Border Collies are a popular breed of dog known for their intelligence, athleticism, and loyalty. However, for people with allergies, one of the most common question is: are Border Collies hypoallergenic?
The short answer to this question is no, Border Collies are not hypoallergenic. This is to say, they are likely to cause allergic reactions.
Like all dogs, Border Collies shed their hair and produce dander, and dog hair and dander are known for triggering allergies in some people.
In this article, we’ll be going over some of the most important facts, tips and considerations about this topic, so that you know what to expect, and so that both you and the dog remain safe.
Understanding Border Collies
Border Collies are a breed of working dogs that originated in the border regions of Scotland and England, and that were particularly bred for herding sheep.
They are highly intelligent, active, and energetic dogs and are known for their agility, speed, and stamina, which make them excellent working dogs and even service dogs.
Border Collies are medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 30 to 55 pounds and stand between 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder and come in a wide range of colors, including black and white, red and white (red merle), blue and white (blue merle), and tri-color.
As working dogs, Border Collies require a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation, and can thus be quite taxing on their owners sometimes.
They are highly trainable and excel in obedience, agility, and herding trials. However, they can also be prone to destructive behavior if they do not get enough exercise or mental stimulation.
When it comes to allergies, Border Collies are not typically hypoallergenic. This means they’re not immune to trigger allergic reactions in humans.
It can happen.
They have a double coat that can be a bit more dense than other breeds with a single coat, and so causing allergic reactions, is not out of the question.
For people who don’t do well with dog hair, Border Collies do shed quite a lot, so it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
Hypoallergenic Dogs Explained
The term hypoallergenic is often used to describe dog breeds that are less likely to cause allergic reactions in humans.
And as we described before, no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic. In other words, all dogs can cause some sort of allergic reaction, depending on the person.
When it comes to dogs, the focus is often on the hair and shedding. Dogs that shed less are “generally considered” to be better for people with allergies.
The Border Collie, doesn’t fit that description…
It’s not just the fur that can cause allergic reactions though. Dander, saliva, and urine can also trigger allergies in some people.
Some breeds that are often considered to be more hypoallergenic, or less likely to cause allergic reactions, include:
- Bichon Frise
- Afghan Hound
- Bedlington Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Coton de Tulear
- Giant Schnauzer
If you take one thing from this article, it’s that: Even though these dogs will generally speaking not cause allergic reactions some dogs might still trigger reactions in some people.
So in a sense, even though this is “textbook theory”, in practice, it all depends on the dog, the person and the different circumstances.
So it’s always a good idea to spend time with a dog before bringing them into your home, especially if you or someone in your family has allergies.
Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic? No They’re Not
Like all dogs, Border Collies shed their hair and produce dander, which can trigger allergies in some people, and are thus not considered particularly hypoallergenic.
Even though most allergies are cause by fur, fur is not the only culprit, but instead allergies can be cause by the proteins found in a dog’s skin cells, urine, and saliva that can trigger allergic reactions.
These proteins can stick to a dog’s fur and be spread around the house, causing allergy symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes.
Unfortunately, Border Collies are heavy shedders too, and their fur and dander can spread quickly throughout the house which can make it difficult for people with dog allergies to live with one.
If you have allergies and are considering getting a dog, it’s might be a good idea to spend some time around them to see how your body reacts.
If fur is a “no go” for you, then, chances are that the Border Collie isn’t the best option to choose from.
The Border Collie’s Coat
Border Collies have a double coat, which means they have two layers of fur.
The outer layer is made up of more “rough” hairs that protect the dog, while the undercoat is softer and provides insulation. You can learn more about their coat, here.
This two-layered coat gives Border Collies their signature look and provides them with protection from the weather.
With that said, they shed quite a lot and unfortunately dander and fur can spread very quickly.
Take into account that they can shed year-round, so brushing once every two to three days can help get rid of additional fur and allergens, and during seasonal shedding (twice per year) Border Collies shed even more.
Grooming And Maintenance
If you’re not allergic to fur, but fur is still a problem for you, then grooming your Border Collie regularly can help minimize shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.
