Do Border Collies Shed?

By John Martin - November 17, 2023

Border Collie shedding on couch

As a breed, Border Collies are highly energetic and affectionate. They are extremely intelligent and make great companions for families who can keep up with their spirits.

At first glance, you notice their lush coat, and the first concern pops into your head—do Border Collies shed? If the answer is yes, then how much do they actually shed?

Shedding is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a dog as a companion, especially if you are allergic.

This article will cover everything related to Border Collie coats and shedding.

What Type of Coat Do Border Collies Have?

Border Collies have a woolly double coat that comes in two types—rough and smooth. Both varieties have a coarse outer layer and a soft undercoat. The coat protects them in cold weather and against other environmental elements.

A dog with a double coat has an undercoat and top coat. The undercoat is dense and acts as an insulator. The second layer of the double coat is the top coat with longer hairs. These hairs are referred to as guard hair. As the name points out, they protect the dog from debris, water, etc.

Border Collies with rough coats have a denser undercoat. The rough coat covers their legs, belly, and chest and ranges from medium to long length.

On the other hand, Border Collies with smooth coats have coarse, short hair all over. Some have a thick undercoat, while others do not. The length and texture of the guard hair can also vary.

Besides these two types of coats, some Border Collies are covered in a mixture of both. They have a rough coat in appearance and length around their ears and heads, but the rest of their body is covered in a smooth and short coat.

You will also find some borders that seemingly have a smooth coat because of the even thickness of fur but are actually rough coated.

The rate of shedding does not discriminate based on the type of coat. A double coat doubles the amount of hair shed. It is more noticeable when a rough-coated border with long fur sheds.

Why Do Border Collies Shed?

While Border Collies shed hair throughout the year, you will notice excessive shedding during particular seasons.

Spring and fall are shedding seasons for most dogs, depending on the climate of the region. However, it is heavier and much worse for breeds with double coats.

Typically, the Border Collie sheds during the spring months to lighten their heavy winter coat to prepare for warmer months. They shed booth their overcoat and undercoat. In the dog sphere, this phenomenon is called ‘blowing coat.’

This excessive shedding is noticed again during the fall months. They shed their lighter, warmer day coats in preparation for growing a thick winter coat during fall.

However, pet parents will notice a heavier shedding during spring compared to fall.

Among the coat variations, rough-coated Border Collies drop more fur compared to smooth coats because of the length of hair.

Besides natural shedding, there are also some other reasons why a Border Collie might be shedding in excess. If you notice excess shedding accompanied by the following behaviors, it could be an indication of a health issue.

  • The dog is excessively licking, scratching, and itching.
  • There are bald patches, and clumps of hair are falling out.
  • The dog is experiencing bouts of diarrhea and vomiting.

In addition to over-the-top shedding, these symptoms could point to allergies or other concerning medical problems. Make sure you get proper vet consultation to rule out any serious issues.

Excessive shedding can also be stress related. Shedding as a response to stress can present with symptoms of dog anxiety, like excessive barking, restlessness, panting, drooling, etc. Once the stress subsides, the shedding will be more manageable.

Poor diet is also considered a contributing factor to excessive shedding. If the Border Collie’s nutritional requirements are not met, it can result in unmanageable shedding. A nutrient-rich, healthy diet makes all the difference in coat quality. Dogs with healthier fur will have noticeably less shedding.

Also Read: Do Border Collies Bark Much?

Why Should You Groom a Border Collie?

Since Border Collies have double-coated thick fur, they shed considerably more than other breeds. If you own a Border Collie, you will find your home covered in fur—lots of it.

Herding dogs usually require vigorous upkeep to maintain the shedding activity, among other things. Luckily, Border Collies are a medium-sized breed, so grooming is not very tedious.

Grooming is important for multiple reasons. Firstly, it allows you to closely inspect their skin and fur for any abnormalities. Regular grooming will make you aware of any developing health issues early on, so you can immediately address them.

One particular issue Border Collies struggle with is dry, itchy skin. This can be caused due to various reasons, including hypothyroidism. If you stay on top of grooming, you will be able to care for your furry friend and relieve them of unnecessary discomfort.

Grooming is also essential to keep tangles away and prevent the matting of hair—matted fur results in skin irritation and hair loss. Therefore, grooming gives you an opportunity to address the issue of excess shedding. Though shedding is inevitable, you can manage it to a certain extent.

How to Groom a Border Collie to Manage the Shedding

Do you want to know what to do to manage how much a Border Collie sheds? Here are some pointers to help you out.

Regular Brushing

Regularly brushing your Border Collie is the easiest way to manage their shedding. This way, all the hair will end up on the brush instead of all over your furniture.

Brushing not only gets rids off shedding fur but also massages the skin. A good massage helps promotes blood circulation and evenly distributes oil over the skin for shiny, healthy fur.

Ideally, your Border Collie must be brushed every day during shedding season. You can tone down this time to two or three times every week during the off-season. Since they have a thick coat, you will need to spend a good 10 minutes brushing to get rid of excess hair and dander.

Maintaining a regular brushing routine will also help you notice if your Border Collie has ticks or fleas. You will need a slicker brush to catch any eggs or parasites in the fine bristles.

Healthy Diet

A diet affects how much your Border Collie sheds. If your furry friend is on a poor-quality diet, they will shed excessively. Dogs need all the appropriate nutrients to nourish the coat from inside out and maintain a healthy coat.

Make sure you include sufficient amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, zinc, vitamins A, E, and B, and linoleic acid in their diet for healthy skin and undercoat.

Anti-Shed Shampoos

Border Collies must not be bathed excessively. Going overboard with frequent baths is irritating to their skin. They require a bath once every three months. However, this frequency can vary depending on how dirty or active they get.

Whenever the grooming session includes a bath, it is helpful to use an anti-shed shampoo. This is a good way to combat excess shedding. It will also help you brush out their fur more easily.

It is important to be consistent and have a grooming routine. Otherwise, you risk your Border Collie’s fur becoming matted and tangled. Their grooming needs are basic, so it is quite easy for you to stay on top of them.

Should You Shave a Border Collie?

It can be really tempting to shave off the fur during shedding season. However, shaving close to the skin is not recommended for double-coated dogs such as Border Collies.

Their dense layer of undercoat is there for a reason. It insulates them from harsh weather and keeps them protected from sunburns and insect bites.

Some people assume shaving will help keep them cool on warm days. However, this is not true. The undercoat protects them from extreme weather—hot and cold. Therefore, you should not shave them down, especially if they spend most of their time outside.

Shaving will expose them to extreme elements and may even result in skin irritation. Irritated skin can cause excess shedding, which defeats the purpose of your shaving them. The coat will also come back in patches, which is not ideal for extreme climates.

However, there may be certain instances where you will be required to shave the coat. For example, your vet may ask you to do so before a medical procedure. You can also lightly trim the fur to maintain it. However, do not overdo it.

Remember, nature has a way to regulate your Border Collie’s temperature for all seasons—it is through shedding!

Also Read: Do Border Collies Bite or Nip?

The Shedding Takeaway

Border Collies do shed all year long. They shed heavily during two seasons. Their double coat may make it seem like a task to groom them. But a routine helps make the process easier. They are low maintenance and quite easy to manage once you get into the habit.

They are not even the biggest shedders in the dog world! All you need to do to prevent getting clumps of fur all over your house is maintain regular grooming, good exercise patterns, and a healthy diet.