Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic?

Border Collie in a grass field

Do you have pet allergies? If so, you may be wondering whether Border Collies are hypoallergenic. 

Perhaps you are thinking about adopting a dog, and you are wondering whether this breed would be a good fit given your pet allergies.

Or maybe you already have a Border Collie and are trying to figure out whether you are allergic to your fur baby or to something your dog is tracking into your house.

In this guide, we will go over some pet allergy basics and clear up whether Border Collies are hypoallergenic or not. We will also give you some recommendations for reducing allergy symptoms if you have a Border Collie in your home.

Why Border Collies Are Not Hypoallergenic

To give you the short answer to this question, Border Collies are not hypoallergenic. If you are prone to pet allergies, there is a good chance that a Border Collie will trigger an allergic reaction.

Now, let's give a more detailed explanation of why Borders are not hypoallergenic, but also why this fact should not necessarily concern you.

First, No Dog Is Totally Hypoallergenic

Want to know a secret? There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, no matter what the breed.

The Humane Society explains, “There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal's dry skin (dander) and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.”

The thing is, all dogs produce these proteins. Ever met a dog that didn't have skin or saliva glands? I haven't either. In fact, the phrase “hypoallergenic dog” is arguably a marketing ploy rather than a reality.

Mayo Clinic says, “There's no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed, although some individual dogs may cause fewer allergy symptoms than others.”

So, basically, a dog that is called “hypoallergenic” is one which might produce fewer symptoms of dog allergies—but there may still be symptoms.

As for dogs like our Border Collies, which unfortunately don't make the list, never fear—there are steps you can take to manage your pet allergies and keep them to a minimum.

Border Collies Shed a Lot

Keep reading, and I’ll give you some handy tips for alleviating canine allergies. But first, I want to explain why Border Collies are not listed among “hypoallergenic” dogs.

Let’s go back to the explanation about how pet allergies work.

The proteins, which are the actual allergens cling to hair and dander, so the more the hair and dander get around, the more those allergenic proteins are scattered around as well. That means that if a dog sheds a lot, there is going to be more distribution of allergenic proteins around your home.

So, even if your Border Collie is in another room, if there is sufficient dander and hair scattered around, there's a good chance that your allergies will act up.

It just so happens that these dogs shed a great deal. So, if you choose a Border Collie as your pet, your allergies may flare, especially during times when your canine is shedding more (such as when the seasons change).

Tips to Help Alleviate Border Collie Allergies

So, what’s the answer? How do you cope with Border Collie allergies?

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to reduce your dog allergy symptoms while continuing to share your home with a heavy shedder.

Here are our recommendations:

1. Either keep your dog mostly outdoors or mostly indoors.

You might think that one of the best ways to control your pet dander allergies is to keep your dog outside as much as possible.

If your dog does live mainly outdoors, this strategy might work out. But if you are bringing your dog in and out of the house a lot, that might actually make matters worse than if you kept your dog mainly indoors.

Canna-Pet writes, “Shedding is controlled by seasonal hormonal changes that are altered by shifts in daylight. Another variable that may affect seasonal shedding is how much your Collie spends outside. The more time they spend outdoors, the more sensitive they are to temperature fluctuations; In the spring they trade their thick winter coats for a light windbreaker, and vice versa in the fall. As you can imagine, springtime is high season for shedding.”

So, you will need to figure out whether it would be appropriate for your dog to live mostly outdoors or mostly indoors. Going with the latter might sound intimidating, but once your dog starts spending less time outside, you could see a reduction in shedding.

The other recommendations below can also help you to control dander and allergies with your Border Collie living indoors.

2. Bathe and groom your pet frequently.

At least once a week, give your dog a bath using a suitable dog shampoo. Doing this will wash away a lot of the dander. Rather than allowing your pup to shed all over, consider grooming your dog on a frequent basis so that you can control some of that shedding. 

Groom in a location where you can easily catch the hairs the brush removes so that you can dispense with them immediately. Try using an undercoat brush to really get as much hair and dander as you can. Those are all hairs that will not wind up scattered around your house.

3. Switch from carpet to hard floors if you can—or be ready to vacuum often.

But what do you do about the hair and dander that inevitably does end up around the house? There are two options where your floors are concerned.

Your first option is to replace carpeted floor with hardwood or tile or another material that is easy to sweep. If you have rugs you do not need, you could get rid of them or just shake them out regularly. Of course, this may not be a convenient option or even a possible one, depending on your living situation.

If that is the case, you should vacuum your floor frequently to get rid of dander and dog hair. When you do, make sure that you get under furniture and into hard-to-reach places.

But the truth? Not all vacuum cleaners are up to the demanding task of picking up Border Collie hair. So, if your vacuum isn’t doing the trick, I recommend that you replace it with one which can handle the job. I suggest the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 Upright Vacuum.

This compact, easy-to-use vacuum cleaner weighs only 12.5 pounds. It is easy to maneuver with swivel steering, helping you get around furnishings effectively. With the push of a button, you can detach the pod. Attach the included crevice tool or upholstery tool, and you should be able to reach Border Collie hair just about anywhere.

What also makes the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Vacuum a great choice for this breeds hair and dander is that it is equipped with a HEPA filter that is able to trap 99.9% of allergens and dust. A lot of other vacuum cleaners spit that right back out into the air, but the Shark Navigator doesn’t.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 Upright Vacuum, Blue

If you want to clean up Border Collie hair with the Shark Navigator, pick one up on Amazon.

4. Change your dog’s diet.

If you're currently feeding your Border a diet that includes a lot of artificial additives, that could be making your pet's dander problem worse. Try replacing foods with artificial ingredients with those which are wholesome and organic, containing natural ingredients only.

On that diet, your dog's skin should become healthier, which could reduce dander. Likewise, your dog's hair follicles will also be nourished, and the hair shafts can become stronger, leading to less shedding and breakage. Hopefully, the results will be a fuller, healthier coat and fewer allergy symptoms.

5. Treat parasites promptly.

If your Border Collie is infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites, the itching sensation caused by these pests could lead to vigorous scratching. The results of said scratching will be more shedding of hair and dander.

So, if you have reason to suspect that your four-legged friend is currently a host to unwanted guests, apply a flea or tick treatment to end the infestation. Make sure that you also take steps to get rid of any remaining fleas or ticks which could still be occupying your home, but for your safety and for your dog’s lasting well-being.

6. Use a HEPA air purifier.

Along with a vacuum cleaner that includes a HEPA filter, another product that can go a long way toward helping with your pet allergies is a HEPA air purifier.

My recommendation is the Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier. This product is suitable for rooms as large as 465 square feet, and can remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air, including allergens from your pooch.

Not only does this product provide excellent coverage, but it features 3 air cleaning levels. The one called “Turbo Clean” is especially suited to pulling dander out of the air as well as any pollen your pet may have tracked inside. As a bonus, it also can improve the smell of a room.

To ensure that the filter is able to cleanse the air throughout your room, there is a powerful circulation feature. Every hour, the air should circulate through the room five times.

This purifier also features great ease-of-use with a touch control system and an auto-off timer you can set. You can raise or lower the brightness of the control panel to suit your needs. An indicator will tell you when you need to switch out the filter. This makes it easy to stay on top of filter changes and prevent another wave of allergy symptoms.

Want to start purifying your air of pet dander now? Check the price on Amazon to order the Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier.

7. Exercise your pet outdoors.

If you are used to playing with your Border indoors, you might want to switch to playing outside more. Think about it—do you really want your pet rolling around all over your carpet, shedding all the while, or would you prefer that to happen out in the grass?

The more you play outside, the more dander and hair you get rid of outdoors where it won’t bother you as much. If this leads to you getting out and playing more with your pup, that is also great for your bond and for your pet’s overall health both physically and psychologically. 

8. Use a hair blower.

You might assume that the high-powered hair blower which the professional groomer uses on your Border Collie is just there to dry him off after washing him. 

But in actuality, there is more to it than that. These types of blowers do an incredibly effective job of removing stray hairs and dander. While these are professional tools, you can purchase such a blower yourself to use on your dog.

Of course, you won’t want to use the blower indoors if you can avoid it, because then you’ll just blow all of that dander and hair around the room. My recommendation is to plug one into an outdoor outlet after you wash off your dog and dry him off outside.

You should find that you don’t have to do this all that often. If you do it once or twice a month, your dog should shed a lot less.

9. Don’t let your dog into your room.

Even if you give your pooch free rein over most of the house, you might want to designate at least one room (like your bedroom) to be allergen-free.

Avoid letting your dog into that room at all. That way, you have an allergen-free environment that you can retreat to when your allergies start acting up.

10. Get treated.

There are a variety of medications you can try if the measures above are still not sufficient to ultimately get your allergy symptoms under control.

Consider talking to your doctor about your Border Collie allergies. Your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with a solution such as pet allergy shots, which allows you to function at your best.


And now you’re good to go! You have 10 tips and tricks for reducing dander and shedding from your Border Collie. Even though Border Collies aren’t hypoallergenic dogs, you can still live in close quarters with a Border if you follow smart grooming, diet and lifestyle practices, get a high-quality vacuum like the Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe, and install a powerful air purifier like the Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier.

It may take you a little time and prep work to transition into your new lifestyle with your dog. But hopefully soon both you and your dog will be living your best life with a lot less dander and fewer allergy symptoms.

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