The Bearded Collie has a double coat. The undercoat is soft, furry and close-lying. The outercoat is flat, harsh, strong and shaggy, free from woolliness and curl, though a slight wave is permissible. There is long hair and a beard on the face. Needs constant grooming to keep the coat free of tangles and looking good.
Equipment needed: A good quality bristle brush, a pin brush, a large, wide-toothed wooden comb and a metal comb with wide teeth at one end and fine teeth at the other end.
Breed tip: A leave-in conditioner for brushing the dog when dry will make the job a little easier.
- Some people prefer to have the dog lying flat on its side when grooming; others prefer the dog to be standing. Do whatever works best for you.
- Start with the bristle brush, lifting the coat up and starting at the bottom and working through the coat in layers — this will ensure that the whole of the coat is reached. Brush in a coat-restorer or conditioner to ease the separation of the hair (use an untangle cream where necessary).
- Work through the coat again, this time using a pin brush. At this point, any mats will become apparent and can be worked on first with the brushes, then progressing to the wooden wide-toothed comb.
- A comb should only be used when the coat has been groomed with a brush first, otherwise any knots will pull a great deal and cause the dog discomfort. Do not bathe if the dog is matted — the coat must be tangle-free before you proceed.
- Bathe the Bearded Collie in a protein pH-balanced shampoo, and use a quality conditioner.
- Blow-dry the coat, brushing continually using a pin brush. Use a lanolin lubricant to enhance texture and to prevent breaking or matting. Some people use a straightening conditioner, which is brushed or combed in after the shampoo and rinse (it should be rinsed out well). However, this is not really needed, as a Beardie coat is allowed to be wavy for the show ring — it does not need to be dead straight.
- The hair is parted along the spine by combing out the undercoat to leave it flat.
- Check the dog’s nails, ears and teeth.
- In pet dogs, scissor the hair beneath the dog’s feet and also under the tail (around the anus area) to prevent it becoming soiled with feces.
- Thinning scissors, or a de-matting thinner tool, can be used on an excessively profuse coat, taking care not to remove too much coat at a time.