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How Much Do Border Collies Shed? Grooming Tips, Nutrition & Tools

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Border collie sitting near a glove brush and dog fur

If you’re a proud owner of a Border Collie, then you know just how wonderful these dogs can be. Known for their intelligence, loyalty, and energetic personalities, Border Collies make excellent companions for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. However, one downside to owning a Border Collie is their shedding habits.

These dogs have thick, double-layered coats that shed year-round, leaving hair all over your furniture, clothes, and floors. But with the right management techniques, you can keep your home clean and your pup healthy. Let’s explore some tips and tricks for managing your Collie’s shedding habits, so you can enjoy all the benefits of owning this amazing breed without all the mess.

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Why Do Border Collies Shed So Much?

Border Collies tend to shed a lot. Why? Because these dogs have a thick double coat, which is designed to help regulate their body temperature. Their coat is made up of two layers: a soft undercoat and a coarse topcoat. The undercoat is what sheds the most and is responsible for keeping the dog warm in colder temperatures.

The topcoat is coarser and is responsible for protecting the undercoat from dirt, debris, and water. Both layers shed year-round unfortunately, but shedding tends to increase during seasonal changes, such as spring and fall.

Shedding is a natural process for dogs and is not a sign of an underlying health issue. However, excessive shedding can indicate a health problem, such as allergies or hormonal imbalances, especially if there are bald patches and skin irritation. If you notice that your Collie is shedding excessively, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health concerns.

The Health Benefits of Managing Shedding

Groomer brushing a Border Collie
Image Credit: antoniodiaz, Shutterstock

While shedding may be a nuisance for pet owners, it’s actually a healthy process for dogs. Shedding helps to remove dead hair and skin cells, keeping the coat healthy and preventing matting. Regular daily/weekly grooming and brushing can help to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from the coat, which can prevent skin irritation and infections.

Additionally, managing shedding can help to reduce the amount of hair and dander in your home, which can benefit family members who suffer from allergies or asthma. By keeping your home clean and free of excess hair, you can create a healthier living environment for everyone.

Brushing & Grooming Techniques for Border Collies

Brushing helps to remove loose hair and dirt from the coat, which can prevent matting and tangling. It also stimulates the skin and promotes healthy circulation.

When brushing your Collie, use a high-quality brush designed for long-haired breeds. A slicker brush, pin brush, or undercoat rake are all good options. Brush your dog at least once a week, focusing on the areas where shedding is most prominent, such as the back, legs, and tail.

In addition to brushing, regular bathing can also help to manage shedding. Use a gentle dog shampoo and conditioner, and avoid over-bathing, as this can dry out the skin and cause excessive shedding. Aim to bathe your Collie every 1-2 months, or sooner as needed.

The Importance of Diet & Nutrition

Border Collie Eating
Image Credit: Alicia Fdez, Shutterstock

Diet and nutrition can also play a role in managing your Border Collie’s shedding. A high-quality diet that is rich in protein and essential fatty acids can help to promote healthy skin and coat, which can reduce shedding. So, look for dog food that contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil. These essential fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation as well.

It’s also important to provide your Border Collie with plenty of fresh water and avoid feeding them table scraps or human food. These foods can be high in fat and can contribute to excessive shedding, believe it or not.

There are many tools available to help manage your Collie’s shedding habits.

Here are some of the best tools to consider:
  • Slicker brush: A slicker brush is designed to remove loose hair and dirt from the coat. It has fine, wire bristles that can penetrate the undercoat without scratching the skin.
  • Pin brush: A pin brush has long, flexible pins that can detangle and remove loose hair from the coat. It’s ideal for dogs with longer hair.
  • Undercoat rake: An undercoat rake is designed to remove loose hair from the undercoat. It has long, sharp teeth that can penetrate deep into the coat, removing dead hair and preventing matting.
  • Shedding blade: A shedding blade is a metal tool with a serrated edge that can remove loose hair from the coat. It’s ideal for dogs with thicker coats.
  • Dog vacuum cleaner: A good vacuum cleaner can help to remove loose hair and dander from your home, keeping it clean and free of allergens.

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Managing Shedding During Seasonal Changes

border collie ready for a bath
Image Credit: Ayla Verschueren, Unsplash

As mentioned earlier, shedding tends to increase during seasonal changes, such as spring and fall. During these times, it’s especially important to be vigilant about managing your Collie’s shedding.

It helps to increase the frequency of brushing and grooming during these times, and consider using a deshedding tool, such as a shedding blade or undercoat rake, to remove loose hair from the coat. You may also want to consider using a coat supplement or omega-3 fatty acid supplement during this time to promote healthy skin and coat.

Best-Selling Deshedding Tools

Sometimes the difference between a house that is dander-free and one that is caked in it, is a simple de-shedding tool or two. Here are some of the most popular ones.

The Furminator

The Furminator is one of the most popular deshedding tools to use on small, medium, and large size dogs – and for a good reason, it simply works. This affordable tool can effectively and safely remove dead, loose hair, dirt, and other debris. This awesome tool reduces shedding and doesn’t damage the topcoat, and it also has a skin guard that protects the dog’s skin from scrapes and cuts. It works great for heavy shutters like Border Collies and the stainless steel blades cut straight through the top coat and remove loose hair without damaging it.

The Furminator works for all breeds of dogs and comes with a money-back guarantee. And last but not least, this tool is ergonomic and has a release button to easily remove hair from the tool for cleaning.

Hartz Combo Brush

The Hartz Combo Brush is one worth considering. It’s a combination brush that combines two brushes: a pin and soft bristle. The pin side can be used to remove tangles or loose hair. The bristle side is best for short-haired dogs like Dachshunds and Pit Bulls. It’s lightweight, but sturdy and easy to hold.

The brush measures 12 inches in length and 3 inches width, and it’s suitable for medium-sized dogs to large dogs. Hartz offers a satisfaction guarantee for all grooming tools, and for a refund or replacement, simply return the brush along with a copy of your receipt within one-year of purchase.

JW Pet Gripsoft Soft Slicker Brush

This brush is flexible and its stainless steel bristles reduce skin irritation and lift out any loose hair. It’s designed for pets with sensitive skin and the bristles are ankle to reduce any irritation. This slicker brush has a rubber grip and a curved handle for maximum comfort and control while using it. The brush is well-suited for double coated dog breeds and those with long coats, so this brush is perfect for Border Collies. It can help with detangling and removing loose hair before giving your dog a bath.

Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush

This pin brush is also a good choice for Border Collies during shedding season. It’s durable, easy to use and glides effortlessly through your dog’s hair to detangle it without any pain. Pin brushes are a great option for dogs with medium to long hair.

The pins in this brush are made of high-quality stainless steel and have polished and rounded tips. They are also set in a firm cushion with an air vent hole that allows for more flexibility. Overall, you’ll find that this brush is lightweight and has solid construction. It’s comfortable to hold and can help provide hand respite during brushing sessions.

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Wrapping Things Up

Managing your Border Collie’s shedding habits can be a challenge, but it’s a necessary part of responsible pet ownership. By understanding their shedding habits, using the right tools and products, and maintaining a healthy diet and grooming routine, you can keep your home clean and your pup healthy. With a little effort and patience, you can enjoy all the benefits of owning this amazing breed without the mess.

Featured Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

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