Shedding is an issue that many dog owners face. There seems to be an endless supply of fur coming from your Border Collie’s coat!
While you may find this frustrating, shedding is a necessity for your furry friend. It is their natural cooling system, their sun protection, and much more. This is all part of having the pleasure of taking care of this wonderful breed.
To help you out, you will find out why and when they shed, how to lessen it, and more below. All the questions you are wondering about Border Collie shedding are a scroll away!
Do Border Collies Have Fur or Hair?
To put it simply, Border Collies have a fur coat, as with other dogs who have a double coat. But fur and hair are terms that are often used interchangeably and this is where the confusion lies. That is because they are both made up of keratin, so they are identical.
Before talking more about this breed’s coat, it is important to differentiate both.
In general, hair is smoother, longer, and finer compared to fur. Hair can be curly, wavy, or straight. It also goes through the hair growth phases much slower.
Meanwhile, fur is shorter and denser. If a dog has fur, they have more hair follicles on their skin. Unlike hair, fur goes through the growth cycle faster, which contributes to shedding.
If a dog has a single layer of coat, they have hair. So single-coated dogs, like poodles, have a hair coat.
But Border Collies sport a double coat. One layer is a downy and dense undercoat, which is fur. Their topcoat is their guard hair, which is longer and smoother.
So you can say that Border Collies have both hair and fur if you consider their description. But to avoid confusion, many opt to call their coat fur. This is because dogs who have hair are often associated with less shedding. But Border Collies do shed and they shed a lot before summer and winter.
What Kind of Fur Does a Border Collie Have?
A Border Collie’s fur coat can either be rough or smooth, depending on their hair length. These two coat types both have a top coat and an undercoat.
A rough Border Collie has a medium-length coat with feathering on certain areas. This is usually on their legs, chest, and tail. Border Collies with this coat are prone to tangles and matting, so frequent brushing is a must.
Smooth Border Collies have shorter hair with little to no feathering. They still have an undercoat, but this will vary from one dog to another. As you can expect, their fur coat is much easier to maintain than the rough variant.
How Long Will My Border Collie’s Fur Grow?
If your Border Collie had a hair accident, their fur may grow about 3 to 6 months after. But in rare cases, it may not grow back at all.
Dogs with undercoats like Border Collies do not need a haircut as this changes the way their fur grows back. You may damage their coat and so after a few months, their coat will look patchy. This is often known as the “clipper shock” and this occurs when the hair follicles get stunned.
But if you did not give them a haircut and they have bald patches on their body, you need to see a vet. There are a lot of skin conditions that can cause this, so it is best to tackle the root of the problem.
What Type of Coat Does a Border Collie Have?
The two types of Border Collie coats are rough and smooth. The difference between the two is only the length of their fur.
Border Collies with a rough coat have medium-length hair, about 3 inches (76 mm) long. While those with a smooth coat have short hair about an inch (25 mm) long.
The longer hair of the rough-coated Border Collies is due to their longer guard hairs. This is why they also have some feathering throughout their body. Smooth-coated Border Collies do not have this, so their feathering is minimal to none.
In both coat types, their coat length, thickness, and texture may vary from one dog to another.
Does a Border Collie Have a Double Coat?
Whether they are rough or smooth coated, Border Collies have a double coat. This consists of a top coat and an undercoat, both with different functions for a working dog.
Your Border Collie’s undercoat is for their insulation. It helps them keep warm during winter and also cool during summer.
This is why they shed a lot between seasons, so their fur grows fast. They shed their thin undercoat for a thicker one to get ready for winter. And they shed their thicker undercoat for a thinner one for summer.
So your Border Collie’s coat may be enough to keep them cool during hot weather. They do not need shaving or a haircut, all they need is more brushing. This will remove any loose fur so that air reaches their skin much better.
Your Border Collie’s topcoat does a lot for them. This repels water, dirt, and foreign objects from reaching their skin. Apart from that, this will also prevent your Border Collie from getting insect bites.
Their topcoat also provides an extra layer of insulation for your Border Collie. It protects this outdoorsy breed from the sun’s heat to prevent sun damage.
Given the Border Collie’s long history of being herding dogs, their double coat was and still is a need. Many still use them as herding dogs today. But even Border Collies who are pets still spend a lot of their time outside.
Do Border Collies Have an Undercoat?
Border Collies have a dense, wooly undercoat that acts as their insulation. They change this undercoat depending on the season, keeping them cool or warm. Border Collies of both coat types have this, but the density and texture may vary.
When Do Border Collies Lose Their Puppy Coat?
Your Border Collie will lose their thick and fluffy puppy coat once they are around 12 months of age. After that, they begin to grow their adult coat so expect a lot of shedding during this age. This transition period may last around 2 to 3 years.
So you may need to wait a bit more for their full adult coat to completely grow in. All dogs will undergo an “ugly phase” where their coat looks a bit awkward. But hang in there, your Border Collie will soon have their beautiful adult coat.
