Australian Shepherd Shedding

Australian Shepherd SheddingThe Australian Shepherd is a beautiful, energetic dog that sometimes resembles a Collie or a Shetland Sheepdog. One of their primary features is their thick, full coat. The following information describes the characteristics of an Australian Shepherd’s coat, Australian Shepherd shedding issues, and tips to keep their coat healthy.

An Australian Shepherd’s Coat

Australian Shepherds, which are sometimes called Aussies, can have straight or wavy hair. The colors may include white, black, tan, red merle, blue merle, and a variety of combinations. With all these combinations of colors and textures, coats on Australian Shepherds can vary widely. Some of these dogs have longer hair that looks feathery. Male dogs may have heavier hair around the neck and chest. Australian Shepherd shedding is one thing these dogs have in common. The dogs have a thick double coat that needs to be cared for on a regular basis to look its best. The same holds true for the smaller variations of the breed like the Miniature Australian Shepherd.

Australian Shepherd Shedding

Aussies shed all year long, but the shedding is heavier in spring when they lose their winter coat. Australian Shepherd shedding also tends to be heavy in the fall as well. Even though the dogs shed throughout the year, these two times are when major shedding occurs. The dog’s coat will need to be brushed at least once or twice a week during these times, possibly more depending upon the individual dog. Since Australian Shepherd shedding can be overwhelming there are a few tips to follow to make caring for the coat easier.

Frequent brushing will help keep up with excessive shedding. A pin brush is used for general brushing. A slicker brush is usually used for removing mats and when the dog is shedding. It is recommended to start at the dog’s head when brushing and move down along the chest. Long strokes should be used from the head, along the back, and to the tail. Then brush along the sides and the legs. Using an undercoat rake when the dog is shedding will help reduce the undercoat while leaving the guard coat. Owners need to make sure they get both the top coat and undercoat when brushing.

Warm baths can help with the shedding as well. Some owners cut or even shave their Aussies hair to keep them from shedding so much. Shaving may be a bit extreme, especially since the skin may be prone to sunburn. Just cutting the hair shorter, especially in the summer, may limit the amount of shedding since the dog will be cooler.

Keeping the Coat Healthy

To keep the coat healthy and looking good, an owner will need to purchase a variety of grooming equipment. A wire brush, a slicker brush, and a stripping comb are all items to help care for an Aussie. It is useful to have a spray bottle as well. A wire brush, which is sometimes called a pin brush, is needed for general brushing of medium to long hair.

It is recommended to spray a light mist occasionally while brushing the Aussie. Brushing the dog’s coat when it is completely dry may cause breakage and general damage. Sprays can consist of just water or a combination of coat conditioner and water. There are a variety of conditioners and sprays to help keep the coat smooth and hydrated. Owners may need to experiment with different brands to find out what works best for their particular dog. Areas to pay close attention to are the legs where the feathering can collect dirt and leaves, and behind the ears which are prone to matting.

Following these guidelines will help keep Australian Shepherd shedding under control and the coat in healthy condition. Making sure the dog is brushed and groomed on a regular basis is the key to keeping the coat healthy and eliminating mats before they get out of control.