I've found that massaging in a conditioner for about 5 minutes after rinsing the shampoo off will get rid of a ton of my Border Collie's coat. And then force-drying it blows off even more. Tangles/knots/matts from the force drier have never been a problem - they just slide right out when she is dry because of the slickness from the conditioner.
2012 Dutchmen Voltage Epic 3795
2010 Dodge 3500 DRW MC
2009 GMC 2500 DA CC
2012 Smart-for-two (sometimes hitches a ride in the Voltage!)
2005 Sundowner Sunlite 777
Currently we cannot use bath time as a means to get dead hair out of our dogs coats. Perhaps once the milk house hase been converted into a kennel our dogs will get another bath (it's been over 3 years since their last one).
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Gyp (retired), Peg, Bette, BJ, Nell, Tally & Eve
Sam the Maremma Sheepdog (at home guarding our flock)
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M
They get manure (and mud when it's wet) on their coats every time we use them to move sheep (lie down means right where you are regardless of what is on the ground). Their coats get clean on their own or with brushing; the dirt and manure falls off their coats when it dries (we can tell by the dust level in the house). They don't smell or feel greasy. What would be the point in bathing them?
There is a HUGE difference between a suburban yard and what is around our farm. The dogs have made our small fenced yard into a mud pit. My muck boots have a permanent manure/urine smell. If we were to bathe our dogs when they got dirty we would be bathing our dogs every day.
Ah, the beauty of a good working coat! The ranch where we train has very sandy soil, and when it is wet it sticks to Buddy like glue and glitter to a Kindergartener. But by the time I put him in his crate in the car and drive home, he is clean. The dirt dries, and falls off. His crate pad? Different story. It has to be washed frequently.
Mark, I know a guy who herds with his corgis (both Pembroke and a couple of Cardigans) His dogs are AKC conformation champions as well as competing in herding and doing his daily chores with the sheep and cattle. One time we were talking about the catch-22 of "give a bath, dog works stock and gets dirty, step and repeat" and he told me that he never, ever bathes his dogs, not even before taking them in the show ring. Just a good, healthy brushing and a wipe-down of the face and ears. When I looked surprised, he picked up his dog, held him up to me and said "smell him!".... He smelled fine to me.
Granted, this guy lives in Western AZ, and I'd imagine that his yard and pastures might be a little drier than yours.....
Samantha (the poster)
Tim, spouse and driver of the Corgi-Bus
Buddy, Diva, and Pippin - Pembroke Welsh Corgis
We have owned collies for 30 years, they are combed daily which takes only five minutes each day compared to waiting a week and spending an hour to catch up. For bathing, we use same technique corgi-traveler does but we brush with the slicker same way hair grows. Use a leave in conditioner that helps with removing the undercoat and a good blow dry grooming with a grooming comb. Anyone that has met my collies say they feel so soft...like human hair. And they always look gorgeous.
This time of year our dog crates and mudroom get covered with dust. My Peg came in wet and dirty after helping us catch the ewes that just lambed (5 lambed yesterday: 2 sets of triplets, 2 sets of twins, and a single) so we could worm the ewes (birth seems to activate the intestinal parasites) and to ear tag the lambs. In order to control the ewes she needed to be in very specific spots (1-2 feet to either side of the spot and the ewe would try to escape) in the barnyard regardless of what she had to stand or lay in.
This time of year we're moving sheep around every day, multiple times of the day to feed, check lambs, worm ewes, etc. There is not time to bathe our dogs every day AND it would not be healthy for their skin and coats to be bathed every day.
For those interested....
current 2012 lambing stats
ca. 45 ewes were bred
19 have lambed
3 lambs (from 2 ewes) died at birth
20 live ram lambs
16 live ewe lambs
Like many others, I am a big fan of the Furminator. As a matter of fact, Gretchen and I had a 15 minute session with it last night! End result, a completely full Wal-mart bag of top and bottom coat fur.
As others have mentioned, you must be very careful using it, as the teeth are fairly sharp. So sharp, in fact, that a while back I accidently ran it over one of my fingers, and got quite a nasty cut. With practice, you learn how to use it effectively and safely. To me, the most important tip is keeping the "angle of attack" very low, otherwise you risk digging into your dogs skin with the sharp edge.
Walter & Garland - Camp Canine caretakers
Gen. Gretchen - 9 y.o. GSD - Special Forces/Seal/DOTL Cloudbusters
Gen. Missy - GSD/Aussie - Joined Special Forces/DOTL Rainbow Division, June 11,2006
Miss Inga - 8 month old GSD. Still a civilian at this point.