Whenever you plan to bring a new dog into the home, shedding is always worth considering. There is a multitude of reasons why excessive shedding is an issue, besides the fact that it is a pain to constantly clean up. Different dog breeds shed in varying amounts, and if you are considering a border collie for your home, here is the low down on how much it sheds, and when.
Border collies are considered as being moderate shedders, but this does depend on which type of border collie you have. There are two types you can find, a smooth border collie and a rough-coat border collie.
A rough-coat border collie will shed more than a smooth-coat, but they both will shed a decent amount each year. When you begin your search for a border collie, it doesn’t make much sense to base your variety choice on shedding.
The difference may exist, but it can often be negligible between a rough coat and a soft coat. To give you the best metric, a border collie would be considered a 6/10 in terms of how much it sheds, with 10 being the heaviest.
It is worth considering not only how much the dog may shed, but also how you plan to manage its shedding, as this plays a big part.
Why Do Border Collies Shed?
To understand how much border collies shed, you first need to understand the world of a double-coated dog. There are certain breeds of dogs that have these double coats, comprising a soft top layer with a more coarse undercoat.
The reason why a border collie has this kind of coat is because of the environment in which it was bred for so long. A border collie was raised to be a herding dog, in cold climates such as the Scottish highlands.
This environment can be bitterly cold during winter and warm-to-hot in the summertime. Border collies were outside in each of these challenging environments herding sheep and cattle.
As a result, its coat had to evolve to ensure it stayed warm or cool, depending on the weather conditions. This is why it is in the border collie’s nature, to ‘blow its coat’ twice a year.
During the springtime, the border collie will lose its thick winter coat to stay cool in summer. During the fall, the dog sheds its thin summer coat, to grow its thick and rough coat for winter.
Other factors beyond shedding season will impact border collie shedding. Let’s take a look at what can cause excessive shedding in the border collie breed.
In all breeds, allergies can often cause our canine friends to shed more than they usually would. A border collie, much like a human, will start to scratch if they have irritations caused by allergies.
Border collies could be allergic to foods, insects, or even environmental substances such as pollen. Allergies can affect a dog like a border collie at any stage in its life, and could certainly result in you seeing more loose hair around your place.
If you have a border collie and notice more dog hair than normal, it could be an allergy-related issue. It is worth noting that border collies are no more prone to having allergies than any other dog.
Border collie puppies will shed their coats within the first 6 to 12 months. When border collie pups are born, they have a very soft, furry, thick coat. This suits them in their early stages of development, protecting them from inevitable falls and bumps.
Once the first year is out of the way, however, border collies will shed their puppy coat and begin to grow their double coat. Once that fluffy coat has gone, it will not be making an appearance again in the dog’s lifetime.
In the same way that humans remark about ‘pulling hair out’ when stressed, dogs go through something similar. Now, you are unlikely to see your border collie’s coat torn to pieces after it has been in a stressful situation. Having said this, unnecessary stress can result in excess hair being shed.
Dog owners will know just how sensitive dogs can be, and border collies are no different. Stress that leads to increased shedding could be something like a house move, a member of the family leaving, or they could even be stressed because their owners are.
Fleas & Ticks
Your dog can get fleas and ticks very easily, from something as simple as playing with other dogs. When fleas and ticks get into the dog’s loose fur, they find their way to the root of that healthy coat, and down to the skin.
Regardless of whether you have a smooth or rough-coat border collie, they are going to be equally bothered by this kind of infestation. Fleas, ticks, and other parasites will cause skin irritation and that will lead to increased scratching, often in the same area.
Border collies shed excessively when they have these parasites, mainly because they are scratching the hair from their coat. Thankfully these issues are easily treated, but you need to be vigilant to identify them in the first place.
Managing Border Collie Shedding
Whether it is during shedding season or not, there is much that you can do to manage how much of the dog’s coat ends up around the home. Here are some tips to minimize border collie shedding, keep loose hair to a minimum and ensure that your pooch has a healthy coat all year long.
For any border collie, shedding volume is always determined by its general health. Assuming that there are no issues such as illnesses, allergies, or infestations, this begins with your dog’s diet.
