Can You Shave Your Australian Sheperd

Can you shave your Australian Sheperd? I hope so because I did and I don't want anything to happen to him.

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Shaving your Aussie
by: Anne

There is controversy about it but I do. A lot of Aussie owners do, especially in this heat.
Don't worry you did not hurt him.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

by: Anonymous

We shave our Aussie. Well, not "shave" but use clippers on her. She has so much hair and sheds so bad in the house. Plus, we are in the south and it has been really hot this summer. Her coat grows back fairly quickly. She has had 3 "haircuts" this summer. I have read not to do this, but we are all happier with a short haircut! :)

I woudn't
by: Anonymous

I understand that some people do, but I wouldn't "shave" him/her. I would trim, and maybe get rid of the undercoat (which is actually what sheds) but to shave, especially in this heat, is really not recommended, because their coat protects them, and now they will be more susceptible to skin issues, and bug bites, and sun damage.

Try deshedding instead
by: Kathy

I recommend a good quality deshedding tool, like the Furminator. It will reduce shedding by about 90 percent, thinning the coat and making your Aussie look smooth and sleek while keeping the coat length. I wouldn't have believed it possible with my dog's thick fur, but she looked like she'd lost about 5 lbs after a single treatment!


Cutting their hair is ok
by: CookieFLL

I have clipped my dog's hair since she was 2 years old. We do it at least 4 times a year (South Florida is TOO hot!). The hair growth back normally all the time. We do it to control the shedding as well. We have tried Furminator and it does helps a little. The clipping down is the best solution. Just make sure it is done by someone that has experience. Using a HOT clipper over an area repeatedly may induce skin/hair damage.

The "Puppy Cut"
by: Anonymous

We have the groomers give our Aussie a "puppy cut" this is sheared short, but still enough length to provide a protective coat. They did take her down a little too short last time and she got a little razor rash. I would recommend being specific about the clipper guard to be used and going for a #7 or longer.

No shave....puppy cut
by: Anbacc

I agree that a puppy cut is appropriate. I think others misuse the word shave when describing cutting their Aussie short. Definitely do not shave your Aussie. They need some of that undercoat. I give my Aussie a puppy cut and he retains his undercoat. We are both happier. Some of that weight is taken off of him, so more mats and I'm happier that I don't have to clean up as much hair. His grows his coat back just fine. He is beautiful with a full coat but adorable with a short. We like both, just different times of the year. Do what is good for you and don't worry about what others say. :)

by: Worried

I feel sooo bad for even having this problem. I should have researched before I started. I have an Australian shepherd and have shaved her once maybe twice a year for at least 4 yrs. the last shave was in March and the poor thing looks horrible. It looks and feels like peach fuzz with a few sprigs of regular length hair thrown in. What have I done to her beautiful coat? Are there any products to help it grow back correctly? Or have I doomed her as an outcast?

Haircuts don't affect hair follicles and regrowth
by: Skysky

I have two Aussies that are house dogs so I prefer to keep their hair short. There was also a period of time where my blue Merle had an illness affecting his subcutaneous skin and large areas were shaved by the vet. Hair is dead once it leaves the follicle and cutting it does not affect the follicle or regrowth. I cut my dogs hair several times a year and it always grows back thick and full. I think (hope) that people are using the term "shave" incorrectly and are referring to a short summer or puppy cut as you should never "shave" any dog for other than medical reasons as they need some fur to protect their skin from the sun and from scrapes and abrasions while running around outside.
There are numerous breeds that have long hair if left to grow but many owners prefer short for low maintenance as well as for style just like humans. As long as you don't shave the dog and damage the skin, there's no reason the dog's coat would not grow back, although it might take longer than you expected. Health issues can contribute to a poor coat as well as poor diet. I found that diet was affecting my blue Merle's' coat given his illness and it's now it's smooth and silky again.

