The first thing that probably comes to mind when one mentions the Australian Shepherd breed is their signature long and fluffy coat, so it makes you wonder if a short-haired Australian Shepherd exists. The answer is yes.
A quick search on the internet will lead you to multiple discussion boards of fur parents talking about their short-haired Aussies. Most of them are asking if these short coats are normal, some even questioning if their Aussies are purebred.
I chanced upon photos of these short-haired pups shared by their owners. True enough, they look exactly like the ordinary Aussie, only with shorter hair.
Curious about the Australian Shepherd short hair? Continue reading this article as I share with you all I know about this kind of Aussie.
Is There a Short-Haired Australian Shepherd?
Yes, there is a short-haired Australian Shepherd variety. You can find them where the standard-coated Aussies are–in playgrounds, farms, and homes. They are not as hard to find as you think!
Not all Aussies are the same. Some have blue eyes, some have brown, and some even have both. The same goes for their coats as Australian Shepherds have varying hair lengths.
Dog experts have no conclusion to explain this, but some say it has something to do with the ancestry of the breed.
To give you a quick history, Australian Shepherds are not really from Australia as the name suggests.
They descended from a working and herding breed in Europe and are said to be related to the Border Collie and English Shepherd. No one can really say if they also had short-haired ancestors.
What Does a Short-Haired Australian Shepherd Look Like?
The short-haired Australian Shepherd looks like the typical Aussie. What makes it different is its coat that is shorter, flatter, and less fluffy than usual.
In terms of their body, they are medium in size and have an athletic build. Their bone structure is meant for physical activities as they are a herding breed, after all. Their tails are naturally bobbed or short.
The eyes of short-haired Australian Shepherds may be blue or brown. They are also prone to having heterochromia or eyes in different colors.
Are Short-Haired Australian Shepherds Rare?
Although their short fur makes them different from what is common, short-haired Australian Shepherds are not exactly considered rare.
In fact, dog owners don’t notice short-haired Aussies right away. This is because some pup coats start short but eventually grow out as they enter adulthood.
Do Kennel Clubs Recognize Short-Haired Australian Shepherds? Are They Purebred?
Established kennel and breed clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Australian Shepherd Club of America, and the United States Australian Shepherd Association have their own set of breed standards.
They indicate certain qualities such as size, build, shape of head, eyes, coat color, and markings of the Australian Shepherd breed. The standard fur length of the Aussie breed for these clubs is medium.
There is no special distinction for the short-haired Australian Shepherd kind, unlike the mini Aussies or toy Aussies that are already recognized by these organizations.
Do Short-Haired Australian Shepherds Shed?
Short-haired Australian Shepherds are like ordinary coated Aussies so they also experience seasonal shedding. Dog owners claim that they shed less hair because of the coat length.
To keep your Aussie’s coat beautiful, clean, and tidy, it is important to do weekly grooming. Simple steps such as brushing the fur regardless of length can go a long way.
Check out this video to learn how to groom your short-haired Aussie.
Short-Haired Australian Shepherd Temperament: Is It Similar to the Long-Haired Variety?
Physical-wise, short-haired Australian Shepherds are similar to long-haired ones except for their coat length. When it comes to temperament, it’s safe to say that they are also the same.
Short-haired Aussies are bubbling with energy. As a herding breed, they are built for work and enjoy activities that require physical and mental exercise.
They enjoy moving around, walking and hiking. If you live on a farm, Australian Shepherds can help you with chores and be good herding companions.
However, they are not all work and no play. This breed enjoys playing games, practicing tricks, and trying obstacle courses. If you plan to get one, you should ensure that you do not have a sedentary lifestyle as this breed likes to move a lot.
Aussies are also intelligent dogs. As such, they are easy to train and can compete in canine challenges. They can participate in dog sports and competitions too!
Loyalty is also a value innate to them. Expect your short-haired Aussie to love and protect you and your family. They also have strong protective instincts so they see strangers as threats.
Short-haired Australian Shepherd Lifespan and Health Issues
Growing old with our pets is one thing we all wish to do. If you want your short-haired Aussie to spend 12-15 years with you and enjoy life to the fullest, you must take care of its health.
