Border Collie Shedding: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a new owner of a border collie and think that you would have a dog that never sheds, then, unfortunately, you are out of luck. Many people ask if border collies shed a lot and the answer is quite simple. The border collie breed is a breed that is prone to excessive shedding.

While you may think it can be a pain in the butt to take care of, shedding is harmless and easy to manage if you know how to handle it the right way.

Keep reading to learn more about border collie shedding. This article will cover everything you need to know about shedding in border collies.

About border collie’s coats

To get a better understanding of why border collies shed excessively, you have to learn a little bit about the dog breed and their coats.

Border collies are made to be hard working herding dogs on a farm. They are meant to work day in and day out, no matter the weather or season. And while this may not be the case with your stay-at-home border collie, their genes tell them differently.

Border collies are one of the dog breeds that have what is called a double coat. The double coat consists of two coats, the topcoat or outer coat, and the undercoat.

All border collies have double coats but when it comes to the type of coat, there are two. These two can be broken down into the rough coat or the smooth coat. The difference in coats lies between the length of the coat and the feathering of the coat.

Rough coat

A border collie with a rough coat has longer hair and feathering around the chest, legs and on their belly. A rough coat can come in different lengths and thicknesses.

Some rough coated border collies have a thick undercoat with long hair, while some can have a thinner coat with little feathering.

Smooth coat

A smooth coated border collie has shorter hair and little or no feathering. When it comes to genetics, a smooth coat is dominant over the rough coat, so once a rough coat is bred with another rough coat, there is no chance for a smooth coat.

Like a rough coat, a smooth coat can also vary in texture and thickness. Some have a thick undercoat, while some have less.

Coat types and grooming

When it comes to grooming, a smooth coat is much easier to care for than a rough coat. They don’t pick up as much dirt, and they dry much faster. They are easier to clean and their coats won’t mat.

But while a smooth coat sounds perfect, smooth coat border collie shedding is just as common as in rough coat collies.

Do border collies shed?

Yes of course they shed. Almost every dog sheds, but with a border collie, you may be in for a surprise.

Since they have the double coat as I talked about above, they shed a lot more than dogs without a double coat. If you can’t stand having hair all over the house in the summer and fall, then you may want to consider an easier dog to clean up after.

Causes of shedding

There are many causes of shedding in a border collie, but the most common is a result of the natural functions in a border collie’s body.

The most common reason for shedding is due to a change of seasons.

Border collie shedding season

Like most dogs, border collies shed all year round. Unlike most dogs, border collies also shed most noticeably at two distinct times of the year. You could call these times of year the border collie shedding season.

These two times of the year occur towards the start of summer, and the beginning of fall. These are the times when your collie will blow their coat.

Both the beginning of summer and fall are when the seasons change most drastically and when your border collie’s body feels the need to lose its undercoat.

Blowing a coat basically means that they are dropping their current coat to make way for a new one.

In the summer season, your border collie will shed their winter coat because the weather will be warmer and the coat will be exposed to much more light.

In the fall season, your border collie will shed their coat again to make way for a thicker, fuller, winter coat. This is done in preparation for colder temperatures and less light during the day.

Over washing

Yes over washing is a thing and it can lead to your border collie shedding.

Your dog’s coat produces oils that keep the skin and coat healthy.

If you wash your dog too often, the oils will be continually stripped from their coat and this can lead to infections and other skin issues. These, in turn, can lead to shedding.


Yes, stress in pets is as real as stress in humans. What’s even worse is that you can pass your stress onto your border collie.

Border collies are very receptive to their owner’s feelings so if you are constantly stressed, they can sense this and they can become stressed too.

Stress in dogs can lead to excessive dog shedding.


Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to things in their environment or in their dog food.

These allergens can lead to greater amounts scratching and shedding.

Allergies can develop at any point in their lives so if you notice allergy symptoms in your dog, make sure to get them looked at by a vet.


Most dog foods on the market today are made for profit without the dog’s health in mind. Many dog foods are made with low-quality ingredients they don’t provide your dog with the nutrients they actually need to stay healthy.

These deficiencies can often lead to excessive shedding and other health problems.

If you suspect that diet may be the issue, then try doing some research on the best dog foods for border collies to get a better idea of what they need.

Fleas, ticks, parasites

Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can cause a slew of problems in your border collie.

Not only can they cause major health issues, but they can also cause excessive itching which can lead to hair loss.

There are many ways to take care of this problem including shampoos, sprays, and other holistic approaches.

Other medical conditions

While the above are the most common reasons for shedding, other medical conditions could be at play.

If you notice excessive shedding that appears to be unhealthy, or at the wrong time of year, then it may be a good idea to take your pup to the vet.

Mange and Sebaceous Adenitis are two medical conditions that come to mind. These can be more common in border collies and should not be taken lightly.

How to stop border collie shedding

Unfortunately, there is no way you can stop your border collie from shedding. It is a natural part of their life, so stopping it is not possible. It is possible to keep it under control, which you can read about below.

How to control border collie shedding

While it may not be possible to stop it completely, there are ways to control your border collie losing clumps of hair twice a year. These five different ideas below will help when your border collie is shedding.

Brushing often

The first and easiest way to keep shedding under control is to brush your dog often. Brushing is not only important during the shedding season, but during the offseason as well.

If you want to lower your border collie shedding level during the prime shedding season, then try brushing can help. Try brushing them 2 to 3 times a week in the off-season, and every day during the shedding season. This will keep their shedding under control and make it feel like you aren’t living in a furry mess.

