Australian Shepherds are not light shedders, and they blow their coat a few times a year. If you have an Aussie, fur is in your future. Aussies will scatter traces of fur all over the house. However, you can get ahead of it. With good grooming practices and regular brushing, you can manage your Aussie's coat situation.
Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
Yes, Australian Shepherds definitely shed. Mini Australian Shepherds, formally recognized as American Shepherds, also shed. So, if you were considering getting the smaller version of this pooch, their coats are similar to the traditional Australian Shepherd.
The Australian Shepherd is not hypoallergenic, nor is the Mini Australian Shepherd.
When Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
Aussies are known to be heavy-shedding dogs with a coat that sheds moderately all year round. Shedding frequency can increase heavily during spring since they need to shed their thick and heavy winter coats to prepare for warmer weather.
They are also double-coated, so you can expect a healthy amount of year-round dog fur left in your home and on your clothes. Aussies start shedding at 4 to 6 months of age when they start losing their puppy coat to make for their two-layered coat. Once the puppies mature, they will shed heavily twice a year, along with minimal regular shedding.
Why Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
Australian Shepherds were bred to herd livestock regardless of the weather. To regulate their temperature, Aussies were developed with a double coat that provides insulation during the cold months and relief during the warmer months. The undercoat provides insulation to retain the Aussie's body heat. In summer, the undercoat thins and allows air the circulate while protecting their skin from exposure to the sun.
The overcoat protects the Australian Shepherd from the elements, including rain and snow. The overcoat acts like a rain jacket, while the undercoat acts as the warm lining inside. This portion of the coat sheds less, but don't be surprised if you find long fur through your house during shedding months.
Why is My Australian Shepherd Shedding More Than Normal?
If you notice that your Aussie is shedding more than usual, it could be due to several reasons. Here are a few possible causes of excessive shedding in Australian Shepherds:
- Allergies: Australian Shepherds can develop allergies to certain foods or environmental factors, including pollen, dust, or mold. Allergies can cause skin irritation, itching, and hair loss, resulting in excessive shedding.
- Poor diet: A poor diet deficient in essential nutrients can lead to dry and brittle hair, resulting in excessive shedding. Ensure that your Aussie is consuming a balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- Stress or anxiety: Stress and anxiety can cause your Aussie to shed more than usual. Causes of stress for dogs can include changes in their environment, loud noises, or separation anxiety.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes can cause excessive shedding in Australian Shepherds. For example, females may shed more during heat cycles or pregnancy.
- Health issues: Certain health issues, such as thyroid imbalances, infections, or parasites, can cause excessive shedding in Australian Shepherds.
Overall, it's normal for Aussies to shed moderately all year round, and seasonally they experience increased shedding. However, if you notice they're shedding significantly more than normal, it's essential to identify and address the underlying cause quickly.
It's important to visit your veterinarian if you notice your dog shedding at an alarming rate, especially if it's combined with poor skin health.
Grooming Your Shedding Dog
Grooming an Australian Shepherd is an essential part of keeping them healthy and happy. As a breed, Aussies have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it clean and free of tangles, mats, and debris. Grooming your Aussie regularly not only helps to keep them clean and healthy, but also strengthens your bond with them.
If you sweep your home on a regular basis and keep up with grooming, that will significantly reduce the amount of fur you're cleaning up. If you're looking for a dog that rarely sheds, this breed isn't for you. However, if you don't mind an explosion of fur from time to time, continue digging deeper into this breed to determine if you're ready to adopt an Aussie.