Named for his long facial hair, the bearded collie is a big bushy beast descended from the English sheepdog. Brushing is the key word when it comes to grooming his thick, double-layered coat, but trimming his hair can lower both the frequency and length of these sessions.
Long and Lovely
Tune into any dog show and the bearded collie typically looks like someone threw a furry blanket over him. His natural style is long and thick, with the body hair reaching his knees or even close to the floor. Generally speaking, no trimming is necessary with this style, except a few snips around his feet to keep his paws looking neat. This long style requires a serious, daily dedication to brushing to prevent tangles, especially since the beardie sheds constantly and blows his coat twice a year.
Just a Little Off the Top
For those owners who love the look of the beardie but would like to actually see the dog instead of the hair, a shorter version of the full coat may work. Have a groomer trim your pooch down some so that the hair follows the shape of his body but still offers the a good covering. This usually only requires a few inches taken off, and essentially neatens him up. He'll look less hippy and more yuppy. Brushing is still necessary, but a shorter 'do means less frequent and shorter sessions.
An Overgrown Puppy
When even the medium-length coat is too long, many owners opt for an even shorter puppy cut. The groomer clips your beardie's entire coat to a few inches in length, giving him the look of an oversized puppy. You can request the actual length, as well as slight alterations to the look before your groomer goes to work. Leave his head and beard a little longer to give him a schnauzer appearance, or have his face trimmed and his ears left long. This cut typically requires the least amount of brushing, but you still have to watch for mats in his thick double-coat.
Skip the Too-Short Clip
It's easy to think the shorter the better when deciding on a coat length for your thick coated pooch, as that means less trips to the groomer and a more comfortable dog in the summer. So if a puppy cut is good, shaving him down completely would be even better, right? Not necessarily. Being a double-coated breed, your beardie needs his coat to protect his skin from the heat of summer and chilly temperatures of winter. It's also waterproof, which keeps him warm and comfy while romping in the rain or taking the occasional swim. Shaving him too closely may alter the way his hair grows back, meaning you could end up with a beardie sporting a patchy coat in the future.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.