Border collies are some of the more popular breeds of dogs. They are extremely loyal companions and are also considered to be exceptionally smart. In fact, most experts would mention intelligence as the number one fact about a border collie. These dogs have broken several records – including one for a dog skateboarding for 100 meters in a period of under 20 seconds.
Interesting facts aside, one thing that may be a bit bothersome to some owners is the fact that border collies can sometimes shed. Due to the long coat, shedding of a border collie is prone to leave a lot of hair on the coaches, the bed, and over the floor.
Those who are not sure if this is the right dog for them often ask do border collies shed a lot. Even among people who have a border collie, there may still be questions regarding shedding. Is your dog shedding too much? Could it be a sign of a health problem? In this post, we’ll explore all of these questions to help set your mind at ease.
Do Border Collies Shed A Lot?
Some dogs shed a lot – to the point where you cannot leave your home without hair all over your clothes. Other dogs, however, tend to shed much less.
There are a few things that people tend to look at when they want to adopt a new dog. One of these would often be how much shedding they should expect. When it comes to shedding, the fact remains personal to the majority of people.
It really comes down to the personal preference of you and your family. Some families prefer dogs that do not shed. Other families do not mind shedding. If you are prepared to undergo the appropriate steps to minimize shedding and to clean up properly when shedding happens, then your selection of dog breeds to choose from instantly expands.
The border collie does not shed a lot like some of the other dog breeds. Dogs that tend to be at the top of the list when looking at shedding include Saint Bernard, golden retriever, Akita, huskies, and the Great Pyrenees.
A border collie is a moderate shedder. What this means is it won’t shed as much as the dogs we just mentioned. At the same time, don’t expect any shedding either.
Shedding happens differently throughout the year. There are times when mild shedding is noted. In these cases, you won’t necessarily find your furniture and clothes covered in hair. On the other hand, during certain times, more shedding can be expected.
It should be noted that there are different types of coats that a border collie can have. This is something to be taken into consideration when considering how much a border collie will shed. Some are more prone to shedding than others. Note that all border collies do shed for similar reasons, however.
A border collie will shed a few hairs every day. This happens throughout the year. There are, however, specific times of the year when shedding among border collies become significantly more noticeable. Some people refer to these as the border collie shedding seasons. At the beginning of summer, you may notice that shedding is more intense. The same generally happens when fall starts.
(Want to know if border collies like water, and whether they can swim!)
Why Do Border Collies Shed?
You’ve found an interest in border collies, or perhaps you have already adopted one of these intelligent dogs. Your next question may be, why are they shedding so much.
While they are not the biggest shedders among dog breeds, they do shed more than a lot of other dogs. A good starting point here would be to learn why a border collie sheds so much.
Understanding the reasons behind shedding is a good way to identify potential causes when the dog starts to shed more than expected. It also helps you determine what type of strategies can be used to help reduce the effects of shedding in your home.
When it comes to the reason for shedding more than some of the other dog breeds, we need to take a look at the coat of a border collie. Unlike dogs that shed only mildly, a border collie has a double coat.
It’s just as the name suggests. A border collie does not have just a single coat of hair. Instead, they have two. An essential reason for the double coat comes from the strategies that were used for breeding these dogs.
Border collies were bred to withstand any type of weather condition. Their main goal through breeding was for herding. The double coat allowed the dogs to be more resilient to both winter and summer weather conditions.
The two coats that make up the border collie’s exterior include:
- The outer coat, sometimes also called the topcoat.
- The undercoat
Two specific types of coats exist among border collies. A border collie can either have a rough or a smooth coat. There are two main differences when it comes to looking at the type of coat:
- The coat type determines the length of the border collie’s hair
- The feathering of the hair is also determined by the coat type
A border collie with a rough coat will generally have more feathering compared to a smooth coat. A smooth coat tends to have shorter hair. In some cases, no feathering is noted in a border collie with a smooth coat.
