Last updated on September 23, 2022
The Australian Shepherd is a dog that will catch the eye of by-passers when the two of you go for a walk. With its lush coat, proud posture, and easy-going personality, this dog is a sight to behold. However, if you want your Aussie to look good, you will have to care for its luxurious fur. But, don’t worry; I got you covered. Here’s an article on how to groom an Australian Shepherd.
How to groom an Australian Shepherd
The Aussie is a handsome dog, and as such, it deserves to be well treated. Even though the Australian Shepherd has a long, magnificent coat, maintaining it is not that hard. Compared to some other breeds, keeping an Aussie clean and tangle-free is a fun, bonding experience that both of you will enjoy. First, however, you should follow some rules. Read on, as I will explain, step by step, how to groom an Australian Shepherd.
The Australian Shepherd sheds a lot throughout the entire year. However, there are two major shedding events: spring and autumn. The Aussie will shed excessively during these times, as its fur is renewing and preparing for the upcoming season.
It would be best to brush your Aussie’s coat at least once a week during regular shedding periods. Regular grooming will remove tangles, mats, dead hair, and dirt from your dog’s fur. It will also make space for new hair to grow.
When you’re brushing, follow the direction of the hair. Be gentle, especially in the first couple of attempts. You don’t want to scare the dog. If you run into a mat that you cannot break by brushing, you better cut it off. Using force will cause pain, and the dog might misbehave.
Brushing your Aussie should be done every day when the shedding seasons start. Doing this will help the dog feel better, but you will also deal with less hair on the furniture. If your dog sleeps outside, brush its hair more often, even during regular shedding.
The majestic fur of the Aussie also needs to be trimmed now and then. Be careful and gentle, as you will be holding scissors or an electric trimmer. Remember, safety first. You should cut the Aussie’s hair on the britches, feet, ears, legs, tail.
Trim the britches often, as they get filthy. Carefully and slowly cut the hairs and remove all dirt, but leave it long enough to cover the sensitive spots of the dog.
When trimming the feet, it is wise first to brush them with a brush. Then, using scissors, cut only the hairs that are longer than the rest. Be extra cautious when trimming the pads, as they are very gentle and soft.
The same rule applies to trimming your Australian Shepherd’s ears and tail, brushing first, cutting later. Cut off only the hair you deem excess and follow the natural direction of the hair. Once you finish trimming, gently clean the inner ear using cotton balls or a towel.
Trimming your Aussie’s legs is entirely optional. Some owners choose not to cut. If you’re one of these people, brush the area regularly. But if you, however, decide to trim the legs, be patient, do one leg at a time, and carefully cut sticking hairs. Brush between every few cuts and make breaks, as the Aussie might get upset.
Bathing your Aussie will probably be the hardest and the most fun part of the grooming experience. It would be best if you washed your pup once a month. Or when the dog gets dirty. However, bathing your Aussie too often will dry its skin and remove essential natural oils.
Brush your Aussie thoroughly before bathing. Brushing will remove excess hair and ease the entire process. Plus, there will be less mess to clean up. Then, using lukewarm water, soak the dog and wait a little bit. The inner coat needs to get wet too.
After soaking, you can start applying the shampoo.
Investing in a good dog shampoo is a great idea. Always look for soaps with natural ingredients that won’t cause allergic reactions. Use your hands to work the shampoo to the skin of the dog. However, never apply shampoo to the face of the dog. Once the dog has been cleaned, rinse it with water. Make sure all the shampoo has been removed from the coat.
Using a damp cloth, clean the head, the face, and the ears of the dog. This area is sensitive, so don’t apply any chemicals to it. Once the dog has been bathed, use towels to dry it. If your Aussie allows it, you can also use a hairdryer.
The essential tips for bathing an Aussie are being patient, not forcing the dog in the tub, and being gentle. If you scare the dog once, you will scare it forever. Luckily, Australian Shepherds like water, so they enjoy bathing.
The Australian Shepherd takes care of its nails by itself. This overly active breed wears off the nails by running and romping. However, if you hear the nails hit the floor, it is time to clip them. Check your Aussie’s nails once a month, and use a proper tool for this delicate job.
How to groom an Australian Shepherd -essential tools for grooming an Australian Shepherd
As every job requires tools, so does grooming. So, if you want to make your life easier, you should invest in some grooming equipment. Both your Aussie and your schedule will be grateful. Luckily, most of these tools are not expensive, and they do a fantastic job. So, here’s a list of essential tools for grooming an Aussie:
The first thing on your shopping list is the slicker brush. It is the most essential and, at the same time, the cheapest grooming tool you will need. As its name suggests, this brush is used to remove the dead hair and break mats from your Aussie’s outer coat.
Round tip grooming scissors
Grooming scissors are an essential tool you will need to keep your Aussie’s hair in order. Of course, you can use regular scissors, but I recommend buying specialized ones. They are sharper, heavy-duty, and most importantly, these scissors have a rounded tip. Thus, you won’t accidentally hurt yourself or your Australian Shepherd while trimming its magnificent coat.
The Australian Shepherd has a double coat. The inner layer is fluffy, dense, and serves as an insulator. The outer fur is harsh, long, and it waterproofs the dog. As the Aussie sheds a lot, you will need a tool to reach the inner coat and remove dead hair. The undercoat rake is designed especially for that purpose. It is a must-have tool for every Aussie owner.
Buying a pair of thinning shears will make your grooming job much more manageable. These shears are a combination of a comb and a scissor. The Australian Shepherd tends to get mats. If you don’t deal with the tangled hair immediately, you will have to shave your Aussie. Thinning shears are the perfect tool for breaking up those mats without cutting all of your Aussie’s coat.
You will also need heavy-duty nail clippers that are strong enough to cut through the sturdy nails of your Australian Shepherd. In reality, this is the tool that you won’t use as often as the others. However, owning canine nail clippers will undoubtedly help you and your Aussie.
Regular grooming is essential for both the looks and the well-being of your Australian Shepherd. Whether you live in a house with a yard or an apartment, grooming your pup is equally important. Brushing will keep its skin and fur healthy, full of natural oils, and tangle-free. Bathing your dog with proper shampoos will keep it clean of dirt, parasites, and dead skin. Nail trimming will eliminate potential pain, while clean ears will keep away infections. So, if you haven’t groomed your Aussie in a while, get up and get your brush.