In the “Ruff”

Some groomers call the long hair falling from a dog’s mane into her sides, under her neck, and the front of her chest an “apron,” but others call the same thing a “biff” or “ruff.” It’s usually seen on Rough Collies (and Shetland Sheepdogs). By any name, we call it beautiful.

Considering the thickness of the coat, Collies don’t suffer in summer heat, and not only do they not need to be clipped, but shouldn’t be clipped!  Guard hairs of the coat are excellent at protecting the dog from the sun’s harmful rays, heat stroke, and bug bites, and help maintain a constant temperature because the insulating fluff of the double coat reduces temperature changes. That way, the dog doesn’t have to work as hard to stay comfortable.

It’s panting that provides 80% of a dog’s cooling power, anyway. The dog breathes rapidly, brings cooler air into contact with the moist tissues inside the mouth and lungs where that moisture can evaporate and dissipate heat. At the same time, blood vessels in the Collie’s head expand, allowing the blood to be closer to the surface to cool off before it cycles back deeper into the dog’s body.

Shaving a Collie’s coat is a bad idea, too, because the older the dog,  the less likely that the topcoat of guard hairs will grow back. This leaves the dog with undercoat that not only gives the dog a patchy, mangy look, but can alter their coat for the rest of the dog’s life essentially stripping them of the natural ability to protect themselves. The texture of the new double coat coming in won’t feel the same as it did before – having an almost “velcro” quality to it, and that means the dog’s new coat will attract burrs, seed heads, grass, twigs and garden debris.

Show us your Shelties and Collies!

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