Can You Shave A Border Collie: Expert Advice on Grooming Your Furry Friend

Border Collies are a popular breed of dogs known for their intelligence, energy, and beautiful coats.

With that said, many pet owners (and future pet owners) wonder whether it’s safe to shave their Border Collies during the summer months to help them stay cool.

So can you shave a Border Collie? The answer is yes. But should you? Probably not. Border Collies should not be shaved unless it is necessary for medical reasons. Shaving can cause more harm than good, as it can lead to coat damage, skin irritation, and difficulty regulating body temperature.

Border Collies have a double coat that protects them and helps them stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Shaving their coat can disrupt the natural growth pattern of their fur, lead to patchy, uneven regrowth and even has some implications in the short term.

Shaving your dog’s coat, can expose their skin to harsh UV rays making them more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer.

So, yes, you can shave a Border Collie coat, but it’s natural or needed. In this article, we’ll be looking into the topic a bit deeper, so you know the pros and cons of shaving a Collies coat.

Can You Shave A Border Collie

Understanding the Border Collie’s Coat

Border Collies are known for their beautiful and thick coats, which come in a variety of colors and patterns.

However, their coats are more than just aesthetically pleasing – they serve several important functions.

The Border Collie has a double coat, which means they have two layers of fur.

  • The outer layer or “topcoat” is the longer, clearly visible part of the fur.
  • The inner layer or “undercoat”, is the shorter, fluffier inside section of the fur.  

The topcoat hairs are stiffer and more resilient than the undercoat.

They protect the dog from the sun’s harmful UV rays, as well as from rain, snow, and other environmental factors.

Shaving a Border Collie’s coat can remove these protective guard hairs, leaving the dog vulnerable to sunburn and other skin problems.

The undercoat is soft and fluffy, and it sheds seasonally.

It’s a lot more dense in the winter, where it maintains heat from radiating out from the body, and it becomes less dense in the summer, where it helps keep the body cool.

During the shedding season, which typically occurs twice a year, the undercoat will come out in clumps, so it’s important to brush your Border Collie regularly during this time to prevent matting and to help remove the loose fur.

Why Border Collies Need Their Coat

As we’ve gone over throughout this article, the Border Collie’s coat serves several important functions that are essential to the health and well-being of the dog.

Let’s look at what these are, with a little more detail.


The Border Collie’s coat provides protection against the elements, including rain, wind, and snow. The topcoat is water-resistant and helps to keep the dog dry in wet weather.

The coat also protects the dog’s skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer.

Body Temperature

The Border Collie’s coat helps to regulate the dog’s body temperature.

The undercoat provides insulation, keeping the dog warm in cold weather, and becomes less dense and sheds off in hot weather.

Shaving the coat can disrupt this natural process, making it harder for the dog to regulate its body temperature.

The Risks of Shaving a Border Collie

Shaving a Border Collie may seem like a good idea to keep them cool during hot summer months, but it can actually cause more harm than good.

Here are some of the risks associated with shaving a Border Collie:

Sunburn and Skin Cancer

One of the functions of the coat, is to protect the dog from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Shaving it can expose their skin to the sun, increasing their risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Irritation and Skin Problems

Shaving a Border Collie’s coat can cause irritation and skin problems.

The Border Collie’s skin is sensitive, and shaving can cause razor burn, ingrown hairs, and other skin irritations, especially in sensitive areas.

Skin Infections

Shaving a Border Collie’s coat can also increase their risk of skin infections.

The Border Collie’s coat helps to keep their skin clean and dry, and shaving can remove this protective barrier, making them more susceptible to bacteria and other harmful microorganisms that can cause infections


Contrary to popular belief, shaving a Border Collie’s coat does not necessarily keep them cooler.

The Border Collie’s coat is designed to regulate their body temperature, and shaving can actually disrupt this process, causing them to overheat.

Hot Spots

Shaving can cause hot spots on a Border Collie’s skin. Hot spots are red, inflamed, and painful areas on the skin that can become infected if left untreated.

These areas are typically caused by excessive licking or scratching, and shaving can make them worse.


Border Collies can be prone to allergies, which can be exacerbated by shaving.

Shaving can expose the skin to allergens, which can cause an allergic reaction and lead to further complications.

All in all, even though you can in theory shave a Border Collie, actually shaving it, is not recommended as it can cause a range of skin problems and increase their risk of sunburn, skin cancer, and overheating.

Always reconsider, when thinking about shaving your Border Collie, and only do so when extremely necessary.

Grooming Techniques for Border Collies

Grooming a Border Collie is an essential part of keeping them healthy and comfortable.

Regular grooming can help prevent matting, shedding, and skin irritation, and here are some grooming techniques that can help keep your Border Collie looking and feeling their best.

Brushing and Combing

Border Collies have a double coat that requires regular brushing and combing to prevent matting and shedding.

A slicker brush and a pin brush are both useful tools for removing loose hair and preventing tangles.

Brushing should be done at least once a week, but more frequent brushing may be necessary during shedding season.

Bathing and Shampooing

Bathing a Border Collie should be done only when necessary, as too much bathing can strip their coat of natural oils.

