If you have additonal questions or comments, please feel free to contact me:
The basic introduction to handling and grooming is the breeders responsibility. Before the new pups leave the breeder, the puppy should have already been introduced to being held, brushed, bathed, have it's teeth
checked, and nail clipping. The breeder has a responsibility to teach and introduce the new owners to grooming, handling and training their new Bearded Collie. In this section I will explain a lot about basic grooming of the BC.
To be able to
easily handle and groom a grown/adult BC, it is extremely important that the grooming is started with firmness and loving care already at 8 weeks (when you first get the puppy). The coat of a BC is very easily groomed the first few months, until the puppy
starts changing from puppy-coat to adult coat. How long this period is varies from puppy to puppy. Variables are the amount of top hair and under hair. Generally however, I would say it lasts between 6 months and 20 months. If you start grooming your BC first
when you see visible signs of tangled hair and lumps, you will have a big problem on your hands.
As a first time BC owner, I was easy pray for the pet stores and what they offer - something i believe a lot of people
recognize. I bought all sorts of brushes and combs because i was told I needed them all. To be able to keep your BC tangle and lump free, you only need two tools; your fingers and a Mason Pearson brush (or a brush made of a mix of synthetic hair and horse
hair). These tools are all you need to learn how to brush your BC. When you feel you have it all under control, you can expand to finer combs, wooden combs with larger spacing and points and wire brushes.
* Mason Person brush mix, medium size makes the coat shiny
* Mix of synthetic and horse hair excellent choice and less expensive the a Mason Pearson brush.
* Tooth scraper
use this to keep the teeth plaque free
* Wire brush use this on a brushed through coat. If you use it on tangles and lupms, a lot of the overcoat will be unneccesary damaged.
* Poodle-coamb is excellent for removing
undercoat that has tangeled. Use with caution. Good on the beard and the feet.
* Steel brush a softer version of an All System brush.
* On top siccors for cutting out hair on paws that grows too
long. Remeber to remove all lumps from between the pads.
The first couple of weeks, you will have to start the simple brushing on the lap. With a soft brush
and lots of a&r, the puppy will come to feel it all very relaxing and comfortable. Thisway you will teach your new puppy that you should be able to handle it and that grooming is just another time for "cuddeling" that it will very soon start to enjoy.
If your puppy starts getting antsy, hold it still for just a little bit and keep brushing. Once it calms down, it gets plenty of priase and is put down on the floor. As the puppy grows, gradually you'll move towards using a grooming table.
A work taable set for the right height will save you from back problems. The table should not be too large, as a smaller work area will help calm the dog down and settle in. Anti-skid surface (the ones used in bath
tubs) are good for surfacing the grooming table. I personally use the floor hen i groom my dogs. I sit and watch TV, with the dog between my legs so that we both have a really calm and relaxed time together.
The most common mistake for new BC owners is to brush the over coat only. No matter how you look at it, on a newly brushed BC, you MUST be able to see the skin in the undercoat of the dog when the hair is lifted up. When you brush, layer the
coat and brush from belly to back. The hair is lifted and you brush in downward strokes. On the feet you must start at the bottom with the feet and work your way up on the leg. ALWAYS brush in downward strokes.
If you use a comb on tangles and
lumps, most BCs (most seem to be born with a natural hair/scalp sensitivity) will let you know that this is NOT ok. Every tangle or lump should first be detangeled completely with your fingers before you use the brush.
Tangeled foot /// Brushed foot
The most common areas of tangels and lumps are the ears, the beard, along the tips of the ears, between the pads under
the feet, around the genitals, under the belly and around the tail.
I personally choose to trim the hair around penis, but I leave a small "lead" for the urin to lead away from the coat. I also remove the very fine
hair you find on the inside top part of the thighs and belly area. It is extremely important to keep tha hair on the scotum tangle free. I do not remove any of this hair as I believe it has protective purposes.
On the females, i also remove the hair arouns the genital area and the fine thin hair on the inside top part of the thighs. I tend also trim the hair around the anus to avoid anything getting tangeled and stuck. Not very much at all, but enough to keep the
area more hygenic and clean for the dog.
Water is a very good tool in brushing a BC. When brushing a completely dry dog, the coat often breaks. If you are not planing to show the dog (after the bath/brush), boil 1 liter of water and add about
a spoon full of baby oil and you have the best conditioner for a BC. This can only be used between shows.
I tell all new Bearded Collie owners, - brush carefully and not too much! You can actually brush your dog in such a wrong way
that the dog gets short haired and had no undercoat.
The BC develops a lot of hair in the ear canals. This can have very serious consequenses and severe ear problems if you don't regulary keep the
ears free of hair and clean. It is very important to start doing this from a very early age when you first get the dog. A lot of BC owners that have ignored this have to regulary see their vet to have this done. Unless the puppy / grown dog have been tought
to let you do this - they will make a pretty bad stink about the whole thing.
