The Australian shepherd is a striking jovial breed that some people may confuse with a border collie. When looking closer, the shepherd has its own unique appearance.
The Aussie’s coat is a moderate to medium length and sports a thick undercoat for insulation and added warmth.
The top coat can be either wavy or straight and is water-resistant to protect against the elements.
The colors of the Australian shepherd make them stand out and are easily recognizable and individual from the border collie.
The colors they may display are black, all white, completely tan or copper, red merle (a shade of liver), and blue merle.
Merle is a color coat pattern that is a dominant shade and appears as patches that are shaped irregularly, consisting of solid color and pigment which is diluted. It may remind you of a patchwork quilt and all colors are bold.
If you are considering getting an Australian shepherd, you may be wondering about their overabundance of fur with shedding and the grooming requirements. How can you control the battle of the fur?
Do Australian Shepherds shed? Do Australian shepherds need haircuts? Is there a shedding season or is it constant shedding? Now, that’s quite a few questions and you can find the answers to them in the reading below.
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Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
Australian shepherds do shed and because they are a larger breed with a multitude of fur, they shed quite a bit. If you are contemplating an Australian shepherd, you should keep this in mind for a few reasons, one being how much time you have to spend brushing and vacuuming.
Another extremely important aspect to consider in getting an Australian shepherd is if you or anyone in your household has allergies.
Allergies in dogs are caused by dander, the flakes of dead skin that are shed by a dog, and not by the fur. Whenever fur is shed everywhere, dander comes along with it.
Australian shepherds do shed all year long but in springtime and fall, they will undergo a full “blown” shedding season. This season is known as your shepherd “blowing'” their coat or “coat blow.”
This occurs in springtime when they will lose their entire winter undercoat to make way for their cooler summer undercoat.
Then the super shedding occurs again in fall when they lose or “blow” their summer coat to grow a new warm winter coat.
Especially for the times of year that an Aussie is losing one coat and growing another, it’s best to keep up with the clean-up or you’ll be able to knit a sweater with the hair that is accumulated.
This is another reason why those that are allergic, especially highly allergic, should look into a breed touted as “hypoallergenic,” such as the poodle, West Highland terrier, Bichon Frise, and Irish water spaniel to name a few.
No breed is totally “hypoallergenic” and is considered a myth to some as all breeds shed dander, some more than others.
To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.
Do Australian Shepherds Need Haircuts?
Your Australian shepherd has a double-thick coat for a reason, with the undercoat for insulation and the topcoat for protection with guard hairs keeping moisture and dirt from settling in.
When the weather turns hot and sticky and you are sweltering, you may wonder, do Australian shepherds need a haircut? You may even wonder at other times of the year if a haircut would cut down on all of that fur.
Australian shepherds do not need haircuts, nor should they have a haircut. Their coat “system” is designed to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer.
When Aussie sheds their winter coat, the new lighter summer undercoat they grow is meant to keep them cooler.
Sure, your pup will pant, which is normal in hot weather but this is also a dog’s way of cooling themselves along with their summer undercoat cooling them. Of course, you need to use common sense in extremely hot weather, just as in people.
Keep your pup hydrated, out of the hot afternoon sun, and in the shade or in air conditioning if possible.
Having your Aussie’s hair cut or even their fur shaved is not a good or natural idea. By removing fur, they will be hotter in the summer and their skin will be more exposed to sunburn as well as bloodthirsty mosquitoes, ticks, and other annoying pests.
The only time any type of hair cutting should be performed would be an occasional trim of longer fur around ears, feet, and legs or to cut out a mat that you can’t brush out as this can be painful from tangled fur.
Solutions For Shedding
Below are tips on how to cut down on all of that Australian shepherd fur around your house. If you just remember one keyword, “consistency,” then you’ve “got this in the bag!”
Grooming and bathing
Yes, your Australian shepherd sheds a lot especially during shedding seasons, especially in spring and you may be able to fill garbage bags full of fur.
Keeping the shedding under control and “in the bag” just involves staying on top of things with good grooming habits.
Brush your Australian shepherd at least twice a week during regular shedding times and do so, preferably, outside.
This way loose fur you brush away will stay out of your house and help any allergy sufferers in your home.
During “coat blow” times, you will have to step up your routine to daily brushing. Use an undercoat rake for brushing and dragging out all of that loose dead undercoat fur and then finish up with a slicker brush to remove hair and clean up the topcoat.
Bathing is helpful, especially during their two times full-blown shedding seasons. This will help loosen the undercoat fur and make for a less lengthy shedding season.
Don’t bathe too often or it will dry out your pup’s skin and create other problems. Shampoos are available that moisturize your pup’s coat while cutting down on dander.
Detangling solutions are also great for helping to remove mats easily, without all of that pulling. Dog wipes are fantastic for not only removing dirt in between baths but to wipe away loose fur.
You may wonder what your shepherd’s diet has to do with shedding, but the answer is plenty. High-quality dog food with essential proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals won’t make them shed less, but it will keep their skin in good condition as well as give them a healthy, shiny coat each and every time they shed and regrow.
Vacuuming on a regular basis is necessary to keep your house as fur-free as possible. During blowout season, vacuuming twice a day may be necessary.
Eliminate carpeting or rugs
If it’s possible, eliminate carpeting and rugs. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, that may be out of the question.
Just keep in mind that rugs pick up and trap a lot of fur and dander. Even vacuuming constantly cannot eliminate all of the trapped dander and fur.
When brushing your pup, keep in mind, doing so inside or outside, that your clothes may be wearing quite a bit of that fur, which you will track right back inside and all over your house. Change and wash your clothes after brushing or bathing your pup.
Installing HEPA filters in your home will cut down on allergens like dust, dander, and fur. Also, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and change or clean often.
If your heart desires to own an Australian shepherd, it is surely possible if you remain consistent with grooming and cleaning. Remember, in the battle with the fur, a haircut is not needed and in fact, can be harmful to your Aussie.
Hopefully, these tips have let you know that you can be a proud pet parent of an adorable Australian shepherd.