🦴 Updated on July 13th, 2023
I’ve always been a big fan of the Australian Shepherd dog breed. These dogs are intelligent, hard-working, and beautiful. Their high energy levels can make them a handful to take care of, but their innate loyalty to their owners makes the efforts well worth it.
But before I seriously considered adopting an Aussie, I had one critical question: Do Australian Shepherds shed?
The shedding levels of a particular dog breed can impact whether or not they’re the right kind of dog for you. Those with allergies might prefer a low-shedding breed, as may those who prefer a cleaner home.
Do Aussies Shed?
Australian Shepherds have thick, double-layer coats that do well to protect their skin from cold weather and water, which makes sense given the breed’s long history of outdoor work. While the double coat is helpful to them, it does mean they have a lot of fur, and they do shed.
But do Australian Shepherds shed a lot?
How Much Do Australian Shepherds Shed?
Let’s be honest, Aussie shedding is a problem, at least for most people. They are considered moderate- to high-shedders, which we can attribute to their long fur and thick double-coat. Not only do Aussies shed throughout the year, but they also go through seasons of high shedding.
During the spring, an Aussie will shed their undercoat. Hormonal changes cause them to adjust to things like light and temperature, allowing them to adjust their coat to stay cooler.
Aussies shed heavily again during the fall to make way for their winter undercoat, which keeps them warm throughout the frigid months.
An Aussie’s topcoat will shed year-round.
What Impacts Australian Shepherd Shedding Level?
Although Aussies are naturally higher-shedding dogs, other factors may impact the amount of fur that comes off them. The main effects come from grooming habits, diet, and seasonal changes. However, your Aussie may also suffer from skin issues, allergies, or stress.
Irregular or improper grooming can contribute to excessive shedding in your Aussie. Since Aussies have double coats and long fur, they require more consistent grooming than other short-haired breeds.
If you don’t regularly groom your Aussie, all of the loose fur gets trapped in their coat. The buildup eventually falls out around your home in more significant amounts. A lack of grooming can also lead to painful mats and tangles that tug at your pup’s skin.
An Australian Shepherd might experience more shedding than usual if they have a poor diet. Just like your body needs proper nutrients for healthy hair and skin, so does your canine’s body.
To maintain a healthy coat, dogs need consistent ratios of protein, fat, and carbs. It’s also vital for them to get vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
If your Aussie is shedding more than usual, it’s a good idea to check out their diet and see if anything is missing.
Any double-coated dog breed will experience seasonal shedding. As we mentioned above, Aussies have two coats: an undercoat and an overcoat. While the overcoat regularly sheds throughout the year, the undercoat sheds heavily during the spring and fall.
We don’t typically think of stress impacting a dog. After all, they don’t work, pay bills, or go to school, so what would they have to be stressed out about?
But the truth is that dogs are impacted by stress just as humans are. They simply show it differently. Many stressed dogs will display one or more of the following signs:
- Excessive licking
Most of the signs of stress in a dog are immediate, but one long-term symptom might be shedding. Shedding in dogs is known to increase when they’re in stressful situations. Your dog could be stressed for several reasons, such as changes to its environment, a new pet, separation anxiety, or new people.
Dogs are susceptible to all kinds of skin issues, from fleas and lice to allergies.
If a dog gets infested with ticks, fleas, lice, or parasites, it may show signs of increased shedding. Fungal infections and immune diseases can also contribute to hair loss.
Likewise, allergies can cause similar issues with excessive shedding. Your dog may be allergic to something in their food, but they can also have allergic reactions to things like pollen, medication, grass, cleaners, and more.
Any sign of a skin issue or allergy is a reason to talk to your vet and see what steps you need to take to relieve the irritant.
How To Manage Shedding in Aussies
Even if your Aussie doesn’t have an underlying condition such as allergies, stress, or a poor diet, it will still shed plenty of fur throughout your home. But shedding doesn’t have to be a nightmare. These tips can help you manage your Aussie’s shedding.
Consistent grooming is one of the best ways to keep your Australian Shepherd shedding under wraps. It will not eliminate the fur in your home, but it can help minimize it.
Dogs with longer, thicker coats like Aussies do well with slicker brushes, which can reach down to the undercoat and pull out loose fur. Shedding tools are particularly helpful during the spring and fall when your Aussie is shedding more.
