Aussie shepherds make awesome pets for the family. They are loyal, affectionate and full of energy make them most suited to homes with a lot of open space. Just like any dogs, Aussies come with a range of pros and cons and one of the downsides of these awesome animals is shedding.
Yes, Aussie Shepherds shed year-round, but when he loses his coat in the Spring and Fall, the fur flies everywhere. This is especially true when coat blowing happens. Coat blowing is when your dog switches from his winter coat to his summer coat. Both of his layers of fur shed so new hair growth comes in. You will have an explosion of fur!
Why Do They Shed So Much?
Aussie Shepherd’s shed because they have a double coat. Your Aussie’s coat is double layered and waterproof, which is suited to where the breed originated in the Pyrenees Mountains. The outer coat of your pup is medium length and can be straight or wavy.
The hair is coarse and weather resistant in layers, so he won’t become overheated in the summer or too cold in the winter months. His undercoat will be dense and soft. It varies with the climate, so your dog is insulated.
What Affects the Amount of Shedding?
Different factors affect how much your dog sheds at different times. One thing to keep in mind that you should never shave or clip your Aussie’s thinking that will help with the shedding, it won’t. It will only make the hairs your dog does shed shorter. The only reason to shave or clip your dog’s coat is if there is a health reason.
Type of coat
Your Aussie’s coat can come in a variety of colors to choose from. His coat can be blue merle, red merle, tricolors of white, black, and tan, red, and black.
A merle coat is a beautiful combination of dark blotches against a background that’s lighter. So, if your dog is a blue merle, he would have black matches on grey. If he’s a red merle, he would have red patches of color on beige. As the merles age, they become darker in color.
Some Aussies also have white and tan markings. Some Aussies have coats that have easier upkeep than others. Dogs that are bred for showing tend to have a longer coat than the dogs who are bred to work.
Your dog’s coat can either be short or wavy and is about medium length. But on different parts of his body is will vary in length. For example, the hair on his ears, head, below the hocks, and forelegs is smoother and shorter.
Underlying health problems
If your pup is shedding more than you think he should be, there could be an underlying health reason. Your dog could have a severe inflammatory disease of the skin. Or he could have a fungal, parasitic, or bacterial infection causing the issue. Hypothyroidism or allergies are two other reasons for hair loss.
If your dog has bald patches, loses big clumps of hair, or is continually scratching, then a trip to the vet is needed.
When spring goes into summer, there will be hair everywhere as your dog’s present two coats grow into new coat growth. The same happens in the summer, and your dog will shed in preparation for the winter growth. You need to realize that there isn’t any way to stop your dog from shedding, it’s something that comes with the territory.
Although your dog will love to play outside, he will get dirty. But you should only bath your pet when he is especially dirty or muddy. If you bathe your pup too much, it will deplete his coat of natural oils. This will cause your dog’s fur to become brittle and his skin to dry out.
Heat Cycle Female
If you have a female Australian Shepherd and she’s pregnant, she can have temporary hair loss during pregnancy.
How to Control It As Best You Can
There are some things you do to can take to control the amount of dog hair flying through the air and all over your furniture. You can help to control it by brushing your dog frequently. You will have to vacuum your carpet often. Try to keep your pet in the area where you have more flooring than carpet to keep dog dander down.
You can install HEPA filters all through your home and keep hair and dust catching items to a minimum. Clean frequently to remove dust, hair, and dander and wash your furniture covers and curtains. You can even furnish your home with lighter colors so the hair isn’t as noticeable around the house.
Use A Brush
Using a brush on your pup is a necessity when grooming him. You will need to brush him at least once a week and even more when it’s shedding season to prevent mats. One trick is before you start to brush your pet, spray some diluted dog hair conditioner on his fur to help detangle.
Then you use a slicker brush and stroke in the direction that his hair is growing. Be sure to get the whole way down to your dog’s skin. Just don’t run it across the top of his coat. You will want to check behind his ears for mats, which is a common place for them. For that, you’ll need a stripping comb for the best results. You can buy these grooming tools at a pet supply store or online.
An undercoat rake will go down through all that thick double coat and remove all the dead hair. If your dog’s hair on his legs is long and fluffy, you can use thinning scissors on them. Only trim the fringe about one third and follow the natural curve of your dog’s coat for a more natural look.
If you keep your furry friend brushed, you won’t have to give him a bath more than a couple of times a year. When you bathe him, you use a shampoo and conditioner that is made for dogs, not shampoo for people.
Our Favorite Grooming Tool for larger dogs with an undercoat is the Furminator brush which is especially design the deshed your dog effectively in one sitting so the hair doesn’t get all around the house. Having tried many deshedding tools, this is the one we keep coming back to. It costs around $30 and even comes with an ergonomic handle for comfort.