The ear-hairs can be pulled out with a tweezer, I personally just use my fingers. A good tool can be to use ear-poweder which you can buy in just about any pet store.
Thios dries out the ear and at the same time makes the hair come out easier. Please be careful not to use eardrops too often. Ear-drops can very easily destroy the natural balance in the ear and remove the bacteria that is supposed to be there. Boil some water
and add lemon and you will get a natural ear cleaning product that might help you out.
Dirty Ear /// Clean Ear
your dog scratches its ears a lot or shakes their head a lot, you should be observant of any possbile infections to the ears. Put your ear on the dogs ear and gently squeeze the ear at the base, - if you hear a gurgling sound, ear-infection is already a fact.
The Bearded Collie developes hair between the pad under the feet that you have to keep an eye on. A lot of BCs that are not taken care of tend to walk like on nails. Sand, pebbles, and dirt tangled with hair hurts
to walk on! These lumps must with gentle care be cut away with a small siccor. An untreated paw is an excellent place for bacteria to grow and can cause painful and also cause the dog to knaw on its feet cause even further damage and open wounds. If the problem
is already there, you can as a test try a whitewash which will dry the paws out quite a bit. Please see a vet/groomer asap to have the paws cleaned if you cannot do it yourself. In the winter time with salt and sand it is very important to rinse/wash the paws
in warm water and dried out thouroughly. If the snow is wet it might sometimes help to smear vaseline or pad wax to reduce ice buildup and snow clinging to the paws. Pleas keep in mind that a lot of BCs are very sensitive under and between the paws. Anyone
who is ticklish knows what this means and how bad it can be.
The claws/nails must be cut often and very little on a puppy. This is to get the puppy used to being handled and have its nails cut and also for yourself
to learn how to cut the nails without cutting too far in causeing bleeding. It is harder to cut the nails on dark colored claws than lighter claws where you can see the nerver and where it ends. There are several different types of naiul clippers you can buy
at any pet store. On a puppy you can however easily use the same type of nail clippers that we use on people, as the puppys nails are much softer than on adult dogs. Always remember to cut the wolf-claw whic is located a bit up the front legs on the dog.
A question I am often asked is how often should you bathe your Bearded Collie? I personally travel to dog shows all of the time and so my dogs have baths wuite often. With good and health grooming and good hygene, a
BC will only need a bath 1-2 times per year. This is from experience with dogs that i have not brought to shows, but that has been a regular home-staying pet at my house. The most important factor in having a happy, healthy BC and o be able to use baths this
seldom, is the daily grooming after walks in the outdors.
A Bearded Collie has a very unique and absolutley great feature with its coat. If a BC is full of sand and dirt, you dry the dog off with a towel and
let the dog relax in a dry, and comfortable area without any breeze to dry off completely. When the dog gets up (or as it dries out running around) all of the sand and dirt will be left on the floor, and you will again see the white features on your dog. The
following day you brush through the dog lighly once and the rest of the sand and dirt comes out by itself. It is very important to dry to chest and the paws on puppies off really well as their hair/coat inthese areas are not as developes as the reast and will
not provide the protection that it is meat to just yet.
Bthing your BC too often, reduces the fat in the coat and it will no longer protect
your dog like it is suppoed to. Chooseing the rigth shampoo comes with experience and you will be able to tell which one is best according to how often you bathe your dog.
For puppies, i often use baby shampoo. For shows i often use a shampoo
that does not soften the texure of the coat, this means a shampoo without oil. To remove asphalt, dirt and sore paws, i wash with Murphy's Oil Soap (in moderation) or Sunlight dish soap. By use of Zalo - please be extremely careful. This is very rough on the
After a good shampooing, rinse the dog really well with gradually colder water. On a regular day, you can use conditioner which will ease the daily grooming. If you choose to use a hairdryer on your BC, i will reccomend that you start as
a puppy and gradually get the puppy used to the sound of the dryer first, before you start using it to dry the dog off.
It has becom very "modern" to brush the dogs teeth. Plaque continues to be a problem. I don't
know if it is the acurrent availabe foods, genetic mistakes or lack of hard bones, hard foods or soft foods. In any case, if your dog has a lot of plaque, this has to be removed. Wheather or not you do this yourself with a scrape or let your vet do this in
a clinic - it has to be removed. My dogs don't have much of this problem. They get food they have o chew, hard bread ends, carrots, smoked bones, or bones from the pet store. They also get denta-bones which are supposed to give the dogs healthier and fresher
teeth (if this is a fact or not i don't know - but the dogs sure like them!
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