To see a Border Collie at work is an eye-opening experience. Their signature herding style makes these dogs are outstanding at the job. It’s no wonder that many consider it the smartest of dog breeds. Border Collies are part of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Herding Group, but they could just as easily fit in with the Working Group. That should give you a clue about grooming this pup.
The Border Collie is a no-nonsense dog. He takes his job seriously, scampering over the rugged terrain to keep his flock of sheep together. This pup is energetic in all he does. If you’re considering getting one for a pet, you should realize that Border Collies are active canines. The other thing you might question is, do Border Collies shed?
For good or bad, the answer is yes. The Border Collie is a seasonal shedder that requires regular grooming year-round. However, there are some things you can do to make it more manageable.
The Border Collie’s Coat
To understand what you’re in for with your dog’s shedding, it helps to know what kind of top coat your Border Collie has. Then, you can choose the right grooming tools to keep your pet looking his best. There are two versions, a rough or a smooth coat. Neither necessarily sheds less or more. The former is of medium length and the latter, short. The care is also the same.
Under the weather-resistant top coat is a dense, soft undercoat. The breed standard places a higher value on the overall texture of the Border Collie’s coat instead of its length. The dog will send all year long. However, there are two seasons when you’ll notice it more, spring and fall. During the former, the pup will lose that soft undercoat that kept him warm all winter.
Fall is when your pet will blow his coat, losing both the top coat and undercoat. Shedding is quite evident at this time. Another time when you’ll see your dog shed a lot is when he transitions from his puppy coat to his adult coat. You’ll notice a change in the texture of your pup’s coat, with it getting coarser.
The trigger for when your dog sheds seasonally is the photoperiod or amount of daylight hours. Many animals use this cue for life events, such as mating. When your pup’s body senses the change, Nature will take over, and the shedding cycle will begin again.
It’s essential to groom your Border Collie regularly. It’ll prevent mats and keep his skin healthy. It’ll also collect the hair in your pet’s brush instead of the furniture. You should plan on brushing once or twice a week. You can use either a pin or slicker brush to get through your dog’s dense coat. It’s worth noting that the breed’s standard calls for the Border Collie to show as-is instead of a fancy cut.
During the shedding season, you should probably make brushing a daily task. You should also comb the hair on your dog’s legs and his tail. Checking his ears is another must-do since the breed is susceptible to frequent ear infections. How much time you spend grooming depends a lot on how much time your pet spends outdoors where he can get dirty quicker.
Grooming sessions are an excellent time to check your Border Collie for fleas or ticks. Sometimes, excessive scratching can also lead to hair loss, particularly if your pup is allergic to either one of these pests.
Getting a Handle on Shedding
If you’re concerned about shedding and allergies, it’s essential to understand that all dogs and cats produce allergens or allergy triggers. There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet. Shedding is part of dog ownership. However, there are several things you can do to keep it under control. The obvious thing is the daily brushing. We suggest doing it outside to avoid getting the stray hairs on your furniture.
Another thing to consider is getting your Border Collie used to being vacuumed. Many pets adapt to it quite well and even seem to enjoy the extra bonding time with their owners. It might even feel good to them. It’s best to start slowing and make it a positive experience for your dog. Treats will work wonders in that department.
Feeding your Border Collie a high-quality, commercial diet will help keep his skin healthy, which will, in turn, keep the shedding under control. Look for products with a statement that states it meets the nutritional standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on the label. Then, you’ll know your pet is getting the right nutrients in the correct proportions.
Often excessive shedding is caused by a nutrient deficiency. Providing your Border Collie with a good diet will keep his skin and coat healthy. If you notice redness or bald patches, your dog may have an allergy or other skin condition. Discuss the symptoms with your veterinarian to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your pup’s hair loss.
Another possible cause of excessive hair loss is too much indoor time, particularly during the drier winter months. Running a humidifier can help keep you and your pet more comfortable, with less shedding or static electricity shocks. Try to keep the moisture within the comfort range of 20–40 percent, depending on the outdoor temperature.
It’s imperative not to shave your Border Collie during the summer or ever, for that matter. It may seem like a shortcut to keeping the shedding in check. However, your pet’s coat serves a vital function by protecting his skin against UV radiation. The shedding cycle does an excellent job of managing your dog’s coat.
Border Collies make delightful pets in the right home, provided this pup gets a lot of active time. Shedding is a part of owning a dog. However, it’s also easily managed with regular grooming and a high-quality diet. You’ll keep your pup looking his best and have an effective way to keep the excess hair under control.