When the undercoat is longer, which is generally the case with a rough cate, there will usually be a more significant amount of shedding. The shorter hair border collie may shed a bit less – but some shedding is still to be expected.
What Can Cause A Border Collie To Shed More?
When adopting a border collie, understand that there will be times where you feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of shedding. This is a natural part of this dog breed.
At the same time, you should be able to identify cases where shedding is too much. There are cases where too much shedding happens. This can be caused by a large number of issues. Understand every potential cause behind excessive shedding.
When you know what can cause a border collie to shed more than they should, it is easier to recognize specific issues that can be addressed.
First of all, know that shedding will be more severe during the shedding season. As noted previously, expect your home to be a bit more covered in the hair at the start of the summer season, as well as during the early stages of fall.
Other reasons why your dog may suffer from excessive shedding, or when there is a significant amount of shedding off-season, include:
A lot of people do not realize that their dogs can be affected by stress. We often think that stress is just something humans experience. This is not true, however.
If you have stress, it can be passed on to your dog. Border collies are intelligent dogs. They can pick up on stress from their owner. When this happens, your dog can become stressed.
There are also a few stressors apart from your own that can affect a border collie.
When your dog has stress, it can cause them to shed more than they normally do. Thus, when you notice excessive shedding, consider whether you have been more stressed recently. Also, consider the dog’s environment and recognize any new changes that might have affected them.
If stress is the cause, then addressing the stressors could be a good idea.
What you feed your border collie will have a major impact on their health. If you fail to provide your border collie with the nutrients they need, then problems with the dog’s health can develop.
Your dog’s entire body depends on the right nutrients. This includes the coat. If your border collie is fed low-quality food, then this may show in their coat. You may find that your dog starts to shed too much.
A low-quality diet can also cause other problems. This includes a coat and skin that is dry. The result is often itching of the skin. The continuous scratching can then lead to problems, such as broken skin.
One thing that people often fail to realize is that cheap dog foods that are bought at the local supermarket are made with profit in mind. Lower-quality ingredients are used in these foods. This means your dog does not get the nutrients they need to be healthy.
When there is excessive shedding in your border collie, consider taking a closer look at the food you are feeding them. Look at the ingredients. Do some research too.
You need to look to the internet to help you discover if the food you are feeding your border collie may be the reason behind the excessive shedding.
It might be a good idea to invest a little more into your dog’s food. You would be surprised at how much just slightly better food can really improve your dog’s coat and general health.
Yet another thing that affects dogs like it does humans – would be allergies. There are many things that a border collie can be allergic to.
Sometimes, there is an ingredient in the food you feed your dog. The ingredient causes your dog to experience an allergic reaction.
Note that there can also be environmental factors that cause allergies.
When allergies occur, your dog may start to scratch often. They may damage their skin, which causes a risk of infection. Shedding is another common sign that a dog is suffering from an allergy.
It is also important to realize that a dog can develop an allergy at any time. When your dog loses a lot of hair, consider looking for other symptoms. If there is a lot of scratching, the reason maybe allergies.
No one likes a dirty dog. This is especially a problem if you enjoy letting your border collie in at night.
Washing is the go-to solution to getting dirt, mud, and other things off your border collie’s coat. Once your dog is clean, you’ll be more willing to allow them up the couch or the bed.
Unfortunately, if you wash your border collie too much, you’re doing more harm than good.
Sure, a clean coat is ideal when your dog jumps up on to your furniture. The problem, however, is that the constant washing is stripping the dog’s skin from important oils.
A border collie has a double coat, as we have mentioned already. The skin has follicles that produce certain oils. These oils are essential for keeping the skin of your border colly healthy. The oils also contribute to the overall health of your dog’s coat.
When you strip the dog’s skin from these oils, then dryness is sure to follow. This causes itching and is also associated with a higher risk of skin infections.
Apart from infections, skin problems, rashes, and itching, shedding can also occur if you wash your dog too frequently.
