Australian Shepherd grooming isn’t always an easy task, but it can be fun!
And when you get to grips with these tips, you might even find it relaxing too!
The Australian Shepherd is an engaging, popular breed.
Part of the reason is how stunning this dog looks when Australian Shepherd grooming is up to par.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this breed and provide proper grooming tips.
We’ll also show you how to assemble a grooming kit for your pup.
Do Australian Shepherds Need Grooming?
Every dog needs grooming regularly, but some breeds require hair care more often than others.
The Australian Shepherd has a double coat. We’ll explain more about what this means and why it’s important later in this article.
Your Australian Shepherd should be groomed at least once every week.
Grooming helps to remove debris and dead hair, and spreads the natural oils in the dog’s coat throughout the fur, keeping it soft and silky.
When your dog is shedding, you’ll need to groom him more often than this to get rid of loose, dead hair and prevent matting.
Australian shepherds are all-action dogs. These pups love to play outside, especially if the game involves chasing a ball through a muddy park.
With that in mind, be sure to give your dog a special grooming session when he’s dry to get rid of any dirt and grime.
What Type of Fur Do Australian Shepherds Have?
The Australian Shepherd has a double coat that is designed to keep him warm in cold weather and cool during the heat of summer.
The outer layer of guard hairs is straight, long and silky, lying close to the dog’s body.
The undercoat is thicker and softer than the guard hairs, especially around the dog’s neck and trousers.
An Australian Shepherd’s underfur can vary in thickness. You must keep your dog well-groomed so that the coat does not become matted and tangled.
Australian Shepherds are very prone to shedding. Some dogs shed continuously, while others molt twice a year heavily, during the spring and fall.
How Often Should You Groom an Australian Shepherd?
Ideally, you should groom your Australian Shepherd at least once a week.
Grooming your dog’s coat is extremely important for keeping his skin healthy and his body comfortable.
Australian Shepherds are moderate to heavy shedders, and allowing the dead hair to accumulate will result in matting.
Removing loose, dead hair will not only stimulate the dog’s skin to keep it in perfect health. It will also help the coat to protect the dog from the weather.
A double coat that’s properly brushed insulates the dog from both cold and heat by creating a layer of temperate air close to the animal’s body while preventing heat or cold from penetrating the outer guard hairs.
Grooming During the Shedding Season
When your Australian Shepherd is shedding, you’ll need to groom him every day.
Daily grooming helps to prevent mats from forming in the coat, keeps your dog comfortable and prevents your home from becoming plastered in shed dog hair.
You may find that your Australian Shepherd doesn’t heavily shed if he spends much of his time living indoors.
Being out of the elements and living in a warm, centrally heated house will keep your dog warm, so he won’t need the heavy undercoat that an outdoor-dwelling pup would need.
How to Groom an Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd grooming can be done using a good quality slicker brush and a long-toothed undercoat rake.
Begin brushing with the slicker brush first. Always groom your dog in the direction of coat growth, never against it.
Groom your dog from nose to tail, remembering to include his legs and his tummy.
Next, use the undercoat rake to be sure that the fluffy undercoat has been groomed right down to the skin. Comb the fur outwards and away from the skin so that you don’t scratch your pet.
Use your fingers to remove any tangles and mats. Smooth out the fur using the slicker brush.
Finish off by using a bristle brush to lift off any remaining loose hair on the surface of the dog’s coat.
Grooming the Australian Shepherd ‘Trousers’
Australian Shepherd dogs have “trousers” that can become very long and fluffy.
If you want to shorten your dog’s trousers, use a pair of thinning scissors to carefully trim them, following the natural curve of the coat.
It’s beneficial to bathe your dog once a month or so to get rid of that doggy smell that happens when the natural oils secreted by the dog’s skin accumulate.
Use a high-velocity dryer to dry your dog’s coat.
Blow the fur in the direction in which you want it to lay, holding the dryer as close to the ends of the hair as possible, being careful not to encourage the coat to curl up.
Don’t run the dryer rapidly back and forth across the dog. That can cause tangling and matting to occur.
The SHELANDY 3.2HP Stepless Adjustable Speed Pet Hair Force Dryer Dog Grooming Blower with Heater is a very popular choice.
You’ll also get four nozzles of various sizes so that you can choose what size works best for your dog.
The hair dryer comes with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty.
Double-coated dogs can take ages to dry after a bath, and it’s vital that the coat is completely dry before you begin grooming.
If you don’t want to bathe your Australian Shepherd, you can use a waterless shampoo instead.
Wahl Natural Shampoo
We like Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo for this job.