Can You Be Allergic to Border Collies?
Those who suffer from allergies can be allergic to Border Collies. The main allergen in dogs is their dander, which are flakes of their skin. It is not their fur that is the issue, but their fur often carries a lot of dander.
Border Collies are not hypoallergenic for a few reasons:
- They shed
- They have long hair (depending on their coat type)
- They have a double coat
Since they have a double coat, Border Collies shed a lot between seasons. This is their natural insulation, keeping them cool or warm when they need it.
When they shed, they release a lot of dander into the air. It can stay on your bed, your furniture, everywhere in your home!
And if a Border Collie has a rough coat, this is a bigger issue. Dander is more likely to cling onto their hair strands, triggering an allergy attack.
What is worse is that some Border Collies have a thicker coat. That only means there is more fur for them to shed.
While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, this breed is far from being one. But if you already have a Border Collie or want one, there are ways to manage their dander.
One is by regularly brushing them, especially during shedding season. By doing so, you reduce the amount of hair they shed around your home. Instead, you catch the loose hairs on their brush.
Remember to wear a mask whenever you brush their coat. Grooming them sends a lot of dander into the air, so you need to be careful.
You also need to vacuum your home more often, especially places they love to stay in. This could also mean restricting their access to your bed. Do not let them lie down on your bed as they will leave dander all over it.
This last trick is not for everyone or every Border Collie, but it may help you a ton. You can make your Border Collie wear a dog shirt to reduce their shedding. This will contain their loose hair in their clothes, so you can consider this.
Are Border Collies Heavy Shedders?
Border Collies are moderate shedders for the huge chunk of the year. But during spring and fall, they are heavy shedders and this may drive you wild. This is necessary for their insulation during summer and winter.
Regardless of the season, your Border Collie will need frequent brushing. But during shedding seasons, you may need to brush them more to lessen their shedding.
The kind of dog brush that you use also matters a lot. To get all their loose hair, you need a slicker brush or undercoat rake and a pin and bristle brush.
A slicker brush or an undercoat rake will work well for their undercoat. While pin and bristle brush are great for their top coat. Use these brushes to do several passes on their coat until no fur sticks to their brush.
Do Border Collie Puppies Shed a Lot?
This will vary as some puppies shed a lot while some have very minimal shedding. But in general, your Border Collie puppy will shed less than an adult. Once they reach a year old though, they will shed a lot to make room for their adult coat.
When Do Border Collies Shed?
Your adult Border Collie will shed during spring and fall to prepare for cooler or warmer months. But they also shed a moderate amount throughout the whole year. The shedding just goes into overdrive during these two seasons.
How Often Do Border Collies Shed?
You can expect your Border Collie to shed twice a year, during spring and fall. During these, you need to brush their coat frequently to control the shedding. But not any brush will do, you need a good brush for each of their coat layer.
This is especially true for their undercoat as this is where most of the shedding happens. Use a quality undercoat rake or a slicker brush for this.
Their top coat will also shed as well, but not to the same extent. For this layer, a pin and bristle brush will work best.
Use the pin side first and brush until you do not see any more fur coming off. Then use the bristle brush to get rid of any loose hair that you miss. This will also make their coat smoother and appear shinier.
Do Border Collies Get a Winter Coat?
Border Collies get their winter coat during fall. They lose their thinner coat to make way for a thicker coat to keep them warm.
Why Is My Border Collie Shedding So Much?
Border Collies will shed a lot to replace their coat with a more appropriate one for the coming season. But if they are losing their hair even when it is not time yet, this can be scary. There are several possible reasons for this, some of which are scary.
Here are the possibilities that you should look into.
They Are Shedding Their Puppy Coat
How old is your Border Collie? If they are around 12 months of age, it could be that they are losing their puppy coat. This is a necessary process they go through to get their adult coat.
They Are Newly Neutered or Spayed
Desexing your Border Collie will change their hormone levels. With this, you may notice that they are shedding more than usual.
Border Collies will have some levels of testosterone, regardless of gender. This hormone plays a part in their hair follicle health. With this, shedding due to desexing is more noticeable in male dogs.
In time, your Border Collie will recover their beautiful coat. So hang in there! This will be over soon.
They Are Stressed
Border Collies may also lose their hair due to stress, much like humans. So take a step back and look into their circumstance.
Any changes in their environment can put them in a state of distress. This includes moving homes, the death of a pet, and more. But this stress can also be due to getting ill or physical pain.
Other than that, your Border Collie could also be mirroring your emotions. Dogs are great at sensing how you feel. So if they feel your stress, they may also internalize this.
This can be even harder if you are your Border Collie’s favorite person. This breed bonds most with one person and they will stick with them through thick and thin. So anything that affects you will affect them as well.
They Have Allergies
Allergens can be anywhere, in the environment, or in your Border Collie’s diet. Allergies have many symptoms, but most of the time, the skin will get affected.