Ticks And Fleas
Frequent tick and flea treatments are recommended for multiple reasons.
First, ticks and fleas can be hazardous to your border collie’s health. There are studies that show these are effective at reducing the risks that come with an infestation from ticks and fleas.
When you fail to provide tick and flea treatment at the right intervals, then your dog may be at risk. These small insects can cause serious health insects.
Your dog is also likely to scratch themselves when they are infested with these critters.
When your dog constantly scratches their skin, they are likely to suffer hair loss.
When Is Shedding In Border Collies A Sign Of A Problem?
We’ve looked at a few reasons why excessive shedding can happen in border collies. While stress, diet, and too frequent washing are important causes, note that there are times when medical conditions may be behind the hair loss.
It is important to understand when hair loss is a sign of a medical problem. In these situations, taking your border collie to a vet becomes essential. Some conditions that cause hair loss can have serious implications for your dog’s health.
Early treatment for medical conditions in a border collie is important. This generally leads to a more successful treatment program. The treatment needed will also often be less invasive when it is initiated at an early stage of a medical problem.
Two important medical conditions known to contribute to excessive hair loss include:
- Sebaceous Adenitis
Know what symptoms to look out for. If your dog’s shedding is more significant than what can be expected with the other causes we listed, then see a vet. Additionally, look for spots where hair falls out. If there are spots where you can see your dog’s skin, then this is another reason to see a vet.
How To Stop Your Border Collie Shedding
Shedding is natural for border collies. It is not something that can be stopped. The process of shedding is important for the well-being of the border collie. It is a way for the border collie’s body to shed old hair and for new hair to the surface instead.
While it can be a bit irritating to have so much hair around the house, note that there are ways to minimize the effects that shedding may have on your life.
Implementing a control strategy can be helpful. First, realize that you’re not going to stop shedding completely. This, however, does not mean your house needs to be covered in border collie hair.
Below, we look at a few important methods that can be used to help control shedding in a border collie.
One of your best strategies for controlling shedding lies with brushing.
This is not only a way to help reduce the amount of hair that will fill your home. For many border collies, brushing is considered a “treat.” They love being brushed – which means you’re giving your border collie some TLC while removing excess hair.
During the start of summer and fall, more frequent brushing is needed. At this time, you need to ensure you brush your border collie every day. This method will help to limit hair on your furniture and floor.
Brushing needs to continue even when it is no longer shedding season. There is a less noticeable level of shedding during these times. Consider making time to brush your border collie a minimum of two times every week.
Your border collie’s hair is not the only element making your house seem a bit messy. There is dust, dust mites, dirt, and other things in your house too.
This means frequent cleaning should be a priority whether or not your border collie is shedding.
With this in mind, grab a vacuum cleaner. Use the vacuum throughout your home a few times every week. This helps to grab all the excessive hair in the house while also removing dust and other things from your home.
Another effective method is to use an undercoat rake.
Many pet owners just use a regular dog brush. This type of brush may not reach the undercoat. With an undercoat rake, you’ll be able to remove hair at the undercoat.
What Should You Avoid Doing?
Some people think that the solution to shedding is to shave their dog. When it comes to things to avoid, this ranks at the number one spot. Do NOT shave your dog – even when it’s hot outside.
Your border colly relies on their double coat to protect their skin. Shedding happens during the start of the summer months – and this is enough for the dog’s skin to handle the heat of this time.
Instead, consider methods that can help you control the shedding. If you shave your border collie, their hair will not grow back normally. This, in turn, would affect the dog’s ability to deal with cold weather.
Border collies are not among the dogs that shed most, such as the golden retriever or the chow chow. This does not mean you won’t find hair over your furniture and floors. This dog breed sheds moderately, especially at the start of the summer months.
Excessive shedding in a border collie may be a sign of a health concern, but it may also just be your pet entering shedding season. Understand how much shedding to expect. Also, note when shedding is a problem or sign of some underlying issue.