Do Australian Shepherds Shed? A Comprehensive Guide for Aussie Owners

he Australian Shepherd, affectionately known as the Aussie, is a versatile, intelligent, and hardworking breed renowned for its herding capabilities. With their radiant eyes, energetic personality, and beautiful coat, it’s no wonder they’ve won over the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide. However, potential and current Aussie owners often find themselves asking one important question: “Do Australian Shepherds shed?” This blog post will delve into that question, providing a comprehensive answer and offering tips to manage their shedding.

Do Australian Shepherds Shed?

In short, yes. Australian Shepherds do shed. They have a double coat, which consists of a dense undercoat and a longer outer coat. This double coat is designed to protect them from various weather conditions while working outdoors, but it also means that shedding is part of life with an Aussie.

Understanding Aussie Shedding

Australian Shepherds shed moderately throughout the year, but you will see an increase in shedding twice a year during the spring and fall seasons. This process, known as “blowing the coat,” happens when dogs shed their old coat to make room for a new one, helping them adapt to changing weather conditions. During these periods, don’t be surprised if you find tufts of fur around your home.

learning if australian shepherds shed
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Managing Australian Shepherd Shedding

Although you can’t stop an Australian Shepherd from shedding, there are several strategies to manage it and keep your home as fur-free as possible.

Managing shedding in dogs is a crucial part of dog ownership. While all dogs shed to some degree, depending on the breed, some shed more than others. Here are some steps to help manage dog shedding:

Regular Brushing

The most effective way to control shedding is by brushing your dog regularly. This helps remove the loose fur before it ends up around your home and can also keep your dog’s skin clean and irritation-free. Long-haired breeds may require daily brushing, while short-haired breeds might only need a good brushing once a week.

Quality Diet

A dog’s diet plays a significant role in the health of their coat. Providing your dog with a high-quality diet rich in essential fatty acids can help improve the health of their coat and reduce excessive shedding. Foods with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are known to promote a healthy coat.

Adequate Hydration

Ensure your dog is properly hydrated. Dehydration can lead to dry skin, which can increase shedding. Always have fresh water available for your dog to drink.

an australian shepherd with furry hair needs plenty of hydration
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Regular Baths

Regular bathing can help remove loose hair and can keep your dog’s skin clean and healthy. However, it’s essential not to over-bathe your dog, as this can lead to dry skin. Use a dog-friendly shampoo that’s designed to help reduce shedding.

Vet Check-ups

Regular vet visits are crucial. Some medical conditions can cause excessive shedding, so it’s important to rule out any health issues. If your dog’s shedding seems abnormal, it’s always best to seek advice from a professional.

Use Specific Tools

There are tools designed to help control shedding. Deshedding tools, for example, can reach the undercoat and remove loose hairs before they are shed onto your furniture.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise helps maintain your dog’s overall health and, consequently, the health of their skin and coat. It stimulates blood flow, which in turn promotes a healthy coat and minimizes shedding.

Keep Your Dog Stress-free

Stress or anxiety can lead to various health issues, including increased shedding. Try to keep your dog’s environment as stress-free as possible, providing plenty of playtime and relaxation.

Grooming Services

Professional grooming services can be beneficial, especially for breeds with heavy shedding. These services often include a “blow out,” which effectively removes the loose hair from the undercoat.

Remember, some shedding is a natural process and can’t be entirely eliminated. These steps can help manage it and make living with your furry friend a more pleasant experience.

adult blue merle australian shepherd on grass field
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Common Skin Problems in Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain skin issues. Here’s a list of some common skin problems that might affect an Australian Shepherd:

  • Allergies: Allergies are quite common in Australian Shepherds. They can be allergic to a variety of things, including certain foods, pollen, dust mites, fleas, or certain materials like plastic or rubber. Allergies can lead to itchy, irritated skin, and can sometimes cause skin infections if not properly managed.
  • Dermatitis: Dermatitis is a general term for inflammation of the skin. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as contact with irritants or allergens, bacterial or fungal infections, or parasites like fleas or mites.
  • Hot Spots (Acute Moist Dermatitis): Hot spots are patches of skin that become inflamed, raw, and infected, usually as a result of excessive licking, scratching, or chewing. They can be caused by anything that irritates the skin, including allergies, insect bites, or underlying health issues.
  • Folliculitis: Folliculitis is an inflammation or infection of the hair follicles. This condition can lead to sores, bumps, and scaly patches on the skin. It often occurs in conjunction with other skin problems, such as mange, allergies, or injury.
  • Mange (Demodex or Sarcoptic): Mange is a skin disease caused by mites. Demodex mites are common and usually don’t cause problems, but they can lead to skin issues in dogs with compromised immune systems. Sarcoptic mites, on the other hand, are highly contagious and cause a condition often referred to as scabies.
  • Seborrhea: Seborrhea causes a dog’s skin to become greasy and develop dandruff. In some cases, it’s a genetic disease. Australian Shepherds are among the breeds known to be predisposed to hereditary seborrhea.
  • Skin Tumors: While not as common as the other conditions, Australian Shepherds can develop skin tumors. Any unusual lumps or bumps should be checked by a veterinarian.
  • Hypothyroidism: Although not a skin disease per se, hypothyroidism can cause skin issues in Australian Shepherds. Symptoms can include hair loss, dark patches on the skin, and a dry or dull coat.

Shedding is Part of Owning an Aussie

Shedding is part and parcel of owning an Australian Shepherd. While their beautiful, thick coat requires some maintenance, the companionship, loyalty, and energy of an Aussie are well worth the effort. With regular grooming and proper care, you can keep your Aussie’s coat healthy and manage the shedding effectively, making life with your Aussie as enjoyable and fur-free as possible.

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