Australian Shepherds shed moderately due to their double coats, so keeping up with a grooming routine is crucial to avoid mats and tangles. Before we get started, we must mention that though a little trimming here and there in the right places is okay (more on this later), shaving is a very bad idea1.
This is because Aussies have a double coat for insulation purposes, so getting rid of what nature intended to be there can be very damaging—especially in winter and summer—as it tampers with your Aussie’s natural cooling and warming system. This, in turn, can result in sunburn, follicle damage, and the coat’s inability to grow back properly.
On the other hand, trimming long fur on the legs, paws, and stomach can be beneficial as this supports the cooling system. Additionally, trimming is sometimes necessary if the coat is matted or tangled.
If you’re planning on getting your Australian Shepherd trimmed, we highly recommend consulting a professional groomer. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in what professional groomers can do for your Aussie’s coat, check out these awesome grooming styles.
The 4 Awesome Australian Shepherd Haircuts
1. Feather Trim
Sometimes, an Australian Shepherd’s feathers—the hair that grows on the back of their legs and which gives them a “tufty” sort of look—can get a bit out of control. As we can see in this photo, the groomer lightly trimmed the feathers to give a neater, tidier look. The groomer has also clearly avoided cutting the hair too short or too close to the skin.
2. Light Trim
This young fellow/lady is evidently very happy with their new look—just look at that smile! The groomer has avoided cutting the fur on the back and has focused their attention on trimming the feathers, stomach, ears, and paw hair. The result is a soft, clean look while avoiding the damage that shaving and close clipping can cause.
3. Bath, Brush, & Trim
This photo shows the result of a bath, brush, comb, and trim on an Australian Shepherd by a groomer. As the groomer explains, this Aussie needed to be de-matted and combed down until the fur was completely mat and tangle-free, and they then proceeded to trim the areas that would get dirty due to frequent contact with the ground, like the legs, feathers, and paws.
The groomer focused on getting as natural and even an effect as possible, only trimming in the direction of the hair growth. This look is perfect for Australian Shepherds that spend a lot of time outside and older Australian Shepherds that may be struggling with bowel or bladder control, as it helps keep the coat—particularly the rear end—as clean as possible.
4. Teddy Bear Cut
The teddy bear cut is meant to achieve a soft, fuzzy effect. It’s one of the cutest, most youthful styles—the fur looks neat yet not too short and gives a somewhat “rounded” look.
Australian Shepherd Grooming Tips
Since this breed sheds moderately year-round and heavily during shedding seasons, grooming an Australian Shepherd takes a little elbow grease. Check out these tips if you’re new to parenting one of these delightful fuzzies.
So, we already pointed this out in the intro, but we’d like to reiterate that shaving an Australian Shepherd or clipping them too short can be incredibly damaging to their coat and that the argument that shaving keeps them cool in summer is inaccurate. Please never shave your Aussie unless a vet has given you the green light.
Consult the Pros
It’s always best to be on the safe side, so consult a professional and trustworthy groomer or your vet to find out more about suitable coat lengths and styles that would most benefit your Australian Shepherd.
Regular brushing and de-shedding when necessary is a great way to keep your Australian Shepherd’s coat looking sleek, healthy, and tangle-free. Equip yourself with a de-shedding tool like an undercoat rake and a slicker brush.
The general consensus is that brushing through your Australian Shepherd’s coat every 2 days to get rid of dead hairs and smooth things down is a good rule of thumb. This will help prevent coat problems down the line.
Give Cool Baths Now and Then
Dogs don’t need to be bathed as often as some people think. According to the Animal Humane Society, bathing healthy dogs once every 2–4 months is okay unless, of course, your Australian Shepherd has gotten dirty or stinky. This is because too much bathing can strip the coat of healthy oils and dry out the skin.
To recap, Australian Shepherds don’t require drastic haircuts to keep cool—their natural insulation system takes care of this for them. However, trimming the feathers and hair on the stomach, ears, and paws is definitely a good idea as this helps keep your Aussie clean and gives their insulation system a helping hand.
Featured Image Credit: Petra Heike Laicher, Pixabay