Pet Cosset may receive some form of compensation from the links on this page, at no extra charge to you. Learn more.
Australian Shepherds, or Aussies, have double coats. This means that their fur has a long outer layer and a shorter, inner layer. So the question is this: do Australian Shepherds shed? Yes, Aussies shed moderately, but since they are large, the amount of fur can be overwhelming.
For this post, I will discuss more about the Aussie breed and what you can do to manage its shedding. With patience, consistency, and the right tools, your home will not be a fur-covered mess.
Australian Shepherd shedding season
Almost all dogs will shed. It’s a normal process, just like how human hair falls over time. Shedding is your dog’s way of removing its old coat and growing a new one. There’s an exception to some non-shedding breeds like Shih Tzu, Poodle, and West Highland White Terrier, among others.
Australian Shepherds will undergo molting and heavy shedding during spring. At this point, the dog sheds the thick winter coat to prepare for the increasing temperatures.
Another bout of intense shedding will occur during fall. During this period, the Australian Shepherd sheds its summer coat to give way for a longer and thicker winter coat. This process repeats yearly as the season changes.
Still, Australian Shepherds will shed all-year-long in small amounts. Regular grooming and brushing will help manage this. This is also to prevent matting as Aussies grow a lush coat.
Take note that this breed is associated with cowboy life and is quite an active one. This means that their fur can get very dirty, aside from the shedding.
Still, you should watch out for abnormal shedding. If your Australian Shepherd is starting to have bald spots, it’s best to bring it to the vet. While shedding is normal, going bald is due to a health problem. Your dog might be experiencing skin infections or more serious conditions like alopecia.
Australian Shepherd grooming tools
The right grooming tools will set you up for success when caring for this breed. Before you start, make sure that you have the following:
- Undercoat rake. An undercoat rake tool is necessary to remove shed hair and to reach the second coat layer. It also makes the job faster for big breeds like Australian Shepherds.
- Slicker brush. A slicker brush will let you sort out mats while catching the shed fur of your dog. It has fine wire bristles that are angled to remove shed fur.
- Dog shampoo. One of the most important things in managing shedding is using a shed control shampoo. It’s formulated to cleanse the dog’s coat so the shed fur will fall off faster. It also conditions the dog’s skin to prevent excessive shedding.
- Tear stain remover. Australian Shepherds come in different colors, including blue merle & white and tan point blue merle. These two colors have white fur on the facial area where tear stains will be highly visible. In this case, you need a dog tear stain remover to clean it off.
These are just the basic tools you need to manage the shedding of your Australian Shepherd. Depending on your Aussie’s condition, you may need other tools.
How to groom an Australian Shepherd
To manage your Aussie’s shedding, you should know how to groom it properly. The following are some of the quick tips in grooming a shedding Australian Shepherd.
The coat of your Australian Shepherd requires regular attention to prevent matting and tangles. During the shedding season, it’s important to brush the pooch daily. This is to remove the shed fur even before it falls on the floor. This will save you from endless vacuuming at home.
The thickness of the Australian Shepherd’s coat varies per color and individual dog. Some will have a longer topcoat, which will make shedding a much harder phase for pet owners.
You will also notice an Aussie shedding less if it’s staying indoors. The warmth from your heated home will trick the dog’s body that winter isn’t occurring. Since your home is warm, the Australian Shepherd’s system thinks that there’s no need for a heavier undercoat.
Nevertheless, you should still keep your Aussie well-groomed during the shedding period. You should brush the dog’s coat along the grain to prevent snagging and pulling. It’s also important to brush the legs, armpits, and other hidden areas since these are prone to matting and parasitic infestations.
Next, you should clean your dog’s eyes. Australian Shepherd can get tear stains, especially for white-coated ones. You should use a special tear stain remover or wipes for this. As much as possible, you should wipe away any eye boogers as it builds up. This will prevent it from staining your Aussie’s facial coat.
Your Australian Shepherd may also need a brow trim to manage the shedding and prevent the fur from poking its eyes. You can do this at home with a sharp pair of scissors. If you’re not confident with your cutting skills, I suggest asking a professional groomer instead.
Australian Shepherds have floppy ears. This can hide nasty dirt and infection that will smell bad.
First, brush out the ear to remove shed hair and untangle knots. After that, trim the fur near your Aussies’ ears. This will prevent the overgrowth from getting inside the dog’s ears and becoming matted. Be gentle and watch out for your dog’s sudden movements to prevent injuries.
After that, you can apply an ear cleaner solution for dogs to clean the Australian Shepherd’s inner ear. Never use Q-tips or anything to reach the inside of the dog’s ears. Simply apply the solution and massage its ears.
How often should I bathe my Australian Shepherd?
You don’t have to bathe an Australian Shepherd often, even if it’s shedding heavily. Every 4 to 6 weeks is a rule of thumb, but indoor Aussies can stretch it to three months. In the end, it’s all about how dirty and smelly your dog gets.
The good thing about Australian Shepherds is they tend to enjoy the water. Bathing this breed is much easier than other dogs considering their size.
During bathing, it’s best to use a shed control shampoo to manage the shedding phase. On the weeks when you’re not bathing your Australian Shepherd, you can use a dry shampoo to augment the period between the next full bath.
Do Australian Shepherds need haircuts?
Yes, Australian Shepherds need haircuts to manage their shedding. Their coat can grow pretty thick, and there would be mats all over. You can perform DIY trims at home or on a professional groomer.
Remember that you should only trim and NEVER shave an Australian Shepherd just to avoid shedding. Doing this will ruin the dog’s coat, and it may not grow back as normal. Also, shaving will make your Aussie susceptible to skin infection, not to mention feeling too cold during winter.
How do you get mats out of an Australian Shepherd?
Aside from shedding, Australian Shepherds are also prone to matting. Their long double coats can attract dirt and moisture, which will cause the strands to become coarse and heavily tangled.
One way to remove the mats on you Aussie is to use a detangling solution. This will help soften up the tangles so you can massage it and eventually fix the mat.
However, if the mats are severe, the easiest way is to cut it off. However, I don’t recommend this and shouldn’t be the first option. You should try to loosen up the mat first. Most of the time, it will unravel, and a quick brush will bring the coat back to normal.
Do Australian Shepherds shed? Yes, especially during fall and spring. What you need to do is to groom your dog well to manage the hair fall. Never shave your Aussie because it will alter their coat and cause irreversible damages. When in doubt, you can always seek the help of a professional groomer. Just remember that grooming is a daily thing and not a one-time task.