Border Collie Grooming: Does Your BC Need A Haircut?

It’s hard to find a more admired, celebrated, and loved dog breed than the Border Collie. Border Collies are renowned for their inexhaustible energy, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty, all of which make them a popular choice among dog owners desiring a lifelong companion.

With their activeness, it is expected to see them accumulate dirt at some point in time. This raises the question if they have to be groomed or if their hair has to be cut? Naturally, all dogs, Border Collies included, need routine grooming. Fortunately, Border Collies are not excessively high-maintenance. Though, it doesn’t mean that their grooming needs can be taken for granted.

To ensure that your dog looks and feels their best, you will have to groom them appropriately. We will examine shedding, bathing and all other things to give them the proper TLC they need in terms of grooming.

Shedding & Grooming of Border Collies

actively playing Border Collie

Grooming needs of Border Collie’s are straightforward. Truth is, even show level Border Collies don’t call for extensive grooming. While you can trim around the back of their legs and feet for a cleaner look, it’s not totally necessary.

Border Collies were bred in the hilly regions of England and Scotland. Their main role is to herd sheep. These dogs are hardworking and energetic. However, it can cause them to look filthy if they are to run around too much! A grooming routine that works for your Border Collie must be established to keep them neat and tidy.

What Fur Type Does Border Collie Have?

Basically, Border Collies have two types of fur or coat. You can find them having either rough or smooth coat. These dogs normally have a top coat and an undercoat. Both coats are rough and resistant to the elements.

On the other hand, the smooth-coated varieties have shorter hair across the whole body with the exception of some fur on the:

  • Legs
  • Chest
  • Ruff
  • Haunches

Between the two, the Rough Border Collies are sometimes called by many names like:

  • English Collie
  • Lassie Dog
  • Long-Haired Collie
  • Scottish Collie

They also have dense and straight outer coat partnered with a soft and furry undercoat. With regards to their Smooth Border Collies counterpart, they don’t have outer coat.

smooth coat Border Collie

Besides the distinctive difference with the texture and length of their hair, they’re practically the same in traits and personality.

Does Border Collies Shed A Lot of Hair?

Border Collies typically shed moderately throughout the year. In such case, it is wise to set a schedule of when to brush your dog. Regardless of the day of the week, doing it 2x to 3x per week is the most ideal. This helps in removing any dead hair on your dog. At the same time, this practice will enable you control your dog’s shedding.

Expect your Collie to have an intense shedding twice a year. This will normally take place during spring and fall. During these seasons, your dog will shed heavily. This happens to them in preparation for the new season. When it does, it’s your job to brush them more often to keep up with excessive shedding and maintain their beautiful coat.

Do I Have To Groom My Border?

The straightforward answer is yes. First and foremost, grooming is an integral part of owning a Border Collie or any other breed for that matter. Also, it is one that keeps them comfortable. These dogs are known to be workaholic. They thrive especially when outdoors. Therefore, in relation to their grooming, it is expected for them to pick up lots of dirt.

How Often Should I Cut My Border’s Hair?

Border Collies should not have their hair cut. Of course, an exception can be made if it’s for medical or hygienic reasons. If our dog is sick, we may have to shave certain areas. Some of these will be the perianal region in dogs. The reason for this is your dog with cleaning and excretion. This is assuming that you are bathing your dog, if washing is not enough.

should you cut your Collie's hair?

Veterinary procedures that necessitate shaving include blood sampling from the forelegs or tummy shaving prior to ultrasound or abdominal surgery. There are certain cases that require specific procedures. In these cases, Border Collie’s hair will be detrimental to the well-being of a dog if it is not shaved.

While these cases require only localized hair shaving, the Border Collie’s entire coat does not need to be shaved. Having said that, Border Collie’s hair should be shaved or cut if it is specifically instructed by your vet.

Are Haircuts Good For A Border Collie?

Border Collies typically do not require haircuts. What they need instead are, brushing, detangling, and cleaning. These things should be sufficient for coat care. While cutting a small amount of hair will not cause much of a problem, shaving their coat will. Perhaps you are wondering why.

It’s for their protection – because these dogs’ hair acts as a barrier, cutting it short will leave their skin vulnerable to the sun’s rays. This may result in discomfort for the dog or even heatstroke, as the sun’s rays are more likely to burn their skin. It may seem odd, but a dog’s coat helps maintain their body temperature in the summer by keeping them cool. Cutting their hair will prevent this.

