How to Groom a Border Collie

Border collies thrive when they have a task to focus on.
border collie2 image by Cliff Lloyd from

The border collie is an exceptionally smart dog. He is built for activity, from his keen eye to his natural weather resistant coat. The border collie, originating in an ever-changing climate between Scotland and England, can have either a rough, wiry top coat or a smooth, soft top coat. Both coat types require little trimming, as part of a border collie's charm and history require that he look as natural as possible. Grooming your border collie can be a soothing and bonding activity for you and your canine.

Step 1

Wash your border collie with a shampoo designed for dogs, being careful not to get any shampoo in your dog's eyes, ears or mouth. Rough-coated border collies have a thick undercoat protected by long hair at the surface. It is important to work shampoo thoroughly into a border collie's undercoat to remove dirt and debris. A rough-coated border collie requires no more than one bath every 8 weeks, or as needed. You can bathe a smooth-coat border collie quarterly or as needed, as a border collie with such a coat requires less coat maintenance.

Step 2

Rinse your border collie with warm or tepid water. Be sure to rinse all of the shampoo out of the dog's coat to prevent irritation and dryness. Apply a conditioner if your border collie has dry skin or hair breakage, and rinse thoroughly. Dry him until damp with a clean towel.

Step 3

Brush your border collie's coat with a pin brush. A pin brush is gentle enough to prevent hair breakage, but reaches through a dog's top coat. It also grooms and untangles the dense undercoat.

Step 4

Brush your border collie's thicker areas of fur using a slicker brush. A border collie that has a rough coat will frequently get mats or tangles behind the ears, behind the elbows and under the tail. A slicker brush is useful on a smooth border collie because it allows you to groom harder-to-reach areas, such as behind the ears and elbows.

Step 5

Trim your border collie with thinning shears, if necessary. The breed standard allows the border collie to have a neat but not excessively trimmed coat. Trim the feet, feathers on the legs and excess fur on the hocks if desired. Trim a small amount with thinning shears, then stand back and inspect your work to ensure you do not trim too much fur.


  • Inspect your border collie's teeth and nails when you groom him. Hire a professional groomer to trim the dog's nails, if necessary.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog shampoo
  • Conditioner (optional)
  • Towel
  • Pin brush
  • Slicker brush
  • Thinning shears (optional)


About the Author

Kimberly DeCosta is an accomplished equestrian and entrepreneur. She has written for numerous equestrian publications and authored marketing packages for large companies and sports teams.

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