Australian Shepherd grooming should be done properly and regularly to keep your dog healthy and neat. Although grooming Aussie Shepherd is pretty simple and easy, new dog owners might find this task a bit challenging.
To keep your Australian Shepherd’s skin healthy and its body comfortable, you must take care of its hair. Since this popular breed has a long coat, it requires more grooming but is not as high maintenance, unlike other breeds.
Aussies do not require many trips to the groomer, but they need routine maintenance to prevent matting and to keep them looking neat. Continue reading to discover some basic grooming tips for your Australian Shepherd.
Basic Grooming Advice for Australian Shepherds
Australian Shepherd dogs are friendly and good with other dogs. They also enjoy running and playing outside, even if it includes chasing a ball across a muddy park.
Given the high activity level of Aussie, it becomes necessary to give it a thorough grooming session to remove any dirt once it has dried off after bathing.
Patting and stroking your dog’s body areas can help it be comfortable with the grooming process. Praising and rewarding them for their calmness and willingness to be handled are also effective ways to establish good behavior.
Also, it is essential to keep grooming sessions brief to prevent your pet from becoming stressed. This will positively reinforce the activity and contribute to its enjoyment.
Australian Shepherd Grooming Tools
You will need a few tools to groom your Australian Shepherd properly. Below is a list of must-have supplies when doing Australian Shepherd grooming:
- De-shedding Tool: De-shedding tools are effective in removing the loose, dead undercoat of your pet without cutting or damaging the top coat. These are very useful, especially for heavy shedders.
- Electric Clipper: There are rechargeable and plug-in versions of electric clippers designed to trim a dog’s coat. These provide an even trim over your dog’s body, and you may even use different-sized blades to cater to different types of fur.
- Steel Comb: Steel combs’ lack of friction with fur makes removing knots easier without tearing hair. The durability of metal combs, and their capacity to minimize snagging, are just a few of their advantages.
- Undercoat Rake: The long tooth undercoat rake typically has two layers of evenly spaced metal teeth. The teeth remove mats and tangles from the dog’s coat in preparation for the de-shedding session.
- Slicker Brush: The slicker brush typically has a rectangular head and fine metal bristles. Some groomers advise using a smaller slicker brush for the toes, legs, face, and tail and a larger brush for the rest of the body. The slicker brush is also helpful in detangling Australian Shepherds’ fur.
- Bristle Brush: The bristle brush may contain dense clusters of natural bristles to remove loose hair and prevent mats. It is highly flexible and a proper, essential brushing tool for Aussie dogs and other dogs with any coat type.
- Trimming Scissors: The best types of trimming scissors are those crafted from high-quality Japanese steel. This guarantees a precise, clean cut without tugging on your Aussie’s coat.
- Thinning Shears: Dog thinning shears remove only a small amount of hair with each cut. When used correctly, they can make the clipper-cut hair softer and create a natural flow.
- Nail Clipper: Nail clippers are designed to trim your dog’s thick nails. These grooming tools come in scissors-style and guillotine-style.
Take note that high-quality grooming tools may generally be easier to handle and produce the best results, especially in eliminating mats and tangles from your pet’s coat.
How To Groom an Australian Shepherd
Grooming your Aussie can be a fun experience. Typical grooming session includes bathing, brushing, hair cutting, ear cleaning, and nail trimming.
In bathing your Aussie, you need to approach in a progressive, calm, and patient manner and give your dog plenty of praise and treats along the process to make every bath a joyful experience.
After bathing, help your dog dry off its coat using a high-velocity dryer, and brush its fur with a good quality slicker brush and undercoat rake to remove mats or tangles.
Groom your dog using the long tooth undercoat rake, brushing down to the skin. Proper brushing your dog’s coat will shield your pet against heat and cold by trapping a layer of temperate air close to the body.
In addition to brushing, your dog may require occasional hair trimming, which can be taken care of by your local professional groomer, or by you, with the right kind of training and resources.
