As a dog owner, I am well aware of how important it is to make sure you can manage your furry friend’s shedding.
So, I wrote this guide to help you learn:
- How much shedding you can expect
- Seasonal impacts on Border Collie coats
- Causes and concerns with excessive shedding
- Ways to reduce shedding
- And much more!
How much do border collies shed? Border collies are a moderate shedding breed, so on a scale from 1 to 5, they are a 3. This also depends on which variety of border collie you have (e.g., a smooth or rough double coat) and the particular time of the year. In general, this breed is not the best choice if you are looking for a low-shedding breed.
|What's In This Guide?|
How much Will A Border Collie Shed Throughout the year?
Whilst border Collies do not have a high maintenance coat, they do in fact shed throughout the entire year. You can expect moderate shedding throughout the year with heavy shedding occurring during spring and fall.
Dogs that are subject to frequent temperature fluctuations are more inclined to a great deal of shedding. As a result, the longer you keep your dog in a controlled home setting, the less likely they are to abundantly shed. Border collies need a lot of physical exercise and are supposed to spend a healthy amount of time outside, which means regular walks are essential.
Seasonal shedding can last up to four weeks and comes in preparation for the upcoming seasonal changes. This is divided into two separate cycles, one at the start of summer and the other at the beginning of fall. It is said that border collies ‘blow their coat’ during these periods.
This means you can expect more shedding during the buildup towards the hotter months of the year and expect the opposite during build-up to colder months, meaning that more growth will take place when approaching winter.
Along with being double-coated, Border Collies also have rough or smooth coats. Rough coats tend to be longer, and fall often all year round whilst smooth coats shed less and are generally easier to maintain.
What causes excessive shedding in Border Collies?
Other than regular shedding happening for natural reasons, you may notice your Collie also experiencing excessive hair loss. In some cases, you as the owner can cause this by doing any of the following;
A possible cause of increased shedding in a border collie is giving them too many baths. This can even have harder consequences if the products we use are not sensitive enough for the dog’s skin.
This reaction is due to the fact that border collies, like any other dog, naturally produce oils to cover their skin and hair. Over-bathing progressively depletes the oils, preventing them from working as protection and doing their function.
Parasites (Fleaks, Ticks)
Fleas and ticks are the most common parasites that can cause dogs a lot of stress and anxiety. Itching is the most common cause of shedding, considering that your border collie will constantly scratch to relieve the pain.
It is crucial in these situations to have an expert opinion on the matter. Your veterinarian can help you identify the problem and suggest the right treatment to ease your dog’s discomfort and eliminate the parasite problem. Some common remedies are usually specific shampoos, sprays, or vials.
Stress is also a common reason behind Border Collies losing fur. This process is due to a hormone increase in the blood called epinephrine, which causes hair to fall.
This psychological condition may be due to different reasons:
- New experiences and situations
- Unfamiliar people or other pets
- Loud noises
When a dog follows a healthy diet, its hair follicles become stronger, and its skin becomes smoother. Border collies need a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet with plenty of high-quality protein and specific fatty acids.
Foods that cause allergies can also cause excessive shedding that may stem from a variety of foods of environmental elements other than food.
Keeping a close eye on your border collie and their habits will help you understand if any of these factors may be responsible for their shedding. If you think allergies are causing a reaction, you can try to eliminate the allergen for a period of time and evaluate if there are any improvements.
It’s critical to always feed high-quality dog food if you want to improve your border collie’s shedding through diet. Avoid those with high quantities of corn and grains in them. These are less nutrient-dense and more difficult to digest. Monoproteic kibbles can also help their digestion and ease the absorption of nutrients.
In any case, make sure to feed your border collie a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essentials for a shining and strong fur.
What type Of Coat Do Border Collies Have?
Border collies can have two types of coats: rough or smooth. They mainly differ in their length and feathering.
Feathers appear along the thighs, chest, and belly of rough coats. This typically comes in a variety of thicknesses and levels of feathering. Rough coats are coarser to the touch, as the name implies, and for this reason, shedding is much easier to see with rough coats. Due to genetic influences, rough coats are more commoon than smooth in Border Collies.
Border collies with smooth coats have much shorter fur with no feathering. The color and thickness of the coat vary from dog to dog, as some may have a thicker undercoat than others. Smooth coats are much easier to maintain than rough coats. They absorb less soil, dry more quickly and retain less matting making them super simple to keep tidy.
Top Coat and Undercoat
Both types of border collie have a softer undercoat, which has the purpose of protecting the breed from wind and cold during winter and keeping them isolated from the hot temperature during summer. It is dense, shorter, waterproof, and also helps border collies regulate their body temperature.
The topcoat, instead, is longer (independently from the rough or smooth coat), protects the undercoat, and contributes in repelling dirt and moisture.
You may be wondering how nature developed the Collie coat in this way. Border collies are historically working and herding dogs, and it is essential for them to feel comfortable at any temperature. This same structure, in fact, is also present in other working dogs that have to face extreme temperatures, like Siberian huskies or Alaskan malamutes.
How do you Reduce your Border Collies Shedding When Grooming?
Grooming your border collie is the most effective way to reduce shedding. There is no specific recognized method to do it, and every border collie owner has their own method. That said, a slicker brush is the most useful for dogs with this coat style. You may also use a de-shedding tool as an alternative.
Another option could be a slicker brush, which is made up of fine, closely packed, slightly twisted wire bristles with plastic or rubber ends. They are convenient and cheap tools to always have in your house. This brush does an excellent job of softly brushing old hair, gravel, and ashes. It is also very useful to detangle our fido’s knots.
Brushing a border collie on a weekly or biweekly basis is sufficient and should help to significantly reduce the amount of hair you will find around the house. This process also massages their skin, which aids in the equal distribution of natural coat oils around the skin.
Some dogs love being brushed and feel like it’s a day in a spa. Other dogs (like mine) take it as a personal affront and need a diplomatic approach to accept the deal. In this case, treats can help you. You can hold a treat in your hand while grooming your border collie and give it every now and then to prize their good behavior.
Another efficient technique is distracting them with their favorite toy or a tasty bone. In this way, they will be too involved in another activity to realize you are taking away their old fur.
In any case, it is often a good idea to start brushing your border collie at a young age. This choice will give them time to get used to the process and understand it is a standard procedure they will have to go through every once in a while.