The dog food that you give to your border collie should be chock full of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as essential nutrients such as zinc and linoleic acid. Vitamins A, B, and E are also important in maintaining healthy skin and a smooth coat.
For a border collie, shedding is often much worse if they are not eating the right dog food for their breed, size, and age. If you are in any doubt as to what your border collie should be eating, consult with your vet.
Exercise is a great way to keep your dog in shape, and combined with a healthy diet can minimize the amount of hair they shed. Exercise is a great stress reliever for your dog, and it also encourages the production of healthy cells that ensure your dog has a healthy coat.
Not only this, but as border collies run around, they will shed a lot of dead hair out in the open, and not in the house, which is great news for owners.
These herding dogs can generally take care of themselves, so bathing isn’t something you need to do regularly. Shoot for once every three weeks. This said you may wish to use anti-shed shampoo during shedding season if that thick coat is thinning more than you’d like.
You can also find shampoos that will treat fleas and ticks if this is what has contributed to the excessive shedding. Thick coats take quite a bit of washing, so this may be a two-person job if your dog is particularly boisterous.
Using a pin brush or metal comb as part of your daily grooming routine is a great way to manage shedding from your dog. These tools are designed to loosen matted hair and remove any loose hair that has been shed.
When your border collie has a thicker coat during winter, you may find that a pin brush alone is not enough to get right through the fur. Try using a slicker brush here to really get into the soft undercoat and get all the loose hair together.
Grooming your border collie’s smooth coat with a slicker brush is something they will love. This will also help you to keep all of that loose fur in one place, making the clean-up so much easier.
Lint rollers are ideal for getting dog hair off the surface of clothing, flooring, and even furniture. Pet hair lint rollers are great to store in places like on a coffee table, a car, a desk drawer, etc.
A pet hair remover tool will help scrape embedded hairs that have dug themselves deep into fabrics.
Both tools are handy to keep around the house or vehicle, or even to bring with you on the go when with your dog. Staying on top of cleaning will prevent fallen hair from being tracked into new or unwanted areas of the house.
Border collies on average need to be groomed every four to eight weeks. Generally, they will require more frequent grooming during the fall and spring shedding seasons.
Besides the tips from above, you always need to consider nail clipping, teeth brushing, ear and eye cleaning, and general bathing. Border Collies do not require haircuts, just minimal trimming of their hair around their legs and feet from time to time.
If unaware of your dog’s grooming needs it’s always best to seek out advice from a professional groomer or vet.
Can You Shave a Border Collie?
As mentioned, you should never shave or drastically cut your border collie. Dogs like border collies shed hair to maintain their body temperature and to stay healthy. If you shave the dog you can easily cause irregularities in the coat’s natural oils, resulting in an unwell pooch. Additionally, you could risk serious illness and even death for your dog, if they are not able to stay cool or warm when they need it most.
Border collie shedding is moderate and manageable. If you have one of these intelligent dogs in your home, it is always a great idea to take action during grooming season, to reduce the mess around the house.
Always focus on making sure that your dog is as healthy as possible. Feed your border collies the right dog food, exercise them regularly, brush them daily, and take them to the vet if you have even the slightest concern.
Do Border Collies Have a Double Coat?
Border collies do have a double coat, and this is what keeps them so warm in harsh, cold conditions. A border collie will have a rough outer coat with medium-length hair, and then a coarse undercoat with short, bristling hair.
Is There a Non-Shedding Border Collie?
In terms of purebred collies, you will not find one that is non-shedding. The closest you can get would be a mix, something like a Bordoodle, which is a collie mixed with a poodle.
Are Border Collies High Maintenance?
Border collies are not high maintenance and they are generally very self-sufficient. This is one of the main reasons why this breed makes a great family pet.
Is a Border Collie a Good House Dog?
Family pets don’t get much better than a border collie. Despite them being herding dogs, and used to living in the fields, they have evolved to feel very comfortable in a family home.
Do Border Collies Bark a Lot?
Border collies are high-energy dogs, and they cannot wait to share it with their owner. This often means that they bark a lot, to show their excitement and to let us know when they need something.