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When you’re grooming your pet, you can check his overall condition. Before you start his brushing regiment, check his body over. You’re looking for any sores, dry skin, rashes, or signs of infection. Signs of infection would be inflammation or tender spots on his body.
Check his eyes for any signs of discharge and his ears for odor or ear mites. Your pup’s coat should be shiny, not dull. If his coat is dull, you may have to change his diet or give him more frequent grooming.
If you hear your Aussie’s nails on the floor, then he needs his nails trimmed. By trimming them regularly, it will keep the nails from splintering. Be careful when you’re clipping your dog’s nails because you don’t want to snip the bloodline. If you do draw blood, you can put a styptic pencil on it to try to stop the bleeding.
You can trim the hair on and around his ears, between his toes and around his tail. If you feel that you can’t do any but the necessary grooming, then taking your dog to a professional groomer would be a good option.
Another brush to use is a toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs. It’s something that should be done to your dog, and most owners don’t do it regularly. Your dog should have his teeth brushed every day. But even twice a week is acceptable. It’s especially important if you feed your pup human food. Always be sure that human food is safe for your pet to eat.
Your Australian Shepherd is one of the most hardworking dogs there are. So, even though your dog was bred as a household dog, his natural herding instincts are in effect along with a high energy level. He will require more daily walks and want to go out a lot. Plus, he’ll need something to keep his mind occupied.
Because your pup is such an active one, he will require a high quality and nutritious food. He will require more food than the average dog. Your pup’s high activity levels and medium size will have you increase his food intake based on his calorie needs. He will require at least 1300 calories a day.
You will need to avoid underfeeding him and you will need to give him food after walking. Australian Shepherds will take their food out of their dishes and will bring it to another room and put it on the floor. They prefer to eat on a flat surface.
There are different types of dog food that you can feed your Australian Shepherd. Dry dog food is the first choice for most dog owners because it’s easier to store and more accessible. It will also help to prevent tooth problems in your pup. An adult Aussie will weigh between 45 to 55 pounds. So, feeding your dog between three and four cups of dry dog food is recommended.
Some Aussie owners feed their dog frozen dog food. Most of the food is raw meat and veggies, which are sold in cube or patty form. This type of diet offers nutrients from both the meat and the veggies. If you do feed your pet this type of food, he’ll need a pound every day. It’s better to feed him once a day as opposed to free feeding.
The option of canned food will offer your dog a complete diet, and most dogs like canned food better. But this food is only recommended for dogs who have gum or teeth problems, have trouble chewing, or for puppies. If you do feed your dog wet food, you will need to check his gums, brush his teeth, and give him biscuits. An adult Aussie will need a half a can daily for every ten pounds of body weight. If your dog is pregnant or extremely active, she or he may need more.
What can Australian Shepherds Not Eat?
You should avoid feeding your dog onions and garlic because it will kill your dog’s red blood cells. You should also avoid chocolate, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and caffeine to keep your dog in optimal health.
Do Australian shepherds shed more than Golden Retrievers?
Yes, the Australian Shepherd requires more grooming effort. Golden Retrievers shed moderately.
Do Australian shepherds shed more than Labs?
Both dog breeds shed about the same.
Do Aussies Shed More than Huskies
Huskies have thick coats and also blow a lot of undercoat. Aussies’ have a less dense coat but will still shed a lot. Both breeds take the right amount of grooming.
Do Aussies Shed More Than German Shepherds?
Australian Shepherds and German Shepherds have similar grooming needs. Both the breeds have a double coat, which produces lots of shedding and will need to be brushed regularly. Brushing your dog is the most time-consuming ritual and will need to be done often to keep your dog’s coat healthy and maintained to help manage shedding.
The Australian Shepherd do have a longer coat and will need to have the hair around the hind legs trimmed. German Shepherds don’t need to be trimmed.
Are Australian Shepherds High Maintenance?
Because of your dog’s double coat, he will shed a lot. Your pup will require that he’s brushed frequently, especially during the spring to get rid of the winter coat. If you don’t groom your Aussie regularly, he will become matted and dirty.
Are They Cuddly?
Yes, Aussie’s are very friendly and love to cuddle. He will love to play with other dogs and cuddle with children.
Pros and Cons Of Aussie Shepherds
There are always a few pros and some cons to a dog breed, and the Australian Shepherd isn’t an exception.
A sturdy and medium-sized dog
The breeds coats come in a variety of striking colors
Loves vigorous exercise
Well-trained and can learn almost anything.
The breed can be destructive and bark when bored or not enough exercise
If not socialized can become suspicious and shy
Will chase and nip at things and people that move
Has a lot of potential health problems
Australian Shepherds are loyal, faithful, and friendly dogs. They will protect they’re family and love being part of one. But this breed does shed a great deal. You must decide if the shedding is worth your time or if you don’t want to deal with it. For other information about this breed, click the link below: