Do Border Collies Shed?

Types of heeler dogs - Border Collie

Written by Katelynn Sobus

Published: November 2, 2022

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Border Collies are gorgeous herding dogs, ideal for working life or incredibly active families. But with those thick coats, do they shed a lot?

Border Collies shed moderately—no more or less than the average dog. Because they’re fairly large, you might notice more fur than you would if you had a smaller breed. However, they’re generally no higher maintenance in the grooming department than you’d expect from any pup.

Let’s take a closer look at Border Collie fur, whether it sheds, and how to groom them below!

Border Collie Coat Characteristics

Coat LengthShort to medium
Shedding FrequencyModerate
Grooming NeedsBrush coat once to twice weekly
Fur or Hair?Fur

Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic?

low fat dog food

Border Collies have rough and calloused paws.

Border Collies aren’t hypoallergenic. Unlike some long-haired dogs that have human-like hair, Border Collies have a double coat of fur that sheds considerably.

While most people aren’t allergic to dog hair, shedding also exposes you to more dander which is what typically causes symptoms.

If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, please note that no dog is allergen-free. I recommend spending some time around allergy-friendly breeds before committing to bringing one home, as having to rehome your pup can be heartbreaking for you and them.

Do Short-Haired Border Collies Shed?

Smooth-coated Border Collies have short hair but are still double-coated and shed just as much as long-haired Border Collies. Both types shed moderately, meaning they shed around the average amount for a dog.

Do Border Collies Smell?

Border collie with a yellow tennis ball panting

Grooming your Border Collie regularly will reduce the shed you find around your house, on your clothes, and maybe even in your food!

Border Collies are quite adventurous, and their mayhem might get them into stinky situations. However, when properly cared for, they shouldn’t smell any more than your average dog.

If your dog smells, purchase some dog shampoo and give them a bath in the tub or outside with the hose.

In between baths, try waterless shampoo to keep your Collie smelling its best.

A medical issue might be at hand when your dog smells despite being bathed. For instance, ear and skin infections can get stinky, and a trip to the veterinarian to rule these out is a must!

How Do I Get My Border Collie To Stop Shedding?

Whether it’s shedding season or you’re just tired of the year-round shed, finding all the dog hair around your house can make you want to pull your own hair out!

It’s understandable to want your dog to stop shedding entirely. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t possible. Your dog has to shed to make room for new fur to grow, and this cycle will continue throughout its life.

What you can do is manage the fur. Grooming your Border Collie regularly will reduce the shed you find around your house, on your clothes, and maybe even in your food! (Come on, we’ve all been there…right?)

Having a good cleaning routine is also a must. Your vacuum and a lint roller will be your best friend! I particularly love reusable lint rollers to save money.

How to Groom Border Collies

Search and rescue dogs - Border Collie

The American Kennel Club recommends using a pin brush to groom your Border Collie once to twice weekly.

When we think about grooming, we often think about brushing and perhaps bathing. But there’s much more to it than that! A good grooming routine keeps up with your dog’s whole body and allows you to check them regularly for common health conditions.

The steps to grooming your Border Collie include:

  • Brushing the coat
  • Bathing your dog
  • Trimming the nails
  • Cleaning the ears
  • Brushing the teeth

Brush Them 1-2 Times a Week

There are two types of Border Collie: the rough, medium-haired variety and the smooth, short-haired type. Luckily, both are groomed the same way—though rough-haired Collies might take longer to brush due to having more fur.

The American Kennel Club recommends using a pin brush to groom your Border Collie once to twice weekly. During shedding season, they should be brushed every day.

We love the Furminator brand of dog brushes, which has many brushes to choose from depending on your Collie’s coat.

You can skip brushing a smooth-coated Border Collie from time to time with little consequence, apart from more shed fur around the house. Keeping up with their coat still makes them look better and improves skin and coat health, so I don’t recommend brushing them too infrequently.

