best brush for border collie

Infamous for their unbelievable intelligence, Border Collies are one of the only breeds that can leave owners questioning who’s smarter in the owner-pet relationship. These dogs are classic herders, full of energy and desperate for a job to do. Once they’ve completed their missions, Border Collies love to snuggle up with their owners at day’s end.

Because they’re so intelligent, Border Collies are extremely trainable, particularly if you live on a farm where you need a good working dog. Even if you don’t have wide swaths of land for a Border Collie to work on, these dogs make excellent pets for active owners. They’ll accompany you running, hiking, or on virtually any other adventure you can think of.

This agile and energetic breed needs plenty of outdoor time to keep their minds from running into overdrive, but the special care with which you’ll have to provide your Border Collie doesn’t end there. These dogs have a thick double coat that requires a fair amount of brushing just for upkeep, and that’s saying nothing of their heavy shedding seasons.

If figuring out how to navigate the process of brushing your Border Collie feels a little out of your element, this guide is for you! We will discuss different Border Collie coats and brush types, as well as give you our top picks for Border Collie brushes.

Keep reading for all the information you’ve been searching for on brushes for Border Collies!

Different Types of Border Collie Brushes

Wondering what sorts of brushes other Border Collie owners are using, and what exactly their functions are? Here’s a list of the common brush types and what they can do for your smart pup.

  • Pin brush — These brushes look nearly identical to human hair brushes, only the pins are slightly more sparse on the brush head. These are particularly good for Border Collies as they gently brush through the coarser top layer of their coats, catching dirt and debris as well as loose fur.
  • Undercoat rake — This type of brush truly looks like a small rake, usually featuring a single row of long metal teeth that reach into the undercoat and collect loose or dead fur. This helps greatly reduce the amount that a Border Collie sheds, particularly during their bi-annual coat blows.
  • Slicker brush — One of the most commonly used brushes for almost all breed (including Border Collies), slicker brushes certainly have a place in every brushing routine. They’re made up of a broad, flat head covered in fine wire bristles. These bristles effortlessly work through tangles, and collect loose fur along the way.
  • Comb — Like the human version, combs for dogs can feature wide or fine teeth; some even come equipped with sharp edges to eliminate mats. The top layer of a Border Collie’s coat responds well to combing, giving it a cleaner and more uniform appearance.
  • Shedding brush — Different from an undercoat rake in that it targets the top layer of fur primarily, shedding brushes usually work by running a row of fine metal teeth through a dog’s coat. These teeth collect any loose fur that would otherwise be shed. Some versions of this type of brush are also made of rubber or silicone.

Different Types of Border Collie Coats

Unlike many breeds, Border Collies have a clear distinction between the two coat types that make up the breed. Here is what they are, and what they look like.

  • Rough — A rough coat is essentially just a long coat. Most classic Border Collies have this type of coat. It grows long and thick, with feathering around the ears and on the back of the legs.
  • Smooth — As you may have guessed, smooth coated Border Collies have short hair. Ironically, these coats are coarser than their ‘rough’ counterparts.
Both of these coat types feature two layers with a weather resistant top coat and a finer, insulating undercoat. The visual difference between a rough and smooth Border Collie is quite obvious.

Our Top picks for Brushes for Border Collies

Now that we’ve discussed some of the necessary information, we’ll reveal our top brush picks in a number of categories!

FURminator Firm Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • Comes in 2 sizes
  • Dual flex head allows brush to contour to your dog’s shape
  • Wire bristles are straight on one side and bent on the other
  • Anti-microbial plastic keeps coats clean

Overall Best Brush for a Border Collie —With Border Collie coats coming in such distinct variations and presenting such a wide range of issues, we had to choose a true utility player as our pick for the overall best brush for a Border Collie, and that could be none other than the slicker brush. This one features a split head, so it matches your dog’s shape to remove tangles and loose fur while cleaning the coat.

Pros:

  • Dual flex head makes for a more thorough brushing
  • Anti-microbial plastic promotes cleanliness
  • Effective at removing tangles, dirt, and loose fur

Cons:

  • Bristles may prick your hands as your remove fur
  • Might pull too much fur out

FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • 3 sizing options
  • Short and long hair styles available
  • Curves to conform to your dog’s shape
  • Skin guard edges add safety

Best Shedding Brush for Border Collies —This brush reigns supreme in the category of shedding brushes, as is evidenced by its more than 1,000 5-star reviews. The blade of fine teeth work through any coat type to eliminate loose fur and cut down on shedding. The curve of the blade and the skin guard edges add a high degree of safety to this tool.

Pros:

  • 97% rate of recommendation
  • Painlessly reduces your Border Collie’s shedding
  • Traps loose fur in the fine teeth

Cons:

  • May not hold on to loose fur from a smooth coat
  • More expensive than similar brushes

Andis Premium Deshedding Pet Tool

Key Features:

  • Reduces shedding up to 90%
  • Curved teeth protect skin
  • Helps minimize shedding without damaging fur
  • Lightweight design

Best Deshedding Tool for Border Collies —The curved blades on this lightweight tool are specifically designed to take out excess fur without damaging the Border Collie’s protective top coat. The shape of the blades protect the skin while maintaining their efficacy.