Shield from UV rays – a dog’s skin that has been shaven exposes it to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. With prolonged exposure, it can cause cancer as well as other skin diseases.

To keep its natural oil – it is important to maintain the health and shine of a dog’s coat by keeping it moisturized. Dryness can cause itching, irritation, and dermatitis. Furthermore, it removes protection that this layer has in repelling external parasites.

Impaired communication – believe it or not, dog’s fur helps them to communicate with other animals. By cutting it off, you are taking away their ability to bristle their hair.

Breaking the cycle – when the hair’s natural cycle is broken, it will keep shedding when it grows back. In addition, the new hair will look worse and have less protection.

How To Cut Hair of My BC?

An important thing that any Border Collie owners should know is to never cut its hair. While they’re a pup, it is crucial that you lay the foundation of what a proper hygiene is which include:

  • Brushing their coat daily with proper tools
  • Detangle knots that you see
  • Bathe them only when needed

Does Shedding Changes With Season?

This one has been answered earlier already. But to give emphasis, Collies may shed more often twice a year. This will be during spring and fall. If you ever notice that your dog sheds twice than the normal, you should not panic. It might just be because it is that time of the year again when their shedding cycle changes.

Bathing of Border Collies

Border Collies’ coats must be brushed on a regular basis. This keeps them looking and feeling great. Things are a bit different in terms of their bathing needs. Following are factors to remember before you give your Border Collie a bath.

Brush them before bathing – since this breed has a high tendency to shed, better brush them first before giving a bath. Neglecting this would cause a lot of your dog’s fur falling over the tub.

Warm water only – even as humans, water that is too hot is uncomfortable. Likewise for pets. Though aside from the discomfort it brings, it can dry out their skin too by removing its natural oil. If it happens, it will lead to irritation and itching.

Use dog products that are fit for your dog’s requirements – when bathing your dog, make it a habit to only use cleansing products, conditioners and shampoos that are specifically formulated for dogs. If you think that you can simply use human products for your pets that easy, good luck with that.

Don’t forget the eyes – have you ever experienced to get soap in your eyes? It kind of hurts right? The same thing can be felt by your dog too. So when rinsing conditioner or shampoo, try to be careful and gentle around their eyes.

How Often Should Border Collie Bathe?

Your dog may only need to be bathed every quarter or so. Of course, unless you take them on an adventure, then bathing them might have to be done more frequently. If you overdo it and bathe your canine too frequently, your dog’s skin may become irritated.

Brushing of Border Collie


well-groomed Border Collie even outdoors

We have already learned that Border Collies either have smooth or rough coats. Regardless of what type you have, both will definitely need routine and scheduled grooming. Believe it or not, routine grooming is the only thing you need in keeping your dog looking at their best.

Step 1. Check for signs of mats – before brushing a Border collie, run your fingers through its coat. This gives you assurance that there are no mats. Border Collies have extremely thick, fine under- and long coats, that frequently tangle together into larger mats.

Check behind the ears for tangles and carefully remove them with your fingers. Do it gently to avoid any risks of pulling out the hair and hurting the dog.

Step 2. Use a slicker brush – use a slicker brush when brushing the dog’s exposed coat. Slickers have close-set teeth that capture dead hair and pull it to the surface. Slickers are best for removing Border Collie’s undercoat hair because it is so densely packed.

Don’t forget to brush the dog’s face and ears, particularly the mat-prone area behind each ear. Work down to their side and then to hindquarters. Brush their coat in quick, short strokes.

Step 3. Invest in a mat rake – use a mat rake to remove mats. You can begin at the tip of the mat and work your way down. When combing, do it in small sections from the roots to the end of the hair. Coat conditioner can be used to lubricate hair and loosen tangles on stubborn mats.

Step 4. Fine-tooth comb – get rid of stray hairs from your dog by using combs with fine-teeth. Brushing them with this brush will also create a smooth and well-finished appearance.

What Tools Should I Use To Brush My Border?

grooming needs for your dog

There are many tools that can be used when brushing your dog. To help you, below are some examples that can make brushing and grooming a lot easier and more beautiful.

Detangling Spray

Want to make brushing and grooming with your Border Collie easier? Then use a detangling spray. What’s more, it is going to make the process far more comfortable for you, and your beloved pet. Your dog will be likely to just follow your strokes instead of him tugging and fighting it.

