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Clipping Border Collies?


Blackdawgs
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My BC has a very heavy coat. We live in the deep south and my dog really feels the heat. My dog lives indoors, but she likes to hang-out in the backyard and watch the world go by. Indoors, she likes to lie on the bare floors and often against the cool wall. We do some agility in the evenings and now that it's getting warmer, she is really slowing down. And she isn't as willing to chase the ball.

 

I'm seriously thinking about body clipping her. I've heard mixed things, that the coat "insulates" them, that the coat will re-grow like crap...that clipping them really makes them more comfortable.

 

Can anyone give me a good reason NOT to clip my dog? I really do think that she will be more comfortable (and, yes, I do use a "furminator" to thin her coat)

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It does make the coat less "slick" and dirt repellent. Years ago I clipped my epileptic BC because she turned into a yak as she aged, growing a giant, poofy coat. Because she had a little urinary leakage while she slept she needed frequent cleaning and the coat was a bother, the pee would sink in and washing and drying her took forever. So, I cut her down and found I could easily rinse her off and even sometimes use baby wipes to clean her. However, her shaved coat matted to itself much more easily and the dirt didn't fall out when she dried like my other BCs did. For me, I just kept her shaved very short and the bother of grooming was worth being able to wipe her off when she got pee on her.

 

You might consider shaving his belly, the inside of his legs and armpits and keeping his feet short to start and see if that helps him cool off.

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I clipped Samantha every summer for the last several years. The first year that I had her clipped, she'd been unable to settle at night, would wake and pant heavily for several minutes at a time. I got her clipped to about a half an inch all over, and she fell asleep that first night and didn't wake up once till my alarm went off.

 

I've also clipped Shoshone. I've had to bathe her frequently in an expensive prescription shampoo for her allergic seborrhea. At $20 for a 12 oz bottle, I didn't want to wash any extra fur.

 

They both enjoyed the cooler coats, and both girls grew back their fur as if nothing had ever happened.

 

I suppose it's an individual dog type of thing. You'll need to try it and see what results you get. It did work great for us.

 

Ruth

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I clipped my old dogs for the last five or six years of their lives using a #10 blade (super short!). They never matted much when they grew back for winter, just a little behind the ears. It gets really hot here and they were much happier sans fur coat and the comic value was an added plus (they didn't seem to care as long as they were cool.) I have all smooth coats now and probably won't willingly go rough coat again if I can help it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a Golden Retriever with and incredibly thick coat. (I live in GA--Hot as Hades!) I always get her shaved on May 1. That gives her a little bit of coverage from sunburn and it all grows back by fall. I haven't decided about my BC yet. Her fur isn't quite as thick. She'll be spayed this summer, so we might go for the belly-shave. ;)

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I have found that a good session with a Furminator will remove so much undercoat that the heavy-coated dogs get a lot of relief from the heat. I have not found this to be damaging to the guard hairs, but evidently some people have. I even do my cat - he LOVES it and is so much more comfortable in hot weather.

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I have found that a good session with a Furminator will remove so much undercoat that the heavy-coated dogs get a lot of relief from the heat. I have not found this to be damaging to the guard hairs, but evidently some people have. I even do my cat - he LOVES it and is so much more comfortable in hot weather.

 

+1 for the Furminator.

Here in AZ it's often hotter outside of the dog than in (cue Groucho's book joke)so I was always taught that having a layer of insulation is a good thing...as dogs don't sweat.

 

The biggest source of heat I've noticed for Cerb is the sun. In direct sunlight he's panting and hunting shade after five or six Chuckit's, even at 85 degrees. You can really feel the heat comming off his black patches.

From here on until the middle of October he doesn't go out until the sun's about to go down. I just wish I could rig a refrigerated piece of marble for him to lounge on when he gets back from his workout.

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I shaved Jude last summer and noticed a huge difference in him. He doesn't have a thick coat by any means, but shaving it down till he seemed like a smoothie really helped him perk back up. He was shaved twice last summer and will probably be 2 or 3 times again this year. It grew back normal in the fall. His fur also grows very quickly, so that's why I do it more often.

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yes shave. I actually just shaved mine last night. I do a medium shave in april then I use a 7 pretty short in June then in August I use the 10 super short then let her grow out and trim her up all winter. I am a groomer and have shaved every breed. I sheaved a few borders every 6 weeks no mattter the weather. You and your dog will love it trust me I have been a groomer for 5 years. I even she my smooth coat but inly once a year. You can find ticks and fleas a lot easier. Good luck hope you do it and enjoy it.

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  • 2 months later...

I too have been toying with the idea of shaving my border collie. Thank you for the replies to the original poster's question. I am new to this website and while reading the various topics on the boards I feel that my dog suffers from the Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) syndrome. She has 4 inch hair at the top of her neck with maybe 3 inches everywhere else. Her hair is semi-curly on top while straight on the sides and chest. I purchased the furminator when she was a pup, but stopped using it as I wanted to see if her tail hair would fill out to a fuller plume as in other BC's I've seen. QUESTION: DO YOU THINK SHAVING HERE WILL STOP THE EIC EPISODES..it that is truly what she suffers from?

 

She will be 3 years old in Sept 2011 and we have been dealing with her getting what I thought was "overheated" for almost 2 years during the summer months or when temps are 70 degrees or higher as well as the high humidity levels found in Western TN. This means that from mid May thru October we can only run her late at night and even then still have to watch her closely. Usualy we can only play outside chasing frisbees, etc for 10 minutes or 10 throws...that is how bad she gets overheated. We usally do this across the street in a middle school field and because we are close enough for us to get back to the house and plunge into cool water in the bathtub if required to cool off. I take refrigerated water with us everywhere we go and place a bowl of it nearby and she will drink it when she comes to me before treking out for the next throw.

 

During the winter months we go daily to a county park that has an 130 acre off leash dog area with trails, open pastures, and 3 ponds/lakes. I will walk throwing the frisbee and she will catch it and run ahead of me, drop the frisbee and wait for me to catch up. We do this for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes with NO EIC issue during the winter...when temps are 60 degrees down to 20 degrees. This spring she has just started trotting along the edge of the ponds, but refuses to go into the water. She is a very intense BC and will play frisbee non-stop if I let her. While playing catch she will bring the frisbee to me and you can see her mouth quivering and waiting in anticipation of the next throw. QUESTION: THE FACT THAT I DON'T SEE HER OVERHEATING IN THE WINTER MONTHS DOES THIS MEAN SHE IS REALLY GETTING OVERHEATED IN THE SUMMER VS. HAVING EXRCISE INDUCED COLLASPSE? OR ARE THEY CONSIDERED THE SAME THING? OR IS HEAT SENSITIVITY, HEAT EXHAUSTION/HEAT STROKE, AND EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE REALLY ALL THE SAME THING? She was spayed at 7 months...does that have anything to do with it?

 

This is my first BC and I'm HOOKED!

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