How To GROOM An Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd

Don’t let the name fool you; Australian shepherds are not from Australia, and learning how to groom an Australian shepherd is extremely important! Why? Australian shepherds are good-natured, athletic, devoted, and intelligent herding dogs with long coats. Therefore they do require extensive grooming. 

The Australian shepherd is originally from Spain. The name came about due to the movement of these dogs from Spain to Australia and later from Australia to the USA. 

Australian Shepherd

How to Groom an Australian Shepherd

Typically, Australian shepherds are medium-sized and solidly built, with adults weighing between 40 to 65 lb (18 to 29 kg). They have thick, long, and rugged coats in various colors or patterns. Keeping your Australian shepherd looking its best involves learning how to groom it effectively. 

Australian shepherds are not extremely high maintenance compared to other breeds. They don’t need endless trips to the groomers. However, they need to be well taken care of to prevent tangles and mats in their coats and keep them looking tidy. Below are some pointers on how to groom an Australian shepherd

Brushing

Brushing is a must for Aussie grooming. It is the easiest thing you can do to maintain your dog’s coat. The Australian shepherd sheds a lot, so brushing helps stimulate the skin to encourage new coat growth and remove the dead hairs. 

Not brushing your dog regularly can cause a build of dirt, debris, oils, dead hairs, and loose furs, eventually leading to health complications.

Even though Australian shepherds are heavy shedders, they do not shed all the time. They have specific periods in time when they shed. They may shed moderately during much of the year but then shed heavily for a few months when the seasons change. 

Therefore, it is necessary to note these periods since brushing them during these heavier shedding periods is very important. 

A slicker brush and a long tooth undercoat rake are the best combinations for brushing your Australian shepherd. The long tooth undercoat rake helps you remove debris that gets trapped in your canine’s fur. It also helps remove tangles without damage to the skin. 

Make sure to brush in the direction of the coat when using the slicker brush. Brushing in the opposite direction or against how the fur naturally grows will cause unnecessary pain for your dog and should be avoided. 

Shaving

An Australian shepherd’s coat protects it from the elements (cold and heat). It insulates them from the heat and cold by holding a layer of temperate air close to the body. Depending on the weather outside, their undercoat will hold their body heat or let it escape. This feature makes the Australian shepherd’s fur unique from the fur of other breeds. 

Shaving your dog to stop them from shedding will not reduce shedding. They will only shed smaller hairs. Shaving your dog will mess with the delicate balance of their coats, which may permanently disrupt the coat and cause it to grow abnormally. This will, in turn, leave your dog more vulnerable to the elements. 

Bathing 

As part of Australian shepherd grooming, bathing your Australian shepherd about once a month is fine. Due to their double coat, the Australian shepherd’s fur is water-repellent. They, therefore, do not need baths as often as other breeds without their unique fur do

Nail Clipping 

An essential part of Aussie grooming is nail trimming or clipping. Trimming your Australian shepherd’s nails allows them to stand squarely and compactly on the pads of their feet. Long nails often interfere with your dog’s gait – making walking awkward or painful. 

Few Australian shepherds, especially those who spend the majority of their time indoors or on grass when outdoors, will wear down their nails naturally. It is, therefore, necessary to take trimming their nails seriously since torn or broken nails can cause an Australian shepherd a great deal of pain and discomfort. 

They can even become infected, which may require veterinary help to remove the nails altogether.

When trimming your dog’s nails, you must be careful not to cut the nails too short. Dogs have a blood vessel that travels approximately three-quarters through the nail. Clipping a dog’s nails too short can cut this blood vessel and cause bleeding. However, learning how to do it properly and using the correct equipment will go a long way in carrying out safe nail clipping.

What Does a Well-Groomed Australian Shepherd Look Like?

Brushing your Australian shepherd’s coat helps it grow healthy and strong and removes old and damaged hair. Grooming also ensures that your dog’s skin can breathe and keeps down the level of grease and dirt in their coat. 

Too much grease can block pores and cause irritation and skin problems. Below are some of the features of a well-groomed Australian shepherd. 

They are Clean

Frequent Australian shepherd grooming ensures that your Australian shepherd looks clean. Brushing your dog’s double coat removes mats and tangles from the coat, which makes your dog look kempt.

They look Healthy

A groomed Australian shepherd is a healthy Australian shepherd! Consistently brushing and trimming (when necessary) your dog’s coat helps with the early detection and treatment of cuts, scratches, swelling,  thrush, and other skin problems. It helps in monitoring your dog’s health which in turn ensures your dog is always healthy.

They Look Happy

One way that pet owners can strengthen their existing bond with their pets is through grooming. Routine grooming means constant attention for your dog- and that is what every dog needs! A well-groomed Australian shepherd looks happy and content.

