Bearded Collies are Scottish herding dogs that make excellent workers and affectionate family companions alike. They are enthusiastic, smart, and full of energy.
Do they shed much? Bearded Collies have a long double coat that sheds a moderate amount of hair throughout most of the year, but considerably more once or twice per year as the seasons change. Regular brushing is needed to maintain their coat and is one of the best ways to reduce shedding.
Read on to learn more about Beardie shedding, what they’re like to groom and some of the most effective ways you can reduce how much they shed.
Bearded Collie Shedding – What to Expect
Bearded Collies shed moderately year round, but considerably more during times of the year like spring and fall, so overall Beardies are considered a moderate to high shedding breed.
So they’re not the ideal breed for people who are concerned about cleaning up lots of dog hair. Nor are they a hypoallergenic breed either, which means they’re not the best option for allergy sufferers.
No dog is truly hypoallergenic though, but lower shedding breeds, like the Basenji for example, are typically better than high shedding breeds in this respect.
In any case, the shedding isn’t too bad throughout most of the year, but during seasonal changes like spring and autumn, you will typically notice more hair floating around. And it can be quite noticeable with a Bearded Collie because they have such long, thick, double coats.
Seasonal shedding is normal in most dogs though, they are essentially just preparing themselves for different weather conditions. For example, they shed their winter coat in spring, and their summer coat in fall. And each time the shedding picks up for about 2-4 weeks.
It’s just that it can be more noticeable in certain breeds, like the Beardie, which makes grooming them even more important during these times if you want to reduce shedding. Or at least how much of what they shed ends up in your home.
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What Are Beardies Like to Groom?
Beardies are considered a fairly high maintenance breed to groom.
They have a long, shaggy outer coat that comes in blue, black, fawn or brown and in many cases white or tan markings. And a distinguishing feature is that it’s longer under the chin, forming somewhat of a “beard.” Their undercoat is dense and fluffy, and helps keep them warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
The length and texture of their coat means daily brushing is needed to maintain their coat. Especially if he has been outside playing. Because what tends to happen with longer coated breeds is their coat gets all kinds of dirt and debris caught up in it, and is prone to tangle, knots and mats.
So it is a good idea to brush the coat daily to keep it mat free, and take the time to give him a more thorough brush once per week. This will also help to keep the shedding to a minimum, so it’s well worth the effort if you want to keep the hair off of your furniture.
As far as what sort of brush to use, a pin brush or slicker brush works well for the outer coat to remove the bulk of dead fur as well as any mats and tangles. And a simple metal comb or deshedding brush works well for the undercoat.
Guide to Minimizing Shedding
One of the most practical ways to reduce shedding in your Bearded Collie, is to brush him regularly. Brushing removes the loose fur on his coat before it has a chance to fill your home, so daily brushing is well worth the effort.
Brushing also helps to spread his coat oils which can promote a healthier coat and skin, which in turn can naturally prevent excessive shedding, especially shedding caused by dryness.
Another way you can reduce how much hair your Beardie loses is to bath him every now and then. You don’t want to over do it, because this can dry out his coat, but bathing every month or so can help to remove more of his dead fur and loosen it up prior to brushing.
During times of heavy seasonal shedding, this can make a huge difference. Not just in the coming days, but for potentially weeks afterwards.
So for the most part, reducing shedding really comes down to grooming regularly and thoroughly. Which doesn’t sound like much fun, but if you stick with a routine it’s not difficult and can save you a lot of time cleaning up with a vacuum.
Another thing you can look at is what you’re feeding your Beardie. A dog food that is made of high quality ingredients is naturally going to lead to a healthier coat.
So it’s worth considering this as part of your overall strategy. And once you do have a proper diet in place, natural supplements or occasionally adding a small amount of virgin coconut oil to his food may help.
There is no magic cure for shedding, it’s normal in most dogs. But these are some of the most effective ways of getting it under control. With that being said, if you’re concerned the shedding isn’t “normal” then it might be worth contacting your local vet, as sometimes there can be an underlying problem like fleas, stress, or allergies for example.
What Makes Beardies Unique?
Bearded Collies (AKA Highland Collies or Mountain Collies) were bred by Scottish shepherds to herd cattle and sheep, as well as drive them to local markets.
Droving is different from herding, it’s basically where the dog carefully leads cattle and other livestock over long distances, typically old dirt country roads and so forth.
Dogs that are intelligent, loyal and obedient do well at this. Also those that are strong, yet calm in nature, and resilient in harsh weather make good working dogs. And Beardies tick all the boxes here which is why they make excellent working dogs.
Over the years, however, they’ve become better known as family companions. The American Kennel Club describes them as smart, bouncy, charismatic, and affectionate. They also point out that Beardies get on well with other animals and children if socialized properly from a young age.
So, if you’re looking for a medium sized dog that loves the outdoors, don’t mind the higher than average shedding or daily grooming, you’ll love welcoming the Bearded Collie into your home.