Collies are masters in the show ring. They are one of the most beautiful breeds of dog you'll ever find, and they possess an air of elegance in their movements that makes them perfect show dogs. If you want to show your collie, however, they will require some regular grooming. Following are the things you should know about grooming a rough coated collie for show.
First of all, rough coated collies require regular brushing to keep their coats looking good. You should brush them at least once a week; more often if they're to be shown in the near future. Never brush your collie while his hair is dry, as this can cause it to break off. Spritz him with a little water before you begin brushing. Because Collies are double-coated, you must be sure and get the undercoat and outer coat when you brush. Part the hair and brush from the root out. If the dog is not shedding and if there are no mats, a pin brush works well for this.
When your collie is shedding or when his fur is matted, try a slicker brush to help remove dead hair and gently remove mats. If you have difficulty brushing out the mats, you may have to cut them out with scissors, but this is, of course, not advisable right before a show. Do not try to cut out mats behind the ears with scissors, as it is very easy to cut skin in this area unknowingly. There is a tool called a mat breaker that works well for this area, but you must still be very careful. Collie should be brushed daily during shedding, as the dead hair can create hot spots on the skin if it sits too long. Collies have very fine hair behind the ears, on their leg feathering and under their bellies. This hair mats easily and should be brushed gently on a regular basis. Use a fine tooth comb to comb the face.
You'll also need to trim your collie's hair occasionally, particular if you're showing him. Buy a pair of trimming scissors made particularly for dogs. Hair underneath the feet can get unruly, so it's best to trim it periodically. You may also find that you need to trim the feathering on the legs, behind the ears and even the tail, periodically. You can find books that give specific guidelines on exactly how these areas should be trimmed up for shows. During times when you're not showing the dog, just perform regular trimming to keep the coat looking tidy and to prevent mats.
Smooth coated collies are much simpler to groom than the rough coated variety, because their hair is so short. Once a week brushing with a slicker brush is likely all you need to keep this dog's coat looking great. They should be bathed about once a month, and are unlikely to need trimming.