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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2007
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    Heaven on Earth--Sonoma County, CA
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    1,470

    Default Grooming for a rough coated collie?

    So, I've been communicating with English Shepherd and collie rescue, looking for a family farm dog. When talking to the collie folk, I put on my application that I was looking for a smooth coat.

    The collie folk called this morning, and they feel they have a strong candidate for us, but it's a rough coated collie. Obviously, personality/compatibilty is most important, but I am concerned about the grooming aspect.

    Anyone here have experience with how much it takes? Daily? Weekly? Special tools required? I grew up with Samoyeds, which were certainly high on the grooming needs list, but as an adult I've had mainly Dobermans and beagle mixes, so have gotten used to minimal grooming.

    TIA
    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
    www.phoenixsporthorses.com
    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2010
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    867

    Default

    we had them growing up....one of those few desperate want breeds of mine is a smooth coated collie, no idea why (we only ever had roughs).

    The rough coats are wonderful but the coat is intense to maintain. They are one of those breeds (Newfies and Berners are others that come to mind) that can have that dull, poof, frayed look when the hair is shaved as opposed to maintained through proper grooming so look at that as a last step (unless you're in a climate where it is in the best interest of the dog.)

    They need frequent, rigorous brushings (when I was grooming as a junior in my minor dabblings in the show ring, the theory was always to brush a long coat when wet, now it seems the opposite is true so I can't offer sound advice there.) I would deeefinitely invest in a furminator. You'll have to really part that fur and get right down to the skin. And there will always be areas that will seemingly grow mats--under the ears, backs of the legs, between the paw pads, that skin on the 'stifle' area outside the inguinal area....you'll just have to be dilligent and watch for.

    Personally I think they're one of the most beautiful, eyecatching dogs when cared for properly. But skip a few steps, a few brushings and let the mats go and wowza does it show.

    Good luck with your new babe if and when it finds its way home!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2010
    Posts
    995

    Default

    i got a smooth coat rescue for that very reason.......i would love the gorgeous locks, but NOT the grooming........she is fantastic, and no maintenence............
    good luck..............and, the tri-county collie rescue in kentucky has smooth coats...........maybe you could get a transport going, or the pilots for paws to fly one to you!

    good luck, they are wonderful dogs



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Location
    The Land of Buggies and Black Bumpers
    Posts
    847

    Default

    I had a rough coat collie for years and I kept him clipped. Clipped him with an Oster A-5 and never had any issues. I would clip him in early fall and let it grow out for the winter, but my dogs are never outside for extended hours of time. He never had the greatest coat to begin with and clipping him made him much easier to bathe and keep clean. If his coat was longer, I brushed him on a regular basis to keep the knots out.

    Collies are great dogs, regardless of their coat length!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,617

    Default

    You just need the right tools. I would send the dog to the groomer first for a thorough grooming so you can start off on the right foot.

    Tools to NEVER use, a furminator or a slicker brush...they spit the coat. You have to get the undercoat out. The best way to do this is to spend an hour or two once a month with a grooming comb. Go over section by section against the coat, holding the hair so it doesn't pull. Then, depending on how full a coat your dog has, once a week thorough brushing with an undercoat rake and a brush might do it. In the summer I do a quick once over once a day...just to brush off surface dust and hair. I do mean quick, maybe a minute or so.

    Make sure you have a mat cutter and Show Sheen is your friend. Their hair seems to repel dirt too. The feathers on the hind legs should be trimmed below the fetlock. Pay special attention to their "armpits", between the hind legs and around the ears for mats. Do not cut off the white tip on the tail.

    I spend way less time with my current, thinner coated collie, than I did with my previous full coated girl, but my current girl was starved when she came into the rescue and her coat is really starting to fill out now. My old girl was trained to lie down for grooming, new one is smaller and takes less time, so she stands. When I lived in Maryland, my collie went to the groomer 4 times a year, while I did the regular maintenance work. I brushed out the undercoat first to save myself $100. I haven't found a decent large dog groomer here, so I do it all myself...and save a bundle of money.

    My lab sheds more than the collie, BTW. Collies rule!
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,958

    Default

    Long ago we had two shelties.
    Same hair as rough collies, but only 1/4th of it.