by: Anonymous

While shaving is not recommended! It is a controversial topic but these dogs are breed for Australia, that is why they are called Australian shepherds. By shaving your dog you are inhibiting their cooling system! An Aussie is breed to work an 18 hour day in the heat of the Australian outback! There hair help circulate the air to keep them cool buy shaving them down you have actually eliminated their cooling system and can actually increase their chance of over heating. Getting them a trim to eliminate what I call "butt fuzz" which is where they have over abundance of hair around the butt and if you find it hard to maintain that area getting it trimmed I recommended! Note a trim is different then a shave! Always give them a good deshedding! But it is hardly ever recommended to shave an Australian shepherd all the way down! Many people think they are helping their dog with the heat but once again your actually hurting your dog! I live in Kansas it can get up to 115 degrees here or hotter and I never shave my Aussie she gets a good desheding and trim. I brush her regularly to help and she loves to go horse back riding with me! She is very healthy and just fine in our heat! On days its really hot she stays indoors or we go swimming!

Melatonin for damaged aussie coat!!!
by: Anonymous

I absolutely cut my aussie's coat very short (1/8") several times during these hot florida summers. I cannot see his skin at this length (no sunburn), and his coat grows back extremely fast...and FULL. When speaking to my vets prior to cutting, they echoed my disbelief about not relieving a dog of heat by cutting his coat. And, where the heck, for those who claim the thick mass of hair keeps/circulates cool, do you think the cool comes from to circulate? The dog's body creates heat and the hair keeps that heat entrapped. Of course, they don't sweat, but circulating air near the skin helps to diminish heat when cut. When a dog has a heat stoke, the instructions AREN'T to wet/cool only around his mouth and feet where heat/"sweat" is lost....we cool their entire body, which includes their torso, to reduce heat!! Why do those of you no believers not get this! My dog is so happy to see the clippers come out and tolerates the heat much, much better. Melatonin for problems of regrowth-speak to your vet or research online. My dog hasn't had this issue.

Brush your Aussie or get a POODLE to shave
by: Breeder

Do NOT shave your Aussie!!!! Australian Shepherds are a double-coated breed whose dense undercoat varies according to the season. By shaving your dog you are inhibiting their built in cooling system! An Aussie is bred to work extremely long days in the heat of the Australian outback! Their underlying fur is structured to actually help circulate the air to keep them cool and shed the heat from penetrating their bodies. IF you think you are doing your dog a favor, think again! What you are doing by shaving them is actually eliminating their cooling system and increasing their chance of over heating. Yes, people do shave them BUT to me those people are not RESPONSIBLE dog owners by understanding the needs of the dog or they are just too darn lazy to brush their dogs and help with managing the undercoat as needed. If you want a shaved dog, get yourself a poodle. Aussie's are just way too beautiful to shave them. Geesh, people - BRUSH YOUR DOGS!

Aussie in Australia?
by: Jand2562

First off you can trim your Aussie. Don't shave to the skin but definitely trim em down.

Second to the person saying Aussies were bred in Australia and meant to work 18 hour days in the outback. Haha no way. Aussies should really be called American Shepherds and they have only been bred here in the States. And yes they are designed to work long days but trimming isn't bad. Australian Shepherd is a misnomer like American Indian. They aren't from India and Aussies are from Australia. #GetYourFactsStraight

Shaving aussies
by: Anonymous

First, to the person who stated Australian shepherds are used to the heat bc they are from Australia is incorrect.They were bred in California to guard Australian sheep. That being said many years ago I brought my Aussie to the groomer and he shaved the dog when I intended on a puppy cut. I was so upset, but the dog could not have been happier acting like a puppy running jumping and rolling in the grass. I always shaved my Aussies to between the length of a boxer and a german shepherd, mostly for the shedding. It takes hours to get rid of the undercoat and a short hair cut is fine. One time I took them to a commercial dog place and they shaved my dogs so short they had razor burns and everything horrible but I found a person who does a great job. Honestly they seem relieved to get rid of the extra hair. Their coats grow back fully in 5 months. I just would wait til the dog is over a year so your not shaving his puppy coat. Old English sheep dogs get shaved so should be ok for Aussies. I would shave before the heat of the summer so a bit grows back before the boarding sun so they don't get a sunburn.