However, you shouldn’t skip brushing your rough-coated Border Collie at all. This can lead to painful mats in their fur, some of which may develop incredibly close to the skin and require shaving to get out. Shaving isn’t good for double-coated breeds, nor is having tangled hair good for anyone!

While brushing your dog, running your hands over their fur is also a good idea to feel for abnormalities. Also, part the fur while brushing to see down to the skin, checking all over the body for any skin discoloration, ticks, or fleas.

Bathe Them as Needed

Your Border Collie won’t need frequent baths, but they should be bathed once every few months to stay clean. This will help with coat health and keep them from smelling too much.

Use a shampoo made for dogs for the best results. Human shampoos and other soaps can dry out their skin and lead to irritation.

Speaking of irritation, make sure you get out every bit of soap! You want to lather down to the skin, then rinse extremely thoroughly. The shampoo can easily become trapped in a Border Collie’s double coat.

Bathing is also an excellent time to check your dog’s skin for lumps, injuries, parasites, or other abnormalities.

If you’d like to reduce your Collie’s shedding, try out our best deshedding shampoos for dogs!

Trim Your Border Collie’s Nails Monthly

When a dog’s nails aren’t trimmed, they can eventually begin to curl into the paw pads, breaking the skin. They might also snag on things when your dog moves around the house or even break apart, causing pain if they break or splinter down to the quick.

If you have trouble trimming your Border Collie’s nails, try training them slowly by cutting only one to two at a time. It’s okay if it takes weeks to get the nails trimmed at first! The important thing is consistency.

Also, make sure to avoid the quick of the nail. In white nails, this part will look pink in color. It can be impossible to see in black nails, so it’s important to trim only the tip of the claw. You can slowly cut them shorter over time, but you can’t undo them if you cut them too short!

Cutting your dog’s nails the right way helps to ensure they don’t see nail trims as a painful experience. But if you do cut into the quick, don’t panic! The bleeding can be stopped using flour or styptic powder.

You can also ask your veterinarian or dog groomer to trim your Border Collie’s nails if you don’t want to do it yourself.

During nail trims, you can also trim the fur between the toes if desired or rub coconut oil on the paw pads to moisturize them. Often, Border Collies have rough and calloused paws. You’ll also want to check for injuries or splinters in the feet.

Clean Their Ears Regularly

How often your dog’s ears need to be cleaned will depend on them as an individual. I had a dog with recurring ear infections and was told to wash his ears weekly, but you might find monthly or even less often is fine. I suggest looking in your dog’s ears to see if they look dirty and cleaning them when they do.

Your veterinarian can give you an ear wash solution and also show you how to use it. However, it isn’t any more difficult than cleaning your own ears!

Flip your Collie’s ear to the top of their head so you can see inside. Then, use a cotton pad, ball, or q-tip saturated with the ear wash and clean any wax you see on your dog’s outer ear.

Never stick anything inside the inner ear, as this can push wax further in, compacting it. You might also injure your dog.

If you notice a lot of wax building up in the inner ear, see your veterinarian rather than trying to clean it out yourself. Also, see the vet if you notice any redness or swelling, as these are signs of an ear infection.

Brush Their Teeth Regularly

border collie

Daily brushing is ideal, but even weekly will help your

dog’s dental


Lastly, brushing your Border Collie’s teeth regularly is a good idea. Many owners skip this grooming step, either because they aren’t aware or because their dog won’t allow it.

Daily brushing is ideal, but even weekly will help your dog’s dental health. Make sure to use dog toothpaste; never one made for humans. Many dogs find these really tasty and won’t have a problem with them, though the feeling of the toothbrush on their teeth might be a different story!

If your dog allows, this is also an excellent time to take a look at their teeth and gums. Take note of any redness or swelling in the gums, excess plaque, rotting, or cracking on the teeth. Veterinarians generally suggest professional teeth cleaning once yearly, but you can get your dog in sooner if you notice dental problems before their next appointment.

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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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