How often can you bathe a Border Collie?

how often can you bathe a border collie

If you have a Border Collie, sooner or later you will deal with the question whether you are allowed to bathe a Border Collie and if so, how often. The question of how often you can bathe a Border Collie, I explain in this article.

A Border Collie should be bathed with shampoo as little as possible. If possible, bathe him with shampoo no more than every 2 to 3 months. The Border Collie’s skin and coat have a natural layer of oil that ensures the dog is protected and stays clean. Excessive use of shampoo attacks the protective fat layer and is harmful to the skin and coat.

Does a Border Collie need to be bathed at all?

A Border does not need to be bathed at all. The coat has a layer of grease that protects it from dirt and moisture and ensures that dust and dirt fall off more or less easily or can be brushed out easily.

Another reason why a Border Collie does not usually need to be bathed is the fact that he will partially clean his coat himself by licking.

Can i bathe a Border Collie?

If you have a Border Collie, you inevitably spends a lot of time outside in nature, because a Border Collie needs a lot of exercise.

There will always be situations where your Border Collie will run through a mud hole or roll in a dead animal if you are not careful.

So, if it is necessary, you can bathe a Border Collie. Because of the long coat, which can accumulate a lot of dirt and mud, it is not always enough to brush it out, but a bath is necessary.

Especially if your Border Collie rolls around in a dead animal, which unfortunately does happen, it is advisable to bathe him properly.

On the one hand, the stench is extreme, on the other hand, bacteria and other pathogens can now be on the fur and attack the skin of your Border Collie. He also carries these pathogens into the apartment.

But make sure that you bathe your Border Collie with dog shampoo every 2 months at the most – every 3 or 4 months is better. The less often the better for the coat.

Why should you rarely bathe a Border Collie?

Bathing your Border Collie too often with shampoo can be harmful to the skin and coat.

Dog shampoo, no matter how mild, attacks the natural protective layer of the skin and coat. Now, if you bathe your Border Collie too often with dog shampoo, gradually the natural protection will be destroyed and will not have time to regenerate.

So, too much care in the form of baths has a rather negative effect.

Border Collie is constantly dirty

However, if your Border Collie is extremely dirty all the time, you can try rinsing your dog with plain water only. Usually, this should be enough or at least get rid of most of the dirt.

You can rinse your Border with water daily, if you must, to get him clean. Clear water is not ideal to clean your dog properly, but it does not harm the coat and maintains the natural protective properties.

Since a Border Collie also likes to swim, you can send him to a lake to swim if there is one nearby. This should also take care of the mud problem.

But if your dog rolls in a dead animal on a weekly basis and you have to wash him properly every week, you should definitely break him of this habit. Since a Border Collie is very intelligent, this should work quite well.

how often should you bathe a border collie

Which shampoo for the Border Collie?

If you use on a shampoo when bathing, you should use an extra shampoo for dogs.

A shampoo for humans is not suitable for dogs. The PH value for dogs is between 7 and 8 and for humans it is 5.5. You need a shampoo that is adjusted to this value in order not to damage the skin.

Also, make sure your dog shampoo contains only natural ingredients, no chemicals, and is free of artificial fragrances.

With dog shampoo, it’s just like dog food. Just because it’s made for dogs doesn’t mean it’s good, and it can hurt your Border more than it helps because cheap ingredients are used to increase profits.

Even if your dog doesn’t smell extremely of your favorite scent after bath, it is better for him.

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Can you bathe a Border Collie outside?

In summer it is not a problem if you bathe your Border Collie in the garden.

However, if it gets too cold, you should do it in the bathroom in the bathtub. That way, you’re sure your dog won’t catch a cold.

Problems with too frequent bathing

If you bathe your Border Collie too often, i.e. much more often than every 2 to 3 months, the following problems can occur:

  • Your Border will get dry skin, which can lead to itching and inflammation.
  • The natural protective layer of the coat is destroyed (wolves or wild dogs don’t have shampoo either)

If you think you are doing something good for your dog by giving him a weekly bath, you may find yourself at the vet sooner than you think.

How to bathe your Border Collie (tips)

Before the first bath you should take a few precautions, so that nothing goes wrong in the end.

Get your puppy used to the bathroom

Get your puppy used to the space and take him to the bathroom between baths. He may become anxious if you take him into the bathroom all at once because it is an unfamiliar environment for him..

Start slowly

If he is already used to the bathroom, put him in the tub or shower without turning on the water. Praise him when he stays calm, and perhaps reward him with a treat. This way he will associate the room and the tub in a positive way.

Anti-slip mat

In any case, get a non-slip mat. If your Border is a bit scared or frightened when the water is running, there is a risk that he slips away in the tub and injures himself.


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Take your time

For many dogs, bathing is a stressful situation. They simply don’t like it or are afraid. The last thing your Border Collie needs right now is a stressed out master or mistress who needs to get the procedure over with quickly.

If you are stressed, you are transferring the stress to your dog.

Use a collar when bathing

We had to bathe our Broholm dog once because she actually rolled in fox poop. Because we used a collar, we were able to reasonably restrain her, calm her down, and make sure she didn’t jump out of the tub in fear.

Calm your dog

When your Border Collie is in the shower or bathtub, you should talk calmly to him to reassure him. Just as verbal praise helps with training, talking calmly to your dog can help with bathing.

Proper Temperature

You should only bathe your dog with minimally lukewarm water. In no case should it be too warm – then better a little cooler.

Water pressure

When showering, make sure that the shower jet is not too strong, but very light. Your Border Collie does not need a massage from the water jet.

Drying after bathing

If your Border Collie tolerated the bath well, you still need to dry him. First, try to wipe the water out of his fur with your hand. Then you can rub him dry with a towel.

Make sure that your Border – especially in winter – does not run directly into the garden after the bath. This way you avoid a cold if he was not completely dry yet.

Conclusion: How often should you bathe a Border Collie?

You may bathe your Border Collie every 2 months, but better every 3 or 4 months with a special dog shampoo.  Too frequent bathing with a shampoo destroys the natural grease layer on the coat and skin, which protects your Border Collie from dirt and moisture. It also makes the skin more vulnerable and dries it out. If it is enough, you can also just rinse him with clear water to remove the dirt. This can then be done more often.

Юлия Завалишина (Contributed image)


I am Marco and I have the pleasure of living with 3 large Mastiff-type dog breeds. I would like to share my dog-related experiences on this blog

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