Undercoat Rake

As what the name suggests, these tools are made for your dog’s coat next to its skin. If you have a dog with double-coat before, then you know how valuable this tool can be. It is pretty useful in removing dead hair or lint.

Slicker Brush

As a matter of fact, majority of the Border Collie owners opt to using slicker brushes, especially if their dog’s fur is thick and long. With the advancement of technology, you can even find self-cleaning products. This is quite handy as you don’t have to manually clean it after every use.

What Is The Best Brush For a Border Collie?

In terms of what the best brush is for your Border Collie, this is going to be more of your dog’s needs and requirements. Regarding this matter, it would be smarter to bring your dog to a vet or any professional and ask for their best opinion.

How To Make Border Collie’s Coat Glitter?

Collies have dense coat. What gives your dog its shine and nice coat is regular brushing. Without it, there is a big chance that mats will form in your dog’s coat. If you are not used to removing mats, then you might damage their coat in the process.

Luckily, all this can be avoided while maintaining the beauty and lushness of their coat. All you have to do is by spreading natural oils throughout their coat. Of course, don’t forget to brush your dog at least 2 to 3 times per week using a slicker brush.

Perhaps, you’re still seeing mats forming in the coat after everything you’ve done. If this is happening, use mat comb. It is essential that the coat of your dog is free from any mats, down to its skin. Don’t just settle for what you are seeing on the surface.

How To Prepare BC For A Dog Show?

For a lot of dog owners, dog shows are indeed an enjoyable activity to take part on. This gives both the owner and their dog a chance to strengthen their connection. Not to mention, it creates an opportunity to show off your dog to other dog enthusiasts like you.

Though, it is easier said than done. There’s preparation needed to be had for the two of you. And it all starts right when your dog is still at a young age. Check out these quick tips to guide you through the process.

See if your dog is eligible – you might be ready to invest time, energy and commitment in training. Before doing so, the first thing you want to know is whether or not your Border Collie is allowed to join. Obviously, why would you prepare for something that your dog isn’t eligible for. Check out with the organizers or other platforms to know what are the requirements. Then you can prepare.

Attend other shows – nothing gives you a better idea of what to expect from a dog show rather than seeing one yourself. It is best to attend dog shows before your actual event. This helps you to make anticipations and react fast once you’re in the situation.

Take the lead – the moment you walk your dog out of the ring, you must put them on a good lead. Simply speaking, this is the leash. The sooner you put get your dog used to it, the sooner they’ll feel comfortable having it on.

Pros and Cons of Grooming

Definitely, one advantage of grooming your Border Collie is it keeps them healthy and beautiful. You get to maintain their vibrant, long coats and they’d feel happy and comfortable in their skin. However, if overdone, it can also be the root cause of certain issues. Problems like irritation, skin problems and so forth can arise. So, take it from the expert.


Bringing your dog to professionals to have basic grooming can cost you from 30 to 90 dollars. Standard services are:

  • Bath
  • Nail trim
  • Ear cleaning
  • Blow dry

However, the cost is generally affected by a number of factors. Among which is going to be the size of your dog. The thickness and length of the coat would also be part of the equation.

Taking Extra Care Of Different Body Parts

When grooming your dog, there are some sensitive areas that must be given extra care. These are going to be their eyes, ears and paws. Learn how you can navigate around these areas when grooming it.


The very first thing that you must do is inspect the eyes visually. Check out if there are any swelling, redness or discharge. Under normal circumstances, the eyes should be bright and clear. As for the lining, it must look pinkish.


There are a lot of dogs that need ear cleaning on a regular basis. This is pretty useful in removing any dirt and wax buildup. Remember as well that cleaning your dog’s ear too frequently could disrupt its body’s natural cleaning cycle. Furthermore, it can be the cause of infection or irritation in the process.


Some dog owners feel anxious or afraid for their dogs after noticing cracks on its paws. Actually, you should not be. It is normal and you can help them remove it by using the right products. Of course, by giving them proper care. On the other hand, if it seems to worsen, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your vet right away.

Conclusion: Should I Groom My Border Collie?

well groomed Border Collie

In the question of whether you should groom your Border Collie or not, the obvious answer is YES! As mentioned, Border Collies are not high maintenance dog. They only need to be bathed at least once every quarter and have their coats brushed 2x or 3x per week on regular season.

If you feel that you don’t have the knack in performing the grooming yourself, you can always reach out to professionals to help you.

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