Use an undercoat rake

An undercoat rake is a special brush made especially for deshedding dogs with undercoats.

This brush tool looks like a miniature rake that you would use in the backyard. It is made up of a handle with a series of curved prongs at the end. These prongs will penetrate the top coat and grab the dead undercoat.

You can use an undercoat rake like a normal brush in the areas where they have an undercoat and are shedding clumps of hair. Be gentle and don’t press too hard because you don’t want to scrape their skin.

If you want to save time and money, then I would suggest getting a Furminator brush. The Furminator combines brushing and coat raking.

It works like magic and it’s the only brush I use.

Furminator deShedding Tool for Dogs Photo

Use a vacuum

A vacuum can be used in two different methods to help with deshedding your dog. Both of these methods need your dog to be comfortable with a vacuum so you might have to do some initial dog training.

The method you choose also depends on whether you are doing it inside or outside.

If you have space outside and it is not too cold, then I would suggest the first method. If you have to do it indoors, then I would suggest the second method.

Method one

The first way to use a vacuum for deshedding is to “blow-out” their undercoat.

This is best done after brushing or taking a bath and only works if your vacuum has the ability to blow air out.

A blow-out is exactly what it sounds like.

Once you bathe or brush your pup, you’ll take the vacuum hose out and hold it close to the fur so that it will blow all the loose hair out.

The reason you should do this outside is that it can get pretty messy.

Method two

The second method is the opposite of the blow-out. The second method is to vacuum the hair instead of blowing it away.

A shop vac is good for this job because it will get filled up fast, and a normal vacuum won’t cut it.

Make sure to use a fitting like the one shaped like a “T” so that it will not make full contact with the fur.

You don’t want to ever let the vacuum make full contact because this can hurt your border collies and their skin.

Washing your dog

Bathing your pup is another option when it comes to controlling their shedding.

This one might take a little longer than the other options, but if you prefer to do it this way, then go right ahead!

If you do use bathing as a method of deshedding, then make sure to not overdo it.

Bathing too often can lead to many possible skin conditions that can cause problems.


Border Collie Swimming PhotoLast but not least, is swimming.

If you are lucky enough to have a body of water nearby that you feel safe letter your dog swim around in, then this method might be for you.

Make sure to brush your border collie before you take them in the water so that the water can wash away all the loose hair.

Now let them loose. Play fetch with them. Let them swim around and do whatever in the water.

The water will help to remove any dead or loose hair that it still in their coat but is ready to go.

Some common shedding questions

The following questions are ones that are most often asked when it comes to border collie shedding. See the answers to these questions below.

Can I shave my border collie?

During the summer, many dog owners think that by not shaving their dogs, you are being mean to them.

These owners think that by leaving their heavy coat in tact, their dogs will overheat. They think that by not shaving them, you are doing them a disservice.

When it comes to dogs with double coats like border collies, they should never be shaved.

Border collies naturally shed their undercoat at the beginning of summer so that they can handle the heat.

Shaving a double-coated dog like a border collie will change the way their hair grows in and will make them less suited for colder weather once it does.

Keep in mind that trimming their hair to clean up their appearance is not out of the question. Just don’t ever resort to shaving them completely.

How much do border collies shed?

While they aren’t the worst dog breed when it comes to shedding, they do tend to shed a moderate to a high amount.

The amount of shedding can depend on the various factors mentioned before.

Throughout the year, border collies will shed a little bit each day, but when it comes to the beginning of summer and fall, that’s when you see the most.

During these times when collies drop their coats, you can fill up entire vacuums full of hair even if you are brushing them four or more times a week.

How bad is border collie shedding?

I sort of covered this above, but I will answer it again. Shedding is only bad two times out of the year and compared to some other breeds, it’s not the worst.

Personally, I don’t think it’s horrible. But that may be because I have had many dogs throughout my life.

For someone who has never had a dog before, a border collie shedding might be a little extreme.

When do border collie puppies start shedding?

While it can be different for each dog, border collie puppies will gradually get a thicker and thicker coat the older they get.

Most people say it takes anywhere from a year to two years until they get their full coat, and then the seasonal shedding starts from there.

Are border collies low shedding?

No, border collies shed quite a good amount.

They lose hair naturally throughout the year, and twice a year at the beginning of summer and fall is when they drop their entire undercoat.

These times of the year is when you’ll see the most shedding.

Why is my border collie shedding so much?

Most likely it is because it is the time of year when they blow their coats.

If it is not near the shedding season and your border collie is shedding a lot more than normal, then you might want to look into other possible reasons.

These possible reasons were covered earlier in this article. Over-washing, stress, diet, parasites, and other medical reasons could be the cause.


When it comes to shedding, border collies are experts. Twice a year they drop their coat to make way for a new coat. In the summer, they need a lighter undercoat to handle the heat, and in the winter, they need a fuller undercoat to handle the cold. Shedding is a perfectly normal process in your border collie’s life, so there is no need to worry about it or stop if from happening.

If you have funny shedding stories or have anything to add to this article, then feel free to share in the comments below!

Border Collie Shedding Photo

2 thoughts on “Border Collie Shedding: Everything You Need to Know

  1. Our boy is 12, in great health, still very active, but his outer coat is the issue. We’re in mid winter here in Australia and I’ve never seen him look this threadbare. We’ve lived with borders for many years and know what to expect with the undercoat. This is weird.
    Any suggestions?

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