tail and work my way up, parting the hair as I brush to reach the undercoat better.

My Pom book suggested mixing shampoo in water first and pouring the shampooy water over the body. It will help it penetrate the coat easier.

An area Sheltie rescue gave a great tip on how to keep the dirt off of dogs- After bathing, towel dry and before blow drying, lightly mist Show Sheen all over and rub it in with your hands. They said it will protect the coat from water, dirt, and oil. They gave a disclaimer not to get it on the floor though unless you want an indoor slip-n-slide laugh out loud So make sure the dog is really dry if you have hard floors.


ETA: Even though shaving is kind of a no-no for the coat, sometimes it just is the best option for the dog. It sounds like she was getting most of her hair chopped off anyway with all those mats. She's an honorary Smooth Collie now! smile

Edited by author Fri Jun 22, '12 8:42am PST

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Maggie

Wiggle-Butt
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 5:30pm PST 
It will most certainly grow back.

It should take a while (maybe a year or more) but if she's eating a good diet and you maintain her new coat as it grows in, she'll look absolutely fabulous.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 22, '12 8:34pm PST 
It will grow back, you did the right thing in this situation. Just make sure you're brushing her on a regular basis. I'd still brush at least once a week. It will not only get her used to it but the regular brushing will stimulate hair growth and be good bonding time for both of you.

cheer
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