Made from naturally derived ingredients, the shampoo contains no harsh soaps or chemicals.
Australian Shepherd Grooming Tools
So, what tools will you need for your Australian Shepherd’s grooming kit?
- Furminator or de-shedding tool
- Undercoat rake
- Slicker brush
- Bristle brush
- Trimming scissors
All the tools we’ve featured in this guide can be bought online via Amazon.com.
All you need to do is click on the in-text links to see full details on each product, read other buyers’ reviews and place your order.
A good quality de-shedding tool is vital for Australian Shepherd grooming when they’re shedding.
The go-to de-shedding tool for many Australian shepherd owners is the Furminator.
The Furminator De-shedding Tool for Dogs is a great choice.
It will remove almost 90 percent of your dog’s loose undercoat and dead hair. When ordering your Furminator, be sure to choose the long-hair version.
The Furminator has a self-cleaning button, so you don’t have to resort to pulling the hair out with your fingers.
Although they are great grooming tools for Australian Shepherds, they can be quite expensive.
The HappyDogz Pet Grooming Shedding Brush offers an alternative to the Furminator that’s a little easier on your wallet.
For regular daily grooming, you’ll need a slicker brush.
The Pet Portal Pro Quality Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is a pro-grade tool that’s perfect for getting rid of mats and tangles.
The slicker brush has a handy self-cleaning button too, so you won’t need to waste time to pull hair out of the brush every time you use it.
If you’re on a budget, the Pet Neat Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is an excellent alternative to the Pet Portal Pro.
A bristle brush is an essential item for your Australian Shepherd grooming kit.
The soft bristles are perfect for removing loose hair from the top of the coat after you’ve used the slicker brush.
The brushes we’ve reviewed have pins on one side and soft bristles on the other, giving you a dual-purpose tool.
The Safari Pin & Bristle Brush for Dogs is a very popular product.
The bristles move smoothly over the coat, giving your dog a gentle massage while distributing oils throughout the fur.
If you have a little more money to spend, you might like to treat your Australian Shepherd to the HaloVa Pet Comb, Professional Double Sided Pin & Bristle Bamboo Brush.
The HaloVa is a superior quality brush that does an outstanding job of keeping your Australian Shepherd’s coat in perfect condition.
The brush and the ergonomically designed handle are both made from responsibly sourced wood.
Undercoat rakes have evenly spaced metal teeth, often in two layers.
The teeth reach down into the dog’s coat, gently removing mats and tangles in preparation for the de-shedding tool or slicker brush.
Pat Your Pet
The Pat Your Pet Grooming Tool – 2 Sided Undercoat Rake for Cats & Dogs has a specially designed 2-in-1 head.
The Pat your Pet tool is well-made and sturdy, representing outstanding value for money.
The downside of this tool is that it’s only available in one small size, which can make grooming your Australian Shepherd a long job.
The PawsPamper Extra Wide Undercoat Rake is built specially for larger dogs.
The wooden handle has a full-tang, so you know it won’t work loose.
The tool is specifically designed for use on dogs with double coats, making it ideal for Australian Shepherds.
In the unlikely event that you aren’t happy with your purchase, the manufacturer promises a full refund.
If you want to tidy up your Australian Shepherd’s trousers, you’ll need a pair of thinning scissors.
The Equinox Professional Razor Edge Series scissors are a professional-grade tool that’s perfect for use on your dog.
Australian Shepherd Grooming Video
For a full overview and step-by-step guide about Australian Shepherd grooming, check out this informative video.
Australian Shepherd Haircuts
Some owners opt to shave their Australian Shepherd during the summer, thinking that this will keep him cool and reduce shedding.
You should never clip a double-coated dog.
Clipping won’t stop your dog from shedding; he will merely shed smaller hairs.
Shaving may also prevent your Australian Shepherd’s fur from growing back normally, removing the coat’s ability to insulate your pet from cold and heat.
Grooming Your Australian Shepherd
Regularly grooming your Australian Shepherd is very important for keeping his skin and coat in good condition, especially during heavy shedding periods.
You can bathe your dog if he’s particularly mucky, or use a waterless shampoo if you prefer.
Use a de-shedding tool or slicker brush to get rid of loose or dead undercoat, and finish off the job by brushing your dog with a soft bristle brush.
If you have an Australian Shepherd, we’d love to know how you groom him.
Tell us about your dog, and let us in on your grooming secrets in the comment box below.
References and Further Reading:
- “The Australian Shepherd,” The United States Australian Shepherd Association
- “Grooming,” Australian Shepherds Forever