Get out your towels and high rubber boots -- it's time to bathe your collie. If you want to keep his beautiful coat flowing, bathing and brushing are essential grooming activities. Before you bathe your pooch, remove all the mats from his double-coat with brushing and combing.
Brushing Before Bathing
Spray small sections of hair with detangling spray, starting with the hindquarters. Brush the fur with the pin brush to remove the loose hair. If there are small mats, use the slicker brush to loosen the mat and then the wide-toothed comb to comb through the mat.
Work your way up toward the head, continuing to do small sections at a time. Pay attention to the armpits, they tend to mat easily. The area around the neck has a thicker undercoat, so spend more time on it.
Brush the head area with the fine-toothed comb. Pay special attention to the hair behind the ears -- it mats easily. Use the fine-toothed comb to loosen the hair and the wide-toothed comb to comb through the mat once loosened.
Moisten a cotton ball with tepid water and clean the ears. Go into the ear only as far as you can see.
Remove the undercoat hair. This is a thick, wooly hair that protects the collie from the heat and cold. Collies shed more in the spring and fall. Using the undercoat rake, rake the whole body. Do not pull the hair. Once you have completed raking your pup, he is ready for his bath.
Bathing Your Collie
Wet your collie completely, starting at the head and moving toward the tail. For easy application of the shampoo, mix half water and half shampoo in a plastic bottle. Shake the bottle to distribute the shampoo. Apply the shampoo to the head and work toward the tail.
Work the shampoo into the fur with the pin brush. Make sure you work the shampoo down through the coat to the skin.
Rinse thoroughly. Collies have sensitive skin prone to dryness and itchiness. Rinse until the water runs clear.
Apply the conditioner. Use the pin brush to work the conditioner into the fur. By the time you have worked the conditioner into his whole coat, the conditioner has had time to work. Begin rinsing it out. Rinse until the water runs clear.
Pat your pup with the towels. It will take quite a few towels to soak up the extra water. Don't rub the fur because it will cause it to mat.
Dry your pup with a blow dryer set on low. Using the pin brush, lift up the hair and dry the sections in a sweeping motion. Keep the dryer positioned on the hair and away from the skin. Pay special attention to the inside legs and underside. It must be dried completely or it may stay moist. Once you pup is dry, give him a treat and a hug.
- Bathe you pup every two to three months.
- Consider professional grooming every three to four months.
- Don't bathe your collie more than once a month unless he gets into something and needs the bath. He has natural oil on his skin.
- Don't brush dry hair. Always use a detangling spray or a little conditioner diluted in water.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.