“To Shave or Not to Shave your Collie”
Written by Suzi Newman
A Collie has a beautiful Coat and they do shed. As such they are not the best breed choice for someone with Allergies. Also, both Rough and Smooth Coated Collies are a double coated breed. In a double-coated dog the first layer of fur, the undercoat, consists of fine, fluffy hairs that are short and close to the skin. This is the fur that keeps you busy sweeping and dusting. This is the fur that sheds. Not only is this layer great at plugging up your vacuum, it’s also excellent at trapping air and insulating your dog. The second layer consists of tougher texture guard hairs that don’t shed, rather they protect your pup from bugs and the sun.
Many ask if shaving their Collie in the summer will keep him/her cooler. The answer is a definite no. In fact, here are a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to shave your Collie:
You can De-shed your double coated dog instead! Your dog’s soft undercoat needs to be shed out, not shaved down. Double-coated dogs shed a lot. It’s natural and healthy. However, their undercoats need to come out, often and regularly. Undercoats are easily brushed out with an undercoat rake or removed with a high velocity dryer.
Mats can be worked through and the hair detangled with some cornstarch or detangler. Also, I have found that carefully clipping through the center of the mat releases the hairs and you can detangle easier. Gently brush the matted area with a soft bristle brush alternating directions. Place your fingers under the base but above the skin to help keep tugging the skin to a minimum when brushing. Sweep the brush sideways to break up the hair fibers. Make sure you do not bathe your dog until all matts are detangled.
Note: There may be medical reasons or rescues who will (in their best health interests) need to be shaved. In most cases the hair will grow back within 4-6 months when this is necessary.