Expert Grooming Article
Expert Grooming Article
The Border Collie is a Shepherd’s Choice. Wonderfully smart, eager to work and a handsome fellow as well. The Border Collie is not only a willing and able worker, he cuts a fabulous figure in the show ring too. The envy of those of us who have obstinate and wilful breeds, the Border Collie always appears to be easy to work with and almost an extension of his handler. Not only man’s best friend, this valuable assistant to the flock is a great all round dog for obedience, agility, the conformation ring and more.
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The trick to it all is to be able to separate the duties and needs for this breed and ensure that the necessary approach is taken to his presentation for all events. The standard calls for a weather resistant, double coated breed with an abundant coat to form a mane, breeches and brush. The AKC standard allows some trimming on the feet, hocks and pasterns and mentions the short and rough coated varieties.
The texture is medium topcoat with a soft undercoat and the Border Collie has various stages with his coat due to seasonal shedding and care must be exercised to ascertain at which stage the coat is in order to manage the best outcome.
For the head and face use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed just for faces. It’s a nil fragrance, no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, sooth, add moisture, aid healing and have anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. Can be used in and around ears also with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows easy rinsing yet complete cleaning. Best used first and left on whilst using all other shampoos and rinsing off with the final shampoo rinse.
Starting with the full coat stage, the main aim is for shine, condition and prevention of sunburn and dehydration. I recommend Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo. This toning shampoo is perfect for both whitening the white areas and brightening all of the colours as it enriches the colour. Use at a ratio of 1:5 (1 part shampoo to 5 parts water).
Down the skull and the topline, we recommend using down Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo. The reason for this is that the henna base of this shampoo gives a wonderful shine to the coat. This is our ultimate ‘shine’ shampoo.
Only use a conditioner if the coat is too full and needs some flattening. I prefer to lightly oil this coat with Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil. Dilute 1 teaspoon into 1 gal/4 lt. water then either sponge on or sluice well through the coat and LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE OUT. At this dilution, you will not get a greasy coat but a well hydrated coat with healthy vigour to the hair. It really is quite special, and the results are instantaneous. Seabreeze Oil gives extra sheen and keeps the coat from getting brittle. It also helps to keep the featherings from tangling, this is after all, an outdoors dog who is a busy fellow.
When the coat is starting to get the look that tells you it is thinking about shedding, switch to Plush Puppy Natural Conditioning Shampoo diluted 5:1. This is a nourishing shampoo, helping to increase hydration whilst slightly softening your dog’s coat. Derived from organic sources with a strong emphasis on Evening Primrose extracts to boost skin and hair regeneration.
When out of coat and you need more oomph, use the Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo at the same ratio. This shampoo is excellent to give the appearance of a thicker and fuller coat appearance. It is formulated using organic sources, bolstered by Wheat Protein and Wheat Starch with D-Panthenol and Lichen extracts that boost volume.
You can use some Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner when the coat is about to shed as the coat sometimes can appear boofy and bulky at this point. Still continue to use the Seabreeze Oil.
Reduce staining and any warm or red toned areas with Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. Brilliant in helping to maintain a white stain free coat. It’s not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin. Using on a wet coat, gently rub into the areas requiring whitening or brightening. Allow approximately 5-10 minutes, then rinse. For maximum effects repeat, or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work. As with all products take care around eyes.
Stains are always difficult to shift but short of bleaching, which is not an option, this is a nice gentle way to lessen the impact of nasty stains. The key to this product is allowing time for its natural ingredients to work. We suggest where possible apply to the areas the day before bathing for maximum effect.
For show day grooming, this dog ought to be blow dried using a force dryer as this removes any loose hairs from the coat and keeps the coat rolling over and in good shape for a nice outline. There are various things one can do at this point to ensure a great coat presentation.
If the coat is too sparse, use Plush Puppy Volumising Cream at a mix of 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water. Saturate this through the coat with a decent sized sponge and leave-in. Then blow dry against the growth of the coat for maximum lift. You can also use Plush Puppy Volumising Spray, a ready to use spray simply sprayed where needed, brushed in and then dried.
Use Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream at a mix of 1 tablespoon to 250 ml (8 oz) of water to reduce bulk in areas, soften and flatten if needed, especially when the coat is old and dry.
For the featherings, furnishings and wavy areas that may look better smoother, use Plush Puppy Swishy Coat. Vary your mix according to the texture of the coat but a good starting base is 1 tablespoon to 1 Litre (¼ Gallon) of water. Work well through the areas that are to be smoothed. If on the topline, blow dry against the growth with Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush until ¾ dry and then switch to the oval ½ bristle-½ dialon Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush to smooth and straighten. For the featherings, use the Pin brush again till ¾ dry and switch to the Anti-Stat Brush until smooth and dry. These brushes are of exceptional quality and built for groomers comfort during use, but offer incredible results every time. Now you have the basic shape ready for final titivating and brushing on show day.
To give depth to the whites and cosmetically diminish any stains, use Plush Puppy Cover-up Cream. Dabthe cream lightly onto a barely damp or dry piece of sponge. Lightly rub through the areas needed, adding more layers until the desired effect is achieved. Add a brush full of Plush Puppy Fairy Frost Regular which will also help to dry the cream faster. Fairy Frost Regular gives the crispest and whitest white ever and clings well to the coat all day. Leave-in and brush through.
For the legs apply Plush Puppy Chalkestral evenly to areas before chalking. Either put a small amount into your hands and rub together to “warm up” and then rub into the area. Or swipe a small amount into a damp sponge and evenly rub or wipe into the area. Appy chalk or white powder with brush immediately. Chalkestral is a unique product that conditions the coat to minimise chalk dry out plus adheres chalk to the coat. It is totally water soluble.
For grooming at either the show or at home use Plush Puppy O.M.G. This is a revolutionary grooming spray that lives up to its name. OMG is the perfect product for this coat type. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful. It separates the coat and leaves the most amazing finish. Use the concentrate form at 1:30/40 (1 part OMG to 30-40 parts water). The stronger the mix the stronger their effects. For this type of double coated breed a lighter concentration works best.
Using OMG can be a one off at shows or during the drying process after bathing. An amazing product for regular brushing also. The perfect product to allow all the benefits of putting a moisturising product into the coat without over softening. OMG never builds-up and never goes stringy. A product that took years to develop using the latest of technology for maximum effects. A true necessity for the tool kit.
Show day give the coat a light blow dry and by now you should have a great shape happening. If you need to clean dirty feet or minor mishaps use Plush Puppy Wonder Wash. This is a no rinse wet instant shampoo. Spray and foam up and towel off. I use this also to remove any cream and powder off the legs after the show so as to be clean and ready for the following day’s show. This no-rinse cleanser is efficient and highly effective.
You can also use a light dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust onto the oval cushion Anti-Stat Brush and fluff through the bib, pants and topline for a subtle sparkle and a hint of glamour. Just work against the growth of the coat to allow the powder to settle below the surface and leave the shimmer on top. Great on blacks too!
To keep your Border Collie coat in top condition, try a mixture of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil and Plush Puppy Coat Rescue as a treatment rinse and left in. This helps protect and hydrate the coat. Mix 1 tablespoon of each into 1 Litre (1/4 Gallon) of warm water. Apply all over, do not rinse and then dry.
The Border Collie requires lots of attention to his coat but frankly, on the other hand, you do get it easy with a dog that is easy to train. Nothing worthwhile is easy and I just love the beautiful outline this dog has when he moves with his stealth like gait and looks a million dollars! It just takes a bit of effort and knowledge and once you have that, you can do anything. Go for it!