Here are some tips for grooming and maintenance:
- Brushing your Border Collie’s coat once or twice a week can help remove loose fur and prevent mats and tangles.
- Use a slicker brush or a pin brush to gently brush their coat in the direction of hair growth.
- Start at the head and work your way down to the tail, paying special attention to the neck, chest, and underarms where mats tend to form.
Border Collies don’t need frequent baths, as over-bathing can strip their coat of natural oils and cause skin irritation.
A bath every 8-12 weeks should be enough.
Use a dog-formulated shampoo and conditioner and rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any residue that can cause itching and irritation.
Reducing Allergens in Your Home
If you have pet allergies but still want to add a Border Collie to your life, there are a few things you can do to minimize the allergens in your home.
Some tips include:
Keep Your Home Clean
Regular cleaning can help reduce the amount of dander and hair in your home.
Vacuuming carpets and hard floors frequently can help remove pet hair and dander from your floors.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to ensure that the allergens are trapped and not released back into the air.
Use Air Purifiers
Air purifiers can also help bring down the amount of airborne allergens in your home.
HEPA air purifiers are particularly effective at removing pet dander, hair, and other allergens from the air.
Place the air purifiers in the rooms where your Border Collie spends the most time.
Keep Your Home Well-Ventilated
Keeping your home well-ventilated can help reduce the amount of airborne allergens in your home.
Open windows and doors to let fresh air in, and use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to remove excess moisture and odors.
Clean Up After Your Pet
Cleaning up after your Border Collie can also help reduce the amount of dander and hair in your home.
Use a lint roller or sticky tape to remove pet hair from furniture and drapes, and wash your pet’s bedding regularly to remove loose hair and dander.
By following these tips, you can reduce the amount of allergens in your home and enjoy the company of your Border Collie without necessarily having to suffer from allergic attacks.
Tips for Allergic Dog Owners
Finally, if you are allergic to dogs but still want to own a Border Collie, here are a few additional tips you can follow to minimize your allergy symptoms.
Choose a low-shedding Border Collie: No breed is 100% hypoallergenic, with this said, you can consider getting a Border Collie with a low-shedding coat to reduce the amount of pet hair and dander in your home.
Groom your Border Collie regularly: Regular grooming can help reduce the amount of pet hair and dander in your home. Brush your Border Collie’s coat at least once a week and bathe them every 2-3 months.
Keep your bedroom pet-free: While you can share your bed with your pup, your bedroom should be a pet-free zone to minimize your allergy symptoms.
Vacuum your home regularly: Pet hair and dander can accumulate quickly, so it’s important to vacuum your home regularly too.
Wash your hands after petting your Border Collie: Pet hair and dander can stick to your hands, so it’s important to wash them after petting your Border Collie. This can help reduce the amount of allergens that you come into contact with.
Consider allergy shots: Allergy shots can help desensitize your immune system to pet allergens over time. Talk to your doctor to see if allergy shots are a good option for you.
Use allergen-resistant bedding: Getting allergen-resistant bedding to reduce your exposure to pet allergens while you sleep, can be a good solution.
Keep your home clean and dry: Pet allergens thrive in humid environments, so it’s important to keep your home clean and dry. Using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels in your home, is a great start.
Consider using air filters: Air filters can help remove pet allergens from the air. Consider using a portable air filter or installing a whole-house air filtration system.
Consult with your doctor: If you’re considering getting a Border Collie but have allergies, talk to your doctor first. They can provide advice on managing your allergy symptoms and help you determine if owning a dog is a good option for you.
At the end of the day, Border Collies are not hypoallergenic. They shed a lot and produce dander, which can trigger allergies in some people.
If you have allergies and are considering getting a Border Collie, it might be a good idea to spend some time around the breed, ask questions and get to know other Border Collie owners that might be able to give you some ideas.
If you’re allergic, but are still are willing to live with a Border Collie, then remember that grooming your dog and cleaning your house to prevent build ups of fur and allergens, is going to be very important in the long run.