By brushing your Aussie’s coat once or twice a week, you can remove loose fur rather than letting it fall out around your home. It will also keep their coat looking healthy and shiny. Be sure to brush both against and with the fur to attack the coat from all angles.
Along with consistent grooming for your dog, you can also practice regular cleaning around your home. Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule can keep the fur from piling up and becoming overwhelming.
Be sure to vacuum and mop floors at least once a week. It also helps to vacuum your furniture using a hose attachment. Dust hard surfaces consistently and wash all your sheets, blankets, and curtains once per week to eliminate dog hair.
Along with consistent grooming, your dog also needs proper bathing. Most dogs only need a bath once per month, but your dog’s activity level and environment may call for more frequent bathing.
Regular bathing will help remove loose fur and clear away dirt and grime to make way for your dog’s natural oils, which are essential for their skin and coat.
Make sure that you’re using a safe, all-natural dog shampoo that won’t strip your dog’s skin of these oils. A low-quality shampoo can lead to dry, itchy skin and excessive shedding. Aim for shampoos with naturally soothing and hydrating ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, and coconut.
A quality diet doesn’t just include nutritious food. It also includes popper hydration. Your dog should always have access to clean, fresh water so it can stay hydrated throughout the day.
Dehydration can lead to excessive shedding, so they must drink enough water to keep them healthy and hydrated.
If there’s one secret all pet owners should be in on, it’s the beauty of a robot vacuum. Some dogs shed so much that even vacuuming and mopping once per week isn’t enough. Rather than doing manual labor yourself everyday, try investing in a robot vacuum.
Robot vacuums run on schedules that you can customize. The vacuum will automatically move throughout your home at your specified time and suck up all the dog hair on the floor. All you have to do is empty the canister.
If you don’t have time to clean up your Aussie’s constant shedding, one of these little machines can be super helpful.
Talk to Your Vet
If it feels like you’ve tried every tip and trick in the book to manage your Aussie’s shedding, it might be time to talk to your vet. Shedding can be a smaller symptom of a more significant underlying health issue, so speaking to a professional can help you nail down the problem.
Let your vet know about any changes you’ve made to your dog’s routine, diet, or lifestyle as well as the things you’ve tried to manage their shedding. Your vet will know what approach to take from there.
Are There Any Non-Shedding Breeds?
Technically speaking, there’s no such thing as a dog that never sheds. All dogs lose fur – just like all people shed hair from their heads. That is, unless you choose a hairless dog breed, of course.
However, there are dog breeds that are considered low-shedding, which means that they lose considerably less fur than high-shedding breeds like Australian Shepherds. These dogs are also often referred to as hypoallergenic, even though no dog is completely free of allergens either.
Here are a few popular low-shedding dog breeds for you to consider:
- Giant Schnauzer
- Afghan Hound
- Chinese Crested
- Bichon Frise
- Irish Water Spaniel
- American Hairless Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Scottish Terrier
These are just a few low-shedding dogs. It’s good to keep in mind that although many are low-shedding, several of them still have high-maintenance coats with long or curly hair that require plenty of upkeep.
Are Non-Shedding Breeds Hypoallergenic
Some low-shedding dogs are also categorized as hypoallergenic. It’s crucial to recognize that no dog is allergen-free. Dog allergies are triggered mainly by dander and saliva – both of which travel farther through shedding fur.
Low-shedding dogs can minimize the spread of allergens, but they won’t stop it completely. That being said, if someone with dog allergies wants a furry friend, their best option will be a low-shedding breed.
So, How Bad do Australian Shepherds Shed?
As we have explained, any Australian Shepherd sheds a lot. Before you invest in a family pet like an Australian Shepherd, it’s crucial to do your research on proper care for them. It’s a good idea to read up on the specific breed to understand whether it’s the right dog for you or not.
Caring for an Aussie means being prepared to handle frequent grooming, bathing, exercise, and diet management. If you’re not willing to deal with a high-shedding dog, then an Aussie might not be the right choice for you.
Use this guide to help you decide if you should adopt an Aussie today. They make excellent pets, but they are high-shedding breeds that require plenty of care and attention.