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How to Shave a Border Collie: the Ultimate Guide for a Fresh, Healthy Coat (2024)

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how to shave a border collie

To groom your Border Collie, you’ll need to think about grooming frequency and patterns. Use suitable grooming tools and products, and talk to a veterinarian if you’re unsure.

Grooming is a way of life for the dog, so start grooming when it’s a puppy for easier upkeep. Use diluted conditioner to untangle the thick undercoat, then blow dry and brush to remove loose hair.

Getting rid of the undercoat speeds up drying time after swimming, reduces shedding, makes brushing easier, and makes the dog more comfortable in warm weather – these are important reasons to groom a Border Collie.

To find out more about the best grooming methods for this breed’s unique coat, keep reading our complete guide.

Key Takeaways

  • Shaving a Border Collie is not just a haircut; it’s a lifestyle adjustment for the dog.
  • Removing the undercoat offers benefits such as reducing drying time after swimming, decreasing shedding, making brushing easier, and improving comfort in warm weather.
  • Detangling the thick undercoat involves using diluted cream rinse, fine-toothed combs, and a high-powered dog dryer.
  • Regular grooming, including shaving every six months, helps maintain a healthy coat and prevents mats.

How to Shave a Border Collie?

To shave a Border Collie, follow these steps:

  1. Brush the dog thoroughly to remove loose hair and tangles.
  2. Use an undercoat rake to remove the undercoat, which is responsible for shedding and heat retention.
  3. If necessary, use grooming scissors or clippers to trim excessively long hair or for aesthetic reasons.
  4. Avoid shaving the entire coat, as it can cause irregularities in the way the coat grows back and may lead to patchy and uneven regrowth.
  5. Brush the dog daily to keep the remaining coat clean and free of tangles.

Remember that Border Collies have a double coat designed to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Shaving the entire coat can make it harder for them to regulate their body temperature. Instead, focus on brushing, undercoat removal, and targeted trimming as needed.



When it comes to grooming your Border Collie, the thought of shaving may occur to you, particularly during those shedding marathons.

However, think carefully!

Shaving frequency and patterns are essential; it’s not merely about trimming the fur.

You’ll need the appropriate shaving tools and products, designed for dogs with skin conditions or simply to provide comfort.

Therefore, before you shave, reconsider.

It’s not just a haircut; it’s a lifestyle adjustment for your furry companion.

Detangling Thick Undercoats:

Detangling Thick Undercoats:
After applying diluted cream rinse to your Border Collie’s wet coat and working through any woolly areas with a pin brush and comb, rinse out the conditioner thoroughly. Then, wash with a mild, dog-friendly shampoo to clean the coat and prepare it for drying and brushing out any remaining loose hair.

Rinse Out the Conditioner and Wash With Mild Shampoo

Now that you’ve applied the diluted cream rinse to your Border Collie’s coat, it’s time to rinse out the conditioner and wash with mild shampoo. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Rinse out the conditioner thoroughly using warm water.
  2. Apply a mild shampoo to the coat, focusing on the woolly areas that need detangling.
  3. Massage the shampoo into the coat, working through any knots or tangles.
  4. Rinse the shampoo out completely, ensuring all suds are removed.

Next, you’ll move on to blow drying and brushing to remove loose hair.

Blow Dry and Brush to Remove Loose Hair

After a good rinse, it’s time to tackle that undercoat. Grab your high-powered dog blower; it’s your new best friend for efficient drying. As you blow-dry, wield a fine-toothed comb like a maestro, teasing out tangles with finesse. A spritz of silicone-based spray turns each strand into a slip ‘n slide, making your brush glide like it’s on ice.

Benefits of Removing Undercoat:

Benefits of Removing Undercoat:
Removing the undercoat on your Border Collie offers multiple benefits that enhance their comfort and manageability. It reduces drying time after swimming, decreases shedding around your home, makes brushing easier to maintain a tangle-free coat, improves airflow for comfort in warm weather, and can be done every six months to maintain these positive effects.