    Their hair seemed to stay very clean, mud and grass just fell thru, but we groomed carefully, on a towel on the bathroom counter, turning the hair backwards a handful at the time so as to get to the skin.
    Dogs seemed to enjoy it and go to sleep, didn't like so much trying to brush the very fine hair behind ears and in armpits, that would make small felt like mats in a day, if you didn't watch for that.

    The more serious problem we had with shelties, they were the only dogs we have had that were flea magnets.
    All dogs would run thru the cattle pens and pastures, by rodent and rabbit dens and not get a flea. We had a longer haired saint bernard, a norwegian elkhound, an aussie and a dobie, along with a sheltie and several small poodles.
    All ran around on walks, shelties the only ones to come back with fleas.
    You had to keep them away from those places, or they would need dipping.

    For many years, our vet raised and was showing both, rough and later smooths too and he used to say smooths would shed much more than roughs and both required about the same grooming time for shows.
    He had lovely dogs, collies are some of the nicer family dogs around.
    He has greyhounds now, no more hair.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2010
    Posts
    574

    Default

    Depends on the individual dog. We had a Collie that had a long, silky type coat, it wasn't thick and it was very easy to care for.

    Other Collies have a very thick, heavy coat that would take longer to brush because you have to make sure you get through it and down to the skin.

    I would meet the dog and see what kind of coat he/she has.

    Push come to shove, it you love the dog, adopt it and after a while decide the coat is too much for you, you always have the option to shave it down like cutter99.

    But really, a through brushing once a week would be fine, unless you have burrs that the dog gets into.

    Good luck! Collies are great dogs, although they are big BARKERS!
    Proud Native Texan!
    owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,854

    Default

    I brushed our rough coated collie every day, and gave him an "8 in 1 Pervinal Vitamin" every day as well. Got rid of the dry skin and kept his coat in soft, smooth and shiny condition. The blood work from the vet would always come back fabulous as well. That dog looked fantastic with that combination, and the vet was quite pleased!

    Also second the professional groomer. Get the works. Once or twice a year will give you tip-top results!
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,958

    Default

    All our dogs used to get Linatone thru the winters, to keep their skin less dry.
    We thought it helped, but in reality, don't know ...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2004
    Posts
    245

    Default Great advice here

    I've had two rough collies--they are my favorite breed---just incredible, wonderful dogs. And gorgeous to boot. Obviously they need more grooming than a smooth coat, however I have found that they shed much LESS than some of the shorter-haired breeds. I currently have a rescue mixed breed medium-coat aussie, border collie, lab, etc. mix who sheds more than my collies, golden, and english setter ever did!

    That said, like others posted, rough collies do tend to get knots behind their ears, under their front elbows, and on their rear "panties." But if you keep up with the grooming (LaurieKY had some great suggestions), you can keep on top of it.

    And skin supplements are a great idea as well. Also, I did take my boys to a professional groomer several times a year. But I learned to do a lot of the grooming myself-- I had both my collies trained to jump in the tub willingly(but as I got older, my back couldn't take the effort as well, so I let the professionals take over that job.

    I adore rough collies. I say go for it!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
    Posts
    1,163

    Default

    I have 2 shelties - I do all their grooming myself. I use pantene people shampoo when I bath them (a few times a year), then I brush them with a wire slicker a few times a week. The older one loves it, he turns into a rubber dog and melts ... the younger one, not so much. But he has gotten a lot better with time, patience, lots of praise, and snacks. And it does help when you do a little section at a time, and get down to the skin.

    They are more maitenance than a short hair dog, but to me their personalities more than make up for that.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,606

    Default

    My sister has always had rough collies and she spends half an hour a day brushing. They are beautiful but she works at it.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2011
    Location
    the Armpit of the Nation
    Posts
    3,160

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    You just need the right tools. I would send the dog to the groomer first for a thorough grooming so you can start off on the right foot.

    Tools to NEVER use, a furminator or a slicker brush...they spit the coat. You have to get the undercoat out. The best way to do this is to spend an hour or two once a month with a grooming comb. Go over section by section against the coat, holding the hair so it doesn't pull. Then, depending on how full a coat your dog has, once a week thorough brushing with an undercoat rake and a brush might do it. In the summer I do a quick once over once a day...just to brush off surface dust and hair. I do mean quick, maybe a minute or so.

    Make sure you have a mat cutter and Show Sheen is your friend. Their hair seems to repel dirt too. The feathers on the hind legs should be trimmed below the fetlock. Pay special attention to their "armpits", between the hind legs and around the ears for mats. Do not cut off the white tip on the tail.

    I spend way less time with my current, thinner coated collie, than I did with my previous full coated girl, but my current girl was starved when she came into the rescue and her coat is really starting to fill out now. My old girl was trained to lie down for grooming, new one is smaller and takes less time, so she stands. When I lived in Maryland, my collie went to the groomer 4 times a year, while I did the regular maintenance work. I brushed out the undercoat first to save myself $100. I haven't found a decent large dog groomer here, so I do it all myself...and save a bundle of money.

    My lab sheds more than the collie, BTW. Collies rule!
    LauraKY knows of what she speaks. We had a rough collie growing up, and Grammaw used to brush him religiously once a week-back in the 60's, so I dont know what tool she used. But! THEY ARE WELL WORTH THE EFFORT!!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    147

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    You just need the right tools. I would send the dog to the groomer first for a thorough grooming so you can start off on the right foot.
    ***
    My lab sheds more than the collie, BTW. Collies rule!
    Ah, the right tools! I seem to have come to the right place for advice. My rescue Collie has oddly-shaped nails; some are normal looking but others appear to be, for want of a better word, twisted, as though he had caught his front paws in something and damaged the nail matrix when he tore loose. His paws were in terrible shape when he arrived - very torn up. I tried taking him to a local groomer who blanched and said "I don't DO Collies." He's a sweetheart and very easy to brush, comb, etc., but I don't know what to do for those weird nails, which are not just weirdly shaped but the approximate consistency of concrete. I do get them trimmed but he's never happy about the process. Does anyone have a brand of clippers to recommend? I know they should be the pliers type, but the ones I have are clearly not all that good. I don't want him to dread having his nails clipped.

    Brands, sizes, techniques... I'm open to any and all suggestions! And if anyone has found a dental-cleaning "treat" that works really well, I'd love to know about it. He's the sweetest dog ever and deserves the best home ever, so... tidy toes and clean teeth are high on my list, now that the heartworms are gone.

    All advice and recommendations will be received with gratitude.
    Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
    Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,712

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasde2 View Post
    Ah, the right tools! I seem to have come to the right place for advice. My rescue Collie has oddly-shaped nails; some are normal looking but others appear to be, for want of a better word, twisted, as though he had caught his front paws in something and damaged the nail matrix when he tore loose. His paws were in terrible shape when he arrived - very torn up. I tried taking him to a local groomer who blanched and said "I don't DO Collies." He's a sweetheart and very easy to brush, comb, etc., but I don't know what to do for those weird nails, which are not just weirdly shaped but the approximate consistency of concrete. I do get them trimmed but he's never happy about the process. Does anyone have a brand of clippers to recommend? I know they should be the pliers type, but the ones I have are clearly not all that good. I don't want him to dread having his nails clipped.

    Brands, sizes, techniques... I'm open to any and all suggestions! And if anyone has found a dental-cleaning "treat" that works really well, I'd love to know about it. He's the sweetest dog ever and deserves the best home ever, so... tidy toes and clean teeth are high on my list, now that the heartworms are gone.

    All advice and recommendations will be received with gratitude.
    I groom professionally, these are the nail clippers I like the best.
    http://www.petedge.com/catalog/produ...roductId=43485

    However, my favorite way to do nails is with a Dremmel tool. I have just the cheap $20 one from Wal-Mart with rough grit sandpaper on it, but that's my favorite way to do nails. You can get them shorter and they're smooth if you do it right.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,712

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    If I'm grooming a rough coated collie, it takes me a good 3 hours start to finish. Here's how I do it (note, professional groomer, but I groom pets, not show dogs):

    Start outdoors, this will make a mess (I obviously do this indoors at work...but I don't care how big of a mess I make there...I'd never do this inside my own house). Get a high velocity dryer. They aren't cheap ($250 for the good ones), but they're AWESOME...and you can use them on your horse too. Blast the dog's coat with it while the dog is dry to loosen up all the dead coat. Get as much of the dead hair out as you possibly can.

    Bathe the dog. Put a conditioner on the dog. My favorite is made by Furminator. It makes the coat awesomely soft. Then I blast the coat out again with the dryer with the conditioner still on it. Do this outside and/or wear a mask. It will make a mess. Rinse the dog. Towel dry with a chamois meant for cars (I like the blue synthetic ones). Spray with Show Sheen. Dry all the way with dryer, brushing with a slicker brush as you go. My slicker brush is very stiff. Once I have any and all tangles out, I follow this up with a Mars comb (http://www.groomersmall.com/coat_kings.htm). My favorite one has 8 teeth. They seem to be the perfect spacing for those thick double coats.

    To do that big grooming in the salon, I charge a minimum of $100. If I have to do excessive brushing/dematting it only goes up from there. I have several clients who bring their dog once a month and barely touch them in between. They maybe brush with a slicker once a week. It keeps the dogs in good enough shape that I don't have to do much, if any, extra dematting.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    147

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    Quote Originally Posted by candysgirl View Post
    I groom professionally, these are the nail clippers I like the best.
    http://www.petedge.com/catalog/produ...roductId=43485

    However, my favorite way to do nails is with a Dremmel tool. I have just the cheap $20 one from Wal-Mart with rough grit sandpaper on it, but that's my favorite way to do nails. You can get them shorter and they're smooth if you do it right.
    Thanks so much! I'll order the clippers and look into the Dremel tool idea. I have one of those 'as seen on TV' items - a gift from a family member who thought it would be just the thing - but even with the benefit of detailed instructions, I can't seem to get it to make much of a dent (so to speak) in his nails.

    Thanks for the details about your grooming procedures, also. This is all "news I can use"!
    Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
    Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,617

    Default

    Candy's girl, I always comb out the undercoat before bathing...but I don't have a high velocity dryer. Then, I comb out again after bathing...on a dry coat. But, I've been told my my collie show friends and breeders to never use a slicker brush on collies because it splits the coat.

    Collies rule!
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
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    2,764

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    The coat is one reason collie mixes are nice! My current collie mix needs frequent brushing and definitely has the undercoat, but you can skip a few days or weeks without sparking a coat crisis. My first dog, a Bearded Collie, would mat if you skipped a day. Really heavy coats. But really beautiful dogs; the thing that would make me hesitate about a Rough isn't the coat, it's the bark. Collie barks can crack steel.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
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    1,712

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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Candy's girl, I always comb out the undercoat before bathing...but I don't have a high velocity dryer. Then, I comb out again after bathing...on a dry coat. But, I've been told my my collie show friends and breeders to never use a slicker brush on collies because it splits the coat.

    Collies rule!
    The dryer takes the place of the initial brushing...and is a heck of a lot faster. I only start brushing when the coat is most of the way dry.

    I don't doubt that the show collie people know what they're talking about. However, I'm grooming in a high volume salon and I really don't have the time to *not* use a slicker. It is the fastest way to get the bulk of the loosened undercoat out. I'm also not grooming show dogs. I'm grooming pets with owners who merely want them to look nice and be easier to groom/shed less at home. I have a difficult enough time talking people into brushing once in a while with a slicker between grooms, let alone *doing it right* with undercoat rakes and whatnot. I'm going for making my owners' lives easier so they are more likely to prevent the dogs from getting uncomfortable matting. Very few people want to take the time to do it the right way like the show people do.

    There are many things I do with pet poodles that I do not do on my personal show poodles because it would damage the hair. However, a pet dog's hair merely needs to be manageable to the owner and comfortable to the pet. It doesn't need to be babied to grow to the epic proportions my show dogs do. Once they finish and quit showing, I shave them down and care a heck of a lot less. I do many things I wouldn't do on the show dogs because its just easier.

    I absolutely love collies, but I don't think I could deal with that much shedding in my house! I put my old man Border collie down last year and while I loved him and he was an awesome dog, I doubt I'll ever get something that sheds again.



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