Pros:

  • Greatly reduces shedding concerns
  • Curved teeth serve a number of functions
  • Lightweight enough for continued use

Cons:

  • More expensive than similar tools
  • May not work as well for smooth coated Border Collies

ConairPRO Dog Undercoat Rake

Key Features:

  • Comes in short and medium styles
  • Features a single row of rounded teeth
  • Effortlessly removes excess fur from the undercoat
  • Gel grip handle provides comfort for you

Best Undercoat Rake for Border Collies —This simply designed rake certainly gets the job done. With a single row of sturdy metal teeth, this rake pulls out loose fur from the undercoat to greatly reduce shedding during those times of the year when your Border Collie is blowing its coat. The rounded design and gel grip make this a comfortable brush for both you and your pup.

Pros:

  • Reduces shedding due to the undercoat
  • Comes in styles appropriate for any Border Collie coat
  • Painless for you and your dog

Cons:

  • Hair may not stick to the teeth
  • Teeth sometimes slide through fur without collecting it

Andis Premium Large Firm Pet Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • Broad brush head is perfect for large dogs
  • Tightly packed fine wire bristles
  • Removes tangles and mats painlessly
  • Can also help cut down on shedding

Best Slicker Brush for Border Collies —The slicker brush is a true utility tool. Though the main function is to reduce tangling and mats, this brush can also help remove dirt and debris along with loose and dead fur. This particular slicker brush features an especially large brush head, cutting down on the amount of time it will take to brush your Border Collie.

Pros:

  • Large brush head perfect for medium-large dogs
  • Many fine wire bristles minimize tangles
  • Costs less than $8.50

Cons:

  • Bristles may prick dog with too much pressure
  • Not that effective at removing loose fur

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

Key Features:

  • Serrated teeth cut through mats
  • Rounded edges prevent skin scrapes
  • Removes loose hair and works out tangles
  • Ideal for dogs with thick double coats like Border Collies

Best Comb for Border Collies —This wide-toothed comb features serrated edges so you can cut through particularly gnarly mats in your Border Collies coat, like the ones that tend to develop behind the ears. The rounded ends of the teeth prevent any discomfort for your dogs and will leave their coat tangle free.

Pros:

  • Perfect for thick, double coats like a Border Collie’s
  • Can eliminate tough mats
  • Won’t cause your pup any pain

Cons:

  • May cut your fingers as you remove fur collected in teeth
  • Will take a while to work through the entire coat

Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush

Key Features:

  • Classic pin brush design
  • Safety tipped pins
  • Stimulates skin and hair follicles for a shinier coat
  • Sturdy design means a long-lasting tool

Best Pin Brush for Border Collies —Pin brushes are excellent for reducing small tangles in Border Collie coats while simultaneously encouraging shine and uniformity. This is a classic version of the pin brush, with a solid design and safety tipped pins.

Pros:

  • Classic sturdy design
  • Safety tipped pins
  • Great for gently and quickly brushing Border Collie coats

Cons:

  • Tips may pop off of pins
  • Rubber backing tends to detach

3 More Top Rated Border Collie Brushes

Feel like you could stand to have a few more options before settling on which brush you’d like to purchase for your Border Collie? No problem! Here are 3 more top rated brushes that didn’t make it to the very top of our list, but that are still great options.

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush

Key Features:

  • Dual sided brush head
  • Pins on one side and softer bristles on the other
  • Removes minor tangles and increases shine
  • Helps eliminate dirt and debris

This pin brush is more than just that, as it also has a dense crop of softer bristles on the opposite side of the head. The safety tipped pins can brush out smaller tangles and collect loose fur, while the bristles can distribute your Border Collie’s natural oils and add a level of shine to their coat.

Pros:

  • Double sided head adds value
  • Safety tipped pins protect skin
  • Cost-effective

Cons:

  • Bristles are not all that necessary for most Border Collies
  • Safety tips may pop off of pins

Pet Republique Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • Retractable wire bristles offer easy cleaning
  • Gently untangles knots and mats
  • Helps collect loose fur to prevent shedding
  • Should reach into the undercoat of most Border Collies

Another ever-versatile slicker brush, this one ensure that you won’t prick your fingers while removing fur from the bristles by offering a self-cleaning function. Simply press a button and the wires will retract into the brush. Though the main function is to eliminate tangles, this brush should also help clear out dirt, debris, and loose fur from your Border Collie’s coat.

