Do bearded collies shed? If you have to ask this question, there is a good chance that you have never actually spent some time in a home with this type of dog in residence. Not only to they shed, but they also mat. The bearded collie pictures of dog magazines and fancier websites are a testament to tireless grooming efforts.
Breed Standard for Show Dogs
Before learning how to groom and trim a bearded collie, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the breed standard as set forth by the American Kennel Club. When you want to show your dog, it must have long hair that covers the ears. The dog must present with a double coat that is very soft underneath, which is in direct contrast to the shaggier outer coat.
Prior to showing the dog, take great care not to artificially part the coat along the spine. Instead, the coat must part naturally. As you might imagine, show dogs may not be trimmed or display a sculpted coat.
What about a Non-show Trim?
If the animal is not shown, a puppy cut is perhaps the simplest method for keeping the dog comfortable and the need for extensive grooming at a minimum.
- Trim the hair between the toes and around the paw pads. Due to the shagginess of the outer coat, bearded collies pick up leaves, sticks and other debris quite easily. If trapped between the toes, there is a chance that the skin may become irritated or infected. The best tools for this delicate job are ear trimming scissors; their precision blades and short length makes them perfect for the detail work around the pads.
- Clear the area around the private parts. Long-haired dogs are notorious for getting fecal matter and urine trapped in their coats, and bearded collies are no exception. Use an electric clipper for trimming the hair around the anus as needed.
- Give the dog a one-inch clip cut. Even though it alters the appearance considerably, it greatly cuts down on the amount of grooming time. This is usually referred to as the puppy cut. For the summer, trim the body fur to a ¾ inch but leave the beard and face at an inch to highlight the beard.
Trimming May Subject You to the Wrath of Fanciers
Fanciers do not take kindly to seeing bearded collies clean-shaven. As a quick peek into the Champ Dogs Forum highlights, purists hold the belief that dog owners desirous of a dog with a short coat should opt for a breed that accommodates this preference naturally.
Maintaining the Coat at its Length
Owners hoping to maintain the animal’s natural coat must realize that a trim is never a good idea. The Beardie website offers a good set of tips to get you started on grooming your bearded collie.
- Set aside grooming time each day. Brush out the coat each day to remove dead hairs and prevent mats from forming and excessive shedding from occurring.
- Do a full grooming once a week. This is the time to brush out the mats, clean out the ears and ensure that no fecal matter has been collecting in the coat.
- Buy a grooming table. Since you and your pet will spend quite a bit of time maintaining its coat over the years, it is a good idea to use a professional table that makes this easier. Searching for mats and separating them with a poodle brush is a lot more comfortable when you can stand upright rather than hunch over the dog.
If you decide to go this route, start the day that you get the bearded collie. When you let its coat go without proper grooming for a few weeks – or months – you may have to get a professional to help you get out the mats and untangle the hair.