How often do Border Collies need to be groomed?

How often do Border Collies need to be groomed
Photo by Brent Olson

If you are trying to decide if a Border Collie is a good fit for your lifestyle, one of the most important things to consider is how much care they will need on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

One of the most common expenditures of time when it comes to raising some dogs is grooming, so it’s natural to wonder if this something you can expect your Collie to need a lot of.

New and prospective dog owners might be wondering what the grooming process looks like for dog, and how often they will need to do it.

Experienced dog owners know that grooming can sometimes be a big commitment of time and money, but it is usually dependant on the
breed of your furry friend.

For some, grooming is just a normal part of everyday life with a dog, and they are fully comfortable doing it on their own, while others swear by the use of a professional groomer and would never attempt grooming on their own.

Especially with so much conflicting information, it can be difficult to determine exactly what your Border Collie needs and how to give it to

Thankfully, the answer is pretty simple. Here, we have outlined everything you need to know about grooming your Border Collie.

A Border Collie has a double coat 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.

How often do Border Collies need to be groomed?

Well, that depends on your definition of grooming. Just like with humans, a large part of a Border Collie’s daily care is maintaining their appearance and a good level of hygiene.

For dogs, grooming refers to a full set of care practices including brushing, bathing, hair trimming, and nail clipping.

As with any breed, individual activity levels (particularly messy outdoor play) will impact the frequency of necessary grooming. It is also worth taking into account that some of these grooming practices will need to be done more than others.

Brushing and nail clipping could be done on a relatively standard, unchanging schedule, but bathing will depend more on day-to-day life and when grooming your Collie becomes necessary for their health and happiness.

Here are some great clippers ideal for Border Collies

How often do Border Collies need a haircut?

The good news is, Border Collies generally never need haircuts. Their short fur never overgrows, so you won’t need to worry about giving your Border Collie a trim unless they get something stuck in their fur.

If you really want to, they can have a quick trim around their feet and the backs of their legs where the fur grows longer, but it’s not necessary and usually only done for show dogs.

It is important to note that Border Collies should NEVER be shaved. Their natural shedding will allow them to stay cool in the warmer months, and a shaved Collie will likely never grow their normal coat back.

Do I need to brush my Border Collie’s fur?

Border Collies shed a decent amount throughout the majority of the year. While they are not the heaviest-shedding breed, the loss of fur is nothing to scoff at- you’ll notice it on your floors and will impact how often you need to clean your house.

If you want to help manage the amount of shedding and have better control over the disposal of lost fur, brushing your Collie’s hair two or three times a week is the best way to do it.

During high shedding seasons, spring and fall, when your Border Collie is adapting their coat for the upcoming climate changes, you will need to switch to brushing every single day to keep up with the fur loss.

Though none of this brushing is technically necessary, it will save you a whole lot of cleaning and will also help your Border Collie stay comfortable.

How often do Border Collies need a bath?

Keeping up with brushing your Border Collie is the best way to reduce the number of baths you need to give them. If you brush them as frequently as recommended, you will probably only need to bathe them every three months (give or take).

However, this is not to say this is the only time your Border Collie should get a bath. If you notice they are starting to smell, or they get extra dirty outside, a bath is the only way to fix it so be prepared to give some extra baths along the way- especially if you have an ultra mischievous pup.

How often do I need to clip my Border Collie’s Nails?

If you can hear their nails scratch the floor as they walk, your Border Collie’s nails are too long and ready for a trim.

Most Collies get to this point around every two weeks or so, but just pay attention to their nails and you’ll know if it’s time.

Trimming nails too short can be really painful and cause bleeding,so be mindful not to trim them too soon.

It’s also important to note that you should not cut your Border Collie’s nails until they have grown up out of their puppy phase. Their nails start out much softer, and you need to wait for them to harden.

That being said, you should practice handling your Collie’s paws as a puppy,
as most of them aren’t keen on having their feet touched, which can make trimming a challenge. Find the nail clippers I use here. And for grinder here.

Are Border Collies difficult to groom?

Your Border Collie’s grooming needs are really basic and can be managed at home, for the most part. So as far as requiring a specific skill set, no.

In fact, they are pretty easy dogs to groom. However, you may run into a couple of snags to do with your dog’s personality.

Some dogs hate having their feet touched, which you can train against from a young age. Try massaging their paws, as well as picking them up and holding them still when they are falling asleep, and when they are fully conscious.

You may also have a Collie who hates baths. Try to bathe your dog when they are tired and ease them into the process.

If they hate being sprayed down, try putting them into the tub with a little bit of water up to their ankles, and pouring water slowly and gently upwards from there.

If you really can’t get them on board, there’s no shame in seeking some professional help- sometimes it’s a two (or three) person job.

Do I need to hire a professional to groom my Border Collie?

No, you probably don’t. Since Border Collies do not require hair cutting and minimal bathing, this is probably something you can manage at home.

However, know your limits. If you have a hard time managing your Border Collie at bath time, or you simply don’t have the appropriate space to do it, it may be worth the investment to have a professional take the job off your hands.

Especially since they require infrequent bathing, you might find it worthwhile to just schedule an appointment and then not have to think
about it too much.

The one thing you may want to consider is having a professional do nail trims. As mentioned previously, it can be a bit tricky to do safely and is daunting for a lot of pet owners. This is a relatively inexpensive appointment and provides a lot of relief for some owners.

It’s definitely a skill you can learn on your own with the right equipment, just know that you have options if it makes you uncomfortable.

So, how often do Border Collies need to be groomed?

When compared with other breeds Border Collies do not need to be groomed very often, but the timing of those needs will vary day-to-day.

It’s important to pay attention to nail growth, brush your dog regularly and bathe them when necessary.

All in all, you won’t need to commit much time to groom your Border Collie, but you should expect to whip out a brush and a suds bucket every now and again.

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Article By: Brenna Harris

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