Prospective owners of dogs, especially those with longer hair, always have one major concern in mind – that is shedding.
This is also true of Border Collies. They have plenty of long hair, but there aren’t the same stories of bad Border Collie shedding as there are associated with GSDs and fluffy dogs like huskies.
So, do Border Collies shed and if so, is this really that big an issue?
Below we will look at the coat and the frequency of sheds, causes of both shedding and hair loss and the solutions to make life easier.
The first thing to consider with the question of do Border Collies shed hair is the coat of a Border Collie
The coat of this collie is one of the dogs most appealing features. You get that wonderful rough coat with the typical black and white coloration, or perhaps other colors depending on their genetics.
In addition to this attractive top coat, there is also the Border Collie undercoat. They need an undercoat with that long fur to protect the animal against bad weather and cold. You have to remember that this is a herding, working dog relied upon in tough conditions.
So how much do Border Collies shed?
For the most part, Border Collies are moderate shedders all the time. They will always lose some dead hair and this will be found on furniture and around the home.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]However, there is also a Border Collie shedding season where the problem becomes worse in both the spring and autumn. This is when that big undercoat is blown out to make way for a more appropriate coat.
The season and the impact of the moult can depend on the lifestyle of the animal. If they are an outdoor dog feeling the true effects of seasonal change, they will have this seasonal blow out. If not – but, in all honesty, this breed really should be – the shedding won’t be as bad. [/thrive_text_block]
At this point it is important to note that annual sheds and daily hair loss are not the only reasons for increased in shed hair. Other factors can contribute to the quantity too. These dogs start loosing their puppy coat at around a year or so, so this fluffy coat is quickly replaced by the adult coat.
There is also some hair quality decline after spaying of neutering these dogs, due to hormone changes, which can see it fall out more easily. The good news is that this is temporary and there are few concerns about any major Border Collie shedding problem.
Unfortunately, there will also be times where we see Border Collie hair loss that goes beyond the usual sheds
There are a number of potential causes for Border Collie losing hair in larger quantities.
These dogs can lose their hair through stress, ill health, allergies, insect infestations (such as fleas) and poor nutrition.[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]It is important to check for signs of itching and redness of the skin around the area where hair is being lost. If this is the case, this may be an allergy or rash brought on by food or other stimuli. If they are scratching due to a bite, there could be fleas or ticks. Bald patches can be also be anxiety-driven or due to another medical issue.
If in doubt, or concerned about the underlying cause, it is always best to contact a vet for a full diagnosis. They will be able to prescribe treatment options and get to the root of the problem. [/thrive_text_block]
There are solutions to hair loss in Border Collies out there, many of which can work pretty well to treat the initial problem and restore the quality of the coat. Topical creams and flea treatments can remove the threat of infestation and improve the health of the skin. A massage of the skin, either with hands or a grooming tool, can stimulate oils and blood flow in the area.
Some vets will also prescribe antihistamines to dogs with allergies.
One of the best approaches is to look at the diet and its effect on the Border Collie coat. You may need a change in diet if there is an allergy, or a better type of diet if this is all due to poor nutritional value in the food. Some owners like to add supplementation through substances like fish oils. Those that are unsure of the best meals, ingredients and portion sizes should turn to the Dog Food Secrets e-book. This offers healthier recipes for fit, healthy dogs of different breeds.
One other way to make sure that your Border Collie’s coat is easy to maintain is through grooming
Grooming a Border Collie is essential whether you have a short haired Border Collie or rough coat Border Collie. This is an attractive working dog that always needs to be in the best condition.[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]Regular brushing of the coat, no matter the season, can help to remove dead hair, keep the hair in good condition and stimulate the production of oils in the skin – which all help to maintain the condition of the hair in their own way. Some say that this only needs to happen every few days. It all depends on the dog, the need to keep hair off of the furniture and the diligence of the owner. During bad sheds, you will need to increase the effort with daily brushing to get the worst of it out. [/thrive_text_block]
You may also want to use de-shedding tools to remove large areas of the undercoat in one go. Others turn to dog dryers – which are essentially like a big leaf blower for a dog’s coat – to avoid the need for tools and rakes.
Some will question the benefit of clipping or even shaving a collie here. While shaving is cruel on a dog that relies on its coat – and such a beautiful coat as that – clipping can help. If you would prefer a short coat Border Collie than a long haired Border Collie, some people do trim the coats to make them easier to handle and reduce the impact of shedding. Some do so all over, especially for family pets that spend much of their time indoors.
Many working dogs retain the full, long rough coat for protection. Some suggest a middle ground to keep the dog looking good and keep maintenance to a minimum by only trimming the legs, belly and paws.
Dealing with some of the issues that come with grooming these dogs – especially in the shedding season
It is also best to do this outside in these big shedding seasons because of the sheer mess of the moult.
Piles of hair are less of a problem outdoors. The only problem here is that it can be difficult to keep these active animals calm and relaxed during a grooming session. They may get fidgety and want to play. Being outdoors won’t help with so many playthings and distractions. Treats and praise for a job well done are a must.
If this outdoor approach simply wont do, be prepared to put sheets and protection down in the home. If you thought that this hair got everywhere with normal brushing and daily life, you won’t have seen anything until dealing with the blow out.
It can also help to train Border Collie puppies from an early age to get them used to the idea of grooming and being handled in this way. The sooner they understand what is going on, and get comfortable with process, the easier it will be as they grow up and that big adult coat blows out.
[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Remember that a year into their lives, they will have their first big moult of that fluffy puppy coat. If you are prepared for this – and so is the dog – it will be much easier. Border collies are smart and pretty easy to train, but prepare to be patient with this issue and work with the dog, not against it. [/thrive_text_block]
What have we learned about Border Collie shedding and is it as big a problem as some may assume?
There are ups and down in the world of Border Collie shedding.
Some owners will embrace this seasonal issue and deal with it in their stride via the right tools and processes and will ensure their pet is happy with the experience. Others will find the hair overwhelming and struggle with the grooming efforts. Then there are those that experience additional hair loss due to health care issues.
Again, the impact here depends on the attitude and actions of the owner to find the solution and correct the problem.
Do Border Collies shed a lot?[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Yes, more than some may expect, but it doesn’t have to be a problem. The best approach here is to deal with the seasonal shed and embrace it as a sign of a healthy, happy collie that is living life as a collie should.
Too much effort to control and stop this shedding could be detrimental to the lifestyle and happiness of the dog.
Deal with problems as they come. Otherwise, let the dog enjoy the benefits of that brilliant coat.[/thrive_text_block]