Regular dog grooming also includes cutting the nails and cleaning the ears to prevent overgrown nails and too much wax and debris buildup that can lead to ear infections.
You can follow these basic tips or visit a professional groomer to maintain your Australian Shepherd’s clean look and cut.
Daily brushing is the most effective way to maintain your Aussie’s neat appearance and the health of their skin and fur. You must brush your Australian Shepherd’s coat to keep it silky and detangled.
Australian Shepherds frequently shed their fur, but daily brushing can help manage this shedding. You can remove loose hair and shedding undercoats with a slicker brush, steel comb, or de-shedding tool.
Beginning with the head, take your time to properly brush your pet all the way to the tail. It is vital to remove debris, grime, and dead undercoat in the process of brushing.
Please note that brushing this double-coated breed may become more difficult if you are not gentle. Your dog may stop cooperating well with you should it view brushing as an unpleasant experience.
Watch this video for more valuable tips on brushing your Aussie’s hair:
Trimming improves your pet’s health and appearance. Your pet’s long, matted coat might be uncomfortable, so you should look out for this. Trimming helps remove loose hair and dull skin. It also spreads natural oils in the fur.
If your Australian Shepherd is yelping or your efforts are ineffective, reach for the electric clippers. Then, follow the direction of your dog’s natural curve or coat growth in trimming it.
The fur on your dog’s ears can also get excessively long if you do not intervene. It is recommended to trim the hair in their ears instead of shaving it entirely.
Brush out the fur in the ears of your Australian Shepherd using a comb. Then, using your scissors, carefully trim the hair the same length as the remaining hair on your dog’s head and face.
Use refined thinning shear or trimming scissors to clip the Aussie’s hair in their ears into the triangular form specified by the breed standard.
With the dog’s leg up, use the clippers to shave the fur from the armpit to the toes. Be careful not to get too close to the skin.
From the toes to the armpit, switch the direction of the clippers and continue along the same path. This will smooth out any missing fur from the initial attempt and trim the hair growing in the opposite direction.
Using scissors, sculpt the leg by removing stray hairs, then do the final shaping or finishing touches.
The situation differs when it comes to the britches. The fur is higher on the legs and on the two back legs. Due to its thicker texture, you will need a good pair of thinning shears to cut the hair on your dog’s britches.
Use thinning shears to cut beneath the anus and the tail of your Aussie dog as you proceed. Doing this will save you from the hassle of cleaning when your Australian Shepherd needs to defecate.
The hair around your dog’s feet and paw pads should also be trimmed. Clippers are typically utilized for this procedure as they are smaller and easier to use in the creases of the feet.
The fur on your dog’s paws is unnecessary as it becomes soiled quickly. In certain instances, it might trap dirt and debris. In the winter, snow can become lodged in the dog’s paw pads, causing blisters and discomfort.
Trimming the tail of your Aussie will maintain its cleanliness and improve its appearance. Trim the long hair by bringing the thinning shears up to the tail area while holding it. Take your time until you reach the desired length.
You can also use thinning shears to give their tail a more natural look.
Things to Avoid When Grooming an Australian Shepherd
During the grooming procedure, remember not to shave an Australian Shepherd completely as this disrupts the delicate balance of the undercoat, which provides insulation from heat and cold by trapping a layer of temperate air close to the body.
In addition, shaving your dog will not reduce shedding. Also, too much bathing of your Aussie might cause undercoat matting. Wet dog coat tangles and tightens easily, which will be harder to remove.
Don’t disregard matting, as this can cause your dog discomfort. Immediately remove or detangle a mat by gradually pulling and easing the hair before brushing your dog.
When to Use a Professional Groomer
Daily brushing may be simple, but if you are a novice owner, you might eventually need the service of a professional groomer.
Professional grooming can significantly assist you if you feel uncomfortable or do not have the time to groom your dog. A professional groomer has access to tools that may otherwise be unavailable to the typical dog owner.
