Most Border Collie owners already know that shedding will be a part of their life, but few understand how to properly manage the shedding.
That’s about to change, as this article provides you with the best tips on dealing with shedding as well as answering many FAQs on this topic. Let’s get into it!
Quick answer: The best way to truly manage border collie shedding is to brush little and often with the RIGHT KINDS of brushes. Having the correct bathing frequency, a healthy diet, proper exercise, and never shaving the coat are also important.
When & How Much Do Border Collies Shed?
Border collies are moderate to heavy shedders. And they will typically shed all year round, with an increase during springtime or before summer.
Not all collies experience the blowout phase as it depends a lot on the climate where you live. If you live in a place that’s cold most of the year, then you might only have to deal with moderate shedding.
But if you live somewhere with distinct hot summers, spring will be your collie’s opportunity to shed most of the undercoat in order to keep her cooler in the summer months. So expect a big increase.
When Do Border Collie Puppies Start Shedding?
Border collies puppies start shedding at around 8-12 months of age. At this point, they lose their fluffy puppy coat to make way for their adult coat, so expect a big temporary blowout. After this, consistent shedding will start as the puppy now has its adult coat.
Before 8-12 months, your border collie pup won’t be shedding all that much, as the puppy coat isn’t designed to. Enjoy it while it lasts!
The puppy coat is usually quite thick, yet very soft and fluffy and it’s designed to keep your pup warm. Pups struggle to maintain their body temperature which is why the coat isn’t supposed to shed.
So this also answers the question: When do border collies get their adult coat? It varies from puppy to puppy but generally speaking it’s at around 8-12 months of age.
6 Ways To Deal With Border Collie Shedding
Managing the constant onslaught of dead hair doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With the correct tips and good habits, you’ll be able to deal with your collie’s shedding with ease. Let’s run through them now.
- Have a brushing routine that works
- Never shave or cut the coat
- Use the correct brushes
- Avoid overbathing
- Ensure a healthy diet
- Provide sufficient exercise
1. Have a brushing routine that works
Having the correct brushing routine is one of the most crucial parts of keeping the dead hair off your floors and clothes. But most owners are brushing their collies in the wrong kind of way.
The best brushing routine is based on brushing little and often! 10-15 minutes per day, every day. This works SO much better than brushing once or twice per week for an hour straight. Which is the approach many owners take.
This style of brushing little and often will instantly get you ahead of the shedding instead of catching up with it. Try it, and you’ll see great results after a week.
2. Never shave or cut the coat
Most owners already know this, but I still receive this question every few days.
Shaving or cutting your border collie’s coat will potentially ruin her coat for the future, will disrupt her ability to regulate temperature, block UV rays, protect against insect bites, and will do little to stop shedding.
If you want to know more about this topic specifically, this article provides an in-depth answer: Why border collies should never be shaved.
3. Use the correct brushes
Aside from having a good brushing routine, using the right brushes is also just as important!
After a decade of trying different brushes, combs, de-shedding tools, and gadgets, the best two brushes come down to a simple undercoat rake and a slicker brush. These brushes should be used together as part of the same routine.
Nothing has ever worked better than starting for 10 minutes with the undercoat rake to remove the deep loose hair, before finishing off for the remaining 5 minutes with a slicker brush that focuses on the topcoat. This routine has never failed me and works wonders on all double-coated breeds.
Yep, no de-shedding tool. Personally, I think de-shedding tools are easier to misuse than to use correctly, and with some of them being considerably sharp, you might accidentally trim or cut the healthy topcoat hairs. Some people love them, and that’s fine, but for me, it’s just not worth the risk. And they also happen to be the most expensive kind of brush!
4. Avoid overbathing
While periodic bathing can certainly help loosen up those dead hairs and leave your collie fresh, overbathing can have the complete opposite effect!
The ideal amount to bathe your collie is around once every 3-4 months. Some owners bathe their collies even less than this. And that’s perfectly fine.