There are several diseases to watch out for in Australian Shepherds regardless of the variant they are. Common ones are the following:
- Coloboma: Aussies are prone to eye diseases such as Coloboma. When part of your dog’s eyes fails to develop properly, it heightens sensitivity to light.
- Hip Dysplasia: This bone issue occurs when the dog’s thigh bone does not fit the socket. As a result, your dog feels pain while walking and may start limping.
- Epilepsy: Australian Shepherds are at risk of suffering from epilepsy. This disorder causes dogs to have seizures which can be controlled through medication.
- Multiple Drug Sensitivity: Certain breeds have hypersensitivity to common vet-prescribed medications. Aussies are prone to getting this drug sensitivity. Their bodies fail to react properly when introduced to drugs such as Ivermectin, Imodium A-D, and some anesthetics.
How Much Is a Short-Haired Australian Shepherd?
A short-haired Australian Shepherd puppy can cost between $400 and $1,880. Several things are factored in to come up with the price such as the reputation of your breeder, your dog’s lineage, and color, among others.
There are also shelters where you can adopt a puppy for a price. The cost usually covers adoption expenses at around $425 to $880.
Places to Find Short-Haired Australian Shepherd for Sale and Adoption
Getting a short-haired Australian Shepherd is a good choice as the Aussie breed is great for companionship.
I recommend that you get one from a reputable breeder so you are assured that you are getting a purebred and are not supporting unethical practices such as puppy mills.
Here are organizations and directories to help you in your search for the perfect pup:
- AKC Marketplace – Because it is run by AKC, you are assured that breeders are qualified members who offer healthy pups. You may even find short-haired Aussies from champion bloodlines here.
- USASA Breeder Directory – One of the clubs with breed standards, the United States Australian Shepherd Association has a directory that lists trustworthy breeders of Australian Shepherd.
- ASCA Club List – Another organization dedicated to Aussies, the Australian Shepherd Club of America shares a database of affiliate clubs to help you locate breeders in your area.
Aside from buying a short-haired Aussie, you may also consider adopting. If you don’t know if there is a shelter near you, you can seek help or assistance from these groups and sites:
- Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline – WIth over 20 years of volunteer experience, the Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline can help you find a rescued short-haired Aussie that needs a new shelter.
- Australian Shepherd Rescue Group – You can easily find a shelter or rescue group near you with the help of this directory by the Australian Shepherd Rescue Group.
- Adopt-a-Pet – This platform helps a lot of pet owners and pet owner wannabes in North America find the right pup to adopt and love.
Commonly Asked Questions
Are Short-Haired Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic dogs are great for people who are sensitive to allergens. The short-haired Aussie and its other varieties like the mini short-haired Australian Shepherd are not a hypoallergenic dog breed.
If you are sensitive to dog fur, better refrain from getting an Aussie, even a short-haired one, as the breed goes through seasonal shedding. You can expect to find fur everywhere with this breed around.
What Is the Standard Coat of an Australian Shepherd?
According to the AKC, an Australian Shepherd must have medium-length hair that is weather-resistant. It can be straight or wavy with a medium texture.
Australian Shepherds may have solid-colored coats in black, red, bicolor, or tricolor. They may also have patterned coats which makes them merle Aussies.
Aussies have fur that is smooth on the head, by the ears, near the forelegs and hooks. You can also find feathered fur in forelegs and britches.
Final Thoughts: Is the Short-Haired Australian Shepherd the Right Pet for You?
Finding the right pet for you can be a challenge especially since each breed has its own set of qualities. If what you are looking for is a pup who can be your best buddy, then the short-haired Australian Shepherd is one you should consider.
Note, though, that the short-haired Aussie is not for everyone. It is full of energy that you should be able to give back.
This means that when you choose to get one, you should have the energy, motivation, and time to spend with it through playtime, hikes, and physical activities.
The short-haired Aussie is a great choice if you want an Australian Shepherd but are not keen on having to deal with a lot of fur mess. You get the energy, intelligence, and loyalty of an Aussie but with less hair.