The Ultimate Guide To Grooming A Border Collie

black and white long-coat dog

Key points

  • Border Collies can be either rough-coated (meaning they have medium-length hair) or smooth coated with short fur on all parts of the body. Both types are double-coated.
  • Border Collies are classified as a moderate shedding breed and have very basic grooming needs. Owners need to brush them two or three times per week and bathe them once every three months or so. Trimming the dogs’ nails is important too.
  • Shaving Border Collies is not recommended, as it can disrupt their body temperature regulation and expose the dog to sunburns and insect bites.
  • A healthy diet and anti-shed shampoos can help to keep the shedding under control.

Collies are known for being intelligent, friendly, energetic, and extremely loyal. They are one of the most popular dog breeds due to their ability to make excellent life companions. So if you recently became a Collie owner, you may wonder whether your dog will shed a lot, how to look after its coat and what the pet’s grooming routine should look like. Collies indeed have some specific grooming needs, but they are generally not hard to look after. But although these dogs are low maintenance, there are a few things you need to know to help your dog look its best and stay healthy.

How Much Do Border Collies Shed?

Border Collies can have two types of coats – rough and smooth. Both are double coats, meaning that the coat’s outer layer is either long and smooth or short and rough, and the undercoat is soft. Border Collies with a rough coat have medium-length hair with feathers around the chest and legs, while smooth coat Collies have short fur on the entire body.

white and brown long coat large dog

Their waterproof and wind-resistant undercoat helps to regulate the dog’s body temperature. Dogs with both coat types shed the same amount, but if your dog has longer fur, then shedding will be more noticeable. Just like other double-coated breeds, Collies are prone to shedding. However, they shed in moderate amounts during most times of the year. So brushing them two or three times per week is usually enough to remove dead hair and keep the coat healthy.

At the same time, this breed will completely change its coat during the spring and fall seasons, which will result in a significant increase in shedding. This is called blowing the coat, meaning that your dog will shed both its soft and dense undercoat along with its longer protective overcoat. It’s crucial to brush your dog every day during these periods of intense shedding. The more time your dog spends outdoors, the more vulnerable it will be to temperature fluctuations.

Border Collie Grooming Tips

  • Start immediately. As soon as you get your new dog, start the grooming routine so your dog can start getting used to various grooming procedures as early as possible. You should also try to get your pup familiar with a quiet set of nail clippers.
  • Have a routine. Establishing a regular brushing routine will prevent your Collie’s hair from getting all tangled and matted, which can be painful for dogs.
  • Find a distraction. If your dog quickly gets bored while you brush it, keep its mind busy during the entire brushing session by offering it toys or games.
  • Reward your dog. Remember to give your Collie a treat after each grooming session. It will make the adjustment process much easier for your dog, especially if it’s still a puppy.
  • Use de-shedding products. Using different de-shedding tools may be helpful to brush out dead hair and massage your dog’s skin, improving circulation. There are various products available on the market that you can try.

Should I Give My Collie A Haircut?

The quick answer is no. Border Collie grooming needs are extremely basic, and they only require minimal trimming around the back of the legs and the feed to look neater. So it’s recommended to trim these areas whenever possible or have a professional do it, but it’s not necessary. Overall, Border Collies don’t need regular trimming and simply having a steady brushing routine is enough.

Can I Shave My Border Collie?

black and white border collie running on green grass field during daytimeA dog’s coat helps the pet regulate its body temperature and protects it from sunburns and mosquito bites, so it’s generally not recommended to shave it. Shaving your dog will not help it stay cooler in the summer. On the contrary – it’ll disturb the pet’s natural temperature regulation system. The Collies’ double coat serves as an insulator that cools down the dog’s body in the summer.

And if your dog spends a lot of time outside, shaving it is a particularly bad idea. Shaving the coat down to the skin can result in the coat growing back in a patchy manner. It can also cause skin irritation, which can lead to excessive shedding.

In some cases, your vet may require you to shave your pet’s coat for medical reasons (such as upcoming surgery or different procedures). Naturally, it’s okay to shave your pet if a specialist recommends the procedure. Sometimes, shaving is unavoidable, but some dog owners choose only to slightly trim the undercoat, which may be acceptable depending on how much hair you cut.

Managing Border Collie Shedding

While Border Collie shedding is generally unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to minimize it.

Use Anti-Shed Shampoos

person holding black and silver penThese shampoos will help keep shedding under control, especially during the fall and spring seasons. Their regular use will also make the brushing easier. But if your Border Collie has sensitive skin, it’s best to look for other anti-shedding alternatives.

Ensure a Proper Diet

It may be a surprise for you, but a healthy diet can also help combat excessive shedding. Try to add vitamins A, B, and E, zinc, linoleic acid, and products rich in Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids (such as salmon and flaxseed) to the pet’s diet. These nutrients help keep the pet’s skin healthy, which may reduce shedding.

Look For Fleas And Ticks

If you notice your dog is still shedding excessively even after using all the tips mentioned above, you may need to check for fleas and ticks. Try using a slicker brush to check for dirt, eggs, and parasites in the pet’s fur.

How To Bathe A Border Collie?

While Border Collies require regular brushing, you don’t need to bathe them nearly as often. Generally, one bath every three months is just perfect for this breed, but if your dog is extra clumsy and adventurous, you can bathe it more often. But don’t go overboard with bathing, as Border Collies’ skin can become irritated and dry if they are washed too frequently.

black white and brown long coat dog running on water during daytime

Here’s are some tips for bathing your dog:

  • Brush it before the bath. This will help get rid of all the dead hair and prevent it from getting in the tub. Since the breed sheds quite a lot compared to other breeds, extra brushing won’t hurt it.
  • Adjust water temperature. Bathing your dog in water that’s too hot or too cold can result in skin irritation as well as emotional discomfort.
  • Be careful with the dog’s eyes. Cover your dog’s eyes with your hand when rinsing shampoo and other products out to ensure that chemicals don’t accidentally get into the eyes.
  • Use the right products. Human hair and skincare products are a big no for dogs. Make sure you only use cleansing products, shampoos, and conditioners formulated specifically for dogs.

Nail Trimming

Besides regular grooming and bathing, Border Collies have another grooming need – nail trimming. You should clip your dog’s nails at least once a month. Otherwise, overgrown nails can cause extreme discomfort and pain to the pet.

brown and black animal paw

Nail trimming can be stressful both for the dog and its owner. Plus, you need to be careful with the vein that runs inside the nail (the quick) because if you clip your dog’s nails too short, it can cause bleeding. But if you’re not comfortable with the idea of cutting your Collie’s nails by yourself, you can always use the services of a professional groomer.

Overall, if you monitor your dog’s diet and fulfill its grooming needs, you should be able to keep shedding to a minimum. Border Collies are great loving dogs that deserve to be treated well. By following those tips, you’ll make your pup happier and avoid any health issues that excessive shedding may cause.


Do Border Collies shed excessively?

Border Collies are moderate shedders, but they have a tendency to shed excessively twice a year during the spring and fall seasons.

How do I stop my Border Collie from shedding?

You can’t stop a Border Collie from shedding, but you can minimize it by brushing and bathing your dog on a regular basis.

Why is my Border Collie shedding so bad?

Border Collies shed excessively in spring and fall. If you notice extra shedding during other seasons, it may be a sign that your dog’s diet lacks Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Should I groom my Border Collie?

Yes, grooming your dog can make its life more comfortable and happy and help you keep shedding under control.