Reduces Drying Time After Swimming

Shaving your Border Collie can noticeably reduce drying time after swimming. The removal of the undercoat allows water to drain more readily, speeding up the drying process. This is particularly beneficial for dogs that enjoy swimming, as it can save time and effort in the drying process.

Decreases Shedding

Shaving your Border Collie can notably reduce shedding. By removing the undercoat, you’ll notice less hair around your home and on your furniture. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Shaving: Use a clipper with a #4 guard to remove the undercoat.
  2. Undercoat Removal: Shave the belly, armpits, and thighs to reduce shedding.
  3. Coat Health: Regular grooming maintains a healthy coat and prevents mats.
  4. Grooming Techniques: Shaving every six months helps maintain results.

Makes Brushing Easier

Shaving your Border Collie can facilitate brushing by eliminating the dense undercoat that frequently results in mats and tangles. This simplifies grooming significantly and simultaneously averts potential complications. With a less dense, more streamlined coat, you’ll find it considerably easier to manage your dog’s fur and preserve their optimal appearance.

Improves Comfort in Warm Weather

Shaving your Border Collie can markedly enhance their comfort in warm weather.

By eliminating the dense undercoat, you’ll lessen the amount of fur that retains heat, enabling your dog to cool down more quickly.

Untangling the undercoat before shaving can be arduous.

However, using diluted cream rinse, fine-toothed combs, and a powerful dog blower will facilitate the process.

Consult with a veterinarian if you’re uncertain about shaving.

Always maintain consistent grooming to preserve your dog’s coat in good condition.

Can Be Done Every Six Months to Maintain Results

Maintaining your Border Collie’s coat fresh and healthy isn’t rocket science. Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Detangling Frequency: Aim for a bi-annual detangling session. It’s like hitting the reset button on your dog’s fur.
  2. Cream Rinse Choice: Opt for the budget-friendly stuff. Your wallet will thank you, and so will your pup’s coat.
  3. Post-Detangling Care: Don’t skimp on the silicone spray and master those drying techniques. It’s the secret sauce to a sleek, comfortable coat.

Additional Tips:

Additional Tips:
For detangling your Border Collie’s thick undercoat, use an inexpensive cream rinse – it works just as well as pricier options.

When combing through the coat, go with the finest-toothed comb you can find to thoroughly work through any matted areas.

Once the coat is detangled and rinsed, use a high-velocity dog blower to efficiently dry the fur and remove loose hair.

To reduce friction and static when brushing after drying, apply a silicone-based spray, but do so outdoors as it can make floors slippery.

Use Cheap Cream Rinse for Detangling

When tackling the task of disentangling a Border Collie’s thick undercoat, employing a budget-friendly cream rinse serves as a practical solution. These rinses are formulated to facilitate the grooming process, making it more streamlined. However, it’s imperative to dilute the cream rinse prior to applying it to your dog’s coat. A ratio of 16:1 is frequently recommended, which entails mixing 16 parts water with 1 part cream rinse. This dilution contributes to reducing the drying time following swimming, minimizing shedding, and easing the brushing process. The cream rinse can be applied to a damp coat and subsequently rinsed out before washing with a gentle shampoo.

To further refine the detangling process, contemplate using a silicone-based spray on the damp coat. This spray possesses the ability to diminish friction and simplify the removal of loose hair. It’s advisable to apply the spray in an outdoor setting, as it may render indoor floors slippery.

Go as Fine-toothed as Possible With the Comb

When detangling your Border Collie’s thick undercoat, make certain to use a comb with fine-toothed teeth.

The tooth count and width of the comb can vary.

Select one that suits your dog’s coat type and thickness.

Some combs are made from plastic, while others are made from metal or rubber.

Regardless of the material, confirm that the comb is gentle on your dog’s skin.

Use a High-powered Dog Blower for Efficient Drying

Use a high-powered dog blower for efficient drying. Blower power is essential for quick drying, saving time. High-powered dryers guarantee your Border Collie is dry in no time, making grooming sessions more manageable.