When bathing, it’s important to use a dog-formulated shampoo that is gentle on their skin and coat.

Avoid using human shampoo, as it can be too harsh for their sensitive skin.

Professional Grooming

While regular brushing and bathing can be done at home, some Border Collies may require professional grooming from a trained groomer.

A professional groomer can help with trimming and shaping their coat, as well as removing any mats or tangles that may be difficult to remove at home.

Clippers and Scissors

Clippers and scissors can be used for trimming and shaping a Border Collie’s coat.

However, it’s important to use caution when using these tools to avoid accidentally cutting their skin. If you’re not experienced with using clippers or scissors, choose a professional groomer.

Regular grooming is essential for keeping your Border Collie healthy and comfortable, and by following these grooming techniques, you can help keep your Border Collie looking and feeling their best.

Can You Shave A Border Collie 2

Dealing with Matting and Tangles

If you’re considering shaving your Border Collie, another reason might be excessive matting and tangles. The matting might be too much to undo, and the best option might be to shave everything off.

Matting occurs when loose fur becomes tangled and clumps together, causing discomfort and even skin irritation for your dog.

Tangles are similar, but they’re individual knots in the fur that can be more easily removed with proper grooming. These are less serious and can be dealt with more easily.

Overall, the best way to prevent matting and tangles is through regular grooming.

Brush your Border Collie’s fur at least 2-4 times a week to keep their coat healthy and prevent mats and tangles from forming.

Be patient and gentle when removing mats to avoid causing discomfort or pain to your dog.

In some cases, a light trim or a complete shave off of the area, may be necessary to remove mats and tangles that are particularly stubborn. 

Overall, the key to dealing with matting and tangles in your Border Collie is through regular grooming and patience. 

Professional Grooming vs Home Care

When it comes to grooming your Border Collie, you have two options: professional grooming or home care.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your pup.

Professional Grooming

Professional grooming can be a great option for busy owners who don’t have the time or expertise to groom their Border Collie themselves.

  • They have the knowledge, tools, and experience to groom your pup efficiently and effectively.
  • They can also provide additional services such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing.

One of the downsides of professional grooming is the cost of course. It can be quite expensive, especially if you need to take your pup to the groomer frequently.

Additionally, some dogs may find the grooming process stressful, especially if they are not used to being handled by strangers.

Home Care

Home care can be a more cost-effective option for owners who are willing to put in the time and effort to groom their Border Collie themselves.

  • With the right tools and knowledge, you can groom your pup at home and save money in the long run.
  • Home grooming can also be a great bonding experience between you and your pup. It allows you to give your Border Collie the care and attention they need while spending quality time together.

However, home grooming does have its drawbacks…

  • If you lack experience, grooming your pup at home can be time-consuming, frustrating and even a bit dangerous.
  • You may also need to invest in grooming tools and products, which can add up over time.

Ultimately, whether you choose professional grooming or home care for your Border Collie depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. 

Can You Shave A Border Collie 3

Alternatives to Shaving

Border Collie coat serve a purpose, so shaving it can actually cause more harm than good, as it can lead to sunburn, skin irritation, and other issues.

Luckily, there are alternatives to shaving that can help keep your Border Collie’s coat healthy and reduce shedding at the same time.

Here’s some of the alternatives to shaving your Collie.


One alternative to shaving is trimming.

Regular trimming can help keep your Border Collie’s coat neat and tidy, without removing the protective topcoat.

A professional groomer can help you determine the best length for your dog’s coat, and can trim it accordingly.

Trimming can also help reduce shedding, as it removes dead and damaged hair.


Another alternative to shaving is getting a haircut.

While it may seem like a drastic step, a haircut can help keep your Border Collie’s coat healthy and reduce shedding.

A professional groomer can help you determine the best length and style for your dog’s coat, and can cut it accordingly.

A shorter haircut can also help keep your dog cool in the summer months.

Reducing Shedding

If reducing shedding is the main reason for considering shaving your Border Collie, there are a few things you can do.

  • Regular brushing can help remove dead and damaged hair, and can also distribute natural oils throughout your dog’s coat.
  • Feeding your dog a healthy diet can also help reduce shedding.
  • Using a high-quality shampoo and conditioner, can also do the trick.

Overall, while shaving may seem like a quick fix, it’s important to remember that it can cause more harm than good.

Trimming, haircuts, and other alternatives can help keep your Border Collie’s coat healthy and reduce shedding, without removing the protective topcoat.

Can You Shave A Border Collie? Conclusion

In conclusion, you definitely can shave a Border Collie, but you probably shouldn’t. Shaving a Border Collie is usually not recommended unless it’s necessary for medical reasons or excessive matting.

Border Collies have a double coat that serves as natural protection from the elements, and shaving their undercoat can do more harm than good.

While there may be some benefits to shaving a Border Collie, such as reducing shedding and making it easier to spot fleas and ticks, these benefits are outweighed by the potential risks.

Shaving a Border Collie can lead to long-term coat damage, skin irritation, and difficulty regulating body temperature.

Overall, it’s best to avoid shaving a Border Collie unless it is absolutely necessary.

Regular grooming, including brushing and bathing, can help keep their coat healthy and shiny without the need for shaving.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *