Australian Shepherds are beautiful dogs. Smart, playful, and handsome, those lovely coats do come with some maintenance requirements that you will need to adjust to keep everyone happy when shedding starts to seem excessive.
Today we’ll talk about why Australian Shepherds shed, when they shed the most, and what you can do. We’ll even go into some frequently asked questions before we are done, so if you want to know all about Shepherd shedding, then you have come to the right place.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
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So, Do Australian Shepherds Shed A Lot?
While they aren’t the heaviest shedding breed, Australian Shepherds shed a moderate amount, and this can seem like a lot if you’ve only owned short-haired breeds before. A regular grooming routine will be necessary with this dog, but the shedding is really quite manageable if you do this.
Why Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
Australian Shepherds are considered to be moderate shedders, even if it feels like they shed all the time. As they do have a lot of fur, regular shedding is to be expected, and the frequency and volume will increase seasonally as your dog naturally changes their coat to prepare for the weather ahead.
Sometimes shedding can be a sign of a problem, however, so let’s take a look at normal shedding and symptomatic shedding so that you will better know what to expect.
Aussie Shepherds Are A Double-coated Breed
Australian Shepherds are equipped with what is called a ‘double-coat’ of fur and what this means is that they have both a topcoat and an undercoat. The topcoat is a fixed layer that doesn’t shed, designed to protect your dog from the elements. This layer helps to keep bugs at bay, protect from UV, and to keep dirt off of the skin.
The undercoat is the one that sheds all of the time, and it consists of a fine layer of fur that is shorter and closer to your dog’s skin. It creates a layer of insulation to help keep your doggy warm in the winter, and when it starts warming up outside, this layer is naturally shed.
Australian Shepherds Shed For Their Spring And Fall Coat
Spring is when that winter coat goes away, and depending on the temperature outside, it can be a quick or a somewhat staggered process. When you fast-forward to fall, then there is also a lot of shedding going on as the undercoat comes back to insulate your dog once again against the winter.
Stress Can Cause An Australian Shepherd To Shed
If your dog is shedding more than normal and you’ve had them a while, so this shedding seems to be out of its usual patterns, then it might be that your dog is a little stressed. Your Australian Shepherd is a creature of habit.
They know how the day is supposed to go, and changes in routine can cause them to be stressed, which makes them shed a little more than usual. Things that can upset their routine include work-schedule changes where you are away at different times than usual, the introduction of a new animal to the household, a new child, or starting doggy daycare or training outside of the house.
This is normal, and your Shepherd should adjust with a little extra time and attention. Some extra grooming during these stressful times can help to provide both while your dog is getting used to the ‘new norm’.
Skin Allergies Can Also Cause Shedding With This Breed
If your dog is not only shedding more but also seems to be scratching more or even shows signs of irritated, reddened skin, then allergies might be the culprit. Some dogs can even develop seasonal allergies, just like humans do, but the trick is to identify this and not to panic – a vet visit can quickly confirm if your dog has allergies.
Once allergies have been confirmed, then your doctor can advise you on medications that can help and give you a few tips for what you can do at home to help make things a little easier for your dog.
Food Changes Can Sometimes Cause A Little Extra Shedding
Finally, changes in diet can cause extra shedding and this is another case where an allergy is a possibility. Be sure to compare the ingredients to the previous food and look to see if there is something new in this brand.
Common allergies include grains, peas, and potatoes, and if your new food has these and your previous brand didn’t, then it might be time to switch back to the old food or something comparable that doesn’t have one or more of these 3 ingredients.
How Badly Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
While we’ve mentioned that they are considered moderate shedders, Australian Shepherds are good-sized dogs, and so this still equals a formidable amount of shedding. Weekly grooming is going to be your best course of action, and this can help considerably.
When spring and fall are getting close, you’ll want to switch to a daily grooming schedule in order to minimize the amount of shedding which occurs in the house. With regular grooming, your Aussies coat will be much more manageable, you just need to be especially prepared for those seasonal coat changes to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
How Do I Stop My Australian Shepherd From Shedding?
While it can seem daunting at first, managing your Aussie’s coat just takes a slight adjustment that will get much easier once you’ve gotten used to their shedding schedules. Let’s take a look at some strategies that you can implement to make your dog’s shedding much more manageable for the both of you.
Daily Brushing During The Spring And Fall Coat Changes Can Help Immensely
Twice a year, you’ll want to adopt a daily grooming schedule, or you are going to end up with lots of shed fur and dander all over the house. Your dog can’t help it, as these changes in their coat are season and designed to protect them from the elements.
So, just a few minutes of brushing everyday is going to be a very good idea. Try to make it easier by doing it at the same time, such as on the porch right before or after the morning walk, and once you’ve made it part of your routine, then the time should quickly pass.
More Outside Time During Spring And Fall Sheds Is A Good Idea, Too
Speaking of being outside, a little extra outside time during spring and fall sheds can help minimize the impact of the undercoat shedding quite effectively. Granted, it’s a little easier in springtime than it is in fall, but if you can take your dog out extra during these times, then it will really help to keep a lot of the shedding outside and off of your furniture.
Washing Your Clothes More Frequently During Bi-yearly Major Sheds Can Reduce Dander
Extra washing during cyclical coat changes can really help to keep dander levels down, and if you have mild allergies to dog dander, then frequent washing is a must. Allergies aside, it also keeps the inevitable fur on your clothing at a minimum, and that’s always a good thing, too.
Move Your Dog To Non-carpeted Areas If Possible
During this time, you may want to move your dog’s bed somewhere that doesn’t have carpet to keep the shed fur out of it as much as possible. If you have some throw rugs, you might want to put them away for a spell or give them a little extra vacuuming time during heavy shedding periods.
Hepa Filters Can Make A Huge Difference
Hepa filters are amazing when it comes to allergens, and if you are really sensitive to dander, then you owe it to yourself to have some installed. Many of these can clean 99% of contaminants from the air, and this can really make a world of difference!
If installing them around the house isn’t in the budget, consider a standalone air filter in one or more of your favorite rooms. They are cost-effective, and you’ll definitely notice the difference if you are normally sensitive to dander.
Australian Sheperd Owners With Allergies… Be Patient
Over time, a lot of owners report that they have adjusted to the dander from their specific dog. So, if you have some mild dander allergies and nothing seems to help, be patient with the process. You might well develop an immunity to your dog with a little time as your body adjusts to their presence.
Should I Cut My Australian Shepherds Hair?
Cutting your Shepherd’s hair is not advisable, although there are scenarios where it may be ideal. Just check with your vet to be certain before you shave your Aussie because there are potential problems that may occur if you shave this breed.
Let’s take a look at some tips and caveats associated with shaving your Shepherd.
If You Need To Shave Your Dog, Keep Clipping Minimal
If shaving is a must, it is advised that you leave at least an inch of length to their fur. This is very important with double-coated breeds, as they manage their fur quite naturally on their own. So, while shaving is generally considered a bad idea if you must do it, then leave an inch of fur when you do.
Shaving Can Cause Your Dog’s Coat To Grow Back Irregularly
Known as ‘Post Clipping Alopecia’, shaving a double-coated dog may result in your dog’s fur growing back irregularly at first, resulting in a patchy, inefficient coat. If this happens, you will need to check with your vet, and a professional groomer may be required to help get your dog’s coat back to normal.
This generally occurs when too much fur has been shaved, affecting the natural cycling of the undercoat.
Keep In Mind That Shaving Doesn’t Reduce How Much Your Dog Sheds, Only The Size Of The Hairs
Another reason shaving isn’t a good idea is that you still get shedding, just in finer particles. The shedding that is occurring is natural, so shaving it might look like it makes a difference, but you’ll still have lots of hairs and dander – only smaller in size.
Regular Grooming Is A Much Better Option
Once a week, brushing during normal periods and daily brushing during heavy shedding seasons is going to be the best way to go. A 10-minute grooming session is all it takes, and it gets easier, as regularly groomed fur is less likely to mat and tangle. So, don’t clip, just groom your dog, and everything will work out just fine.
How Long Does It Take My Shepherd’s Fur To Grow Back After Shaving?
After shaving, it generally takes about 3 months for your dog to regrow the fur, but times will vary based on how much was removed. It is best to leave it alone and simply groom it, because if it grows back irregularly, it will take a lot of time to fix!
Want To Train Your Australian Shepherd With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Australian Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Australian Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
Do Australian Shepherds Shed More Than Labs?
While they seem to shed just about the same, the Labrador Retriever actually sheds more shedder, as they are shedding every day. With Australian Shepherds, there is some daily shedding, but it is much less as Shepherds are more seasonal than regular shedders.
How Often Should I Brush My Aussie?
Once a week is good, though, during spring and fall coat changes, a daily brushing regimen is going to be highly recommended. This will keep excess fur and dander levels much more manageable.
Which Dog Sheds The Most?
The title for ‘most shedding breed’ would have to go to the Akita. This large breed from Japan has a very thick coat designed to keep the dog warm in harsh mountain environs. These thick coats are efficient for the cold, but outside of these specialized environs, Akitas may be expected to shed quite a lot daily.
In Conclusion: Shepherd Shedding Is Quite Manageable With A Little Preparation
Today we’ve talked about Australian Shepherds and their shedding habits, and as you can see, a little regular grooming is all you need to help keep the dander at a minimum and to keep your dog looking its best.
Avoid clipping their hair, as it can grow back irregularly, and it will not protect your dog as effectively until it grows back. A little more outside time can also help during heavy shedding seasons, as well as some daily grooming during this time.
Once you’ve gotten used to the regular grooming, it’s hardly a chore, and the added bonus from all that brushing is a jewel beyond compare.
Your Australian Shepherd will be well-bonded to you, super-affectionate, and happy!