With overbathing, you run the risk of removing too many of the natural oils that are released from your collie’s skin. These oils are what keep her skin and coat moisturized, strong and healthy. Without them, the skin and coat become dry, brittle, and weak which contributes to more shedding.
When your collie’s coat is healthy and strong, you won’t have to deal with any more shedding than what’s absolutely necessary.
Additionally, the only shampoo you should use is an all-natural mild dog shampoo. Even regular dog shampoos are overly strong and contain far too many harsh chemicals. Keep it natural, keep it healthy.
5. Ensure a healthy diet
One of the biggest contributors to your collie’s overall skin and coat health is of course her diet.
Having a premium quality diet that prioritizes using “whole” and “fresh” ingredients over processed ingredients is paramount. Additionally, avoid those brands that use cheap fillers (high carb kibbles), by-products, preservatives, additives, and flavorings.
To add to this, many collies have sensitive stomachs, so it becomes important to avoid allergens wherever possible. This includes beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish. Source Pet MD. Opting for kibble that uses duck, turkey or salmon usually digests better and causes less digestive irritation.
Many owners also include a daily fish oil supplement (omega 3 supplement) to their collie’s diet. Omega 3’s are one of the most important fatty acids groups that contribute to excellent skin and coat health, brain, and organ function, as well as having immune-boosting benefits.
The quality of the diet your collie receives really does have an effect on shedding, even though it’s indirect. Be sure to speak to your veterinarian for further tips and diet guidance.
6. Provide sufficient exercise
Similar to diet, exercise is equally important and of course, impacts your collie’s overall health.
Border collies (healthy adults) need around 2 hours of exercise per day, ideally split up into two sessions (one hour in the morning, another in the evening).
This will keep their metabolism, heart, circulation, and immune system working properly and improving overall health, will improve overall skin and coat health.
Follow these 6 tips and your Border Collie will not only have a gorgeous healthy coat, but shedding will be far more manageable.
Let’s run through a summary of the frequently asked questions, as well as related questions that haven’t been covered. Each question will have a short concise answer.
How often should you brush a border collie?
It’s best to brush your borer collie every day for 10-15 minutes. If you can’t manage this, brushing at least every other day is also fine. This frequency will give you the best results and keep shedding at a minimum.
Why do border collies shed?
Shedding happens for a number of reasons. One of which is that hair has a natural lifecycle and shedding is a way to get rid of the dead hairs to make way for new hair growth. Apart from that, shedding helps your collie regulate her body temperature throughout the warm and cold weather.
What’s the best way to de-shed a border collie?
How long do border collies shed for?
Border collies shed moderately for the entire year with one or two distinct blowouts in spring and just before winter. The climate where you live can have a big impact on the consistency and the amount that your border collie sheds. Warmer locations equal greater shedding.
Does shaving a border collie stop shedding?
Shaving your border collie has minimal impact on shedding and it should absolutely NOT be done anyway. Shaving your collie’s double-coat could potentially ruin it for years to come. Additionally, shaving makes her vulnerable to UV rays, insect bites and makes it hard for her to regulate body temperature.
Does bathing help with shedding?
Bathing can help momentarily loosen hairs during a blowout stage but should not be used as a way to help with shedding in general. In fact, if baths are given too frequently it will make shedding worse as the coat and skin will dry out and become brittle.
Most Recommended For Border Collies
Best Brushes For Shedding
No matter how much you brush your border collie, if you aren’t using the correct brushes, you won’t be getting the most out of each session! A simple Undercoat Rake and a Slicker Brush are by far the two best brushes to maintain your collie’s coat.
Best Online Training Program
Brain Training For Dogs has become increasingly popular with working dogs in the last few years and is now recognized as one of the best ways to train dogs, especially border collies, in the most stress-free, positive way.
Best Low-Calorie Treats
Keep your collie lean and agile by switching out the high-calorie treats and opting for something healthier. Zuke’s Mini Naturals contain only 2 calories per treat and are made from natural ingredients, making these some of the healthiest treats on the market.
Thank you for reading! More border collie articles