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Do Rough Collies Shed?

Collies are one dog breed that captured the hearts of many through stories, television, and movies. And, as those tales depict, these canines are loyal, expressive, gentle with children, family-oriented, and brave. But what about upkeep? Do Rough Collies require a lot of grooming? If not, do Rough Collies shed?

Yes, Rough Collies’ beautiful, luxurious coat sheds regularly. Collie’s shed more heavily when seasons change, twice a year in spring and autumn, and require frequent grooming.

Read on to learn about the types of collie coats, shedding cycles, and some ways to manage shedding.

Rough Collie Coat
Rough Collie Coat

Rough Collie vs. Smooth Collie Shedding

There are two types of Collies, rough and smooth-coated. Both types of Collies shed between moderate and high amounts of fur and both have double coats. The amount of shedding is more noticeable with a Rough Collie because of their coat’s thickness and length.

History of the Rough Collie Coat

The Rough Collie’s history is important to understand the reason for their double coat. During the 18th century, Rough Collies, also known as Scotch Collies, were originally bred in the Scottish Highlands and Northern England where thick coats were necessary to protect these herding dogs from the elements.

Here are some of the reasons Rough Collies have remained a popular breed for hundreds of years.

  • Sociable and Friendly: Rough collies are known for their ease of socialization with other dogs and people.
  • Loyal and protective: Rough Collies make an excellent watchdog (think Lassie). It is a task in life that these dogs seem to not only take seriously but enjoy. 
  • Trainable: These are smart dogs and they’ll learn quickly. When trained properly, Rough Collies are among the breeds chosen for therapy. 

How Much Do Rough Collies Shed?

Rough Collie’s have a double coat, so they’re always shedding to some degree. In spring and fall, they begin blowing their coats in order to adjust for the new season. If you have allergies, a Rough Collie may not be for you. 

Rough Collies that are primarily indoors may shed their undercoat when the heat comes on in the home, rather than on a naturally occurring seasonal schedule.

Shedding in Female Rough Collies

When a female Rough Collie comes into heat, she may shed more heavily. The timing is slightly different for each dog. Some shed before estrus and others after puppies are born. 

Shedding and Health Problems

Sometimes shedding has nothing to do with the seasons, but rather the health of your dog. Three of the most common reasons for extended shedding are poor diet, stress, and parasites. In the case of the latter, check for ticks and fleas. 

How can I manage Rough Collies’ shedding?

While the Rough Collie doesn’t leave as much hair around the house as say a shepherd, there’s still a lot of upkeep. If you’ll use a wide-tooth comb and brush them three times a week, this will help with regular shedding. Come fall and spring you need to up your game, perhaps even grooming daily. 


Obviously brushing is important, but it’s easy to miss some spots if you’re not thinking about it. Don’t overlook the dog’s belly and legs. If you brush and comb thoroughly 2-3 times a week it keeps tangles to a minimum, which turns into nasty mats when shedding’s aggressive. Start by going against the direction of the fur first, which removes dead hair. Then turn around and go the other way to smooth things out. 

Regular brushing improves skin circulation. Use a slicker brush to get rid of stubborn hair on the dog’s undercoat. Brush in both directions until the amount of hair removed decreases considerably. 


Rough Collies aren’t prone to getting really dirty. A bath every few months keeps them clean. Just remember to brush and comb your pup before going into the tub to gather up loose hair. 


The Rough Collie’s paws have hair growing between the pads and under the locks. This grows as quickly as the rest of your dog’s fur. Keeping it trimmed back will make your pup far more comfortable. This is a good time to check your dog’s nails. The dewclaw, in particular, grows more rapidly than other nails, meaning it can grow into the paw.


You can get special attachments for your vacuum or buy small ones specifically designed for collecting shedding hair. Better still, as the vacuum gathers the fur, it also sucks up fleas, ticks, and bits of dirt. Once you get your pup used to the sound, it’s easy!

Shaving a Rough Collie to Prevent Shedding?

Shaving a Rough Collie isn’t recommended. While that double coat sheds, it also works to keep your dog’s temperature regulated. Even should you make the mistake of shaving, the dog will continue to shed regularly. 

The only time a Rough Collie may receive a shave is on the recommendation of your vet. Your dog may have a wound or health issue exasperated by fur. Removing hair in specific areas makes way for topical medication. 

Final Thoughts

We know the answer to the question “do Rough Collies shed” is a resounding yes. Truth be told, shedding is just part-n-parcel of being a Collie owner. Hopefully, the information in this post can help decrease the amount of hair in your home, but it will never completely eliminate it. Take the excess outside for nesting birds. They love the stuff!

Minimize Rough Collie shedding with ongoing grooming a healthy diet rich in Omegas, and diligently keeping on top of parasites and stressors.

When you live with a Rough Collie and get to know the pooch, their nature quickly comes to the forefront. Some shedding can’t hold a candle to a wagging tail at the end of a long day. 

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