Top 4 Australian Shepherd Grooming Styles
The Australian Shepherd has either straight or wavy hair that covers its entire body. That said, a variety of Australian Shepherd haircuts and grooming styles make the breed classy and stylish.
You may want to take your Aussie to a dog wash salon or a professional groomer for a fashionable cut, where you can specify your preference.
Here are several grooming styles from which you can choose:
The Teddy Bear Cut
This cut is a cute style for your Aussie dog that is still on the lengthier side but softens the appearance with a rounder shape. In this cut, the leg hair is trimmed short, and the hair at the end of the back is round and puffy.
The fur in the head, body, sides, belly, and back should be trimmed with a snap-on comb, although this might vary depending on your preferences.
You can have their paw hair trimmed into cat feet and have the back of the hind legs a round, smooth appearance.
The Minimal Cut
Another style of mini Aussie haircut is the minimal cut, which is merely a trim. It maintains a more natural look that fits with breed standards.
With this minimal trimming, your Aussie coat’s edges are evened out without losing their natural length. It is a simple trim that leaves dogs with a regular coat length of one to two inches over the body.
It is one of the most common grooming techniques for Aussies, including black Australian Shepherd.
The Rounded Cut
The rounded cut is another Australian Shepherd grooming style ideal for Aussies with a single color tone on their bodies and a different color from the neck to the abdomen.
With this cut, the legs feature a slender, clean appearance. Typically, the head is left natural for a fluffy look.
The cut makes the dog’s image rounded, making it appear friendly and cuddly. With this trim, the coat colors of dogs with a single color tone are accentuated.
The Simba Cut
The Simba style leaves the hair long on the head and neck, resembling that of the main character in the animated movie, The Lion King. Typically, the hair is left around the tail and paws, while the rest of the coat is clipped.
In this hair style, the dog appears majestic and fluffy, as any jungle king should. This style is less common than the others, yet it’s a wonderful choice if you want your Aussie to stand out.
This cut may also be more challenging to achieve, but it only requires a little extra work to avoid over-trimming the neck area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Australian Shepherds Need Haircuts?
The Australian Shepherd breed does not require a haircut. The only exception is that the hair growing long around the feet, legs, and ears should be trimmed. If your dog’s fur becomes matted, you must cut out the mats as well.
How Often Should an Australian Shepherd Be Groomed?
You should groom your Australian Shepherd at least once a month. The Australian Shepherd has a double coat that is moderately difficult to maintain and requires regular grooming to remove loose fur and dead skin and prevent matting.
How Short Can You Trim an Aussie?
Always leave between ¼ and ½ inch of hair on your dog’s coat when you trim it to protect its skin. Never trim your dog’s coat shorter than a quarter inch.
Doing so will risk your dog’s health since its skin will be exposed to the sun, making it prone to sunburn.
What Month Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
Australian Shepherds are classified as moderate shedder and shed all year round in varying degrees.
These breeds shed less in the fall and winter seasons, or from December to February, than in the spring and summer, which is around March to August.
Their undercoat grows thicker for warmth in the cold weather and falls out in the summer, so they don’t sweat all day.
Should You Shave Your Australian Shepherd?
Shaving your Aussie’s coat is not recommended because its undercoat is extremely important for temperature control.
Also, shaving does not reduce shedding for this dog — it will shed smaller hairs instead. This puts your dog at risk of overheating, sunburn, hair loss, and even skin cancer.
Due to their long coat, Australian Shepherds require extensive grooming. It is recommended to visit a groomer if you wish to give your dog one of the Australian Shepherd hairstyles but lack the skills to do so.
Grooming your Aussie helps in maintaining its clean appearance and prevent hygiene-related problems from emerging.
If you own an Australian Shepherd, it would be great to know about your own grooming experience with your pet! Share it in the comment section below!
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.