Fur care

Does a Border Collie Need a Haircut?

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. September 9, 2021
Does a Border Collie Need a Haircut?

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Border Collies are popular dogs for many reasons. Not only are they excellent working dogs on farms, but their supreme intelligence means they can be trained for many purposes and their warm temperament make them loving companions. However, the first thing many notice about the Border Collie is their physical charm. Sleek and fine in appearance, they are nimble creatures with expressive faces. They also have a beautiful shiny coat which is moderate length. Grooming a dog's coat is important to their health and well-being, but does a Border Collie need a haircut?

At AnimalWised, we look at a Border Collie's grooming needs. We find out if their coat should ever be cut and what we need to do as guardians to keep it in good condition.

You may also be interested in: Does a German Shepherd Need a Haircut?


  1. Border Collie coat type
  2. Why do dogs need haircuts?
  3. Do Border Collies need haircuts?
  4. The only time Border Collies need a haircut

Border Collie coat type

To know whether cutting a Border Collie's hair is a good idea, we need to know more about the characteristics of their coat. Border Collie coats are doubled layered. The outer coat is somewhat variable, being both rough or smooth depending on the individual. The undercoat is soft and dense, something which protects them against cold temperatures.

Not all Border Collies will have the same length of hair. Some have longer outer hairs which can even curl at the ends, while others have hair closer to their body. The coat will have continuous slow growth, making them prone to shedding even outside the shedding season. It is very important we maintain the dog's coat through careful grooming and their coat needs more care than some other breeds, especially since they are prone to tangles.

Border collies require brushing every day to condition the coat, remove dead hair and avoid knotting. We should choose a suitable brush and comb for our dog. If we are at all unsure which to choose, we should speak to our veterinarian for advice. Brushing out Border Collie's coat doesn't take very long, but it should be done regularly. Not only is it good for their coat, but it helps them stay stimulated and improves your bond together.

The shedding season occurs in spring to stay cooler in summer and in autumn so their winter coat can grow in. However, Border Collies will shed some all year round. For this reason, many dog guardians wonder if a haircut is a good idea for their Border Collie to manage their shedding?

Does a Border Collie Need a Haircut? - Border Collie coat type

Why do dogs need haircuts?

Too many guardians see their dogs as accessories. They may want to style them in the way which most appeals to their aesthetic. It doesn't mean they don't love their dogs or care for them, but it can often mean they prioritize their look over other considerations, including health. Others think that cutting their dog's hair short will be beneficial to them during the hot summer months. Some even think cutting hair will stop shedding.

However, a dog's coat is a sensitive living thing. It is constantly growing and changing naturally according to the needs of the dog's individual circumstances. Not only does it protect them from the cold, but it helps to protect them from physical trauma and is an important factor in their well-being.

Due to crossings of longhaired dogs, some dogs may need groomed to help them live an easier life. These include dogs with a fringe which can cover their eyes or with hair which is easily matted and promotes poor hygiene. Some dogs may have hair which is able to be trimmed more easily and provide some benefits. Take a look at our articles on haircuts for Poodles and haircuts for Yorkshire Terriers for examples.

Do Border Collies need haircuts?

Above we mentioned some breeds which may benefit from haircutting. Border Collies are not one of these breeds. In general, Border Collies do not need haircuts. Brushing, detangling and cleaning when needed should be sufficient enough for their coat care. While trimming small amounts of hair won't cause significant problems, shaving their hair will.

Although some trimming of a Border Collie's coat won't be harmful, especially if removing tangles, shaving has a serious negative impact. This includes:

  • The hair of these dogs serves as protection, so a close haircut will expose the skin to the sun. This promotes the possibility of burning their skin which is uncomfortable, as is the greater possibility of the dog developing heat stroke. It may seem counterintuitive, but a dog's coat actually helps keep them cool in summer by regulating their body temperature. Shearing their hair will prevent this.
  • Exposing the dog's skin to the sun's UV rays also promotes cancer and other skin diseases in dogs.
  • Canine skin has a natural oily layer that keeps hair coat healthy and shiny. Dryness occurs which can cause itching, irritation and dermatitis. It also removes the protection this layer brings against external parasites.
  • Cutting hair affects communication, since the dog may lose the ability to bristle its hair.
  • The natural cycle of the hair is broken and that can hinder its subsequent growth. It also won't end shedding when the hair does grow back. Weaker hair will offer less protection. Also, the new hair will look worse.
  • It favors the bites of parasites such as mosquitoes, which can transmit diseases as serious as leishmaniasis.
  • The longer coat protects from scratches, wounds, chemical burns, etc.

Border Collies should not have their hair cut. From the time they are a puppy, it is much more important to establish a suitable hygiene routine of brushing daily with the correct brush, detangling knots when they appear and bathing them only when necessary.

The only time Border Collies need a haircut

The only time a Border Collie's hair should be cut is for veterinary or hygiene reasons. If our dog is ill, it may be necessary to shave certain areas, such as the perianal area in dogs, to facilitate cleaning and elimination of secretions. This is provided this cannot be done with bathing alone.

For some veterinary procedures it is necessary to shave parts of the body. For example, the front leg is shaved to draw blood or the hair on the abdomen is trimmed for ultrasound or abdominal surgery.

As we can see, they will be specific cases for specific problems. In these cases, not shaving the Border Collie's hair will have greater negative repercussions on the dog's well-being. Even in theses cases, however, there won't be a need to shave their entire coat, only localized areas. For this reason, we should only shave a Border Collie's hair if instructed by a veterinarian.

If you want to read similar articles to Does a Border Collie Need a Haircut?, we recommend you visit our Fur care category.

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Does a Border Collie Need a Haircut?