Grooming & Regular Care (Part 1)
The Weekly Routine
The most frequently occurring questions we are asked relate to how to groom a rough collie. The fact is, with a little bit of practice, all it will take is about 90 minutes a week to keep your rough collie in good condition!
We often hear people tell us that their dog does not like being groomed. The way to address this is to:
a) Start early,
b) Make it an enjoyable experience,
c) Introduce this activity in short, non stressful steps and,
d) Be patient!
With a young dog get him or her used to having the brush or scissors near to his body at an early age – introduce the grooming tools in short goes rather than launching straight in to an all-out grooming session – gently wipe the back of the brush over the body to introduce it to the brush, make snipping sounds with the scissors nearby before having a go at trimming the feet and each time reward the dog with a tidbit and an enthusiastic “Good Girl” (or boy)!
Over the weeks and months your dog will get used to, and even enjoy the attention. As he or she gets older you may find they are so relaxed that during brushing they fall asleep!!
Regular grooming also helps you inspect your dogs’ body for problems – noticing a grass seed before it has worked into the skin, for example.
The key ‘weekly’ activities are:
Coat: - Cleaning: A weekly wipe over with a wonderful ‘orange cloth’ and a weak shampoo solution will keep the coat in excellent condition.
Coat - Brushing: With a simple brushing routine (using the right type of brushes) the coat will easily be kept in good condition.
Coat – Trimming: Apart from keeping around and under the feet neatly trimmed, and around the ears tidy there is no need for any trimming if you want to see a rough collie coat in all its flowing glory!
Paws: Keeping the fur trimmed under and around the feet is important for grip on smooth surfaces and for comfort.
Claws: Even with plenty of road walking, it may be necessary to keep claws trimmed.
Teeth: The need for cleaning the teeth can vary from dog – to – dog and on the type of diet and treats, but keeping the teeth clean will ensure sweet breath and avoid the need for dental treatment at the vets.
Ears: Need to be kept clean and trimmed occasionally.
Nose: Can get a little dry at the sides, and a dab of ‘Vaseline’ will keep it nice and supple.
Eyes: A build up of mucus can occur in the inside corner of the eyes, which should be gently removed.
In the following sections, we take you through the weekly maintenance in more detail.
Brushing in particular is a very relaxing way to spend some time and a good way to bond with your dog. Having mentioned all of the above points we should point out that rough collies are, by their nature, very clean creatures and with a little bit of weekly help will always be a joy to own!
Cleaning - to Bath or not to Bath!
With the correct care, it will only be necessary to have a full soak-to-the-skin bath once or twice a year (usually when the dog or bitch is shedding and growing a new coat). For the weekly maintenance routine, a systematic wipe-over will keep the coat clean and fresh and in good condition.
For a simple and effective weekly wash, you will need a bowl of tepid water with a few drops of shampoo in it (mild puppy shampoo for a young dog) and an ‘orange’ cloth (these are available as synthetic ‘shammy ‘cloths from most household stores.
The basic technique is to soak the cloth in the weak shampoo solution, wring it out and then, in small areas at a time, wipe the dogs coat in the opposite direction to how it normally lays. Do the face, shoulders and back first. Then the chest and front legs, then the back legs and underside. Finally, give the feet a wipe, paying attention to between the pads and around the base of the claws where dirt can build up, especially in wet weather.
The same cloth and weak solution is also very effective if you just need to wipe the legs and feet after a walk on a wet day.