Pros:

  • Self-cleaning function adds convenience
  • Serves multiple functions
  • Perfect for penetrating thick Border Collie coats

Cons:

  • May prick your pup’s skin with too much pressure
  • Might not reach the undercoat of some Border Collies

Petmate Furbuster Rotating Tooth Comb

Key Features:

  • Teeth rotate a full 360 degrees
  • Excellent for removing small tangles
  • Gives fur a look of uniformity
  • Great for longer coats that tend to look unkempt

Though not an especially necessary item for smooth coated Border Collies, this sort of comb can make a world of difference for rough coated ones. The rotating teeth make combing painless, and are great for smoothing out tenders spot like a Border Collie’s feathering.

Pros:

  • Teeth rotate completely
  • Smooths out and detangles fur
  • Allows for high control in sensitive areas

Cons:

  • Not a useful tool for smooth coated Border Collies
  • Cannot remove more serious mats

6 Tips for Brushing your Border Collie

Brushing your Border Collie doesn’t need to be a high-stress situation if you handle it in the right way. Here are 6 tips to help ease the discomfort associated with the brushing process!

  • Give them a task to complete while you brush — Distracting your Border Collie’s keen mind as you brush them can help keep them from wriggling away or deftly slipping out of your grasp. A dog puzzle or even something as simple as a bone will help keep your pup occupied as you groom them, so you aren’t constantly reminding them to lie down or sit still. To Border Collies even recreational activities like these can be viewed as tasks to complete.
  • Keep it short and sweet — Energetic Border Collies have a hard time staying still, and long, drawn-out brushing sessions are sure to feel taxing for them. Though their coats need regular brushing, you shouldn’t need to spend more than 5-10 minutes on a single session. This short run time will help keep your dog’s frustration at bay, and it will also prevent you from getting burnt out on brushing and dreading the experience.
  • Watch out for mats — Tangles can develop quickly in denser and more tender areas of your Border Collie’s coat. Check behind their ears or on the backs of their legs frequently for small tangles that could quickly turn into more serious mats. This practice will help you catch potential mats early, and brush them out before they become unmanageable and need to be trimmed out.
  • Establish a routine — Dogs in general, but herding breeds in particular, thrive on a solid routine. If you can establish a day and time at which your brush your Border Collie each week, they will be much more willing to participate, as they will begin to view the brushing sessions as a simple fact of life rather than something they can try to connive their way out of.
  • Keep the season in mind — Don’t let those bi-annual coat blows creep up on you. The undercoat sheds follow the changing seasons, so stay aware of any upcoming temperature changes like the transition from winter to spring, as you may need to adjust your grooming routine accordingly. Staying ahead of the undercoat will reduce the amount of hair around your home during these periods of time.
  • Reward your Border Collie after brushing — As a herding breed, Border Collies are very driven by positive reinforcement. After all, their expressed purpose was to diligently serve owners for many years. Following a brushing session, treat your Border Collie to a special snack or some outdoor play time to let them know they’ve done a good job. This will trigger their instinct to please their owners, and they’re more likely to behave well during future brushings.

FAQs Regarding Brushes for Border Collies

Feeling a little uncertain about some of the aspects related to brushing your Border Collie? Here are answers to four of the frequently asked questions associated with the subject.

  • Do Border Collies have double coats? Yep! Like most dogs who were bred to work outdoors, Border Collies have a coarser, weather-resistant outer coat as well as a softer, insulating undercoat that helps regulate temperature. The top coat should be maintained nicely, and you should be careful not to damage it while you work on thinning out the undercoat. The undercoat is blown twice a year and accounts for a major portion of the fur you will see shed around your home, so a good undercoat rake will become one of your best friends during those periods of time.
  • How often should I brush my Border Collie? Despite their thick coats, you shouldn’t need to brush your Border Collie more than once a week for most of the year. This schedule may change with the seasons, as you might need to amp up the brushing frequency to 2-3 times per week to adequately clear out loose undercoat during fur the times that it is being shed.
  • What brush works best for a Border Collie? This depends on whether your Border Collie has a smooth or rough coat to some degree. Rough coats are more prone to tangles and mats, so they can benefit from a slicker brush or comb that will work out those tangles and add some uniformity. Smooth coats have no risk of tangling, so a pin brush will often suffice for short haired Border Collies. Experiment with different types to see which works best for your particular dog’s coat and lifestyle.
  • Will my Border Collie shed? Definitely. You can expect some amount of shedding year round, and a high amount of shedding when your Border Collie blows their coat twice a year. The best way to deal with the heavier shedding at those times is by utilizing and undercoat rake to collect loose and dead fur. A shedding brush will also help collect loose fur before it falls to your floors and furniture, and a deshedding tool can minimize this even further.

Conclusion

Border Collies make loyal and hardworking companions for owners who are willing to put in the time with them. These extremely smart dogs deserve the best lives possible, and that includes helping them achieve the best possible coat.

It may feel confusing to try and take on a new grooming routine for your Border Collie, but hopefully, this guide has helped clear up some of the confusion on the subject. We encourage you to shop our picks and take care of your Border Collie’s coat as well as you possibly can!

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