If you are looking at the Border Terrier as a potential breed to own, you’ll have many questions about what they are like to own and what is required to take care of them. For starters, they have plenty of energy that they will need to expend. But what about their coat and in particular, their level of shedding? Does the Border Terrier regularly deposit their hair and how do those with dog allergies typically respond in their company? Here is what you need to know regarding their shedding.
So, do Border Terriers shed? Border Terriers do shed, although they are known to do so minimally. So little so that they are also classified as hypoallergenic – meaning that those with dog allergies tend not to be set off while in their presence or from where they have been. Nevertheless, you will need to regularly brush and groom your Border Terrier’s thick and wiry coat to keep it in optimal condition and to ensure that it grows out without matting.
While the Border Terrier is not known for their shedding; it is important to note that all breeds of dog will shed to some extent.
Just as out hair will fall out from time to time as we brush, the same can be observed in dogs.
The coat of a dog is essential to help them maintain their body temperature, so it makes sense that it needs to remain in peak condition at all times.
The process of hair falling out is in many ways part of this natural process.
For the Border Terrier, you should not expect a lot of hair deposited around your home; which is one of the main benefits of owning this breed.
Let us now take a closer look at the distinctive coat of the Border Terrier and take a closer look at when and how they shed.
We will also be covering why they can be safely classified as hypoallergenic and some of the best grooming tips to keep their coat as healthy and comfortable as possible.
So be sure to keep reading to get all the information you need if you did later decide to take in one of these small, rough-coated breeds.
What Type Of Coat Do Border Terriers Have?
Border Terriers have a double coat that is wiry on top and soft underneath.
- The topcoat is both dirt and weather resistant. It lies close to the skin, does not have waves or curls, and feels almost rough to the touch. The proper length of the coat is in the medium range.
- The undercoat of a Border Terrier is very dense, short, and silky soft. It does an excellent job of keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
One thing to note with the Border Terrier is that they do have relatively high grooming requirements. This type of coat does have a tendency to mat and tangle if it’s not regularly or sufficiently looked after.
When it comes to coat color, Border Terriers have a wide variety of colors that are known.
Although all puppies of the breed start out as either grizzle and tan or black and tan, their adult coat will grow into one of the following colors: Red, red grizzle, red grizzle and tan, blue grizzle, blue and tan, black grizzle, black and red, black and tan, wheaten, red wheaten, or solid grizzle.
How Much Does A Border Terrier Shed?
A Border Terrier is classified as a light shedder since they lose very minimal amounts of hair.
This is great news if you do not want to deal with the constant task of cleaning dog hair from every surface in your home!
However, you can still expect to see your pet shed some hair, especially during the seasonal spring and fall sheds when the new coats come in.
Let’s take a closer look at seasonal shedding. What exactly is it?
Most people are aware of the fact that dogs grow heavier coast during the winter. This helps to protect them from bad weather and colder temperatures.
The majority of breeds that shed will get rid of their coats in the fall and in the spring. This is a completely normal process, but it is the type of coat, either single- or double – coated, that determines how they shed.
Breeds that have the double coat have two different kinds of hair. Their undercoat lies close to the skin and it is both fluffy and soft.
The topcoat is made up of guard hairs that are longer and coarser than what you will find underneath.
During shedding season, dogs experience what is known as “coat blow.” They will lose some of the topcoat but the majority of hair that is shed comes directly from the undercoat.
Breeds with a single coat have hair that is the same length through the entire coat. Single coats appear to have a longer growing period, meaning that although they do shed, it does not seem as noticeable as the shedding from double coats.
Shedding season is when you will notice the most amount of hair around your home and it typically lasts anywhere between two to three weeks.
However, you can help to control even this seasonal shedding by ensuring your Border Terrier is eating the correct diet and brushing them on a regular basis.
What Makes A Border Terrier Shed More Than Normal?
There are several reasons why this breed may shed more than expected.
Perhaps the most commonly observed and routine causes include the result of: a skin infection, dietary issues, allergies or even a pest infestation.
It will be a good idea to get your Border Terrier checked by your vet if you observe an increase in shedding. This way you can correct the problem before it gets out of hand.
Excess shedding can also happen with female Border Terriers who are lactating, pregnant, or in heat. However, once the puppies have been weaned from the mother, shedding levels should return to normal.
Thus, there is no need for concern if you notice an increase in shedding in female border terriers, particularly during this time.
Additionally, animals that are recovering from surgery or an illness may also shed more than they normally do.
Are Border Terriers Hypoallergenic?
Border Terriers are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed.
