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Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic? Essential Facts on Allergies and Collies!

Are Border Collies hypoallergenic ... Collie shedding and coats

People are becoming more and more aware of environmental allergies and this is becoming an increasingly important factor when considering which dog breed is best for you and your family. Border Collies have many attractive traits as an active family companion with a beautiful double coat… but is this hypoallergenic?  

Are Border Collies hypoallergenic? Border Collies are not hypoallergenic. A combination of the proteins in their saliva as well as shedding their hair throughout the year means Border Collies cannot be considered hypoallergenic. Border Collies are not alone, to some extent all dogs create pet allergens shedding hair and skin which are released into the environment. 

Border Collies are not one of the most shedding breeds, but nether the less can shed quite a lot. But if you brush them regularly and get their coat clipped every 6 months or so, it will help cut down on shedding and thereby the allergens released. This article goes deeper into Border Collie allergens and which breeds of dog are considered more hypoallergenic.

Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic?

Border Collies are descendants of the English sheep-herding dog breed, with some crossbreeds like German Shepherd and Bearded Collie. This gives them a rich coat and means that, like most dogs, they do shed their hair, increasing with seasons. And then, there is their saliva!

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “hypoallergenic” dog breed. Dogs produce saliva which can be allergenic if someone is allergic to one or more proteins found in saliva.

The most important aspect in determining if you will have an allergic reaction to a dog is the protein in the dog’s saliva, NOT the fur.

If you have allergies and are looking to get a dog from your local shelter, you may want to reconsider Border Collie. This breed is often thought of as being good for allergy sufferers because they do not shed much fur or dander. However, recent research has shown that this is not necessarily the case for all dogs in the breed. Some people with allergies find that their symptoms actually worsen when they live with a border collie. If you’re considering getting one of these intelligent and energetic dogs, it’s best to speak to your doctor before going ahead with adoption so you can figure out if this animal would be compatible with your lifestyle and health needs.

What are Hypoallergenic Dogs?

According to the American Kennel Club hypoallergenic breeds are defined as, “A dog that produces less of the dog allergen protein than other dogs, thus causing fewer allergic reactions in allergy sufferers.” These breeds are not completely hypoallergenic though, as they are also defined by which breeds produce less of the dog allergen protein, meaning there is still some hair and dander produced.

This means that hypoallergenic dogs will cause fewer allergic reactions in allergy sufferers, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t cause any allergic reactions at all.

As canine allergies are linked to a allergy triggering proteins in dog saliva the length of fur and the coat type does not necessarily effect a persons allergy to dogs.  Border Collies are an energetic, intelligent, medium sized dog with a thick double coat.  When a Border Collie grooms itself it uses techniques such as licking and nibbling at its coat to help keep its fur healthy and clear of debris.  This method of cleaning can result in the release the allergens which can be present in the dos saliva along with any dust or pollen trapped in the dogs fur.   

It is important to point out that the whole hypoallergenic tag has been challenged in recent years and there are some people who believe that hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist, others who claim they do and still others who suggest it’s more about what you’re allergic to rather than the dog itself. A hypoallergenic dog will still have dander, which is responsible for allergic reactions in pet allergy sufferers but the overall allergen levels will be lower.

How Does Dander Affect Allergies?

Dander consists of tiny flakes of skin that are constantly being shed by your dog as he grooms himself. It also contains a lot of saliva from licking and other bodily fluids such as ear wax, urine and anal glands.

While hypoallergenic dogs have little or no effect to people with pet allergies, dander in dry skin cells and on the hair can still cause an allergic reaction. It is the saliva in the dander that causes skin irritation, inflammation of tissues and breathing problems for those with dog allergies. However hypoallergenic breeds do cause fewer reactions in certain people.

In the past it was believed that hypoallergenic dogs didn’t shed, but this isn’t true either. Hypoallergenic breeds do still shed, though they shed their hair in smaller amounts which doesn’t become trapped in your carpets and furnishings as much as a dog with a different type of coat.

Border Collies have a medium length coat. Their double coat consists of a rougher outer coat and a softer undercoat.  To maintain their healthy coat it is important that Border Collie owners have a regular grooming routine.  Using the correct type of brush when grooming your Collie will not only help your dog to stay healthy and comfortable but to remove any excess stray hairs, dry skin and matted fur helping to lower the number of allergy flare ups.  By grooming your Border Collie daily you can help to reduce the levels of potential allergens especially if daily brushing takes place outside.  

What Dog Breeds Are Hypoallergenic?

More and more people are becoming allergic to dogs due to the increase in air pollution. The allergens that cause this type of reaction can be found in pet dander, saliva, urine, and fur. A hypoallergenic dog is a great option for someone who has had an allergic reaction or asthma attack from exposure to pets in the past.

Because hypoallergenic dogs still have dander, they will cause an allergic reaction to those with an allergy to dogs but the overall allergen levels will be reduced decreasing the severity of the allergy attack. Whether the allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a itchy runny nose, watery eyes and nasal congestion will be mild or severe depends on the individual but it’s usually less severe than that of a non-hypoallergenic breed.

Here are a few more hypoallergenic breeds to consider:

– Bedlington Terrier

– Bichon Frise

– Maltese

– Poodle – standard, not toy or miniature. The hypoallergenic label for this dog should be taken with caution because some people are still allergic to poodles, although they do produce less of the dog allergen protein than other dog breeds.

– Portuguese Water Dog

– Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered that when hypoallergenic dogs clean themselves by licking or nibbling on their fur they release less allergens into their surrounding environment. This means that those who are prone to dog allergies can live with these animals easier than before which makes them an even more popular choice for families!

Hypoallergenic Dogs – Other Things To Consider

However, hypoallergenic is not the only consideration to take into account when choosing a hypoallergenic breed. It’s important to consider your personal circumstances, such as whether you have other pets or if you have children, as not all hypoallergenic dogs are suitable with small children and some hypoallergenic breeds have special requirements.

For example, soft coated wheaten terriers need to be brushed daily to prevent their coat from getting tangled and Portuguese water dogs, though hypoallergenic with a wavy coat, are very active and need a great deal of daily exercise.

Dog daily needs are the same as human daily needs. They include food, water, shelter and general care. A daily schedule should also be included. Dogs need exercise daily so they can run around and burn off energy. One way to help your dog workout is by giving him some dog toys. For example, a frisbee or a ball for him to try and chase after.

Every day, every dog daily needs should include getting some affection from his owner. This can be done through petting him or simply scratching behind the ears. All dogs love this daily care.

Border Collies are an active energetic breed this means that they will need plenty of exercise on a regular basis. Daily walks with an active family would suit this canine friend.  It is important to also remember that intelligent dog breeds such as the Border Collie need mental exercises in addition to daily physical exercise to stay healthy.


So if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, we hope this article has been helpful. There are many breeds that can be labelled as such and each will have its own set of pros and cons to consider before committing. The best way to find out which one is right for you is by visiting your local shelter or rescue center where the staff should be able to help guide you through all the options available.

Read more about hypoallergenic dogs here.