Collies are medium sized herding dogs that come in two varieties, rough and smooth, and both varieties are said to have originated from Scotland. They are known as loyal, intelligent and graceful dogs that make excellent family companions.
Do they shed lots? Both rough and smooth varieties of Collie shed a moderate-to-high amount of fur throughout the year, and both have a double coat that sheds more heavily during spring and fall. However, the shedding is generally more noticeable with a rough Collie given how thick their coat is.
Read on to learn more about how much fur Collies shed, what they are like to groom and some of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the shedding.
Collie Shedding – What to Expect
Collies are a moderate-to-high shedding breed.
And while there are two varieties of Collie (smooth and rough), both shed about the same amount of fur throughout the year.
The main difference is that the rough (AKA Long-Haired) variety of Collie sheds more heavily during spring and fall, while smooth Collies tend to shed more evenly from month to month.
Either way, shedding is normal among most healthy dogs. They are simply shedding the old, dead fur and replacing it with a new batch. And the reason some dogs shed more heavily during seasons like spring and fall is because they are naturally preparing for the change in season.
So, for example, during spring time many dogs shed their winter coat as they don’t need it in the coming summer months. So don’t be surprised if you notice a heavy shed during spring and fall!
There are other factors that can contribute to shedding too.
For example, whether or not the dog has been spayed, their overall health and what you’re feeding them, among other things. And in some cases, excessive shedding can be caused by health issues. So if you are concerned about your dog’s shedding, then you should contact your local veterinarian.
But for most healthy dogs, shedding is normal. Even high levels of shedding. How much they shed and how noticeable it is, really depends on the individual breed.
And while Collies are on the high side of average shedders, it is fairly common for working and herding dogs to shed (at least) moderately. For example, the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd and Mini American shed a similar amount and require a similar amount of effort to groom.
Grooming Your Collie
Overall, Collies are a fairly low maintenance dog. But because there are two varieties, it really depends on which Collie you adopt.
They do have some things in common though.
Such as the fact that they both have a double coat and both are known as clean dogs that lack that typical dog odor. And they both come in the same variety of colors, which is most commonly a combination of blue merle, white, tricolor and sable.
So with that being said, let’s take a closer look at each variety.
Rough Collie Grooming (Long Hair)
Rough Collies are the most common type of Collie and have the highest maintenance coat of the two. They also shed more seasonally. Their double coat consists of a thick, abundant, straight, harsh outer coat and a soft, furry undercoat.
And because they have a thicker and longer coat than a smooth Collie, they are known to get mats and tangles.
Which is why either a slicker brush or pin brush is ideal when it comes to brushing them and why it is worth checking over their coat often to see if any areas need attention.
When it is not shedding season, they only need brushing once or twice a week to maintain their coat. During shedding season, however, which normally lasts about 2-3 weeks during spring and autumn, more regular brushing is needed. At least, if you want to keep as much fur as possible off of your floors and furniture.
During this time it may also be worth using an undercoat rake or deshedding tool, as these work well to reach right down to the undercoat and remove any old, loose fur. This isn’t necessary but it can help you remove more dead hair in less time.
Like most dogs, Collies need the occasional bath too, but not very often given that they are a clean dog that doesn’t tend to smell. And keeping their nails trimmed is important.
Smooth Collie Grooming (Short Hair)
Smooth Collies have short, flat, dense outer coats. And, despite their short fur, also have a thick undercoat. It’s just more close lying than the rough variety.
While less common, smooth-coated Collies are lower maintenance dogs and they tend to shed more evenly throughout the year, rather than big seasonal “coat blows.”
Maintaining their coat is a matter of brushing weekly with a bristle brush or rubber brush. Both of these are designed for shorter coated dogs so, for general coat maintenance, these are really all you need. However, since they do have an undercoat, a metal comb or deshedding brush can make it easier to help remove the loose undercoat fur.
Other than that, smooth coat Collies are very easy to groom. So if you’re looking for the lower maintenance variety, this is the one.
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Reducing Excessive Shedding
You can’t completely stop shedding. This is something that most dogs do to varying extents, so the best thing to do is accept it and learn how to manage it effectively. Which mostly comes down to external factors like brushing and bathing, and making sure your Collie is as healthy as possible through proper nutrition.
Brushing helps by removing the dead fur from his coat and helping to distribute his skin oils. The more fur you can brush out, before it drops off of his coat, the less vacuuming you’ll need to do. And spreading his skin oils helps promote a healthier, more moisture-rich coat which, in and of itself, is one of the best ways to combat shedding.
Bathing helps with shedding in a similar way, by removing the dead hair in the tub before it falls out onto your floor. But it also works well in conjunction with brushing because it can help loosen the dead hair prior to brushing. However, bathing too often or using cheap (or human) shampoo can dry out the skin and hair, which in turn can increase shedding. So it’s important not to over bathe and to only use a good quality dog shampoo.
Nutrition matters just as much, if not more, when it comes to shedding. But more from a preventative standpoint. There’s no magic shedding dog food or supplement, but your vet should be able to help you select a high quality dog food that contains the right amount of vitamins, minerals and things like Omega-3, which can help reduce excessive shedding in dogs.
These are among the simplest and most effective ways to reduce shedding in healthy dogs. They’re not difficult to implement, but with consistency can help you reduce excess molting and keep as much fur off of your floors and furniture as possible.
There’s also some great home remedies like coconut oil or olive oil which many people swear by. These aren’t substitutes for the core methods of reducing motling, but you may find they help. To learn more about reducing shedding, see this article.