Apply Silicone-based Spray Outdoors Due to Potential Floor Slipperiness

To safeguard your Border Collie’s well-being, it’s essential to use silicone-based sprays outdoors when grooming or detangling their undercoat. Silicone sprays offer benefits like minimizing friction, aiding in detangling, and shielding the skin from excessive heat. However, they can make floors slippery, so outdoor application is advisable. Here are some tips to apply silicone sprays safely:

  1. Select a pet-friendly, non-toxic silicone spray.
  2. Apply the spray to the dog’s coat prior to grooming or detangling.
  3. Let the spray dry before permitting the dog to walk on slippery surfaces.
  4. Monitor the dog closely after applying the spray to prevent any slipping or sliding.


When shaving your Border Collie, it’s essential to take certain precautions.

Before applying any products, dampen the coat and work in a diluted cream rinse to detangle matted areas; this will prepare the coat for a smooth shave.

Once the cream rinse is thoroughly brushed through, rinse it out completely.

Follow up with a mild, dog-safe shampoo to cleanse the hair and skin.

apply diluted cream rinse

When tackling your Border Collie’s thick undercoat, start by generously applying a diluted cheap cream rinse.

This step is your secret weapon to transform a knotty mess into a groomer’s dream canvas.

Before blow-drying, spritz with a silicone-based spray, preferably outdoors to avoid the potential slipperiness of indoor grooming escapades.

rinse out the conditioner

To rinse out the conditioner on your wet dog, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse Thoroughly: Start by rinsing your dog under running water to remove any excess hair and dirt. This will help the conditioner work more effectively by allowing it to penetrate the coat better.
  2. Apply Conditioner: Apply a diluted dog conditioner to your dog’s coat. Dilute the conditioner with water, typically using a ratio of 1:10 or 1:32, depending on the product’s instructions. Be sure to saturate heavier areas like the legs and behind the ears.
  3. Massage the Coat: Use your opposite hand to massage the coat as you rinse, helping the conditioner to spread evenly and penetrate the coat.
  4. Rinse Again: Rinse the conditioner out completely. This may take some time, especially for larger dogs, but it’s crucial to remove all the conditioner to prevent any residue from irritating your dog’s skin.

Remember to use a dedicated dog conditioner, as human conditioners may contain ingredients that could be toxic to your dog if ingested. Also, avoid using essential oils in your dog’s conditioner, as they can weigh down the fur and attract dirt.

wash with mild shampoo

To wash your Border Collie with mild shampoo, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse out the diluted conditioner from your dog’s coat.
  2. Apply a mild shampoo that’s suitable for your dog’s skin and coat type.
  3. Avoid over-washing to preserve protective oils.
  4. If needed, use a dry shampoo as an alternative to bathing.

When choosing a shampoo for your Border Collie, consider the following:

  • Opt for a hypoallergenic shampoo that’s gentle and free from harsh chemicals.
  • Select a shampoo that’s formulated for dog fur and skin, as human shampoo can be too harsh.
  • Consider using a soap-free, pH-neutral shampoo that’s infused with natural botanical oils.
  • Avoid shampoos with parabens, sulfates, dyes, artificial fragrances, and petroleum-based ingredients.

Remember to introduce grooming as a puppy for easier grooming later and brush regularly to prevent mats and knots. Groom Border Collies 3 times per week and manage shedding with regular grooming.

Grooming Frequency:

Grooming Frequency:
To maintain your Border Collie’s coat in pristine condition, it’s imperative to groom them three times per week. Introducing grooming practices early on during their puppy stage will make the task more manageable and comfortable for both you and your furry companion as they mature.

Groom Border Collies 3 Times Per Week

Groom your Border Collie three times a week to upkeep their coat’s health and appearance.

This frequency is in line with breed standards and show grooming expectations.

For coat types, consider clipper selection based on fur thickness and growth patterns.

Use a Furminator to eliminate loose hair and prevent matting.

Regular grooming ensures your dog remains comfortable and appears their best.