These can make your Border Collie’s skin very itchy. And when there is an itch, they will scratch themselves like there is no tomorrow. This excessive scratching will cause hair loss and they may even wound themselves.
So if your Border Collie has patches of hair loss in certain areas, this may be the cause. You can also look for the other symptoms of an allergic attack:
- Skin inflammation and redness
- Watery eyes
- Eye or nose discharge
- Gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea and vomiting)
They Have a Poor Diet
Your Border Collie’s skin is a reflection of what is going on inside. So their diet has a great effect on their skin health and even their shedding.
Take a look at the ingredients in your Border Collie’s food. Does it provide them with the appropriate nutrition? Or is much of it fillers, giving them little to no nutrition at all?
A poor diet will give them poor skin health as well. They will have damaged hair follicles, dull coats, and more.
Ticks, fleas, and other parasites make your Border Collie’s skin itchy. Like allergies, this will lead to excessive scratching as well. In time, your Border Collie will lose hair due to all the scratching.
So do a thorough inspection of your Border Collie’s coat to see if there is anything unusual. If you do see any parasites, you need to see a vet. You can get the appropriate treatment from them, tackling all life stages of the parasite.
You should also clean your home, especially their dog bed and spots they like to stay in. Do the laundry, vacuum a lot, anything to rid the area of these pesky parasites.
How Do I Stop My Border Collie From Shedding
If your Border Collie’s shedding is bothering you, there are ways to keep it under control. But keep in mind that you cannot stop their shedding completely. While these tips below will help you, you need to manage your expectations.
The first thing to do is to rule out shedding due to health issues. If your Border Collie is suffering from allergies, has a poor diet, or has parasites, you need to see a vet. You need to tackle the root of the cause to fix the shedding issue.
But for Border Collies who have a clean bill of health, here are some tips that you can try out.
Frequent Brushing With the Right Tools
How often you brush their coat matters. But the type of brush that you use is also as important. Here are some brushes that you need with you:
- Pin and bristle brush
- Undercoat rake or slicker brush
The first brush is for removing the loose hairs on their top coat. While the last two are great for removing all the loose downy hair in their undercoat, a high-quality brush for their undercoat is crucial as this is where most of the shedding comes from.
When you brush your Border Collie’s coat, use one for their undercoat first. Do several passes on each area of their body, especially where tangling most occurs. In rough-coated Border Collies, this is usually on their tail, the back of their legs, ears, and belly.
Once you see that no more fur clings to the brush, move on to brushing their top coat. Do the same process with the pin side of the pin and bristle brush first. And then finish off by using the bristle side to make their coat silky, soft, and shiny!
You need to brush your Border Collie’s coat at least 3 to 4 times a week. The more you brush them, the better. By doing this, you catch the loose hair with the brush instead of it falling everywhere at home.
Give Them a Blow Out
Professional groomers often have a high-velocity dryer. This blows out all the loose hairs that your Border Collie has within a short period. This is a highly effective tool, cutting down their shedding for the next 2 to 3 weeks after a blowout.
You can check with a local groomer to see if they have one and if this is an option for your Border Collie. You can also buy a high-velocity dryer if you want, but this is the more expensive choice.
Bathing Them More
This is another option for you, but it may not be the best one. Frequent baths dry out your Border Collie’s skin as it strips off the natural oils on their skin.
With this, excessive bathing can lead to many skin issues. And although this will make them cleaner, this may also make your Border Collie smellier.
Border Collies do not need a lot of baths, only 4 to 5 baths a year will suffice. They are not a smelly breed as well. Frequent brushing is what will help them stay clean and smell nice.
So before you consider this, make sure to check with your vet if this is the right option for you. Ask for some shampoo recommendations, and make sure to use the gentlest one you can find. This will reduce the risks of drying out their skin.
Another thing that is nice to have is a dog conditioner. This will help in bringing back moisture to their skin after getting shampooed.
Remember to always brush their coat before bathing them. Dry hair is easier to brush than wet hair and this will also reduce the fur that goes down your drain. After you dry their coat with a blow dryer, brush their coat once more to remove any loose hairs that you missed.
Provide Them With a Nutritious Diet
A poor diet will show on your Border Collie’s skin and fur and this may cause them to shed more than usual. So make sure to be careful about what you feed them and always consult your vet for the best options. Go for high-quality dog food that provides them with all the necessary nutrients.
Feed them a diet that is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. You should also make sure that they get high-quality proteins as well.
These will strengthen their hair follicles and promote their natural oils. In time, they will have a silky, lustrous, and healthier coat.
You can also add fish oil supplements to their diet. This contains DHA and EPA, both of which are components of omega-3 fatty acids.
Let Them Swim
Do you live nearby a body of water? If so, this may be a great option for you! Swimming will help in removing loose hairs that are in their coat but are ready to fall off.
Before their swim though, make sure you give their coat a good brush with the brushes mentioned above. After that, all you have to do is to let them play in the water! Remember to join in on the fun and take this as a great bonding opportunity.