Smiling Australian Shepherd Portrait

Australian Shepherd Coat Stages

Like any other dog breed, the Australian shepherd takes time to shed its puppy coat. This phase of their life can begin at around twelve weeks of age if they grow faster, but it can also start as late as six months if they develop a bit slower. 

The amount of time puppy coat growth takes differs for each Australian shepherd. Some Australian shepherds may start to lose their puppy fur in clumps or patches at this coat stage. Others may shed gradually, piece by piece.

Your Australian shepherd’s appearance at this stage may go from fluffy, soft, and fuzzy-cute looking too ragged or downright unusual looking at times. This stage is relatively short-lived, and your canine will be looking like their cute self soon enough. 

Brushing and grooming to keep the puppy looking good is essential at this stage. Establishing a grooming routine will be necessary as this growth and shedding process will be lifelong for the Australian shepherd.

The Australian shepherd will eventually shed its puppy coat and have a full-grown double adult coat around its first year of life. The coats are often long, thick, silky, and smooth at this coat stage. This will not, however, be the same for all Australian shepherds. 

Some may have shorter silky and smooth fur; others might have the typical long fur. Some may even get a thinner coat of fur than others. Remember that each dog has a unique appearance and will be no less endearing or look beautiful than other dogs. 

Do Australian Shepherds Need Haircuts?

It is natural as a dog owner to ponder the question: do Australian shepherds need haircuts? The answer is that Australian shepherds do not need haircuts, and here is the reason why. Their double-thick coat helps to keep them warm in winter and cool in the summer. 

The topcoat is for protection with guard hairs to keep moisture and dirt from settling in, while the undercoat is for insulation from cold. 

Australian shepherds do not need haircuts, nor should they have a haircut, because their coat system is their primary protection against the elements. Having your Aussie’s hair cut or even their fur shaved is not a good or natural idea. Removing their fur will mean that they will be hotter in the summer, exposing their skin to ticks, mosquitoes, and other pests.

It will also mean they will be colder during the winter. The only time to perform any type of haircutting is when you occasionally trim off 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.

How to Trim an Australian Shepherd

There is usually little need to trim your Australian shepherd. However, you can trim them along their feet and face since these parts occasionally need trimming. Feet trimming should be a regular part of your Australian shepherd’s routine. 

You should trim the hair around your dog’s feet and paw pads. You can do this with a simple pair of shear or clippers; however, many owners prefer to have their dogs professionally groomed. 

This is because professional dog groomers often know how to give your dog a more natural look. Trimming the fur on your dog’s ears and paws is essential because the fur in these areas can trap debris, moisture, and dirt.

In the wintertime, bits of snow can get trapped in the dog’s paw pads, leading to sores. 

Keeping your Australian shepherd look cute has a lot to do with taking care of their fur. Your dog doesn’t need countless trips to the groomers. However, as mentioned earlier, they need general upkeep and haircuts to prevent mats and keep them looking tidy.  Here are some of the best hairstyles  to choose for your canine when they need a trim

The Teddy Bear Style

If the name brings a cute and fluffy teddy bear to mind, you are on the right track. The Australian shepherd teddy cut entails a fluffy and soft look with rounded corners and sharp angles. For this cut, you can trim up the body, sides, belly, and back of the head using a size a snap-on comb. 

Trim the paws into a cat foot and use curved shears to make the back of the rear legs a smooth, round shape. When done correctly, the legs will have a slimmer look, and the face will have a rounded style. 

Minimal Trim or Puppy Cut

The minimal or Australian shepherd puppy cut projects a more natural look. It, however, involves more brushing to keep up with the natural locks.

Simba Style

This hairstyle keeps the dog hair shorter around the body, leaving the fur around the neck area fluffy and regal. Often, tufts of fur are left around the feet and tail to enhance the look. 

Rounded Cut

The rounded cut gives your dog a nice and friendly outlook while keeping the entire body shape well-trimmed to a round figure. This hairstyle is perfect for dogs with a single color tone on their body with a different color from the neck down to the belly area.

Australian Shepherds

That’s a Wrap!

Grooming an Australian shepherd is not difficult. However, it can be rather time-consuming. A lot of your grooming routine will involve brushing out their coat. This process is quite simple but can take a while to complete. Brushing an Australian shepherd daily ensures that they don’t require huge amounts of brushing at one time. 

Trimming when necessary is also essential in the grooming process. You do need to pay attention to your dog’s ears and paws. These areas often will require some trimming. You can do this at home or utilize the services of a professional. 

Do NOT shave your Australian shepherd. This destroys the delicate balance of the coat, which protects them from heat and cold by holding a layer of temperate air close to the body. The coat may never grow back the same if it’s shaved. Keep in mind that a groomed Australian shepherd is a healthy Australian shepherd!