In the dog world, Border Collies are not only the smartest kids in class, they’re also the star athletes. So it’s easy to see why they are such desirable household companions.
They have luscious thick coats which their ancestors used to protect themselves from the chill of the Anglo-Scottish highlands. With such a thick coat you might be asking yourself, ‘Do Border Collies shed a lot?”. The answer isn’t really surprising given the robust characteristics of their coat.
Border Collies are a physically balanced, medium-sized dog breed with a pension for athleticism and agility. Their coats come in two fits: rough-coat and smooth-coat. Their most common color is predominantly black with a white nose and chest, and coupled with other white pepperings.
Their coats have two layers, a rough outer coat with a soft insulated undercoat. Shorter haired Collies tend to have smoother but coarser coats with much less feathering.
Size wise they are usually between 18 to 22 inches tall at their shoulders and weigh in around 30 to 40 pounds. From a competitive show perspective, the balance of most Border Collies is of exceptional caliber.
However, they come with one arguably endearing characteristic, but there are ways around it. So let’s answer the burning question…
Do Border Collies Shed?
The unfortunate answer for most is, yes. They are a long-haired double-coated breed and tend to shed a lot. Twice a year, things can go from bad to worse pretty quickly — in fall and spring, they shed excessively. Many owners describe Border Collie shedding as a full-time maintenance job.
Their hair tends to ball up in corners and hide in inconspicuous areas of the home — under furniture, on carpets, and even floating through the air. Just when you think you’re in the clear, Collie hair will regenerate like it has a mind of its own. However, The Border Collie is one of the most popular family breeds which means people have figured out tips and tricks to minimize the presence of fur. Once you have a plan, fur management becomes less of a nuisance, and more of an endearing quality.
Why Does A Border Collie Shed?
Like any organism with hair, shedding old and damaged strands is a natural process. It’s the body’s way of showing off its healthy follicles and maintaining a hearty coat of fur. Shedding is controlled by seasonal hormonal changes that are altered by shifts in daylight. Another variable that may affect seasonal shedding is how much your Collie spends outside.
The more time they spend outdoors, the more sensitive they are to temperature fluctuations; In the spring they trade their thick winter coats for a light windbreaker, and vice versa in the fall. As you can imagine, springtime is high season for shedding.
How to Manage Shedding
There are several tips, tricks and lifestyle changes you can apply to reduce and manage your Border Collie’s shedding.
By feeding your pup top quality food that carries follicular nutrients you can minimize the amount of hair that dies and needs to be shed. Try to avoid big supermarket brands — they’re chalk full of additives and by-products that damage roots, and lead to unhealthy skin.
Do your research or get your vet’s recommendation for a quality diet. They will most likely recommend something with omega fatty acids and high-quality protein.
Fleas and Ticks
If you notice your Collie scratching and shedding more than usual there’s a chance he may have fleas, ticks or some other tiny parasite irritating their skin. Have your pup assessed by a professional to rule this out.
Brushing is your first line of defense against maintaining a fur-free home. It’s recommended to brush your Collie out three times per week using a slick or pin brush. This will take off your pup’s surface coat, but as mentioned, there’s more to this hair equation.
You can purchase special undercoat brushes that are composed of soft pins which penetrate deep within the coat. The trick is to go with the grain and not brush against the flow of hair. During shedding season you’ll have to rake this breed’s undercoats more frequently. Clean out your brush often to ensure you’re capturing as much loose hair as possible.
High-Velocity Hair Dryer
If you’ve ever taken your pup to a professional groomer, you may have seen them use a high powered blower to dry a freshly bathed dog. This not only drys dogs but it also completely removes all dead and loose hair. This might be the most effective method of all — ridding batches of hair for up to two or three weeks. You can take your pup to the groomer every few weeks, or as a more practical route, you might consider purchasing your own high powered hair blower yourself.
Exercise In The Park
One final tip is something that should already be part of a Border Collie’s lifestyle — outdoor exercise. Running and rolling around outside will leave hair all over the park, not your home. Daily exercise also maintains a healthy circulatory system which contributes to a healthy coat.
It goes without saying, but don’t skimp on your vacuum cleaner either. There are several vacuums designed specifically to challenge even the most excessive shedding. Apply these tips and you can spend more time loving your Border Collie and less time lint rolling your clothes.