Australian Shepherd - Shedding Control
Australian Shepherd is a dog breed that possesses one of the most beautiful coats in all canine kingdom. Their coat is of medium length and extremely fluffy and soft. It is no wonder why this is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.
This active, friendly, athletic dog breed has a bit of a misleading name. They are named “Australian Shepherd” yet they were bred and shaped in their modern-day looks in the American Mid West. They became extremely popular during the great Gold Rush of the 19th century when miners and gold diggers wanted to have a working dog breed that had a good temperament and working ability.
Their exact origin is a bit of a mystery even today but most of the Aussie breed enthusiasts believe these dogs came from the collie line and that would surely explain their herding ability.
They were originally bred for shepherding and herding tasks and to this day they remain excellent at that job. Their herding ability equals the working ability of a Border Collie and they even have similar techniques of herding sheep or other animals.
We love this dog breed and are painfully aware of how hard it can be to keep their coat looking good and healthy. If you are thinking of getting an Australian Shepherd here are some things you need to know about taking care of these dogs’ coats.
Australian Shepherd brushing
This breed has a medium-length double coat which means they have a longer, protective layer of outer coat and a shorter, denser, and thicker undercoat. Both coat layers serve a purpose and keep your Australian Shepherd protected from the elements and extreme weather. It keeps them warm during winters but also keeps them from overheating during summer.
Dogs with double coats are the hardest to groom and brush, especially during the shedding season when they blow their whole undercoat. Brushing is the single most important thing you have to do for the coat health of your Aussie. Keeping a schedule of brushing sessions will help your dog get rid of loose, dead hair and will also help you control their shedding and mess it leaves. The amount of hair they can leave behind them is impressive.
Australian Shepherds can easily fill two grocery bags of loose hair.
Brushing will prevent mats and tangles from forming and if they do form, they can cause all sorts of different problems. Tangles happen when dead hair gets trapped and tangles the hair close to itself. Tangles prevent air from circulating and trap water in small pockets they create. Those are ideal conditions for bacteria that can cause your dog all sorts of skin problems and infections. Luckily, brushing will prevent these things from happening so you should keep a tight brushing schedule and stick to it.
It would be ideal if you could brush your Australian Shepherd at least twice a week for half an hour and during the shedding season (happens every spring and fall) daily brushing is recommended to maintain your dog’s shedding.
Taking care of the Aussie’s coat can be demanding, and there are two things you will need - a brush that will help you take care of their undercoat and a brush for their longer outer coat. The brush for their undercoat should have longer, metal bristles, and from our experience, the FURminator Long Hair Dog Deshedding Tool does a fantastic job.
The best thing to use for their top coat would be a broad brush with fine, thin bristles that won’t damage the coat but will do a great job. Again, from our experience, Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush does a pretty good job, plus, a push of a button very easily cleans it.
This dog breed luckily does not require much trimming for its coat to look beautiful but there are some things you should keep in mind. For a more “professional” approach to owning an Aussie, you can trim some parts of their hair and those parts are feet (hair that is too long and between their pads), ears (hair that is too long should be cut at least ¼ of length), tail (only the hair that is too long), legs (fringe can be trimmed), and britches (shorten the hair by following the natural line of the hair). Best results are achieved by using trimming and slimming sheers.
We believe that this historic and beautiful dog breed should be bred by the standard that is in place for them and we would like to mention the coat colors that are allowed by the standard. These colors include black, red with or without white and/or tan markings, blue merle, and red merle. Any of these colors are acceptable and there are no preferences when it comes to the show ring. It is also important to notice that no correlation has been found between their working ability and color.
Most of the Australian Shepherds have successfully migrated from being predominantly working breed to a loving house pet and companion living indoors with its family. If your dog lives inside it would be a huge problem if that dog would have an unpleasant odor.
As a general rule, bathing your dog once every month is a good thing and you shouldn’t bathe your Aussie more than that. This breed requires a bath once every four to six weeks if they are living mostly outside. If they spend most of their time indoors and don’t get dirty or muddy, bathing them once every three months will be more than enough. Lucky for us, these dogs have a pleasant smell and don’t have a bad odor. However, keep in mind that there is no rule and every dog is different so you will have to wait and see what you can actually expect from your dog and how often should you bathe them.
Make sure you use dog-friendly products as they do not contain any potentially dangerous or harmful chemicals. There are plenty of choices in your local pet stores or online shops. Our advice would be to get a premium shampoo; you can be sure it won’t damage your dog’s skin. The FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo is delicate, smells wonderful, and has a practical package of 1 gallon, so you don’t have to think about running out.
There are some precautions you should take when bathing an Australian Shepherds to avoid unpleasant surprises and accidents. Try and secure the bath floor with a rubber mat or a towel so your dog doesn’t slip and hurt itself. They also love rubbing against things when they are wet like floors, walls, grass, or carpets so make sure you have plenty of dry towels for your bath session. It would be great if you could get your dog used to a blowdryer so you can completely dry them and prevent them from getting dirty right away.
Hopefully, you will keep these things in mind and you will be able to enjoy your Australian Shepherd and take great care of its beautiful and stunningly good looking coat.
World Dog Finder team