Introduce Grooming as a Puppy for Easier Grooming Later

Introducing grooming exercises to your Border Collie pup is a vital step to guarantee a seamless and stress-free grooming ritual in the future. Here are three tips to assist you in getting started:

  1. Begin promptly: Start grooming your pup as soon as you bring them home. This will assist them in getting acclimated to the method and making it a positive encounter.
  2. Utilize positive reinforcement: Reward your pup with treats or encouragement after each grooming session. This will assist them in linking grooming with something pleasing and making them more inclined to cooperate in the future.
  3. Have patience and persistence: Grooming a pup can be a novel and unfamiliar encounter for them. Be patient and consistent with your grooming ritual, and don’t anticipate your pup to become an expert overnight. With time, they’ll become more at ease with the method.

Brush Regularly to Prevent Mats and Knots

After introducing grooming to your Border Collie as a pup, you’re on the path to mastery.

Regular brushing is your secret weapon against mats and knots.

Arm yourself with detangling tools and a selection of cream rinses.

A pin brush of the right size turns a tangled mess into a manageable task.


You’re likely familiar with the shedding habits of Border Collies, as their coats undergo a cyclical renewal process, with peak shedding occurring in spring and autumn. Regular brushing during these periods is essential to managing shedding and rejuvenating the coat, ensuring your Border Collie stays comfortable and healthy.

Border Collies Shed Hair

Border Collies are known for their dense, weather-resistant outer coat and soft, insulating undercoat, which makes them well-suited for outdoor activities. This also results in moderate to heavy shedding.

Shedding in Border Collies is influenced by various factors, including breed genetics, health, and environmental conditions. The frequency and intensity of shedding may vary. However, it’s most noticeable during seasonal changes, such as spring and autumn, when they shed excessively.

To manage shedding in Border Collies, regular grooming is essential. This includes brushing and bathing at least once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Additionally, maintaining a nutritious diet rich in essential nutrients and ensuring proper hydration can help maintain the integrity of the coat.

Most Shedding Occurs in Spring and Autumn

Spring and autumn are the seasons when your Border Collie’s coat undergoes seasonal shedding. This natural process is essential for coat rejuvenation, so don’t be alarmed. To manage shedding, introduce grooming as a puppy, brush regularly, and maintain a grooming schedule. Shedding prevention and reduction techniques can also help keep your dog’s coat healthy and fresh.

Shedding Helps Rejuvenate the Coat

Shedding is a natural process for Border Collies that aids in invigorating their coat.

During shedding season, which generally occurs in spring and autumn, your dog’s coat will shed more than usual.

This process is vital for keeping a healthy coat and preserving the natural oils that shield it.

By understanding shedding patterns and grooming regularly, you can ensure your Border Collie’s coat stays in optimal condition year-round.

Brush Regularly During Shedding Season

As we’ve learned, shedding is a natural process that helps rejuvenate your Border Collie’s coat.

But it’s also essential to manage this process effectively.

Start by using an inexpensive cream rinse to detangle the thick undercoat.

Then, rinse it out and wash with a gentle shampoo.

Afterward, apply a silicone-based spray to reduce friction and blow dry with a strong dog blower.

Remember to apply the spray outdoors to prevent floor slickness.

By brushing regularly during shedding season, you’ll keep your Border Collie looking clean and healthy.

Manage Shedding With Regular Grooming

Managing shedding with regular grooming isn’t just about keeping your home hair-free; it’s about mastering your Border Collie’s coat health. Here’s how:

  1. Detangling Tools: Arm yourself with the right brushes. They’re your swords in the battle against mats.
  2. Cream Rinse Dilution: Like a magic potion, it eases the combing process, keeping the undercoat healthy.
  3. Drying Techniques: Master the art of drying. It’s pivotal for shedding management and turning grooming into a breeze.


Just like grooming a show horse, shaving a Border Collie requires patience and the right techniques.

Master the art of detangling, blow drying, and brushing to maintain a fresh, healthy coat.

By removing the undercoat regularly, you’ll reduce shedding, make grooming easier, and keep your pup comfortable in warm weather.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.