Border Collies seem to be one of the best all-around and well-known dogs, and no wonder! They are considered the smartest dogs in the world, and their high energy and loyalty make them wonderful companions.
But beyond finding a dog with the right temperament, other things like shedding and grooming can impact your decision. How much do Border Collies actually shed?
Border Collies shed about a moderate amount – they aren’t the worst, but they will definitely leave a lovely hair coating around your home.
If you’d like to learn more, we’ll divulge how much Borders tend to shed and ways you can combat all of that hair.
How Much Do Border Collies Shed?
Border Collies are considered moderate to heavy shedders because of their coats. We’ll take a look at the three main aspects of the Border’s coat that make them shed as much as they do.
Fluffy Coats Keep Them Warm
Border Collies originated on the border between Scotland and England. These Scottish dogs had to do a lot of outdoor work sheepherding in a cold and wet climate, so their coats needed to give them extra protection.
So, their coats are a little fluffier than some other dogs, and while there are smooth and rough-coated Border Collies, either coat works well at keeping them warm. But the extra fur also contributes to the shedding.
And again, because of the cold climate, Borders also have a double coat. Both the smooth and rough-coated breeds have a double coat, although the rough-coated Border has a denser undercoat.
Double-coated dogs have an outer or top coat as well as an undercoat. The undercoat is dense and with a wooly texture – it acts like insulation.
It does a great job keeping dogs warm but also cools them off in hot weather. Dogs with double coats shed much more than those with only one coat.
And then there are the infamous shedding seasons when dogs blow out their coats. All dogs experience this, but when you have a dog that already sheds a fair amount, you can expect flurries of dog hair in the fall and spring. This is especially true for double-coated dogs.
When spring rolls in, Borders will shed their thicker winter coats for the summer, and then in the fall, they shed their lighter coats to make room for the heavy winter coat again.
Spring is the heaviest shedding season, and you can definitely expect more shedding from the rough-coated Border.
Managing Your Border Collie’s Shedding
There’s not a lot you can do about your dog’s shedding. Some dogs just shed more than others, so it can also come down to each individual dog.
But there are some steps you can take to help you cope with the shedding better, and most of it involves grooming.
Brushing your Border Collie is one of the most essential things you can do to help control some of the shedding. Borders should be brushed a minimum of three times a week, but you’ll want to brush your dog every day during the shedding seasons.
This will help remove most of the loose hair before it reaches your furniture. And during the fall and spring, double-coated dogs are much more likely to develop mats with all of that shedding – it’s super important to keep up with daily brushing.
You should use a pin or slicker brush for brushing (a slicker brush is best) and use an undercoat rake, which is very effective at removing the excess hair in the undercoat.
Avoid using deshedding tools, like the FURminator, because they will cut your dog’s coat rather than remove shedding hair. And make sure to brush them outside or on an enclosed porch!
Bathing your Border is another good way to control the shedding, but you shouldn’t bathe them too often. Frequent baths can dry out your Border Collie’s skin because it strips the natural oils from their coat. This will likely make the shedding worse.
Typically, you shouldn’t bathe your Border more than once every two months or so. And always use a shampoo formulated for dogs. There are some dog shampoos that are designed to help with excess shedding as well.
Here are a few bathing tips:
A number of factors can lead to a dog shedding more hair, but one of the main reasons is a poor diet.
When a dog owner buys the cheapest food, if the nutrients are lacking or not balanced enough, it can lead to a dog shedding more than usual.
That said, the most expensive food might not be appropriate for your Border Collie, either. Your best bet is to speak to your vet about what food is best for your dog.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are other factors that can cause excessive shedding in dogs. If your Border seems to be shedding more than they usually do and are also scratching a lot, check for fleas and ticks.
You should be able to spot them while grooming your dog, so speak to your vet for the best course of action to rid your dog of these parasites.
We’re not talking about a typical blow dryer here. Professional groomers use a high-velocity dog dryer, which is super effective at removing loose hair.
It can actually remove enough hair to reduce shedding for up to 3 weeks! You can buy your own (which would be a good idea if you have more than one shedding dog) or have your groomer do it for you.
Border Collies can be moderate to heavy in their shedding, but part of this depends on the dog in addition to the time of year and their diet.
But any Border Collie owner will tell you that regardless of all of that hair flying around, owning one of these gorgeous dogs is worth the extra effort!
Featured Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock