How Often Should I Bathe My Border Collie?

Giving your Border Collie a bath, can be either one of the most fun experiences you can have with your dog, or it can be a total nightmare trainwreck disaster. 

After all, these hyperactive pups, if left to their own devices, could easily spend all day running around in the mud, swimming, hunting, herding, and overall getting their fur dirty beyond recognition, in as many ways as imaginable.

So it begs the question: Should I bathe my Border Collie every time it gets dirty? How often should I bathe my Border Collie? What about Border Collie puppies? In this post, we’ll give you an idea of just how much you’d want to bathe your pups, when, and why too much bathing can be harmful. 

How Often Should I Bathe My Border Collie?

How Often Should I Bathe My Border Collie?

Under normal circumstances, you’ll want to bathe your adult Border Collie once every 3 to 4 months. You can be sure to keep your Border Collie clean, odor-free, as well as sustain long-term healthy skin and coat, by maintaining this specific bathing schedule.

With that said, in most cases your Border Collie might make it impossible for you to stick to this schedule, at which point there is no issue in bathing your pup if it’s extremely necessary as long as it’s not too frequent. We’ll go over a bit more on that, later.

How Often Should I Bathe My Border Collie Puppy?

As you can imagine, things are quite different when we’re talking about bathing a Border Collie puppy. Generally speaking though, bathing your puppy while it’s younger than 8 weeks is not advised.

Also, Border Collie pups haven’t fully grown out their coats until they are around 6 months old, which means that they don’t really control their own temperature very well and can get too hot or too chilly when taking a bath. Thus, waiting for your pup to have a full-grown coat, is also an option.

It’s also a good idea, to wait for some weeks after their vaccinations, to make sure that the immune system is ready to go. 

Taking that into consideration, your Border Collie puppy can probably take a bath once every 4 to 6 months before it becomes an adult. If your puppy accidentally gets too dirty in the meantime, wiping most things with a wet towel will be a godsend.

When To Bathe Your Border Collie: The Telltale Signs.

On some occasions, you might feel like you absolutely need to bathe your Border Collie, and that no amount of brushing or trying to fix the issue with a wet cloth will do the trick.

How can you be certain they need to get under the shower asap? Some of the top reasons you should consider braking that bath schedule include:

When They Are Extremely Dirty Or Muddy.

If your dog has rolled in the mud or dirt, there is no reason to wait to give them a bath. 

Brush off any dry mud that you can, and bring the shampoo into action.

Your Dog Has Fleas, Lice Or Mites.

If your Border Collie starts scratching itself very regularly, it may be time for a “special” bath.

One of the best ways to rid your dog of these parasites, is to shampoo, clean and moisturize the coat with a PH-balanced, anti-flea shampoo.
It’s a given that your pooch will need a bath to get rid of these pesky insects. Be sure to consult a veterinarian for diagnosis, if this were the case. 

Once They Start To Smell.

One of the telltale signs that your pup needs a bath, is when they start to smell.

Whether that be the smell of dampness or humid fur, vomit, poop, or anything in between…when the time is right you’ll know.

A trip to the vet may be necessary if your dog consistently seems to smell awful, but most likely swapping shampoos should do the trick in this case.

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5 Tips When Bathing A Border Collie

Let’s go over some of the main tips when it comes time to give your pup a bath.

1: Use Only Lukewarm Water.

Always use lukewarm water, never too hot or too cold. While it may be tempting to bathe your Collie with warm water, doing so will just increase the likelihood that their skin will be dry afterward, not to mention you might burn them.

Also, cold water is also a no-go. It’s a pretty annoying experience to have to bathe in cold water and it’ll make your dog second-guess you the next time you try to get it to get into the bathroom.

2: Brush Your Border Collie Before, During And After The Bath.

By brushing before the bath, you may avoid matting, remove some of the weaker fur and remove excess dirt, all in one go. You can do this with a undercoat rake, like this one.

If you don’t brush your dog first, you might find yourself spending longer than you expected untangling its damp fur later on.

To get a deep clean with the shampoo, you can use a bath brush when taking the shower, and after the shower is done, you can go over your dog’s coat with a slicker brush and make sure there is no matting, to make drying almost effortless.

3: Use Dog Shampoo.

This one should be pretty obvious, but you never want to use normal shampoo when bathing your pup, there is a good reason it’s different.

The dog shampoo dries the skin of your pup, a lot less than people shampoo does. Your shampoo is also too acidic for your pet’s skin.

Some of the best dog shampoos available, include Arm & Hammer, Burt’s Bees for dogs and Wahls shampoo for dogs

4: Avoid Getting Water In Your Dog’s Ears.

Getting water inside your Border Collies ears is a surefire way of increasing the possibility of ear infections.

This is something that you never want happening to your dog, as it’s extremely painful and annoying. You can wash your dog’s head separately as well as protect the ears with your hands, so as to stop water from going in.

5: Make It Fun! Reward Your Pup For A Good Job.

Taking a bath should be a memorable experience, so make sure to follow up with lots of compliments, pet time, treats or play.

Many dogs enjoy playing an energetic game of tug-of-war with the bath towel (and occasionally running away with it ) to relieve the stress of having to do something they usually don’t like, like taking a bath.

Let them know that there is always fun at the end of the process.

The Importance Of Not Over-Bathing Your Border Collie

So why not bathe your Border Collie every week or two, you might be wondering.

After all, doesn’t bathing help in maintaining the health of the dog’s fur? Doesn’t it help your pup look and smell amazing?

Most people are unaware that your dog’s skin and coat contain natural oils, though. These oils are the ones keeping your dog’s skin healthy and hydrated, as well as keeping the fur smooth and nice in addition to regulating their temperature.

Border Collies are double coated dogs which basically means that they have two distinct types of fur, (the overcoat and the undercoat) which serve their own purposes and are very important for the well-being of your dog’s skin and the production of these oils.

Your dog will lose these natural oils if you bathe it too frequently, not to mention it’ll damage its amazing and iconic coat.

As a result, dry and itchy skin will be the first sign you’ll see of this, followed by unnecessary fur loss and possible rashing, and other skin issues that can easily be prevented.

For that reason, you’d want to limit the number of times you’ll be bathing your Border Collie, as much as possible.


When it comes to how often to bathe your Border Collie, there is no definitive answer or “golden number”, as it depends on a number of factors such as the dog’s activity level, their coat health and even their age.

With that said, as a general rule of thumb, it is generally recommended that an adult Border Collies be bathed every 3 to 4 months and a Border Collie puppy, not before it’s at least 8 weeks old. 

Occasionally you’ll want to up the bathing frequency, if your dog gets too dirty while doing physical activities, (which will happen more often than not) but be sure not to go overboard, since it could be harmful for their fur, coat and skin.

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