• Grooming


Make it a part of your routine. 

Show Groom

Minimal    or no trimming.

 Your main tool is a pin brush.  Each breeder has a preferred technique and it is best to consult them regarding the best way to groom your Beardie for conformation.

 

 

Top Knot or NOT

If you are not showing your Beardie, you can choose to tie the hair up or trim it over the eyes.  Celia and Vickie  have top knots.  Sprite has his hair trimmed above his eyes.

 

 

 

Breezeway Groom

 The pet Beardie appears to be in full coat but actually, he is shaved underneath in an area where mats form easily and some Beardies are sensitive to grooming.  Sprite is groomed this way.  It is much easier to maintain this way without losing the handsome appearance.

 

 

Puppy

Cut

 The coat is trimmed all over to a few inches.  This can be done with scissors or a clipper.  It is best to consult a groomer unless you have experience doing this.  Note:  Puppy cuts mat as much as a full coat does.  It is just easier to comb through shorter coat for maintenance purposes.  Regular brushing is still required. 

  

 

Shave Down

 

If mats get out of control, it is best to start over by having a groomer shave your dog.  Shaving a Beardie down can be a shock but most Beardies feel great when all the mats come off.  The coat grows out nicely and you can then try to keep up with the brushing or have your dog clipped regularly to prevent mats

 

Coat Challenges:

Bearded Collie coats vary considerably.  Ideally the coat should be harsh, moderate in densitity, and not excessively  long.  Just like people, dogs aren't perfect so the pet beardie can be groomed to ease the problems of a challenging coat.  1)If the coat is too soft, it may mat easily.  Avoid heavy conditioners for this kind of coat.  A detangling rinse may be a better choice.  2)A heavy undercoat can take a lot of time to groom.  Use a rake or undercoat removal tool to keep your dog's coat lighter and more manageable.   3)An excessively long coat can simply be trimmed to the desired length with straight or thinning shears.  (If you do not feel confident about trimming and removing undercoat,   PLEASE consult a groomer.) 

I enjoy brushing my dogs but not everyone finds it relaxing the way I do.  If you don't enjoy brushing, it would be best to have a groomer care for your dog once every week + / -  OR choose a short haired breed.  While you can clip Beardies shorter, it takes away from their natural good looks.  There are many breeds with good dispositions without all the hair so if you aren't in love with the Beardie look, research other breeds.   If your Beardie does get severely matted (PLEASE don't let that happen!)  then you may have to resort to a shavedown but I encourage you to make grooming part of your routine so that is not necessary.

Training to be Groomed:  When your Beardie is a baby, start rewarding him for letting you touch his feet, ears, belly, etc.  Once he is comfortable and enjoys it because you are giving him lots of praise and little treats. start doing more brushing and combing.  Try clipping 1 nail followed by a treat and do the same after every nail.  On another day, pull a little bit of hair from the ear canal followed by a treat.  Don't try to do too much at once and in the beginning give food for small successes.  Do not feed if your puppy is fighting you.  Just wait until he calms down and start again.  If he stays calm for a couple of seconds, feed him while he is being good.  Don't wait until he acts up again.  Keep sessions short but practice frequently.  As your puppy beings accepting grooming, feed less frequently.   Ideally, it is great if you can teach your dog to lie on his side for brushing.  It will be easier for you to reach and thoroughly groom his chest and groin area.

 Maintenance:  If your Beardie begins to feel thick or matted in any spot, he is overdue for a thorough grooming.  If you are having trouble getting your Beardie brushed out to the skin, ask for help from your breeder, a trusted groomer, or another beardie person.  Don't wait until the dog has mats that cannot be removed without making your dog (and your groomer) miserable.  Many groomers will not do extensive whole body dematting which is time consuming, expensive, and unfair to the dog.  (Please read the section in RED at the bottom of this page.)

Bathing and Drying:  Remove mats before the bath if possible.  They are easier to remove while there are oils in the coat.  Mats can become tighter if they are there at the time of the bath.  Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner.  Recommendations are at the right.  Make sure you avoid the eyes and ears.  Rinse shampoo thoroughly.  Apply conditioner.  If your Beardie's coat feels dry, you can leave a little of the conditioner in the coat ... in other words don't rinse until the coat squeaks.  It should feel a little bit coated but not slimy.  If the coat is not dry, rinse the conditioner thoroughly.  Your Beardie can dry naturally.  Do not let them go out in cold weather if they are damp.  You can speed up the process with a hand held dryer if you wish.  You can also invest in a forced air dryer if it is something you want. 

Line Brushing or Combing:  With your dog lying on her side, use a pin brush on coat into sections searching for any mats and tangles.  If you run across thick areas, you can gently use a slicker brush motioning away from your dogs skin until the mat is removed.  Do not rush and watch the skin to make sure you are not "burning" your dog.  Repeat with the pin brush.  When the section feels mat free, follow with the wide end of a comb.  If you can get it through the coat all the way to the skin in that section, your Beardie is thoroughly groomed in that area.  In areas where the coat is softer, follow with the narrow end of the comb.  Repeat this process in new sections.  If your dog has a challenging coat, break your grooming sessions into parts.  Example:  Head, chest, legs, body.  But try to get the whole dog finished head to toe within a day or two.     (Too Much Information?  Ask your breeder or groomer to show you their process.) 

Trimming/Clipping:  The Beardie is a natural breed so little or no trimming is the rule.  Most owners like to trimthe feet/footpads  a little.  For Beardies NOT showing in conformation, there are  some options that can make grooming easier for you and your dog which are described to the LEFT.  I think the Breezeway groom is a huge time saver and unless your Beardie rolls over or stands on his hind legs, no one can tell that the coat has been shaved underneath.  If you need info on what clipper blades to use, please contact me at: k9odyssey@gmail.com

Nail Care:  Whether you choose to use a clipper or a grinder, your Beardie will need her nails trimmed regularly.  TIP:  I have tried all kinds of methods of keeping the hair out of the grinder but none work as well or as simply wetting the feet down.  This is especially helpful if you are grinding dew claws.  My dogs need theirs trimmed every 1-2 weeks.  If you are clipping nails, make sure you have some Kwik Stop on hand in case you accidentally cut through the nail quick.  Trim the hair between the pads if it is getting long so your dog doesn't slip and slide on your floors. 

Ears:  Check your dog's ears at least once a week and more often if the ears seem to be bothering your dog.   I pull ear hair once a month or so and follow with a gentle ear cleaner such as Epi-Otic (right).  Using an ear powder can give some grip to the hair, making it easier to remove.  A hemostat for pulling ear hair is also helpful when used carefully. 

Teeth:  Weekly teeth brushings are also a good idea and will help to keep your Beardie's breath pleasant.   If you notice that tartar is building up on your Beardie's teeth, talk to your vet and/or groomer about the best method for cleaning the teeth.  Most vets do a very thorough laser cleaning but it requires your dog to be sedated.  Some groomers are able to do a cosmetic cleaning of the outer surfaces of the teeth with the dog awake.  They do not extend beyond the gumline though so if tartar is severe, a vet may be the safer, more effective choice.  Teeth cleaning without sedation should not be painful but some dogs do better with this procedure than others as it requires them to lie of their side with their mouth propped open.  Again, talk to your vet and groomer for more info on teeth cleaning options.

VERY IMPORTANT:  Choosing a Groomer:  Be careful and do your homework.  Get a recommendation from others you may know and visit the shop to ask questions and get a feel for who will be caring for your dog.  Right now ANYONE can call themselves a groomer in the USA.  Regulations may be coming  so many groomers are becoming certified which is a very positive step.  However, YOUR impressions are also very important.  A humane and qualified groomer can be a big help to you but there are some things you should know.  A full Beardie groom by a qualified groomer averages about $80 these days in my area if there are no mats to remove.  Dematting may be priced separately at the rate of $20-$30 per hour.  These prices ARE fair and reasonable because of the labor involved.  If you think it is not fair, consider any other service just as car repair, house painting, plumbing, etc.  You pay for the time it takes to make repairs.  More time, more expense.  Many groomers will not demat beyond removing small knots and tangles because it keeps them from grooming other dogs and it is hard for the dog as well.   If you brush regularly and thoroughly at home, your groomer can focus on making your Beardie look great instead of the tedious and exhausting job of removing excessive mats.  Plus, your Beardie may actually trot into the shop instead of rearing back as if to say

"Oh No, Not Again!" 

Supplies for grooming a Bearded Collie from head to tail!  The following are instructions for a "pet" Beardie.  (When show grooming, little or no trimming or clipping is the rule.  Consult your  breeder for advice on show grooming.)

Grooming Table:  Not a necessity but many people find it easier on the back to groom a dog on the table.            Arm and Noose:  Always stay with your dog - don't wak away even for a few seconds.  A noose can be helpful when used safely.  The model below is available through: www.groomerschoice.com

Table with Arm & Matting

Shampoo:  I like the Nature's Choice products which can be purchased through: www.groomerschoice.com

(My favorite Nature's Choice  products are listed here.  If your dog has sensitive skin, Nature's Choice also sells an Oatmeal Shampoo and Rinse which is very nice as well as medicated products. )

Nature's Choice Dirty Dog works very well to get a Beardie clean and smells really nice without being too fragrant.

NC Aloe Dirty Dog 12oz

Conditioner:          I think Nature's Choice Aloe Remoisturizer is the best in my opinion because it makes the coat feel more elastic when you brush.  It smells great too.

Dilution and Dispensers:  Nature's Choice products are highly concentrated.  Purchase or save pop/flip top bottles such as the Coat Handler bottles  pictured below. 

www.groomerschoice.com

Coat Handler Dilution Bottle

For a helpful grooming spray, simply dilute the Remoisturizer 1 part conditioner to 20 parts water and place in a spray bottle. 

Coat Handler Sprayer Bottle

Pin Brush:  I like the Plush Puppy pin brush.  It is inexpensive and works well on average coats.

www.plushpuppyusa.com

For heavy coats, consider springing for the Chris Christensen  1 1/4" pin brush.

www.chrissystems.com

FP20OV1.jpg (4539 bytes)

Slicker Brush:  I use the Standard Original Frank's Universal Slicker.   It is inexpensive and a very effective brush.  When used correctly it is gentle on coats. 

www.groomstar.comOscar Frank Universal Standard Soft Slicker Brush

I also like the Chris Christensen MARK X - TINY HEAD slicker for sensitive areas.

www.chrissystems.com

Poodle Comb:  These combs have a wider space between the teeth on one end and narrow on the other end.  This is helpful when you are easing through tangles.   I use a 10" comb because my hands are larger but for a smaller hand, a 7.5" greyhound comb may be more comfortable.

www.groomerschoice.com

Nail Clipper or Grinder:  There are different types of nail clippers.  I recommend the Resco brand for long life and quality.  You can get a Resco clipper at www.groomerschoice.com

I prefer to use a Dremel to grind nails.  A battery operated Dremel can be purchased at a hardware store.  It takes some getting used to for you and your dog.  Ask a groomer to show you the technique if you want to learn how.

Thinning Shears:  These are good for trimming without leaving sharp lines.  Quality of sheers varies and groomers prefer different types so it is best to visit and dog show and try them out at at shears vendor.

A small clipper:  Have a groomer show you how to shave foot pads, ear canals and the groin area.

www.groomerschoice.com

Ear Wash:  Use a gentle formula such as Epi-Otic which can be purchased through vets and at www.entirelypets.com  Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner 16 Oz

Toothbrush and Dog Toothpaste:  Don't use human toothpaste which contains an ingredient which can be harmful to dogs.  PPP Dental Gel is a quality product.

www.groomerschoice.com

PPP Procare Dental Gel 4 oz