A hypoallergenic dog is described as one which releases few allergens into the environment.
Allergens are proteins that are tolerated by some people and not at all by others.
Along with hair, this also includes saliva and dander. Either of these can stick to the dog’s hair or be released into the air and on to surfaces through daily activities.
No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, but this energetic breed certainly comes close. Enough to meet the classification nonetheless.
The wiry coat that rarely sheds of a Border Terrier is the largest factor that means they meat the criteria of being on the hypoallergenic list.
Also, you will see very little slobber, dandruff, or drool from this particular breed. The fact that they release so little potential allergens makes them one of the top choices for homes where family members have dog allergies.
Tips For Grooming Your Border Terrier?
Although basic grooming of a Border Terrier isn’t much different than with any other breed, there are still a few things that you will need to learn, and the tips below will help you keep your dog looking their best.
General upkeep of your Border Terrier’s coat does not require much more than weekly brushing.
This gets rid of the dirt that accumulates on the outer coat and removes hair and other debris.
To avoid destroying the natural oils that work to protect the coat, do not bathe your pup unless they are very dirty. For the average pet, this should mean no more than every few months.
Make sure that for the occasions when your Border Terrier does require a bath that you are using a shampoo that is specially made for dogs. This is perhaps the perfect example of one to get from Amazon.
In order to brush your Border Terrier correctly, you will need the proper tools. It can be confusing to know just what to get when you are researching and looking because there are so many products available!
But just what is the best brush for this particular breed and their wiry coat?
Although the coat is relatively short, you will need a brush that is not too large, and which has either sharp bristles or teeth that will dig effectively through both coat layers to remove dirt, knots, and excess hair.
You have two brush options available – either a slicker brush or a curry comb.
If your budget allows, buying both is a good idea so that you can easily handle both detangling and hair removal.
But generally, most owners tend to do very well with just the Slicker Brush. This being the best one to get from Amazon.
Twice per year you will also need your dog hand stripped.
Whether you do this yourself or visit a professional groomer, it is going to be required. This is needed because the topcoat will die off, but it does not shed.
Instead, it remains as a part of the coat that must be removed by hand so that the new topcoat can grow in, a process which takes about two months.
To hand strip your Border Terrier, place them on a nonslip surface that is at a comfortable height for you. Stand either to the front of your pet or to the back.
Begin by grasping the skin at the shoulder and holding it firmly. With your free hand, place several hairs between your index finger and thumb.
Quickly pull them out in the same direction as the hair growth. You will know you are holding the skin properly if it does not move when you pull hairs out. Continue grasping and pulling until the entire coat has been evenly stripped.
The process of hand stripping can be very time consuming. While it may be tempting just to take a pair of clippers to your dog, this is not recommended because it only shortens the hair and does not remove the dead portions.
Additionally, when you make both the undercoat and the topcoat the same length, the natural weather-proofing ability of the coat is compromised.
What you can do instead is rolling.
Done every two weeks, rolling uses either your hand or a groomer’s stripping tool to get rid of the longest hairs.
If you are doing this by hand, pull out only the longest hairs and take care not to remove too much hair from one area.
If you choose to use the stripping tool, remove a decent amount of the topcoat. This will ensure that there is constant growth happening.
If all of this seems like too much work for you, a professional groomer will be up to the task. When choosing a groomer for your Border Terrier, make sure that they are practiced in the art of hand stripping and that they are familiar with the breed standard. If you don’t, it is very possible that you will end up with a dog that has a shaved coat.
This is not a good look or is it ideal for this breed; so you should look to avoid it at all costs.
Despite their wiry double coats, Border Terriers do not shed very much at all throughout the year. While they do shed a little bit more during shedding season; many owners do not even seem to notice the increase – especially those who stay on top of regular grooming.
As such, this is classified as a hypoallergenic breed and is great for those whom are worried or concerned about allergies.
Outside of their coat and grooming requirements, there are some other things to consider if you are looking at this particular breed.
Being a former fox-hunting dog, they still possess to this day a keen drive to hunt (chase other animals) and also to dig. It comes as no surprise that they also have a lot of energy that does need to be put to use with regular activity and exercise.
These traits and characteristics can make them a challenge to own for some particular family types.
That being said, they are very intelligent and can adapt very well to family life.
They are affectionate, even-tempered and obedient; all great temperament traits you want to see in a dog.
So long as you raise them appropriately and do not resort to harsh training techniques, you should find that they are eager to please, learn quickly and can be great with other people.
Ultimately, this is a great breed to own; not just from an allergy but behavioral perspective.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.