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  #1  
Old 06-04-2006, 03:02 PM
gaddylovesdogs gaddylovesdogs is offline
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Default Grooming a Border Collie

As some of you may know, I have a Border Collie/German Shepherd Dog (and possibly Husky) mix. She basically looks like a purebred border collie other than the fact that she's quite tall for a BC. Anyways, the problem is she has WAAAYY too much fur. It makes her look huge. If you get her wet, she shrinks. What would be the best brush for her? Would shaving her help her cool off? I'd prefer not getting rid of her gorgeous coat, but if it cools her off I will. Also, the fur on her paws grows like weeds. How would you clip that without making her look like a lawn mower ran over her paws?
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2006, 04:57 PM
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Hmm, for starters with her coat I would simply brush out the dead hair and undercoat with a slicker brush and shedding blade. When you brush her out, mist her coat lightly with water. Brushing a slightly damp coat is easier and more comfortable for the dog than brushing a totally dry coat (especially around here where I live, as it's so dry. The dogs get static-y!) Unless her fur is really dry and "open", I wouldn't shave her. Border Collies' coats are great insulation and once they are shaved, that special coat will never grow back the same way.
I would personally get her a "cool coat" to help her cool off. You soak them in water and they maintain at a certain temperature. Dakota has one that he wears to trials and I imagine he would have died without it by now. It works wonders; he doesn't even pant in 100 degree heat, in direct sunlight.

As for trimming feet, it really takes some practice. For starters, you don't CLIP feet. Don't take electric clippers to any part of the foot but the fur between the pads. When you trim the pads, use a #30 or #40 blade (some people use a #10 or #15 but I prefer not to as it is WAY too easy to cut the dog's tender skin using longer blades) and do a sort of "scopping" motion with the clippers. Don't press down hard on the clippers but don't be afraid to dig out the hair.

Dakota's feet need to be trimmed soon so later today or tomorrow I will get you a few pictures of what I do with his. It's hard to explain without showing photos. Maybe that'll give you a better idea of what to do with Tippy's....
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:07 PM
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I use an undercoat rake & a shedding blade and just brush my BC out *thoroughly* once a week, until there is no more loose undercoat hairs coming out. A few days I week, besides that, I brush him for 5-10 minutes. That works very well! You can easily clip her hindquarters & legs to reduce the "poofy" look, too. I usually get my BC clipped to about 1" length every summer, and he loooves it. His coat is still very thick & soft when it grows back.

RD, is that true, about the insulation never coming back after the first time they're shaved? =/ Gonzo's coat is unlike any BC I've met. It's a wierd texture, kind of like a longer-haired Husky. It is very healthy, but the texture just seems off to me.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:14 PM
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It has been in my experience, Erica. While the undercoat and guard hairs will grow back, they will not lay the same way and the coat is usually a little coarser (in the case of soft-coated breeds. in wire-coated breeds, the coat grows back softer). We used to shave our labrador mix and his coat grew back to the same length, but it was much coarser and the undercoat was not kept neatly under the topcoat anymore, but rather it just stuck out all over.

Single coated breeds seem to do better with being shaved. I shaved my Papillon last year and his coat has grown back exactly as it was.
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:19 PM
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For the paws, brush the hair up the paw and cut it off with scissors. Place the foot down and then trim any loose hair. For the hocks, brush the hair up and out with the slicker brush, and cut it, then brush it up and out with a comb and blend the hair (smooth it) with the scissors. It's easier if you cut the nails first because they will be out of the way, but if your dog doesn't enjoy having his nails done, he may be uncooperative with the trimming after you do his nails.
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2006, 02:45 PM
gaddylovesdogs gaddylovesdogs is offline
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Thanks for the advice, you guys! I appreciate it, and I'm sure Tippy will too, once we get 100 degree weather here lol. I'll get her a cool coat, that sounds really useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RD
As for trimming feet, it really takes some practice. For starters, you don't CLIP feet. Don't take electric clippers to any part of the foot but the fur between the pads. When you trim the pads, use a #30 or #40 blade (some people use a #10 or #15 but I prefer not to as it is WAY too easy to cut the dog's tender skin using longer blades) and do a sort of "scopping" motion with the clippers. Don't press down hard on the clippers but don't be afraid to dig out the hair.
By clip I meant I take a pair of scissors and get rid of the long fur between her pads, and then anything that's too long on top of her paw.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:08 PM
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Oh, okay. Yes, do as Wolfsoul described, and if necessary reach between the toes and gently pull up the hair and snip it off so it's even with the hair on the rest of the foot. (Make sense? lol) This will prevent that hair between the toes from poking out later on and making the nicely trimmed foot look messy.

When you trim the hair on the toes, trim in the direction/opposite direction of hair growth. It always looks smoother than if you cut straight across the hair.

You'll most likely do a couple of chop jobs on her feet at first but you'll get better and the hair will grow in and look normal within a week or so.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2006, 11:15 AM
gaddylovesdogs gaddylovesdogs is offline
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Tippy's paws are all nice and clean now I'm so glad...no more dirt getting stuck in there! I've also been giving her a good brushing every day, and she's getting much skinnier, lol. The spraying with water works great, and she doesn't seem so uncomfortable.
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