A trim brings back life in an Aussie
by: Anonymous

Many people including some Vets will tell you not to trim an Ausste. They believe that the long coat actually helps keep them cool and some say their hair will not grow back the same as it was.
They are totally WRONG on both counts. Your Aussie will suffer in hot weather without a trim and his hair will grow back fine. My TRI hates to get her hair trimmed but after she is trimmed she returns to her bundle of energy and is MUCH MORE happy. We walk 3 to 5 miles a day in the woods and burrs and ticks are much less of an issue also. I should mention that one person above stated that Aussies are from Austraila and used to herd their in the high heat.
WRONG again. Actually A.S. are not from the outback at all.

Shaving an Aussie
by: Claudia

I am a veterinarian assistant and also groom cats and dogs from time to time. My best fried asked me to shave her dogs bc the hair was everywhere. I shaved trimmed both of her dogs (very short) size 10 Andis blade. It helped tremendously and within months, the hair was long again and beautiful. Hair grows from the follicle and not from the scalp. I live in Arizona and our heat is insane. The dogs were happier and more active after being groomed.

by: Anonymous

Calm down, Aussies are not from the US or Austrailia...they are from Spain! The Basque sheep herders brought them to Austrailia, then migrated to the US in the 1800s with their little blue dogs. The american indians refered to them as the "Ghost Eyed ones"

by: Anonymous

I shave my dog every 2 months. She is an ausi. Someone said they are bread for Australia. Nope, they have nothing to do with Australia. My ausi is a house dog. She loves to be shaved. She pants less when I take all of her hair off. I keep her out of the sun until a little hair grows back. She smells so much better with very little hair. I have a stinky ausi. Right out of the bath PU she smells. Not with short hair. I tried food change and even Apple cider vinegar. Still stank. Short hair, good smell. I don't know why there is any one saying not to SHAVE, it's your dog, you live with it, do what needs to be done. As long as the ausi is happy and healthy. Yes they look funny the first week of a shave but it grows back very fast. I also SHAVE my Palm. She is more energetic with short hair. Palm dogs act like pillows. They lay around and sleep all day. I shave mine and she keeps up with my ausi.

by: Anonymous

i have a aussie and he is an outside and inside dog and we live near the woods and he comes in the house with a ton of ticks. ive come to the point where i am tired of picking ticks off of him. i was wondering if giveing him a trim or shaving him would help with the tick issue and help us be able to see them better so they arent in there any longer then they have to be. its very hard to find them when his coat is so full.

Australian Shepherd skin rashes

My dog has always been groomed she is 2 1/2 yrs old now after a very short hair cut her hair is patchy and she keeps a terriblely dry skin with patchest of dry skin which is irratated. She should be outside instead of in? Help has had several test and vet visits.

Australian Shepherd origin
by: Anonymous

Just to state facts and not start anything. I have looked up in many resources the origin of the Australian Shepherd and they all state that our beloved Aussies originated in Western US in the late 1700s to early 1800s for herding. Part of the name come from the Australian Cattle Dog or Blue Heeler from which The Aussie gets a lot of their coloring and traits.

Also I like the idea of a Puppy Cut for the summer months. I walk my Aussie 3 times a day and this time of year the heat really affects her. I notice that the male Aussie generally have significantly thicker coat. I would think they would need a trim or shorter cut in the summer for comfort. Think if we wore heavy coats in the summer. I would want some relief.

Aussies Rule!

Aussie origins, haircoat differences
by: Anonymous

Aussies were not bred for the Australian outback. It's a breed that was developed in California in the early 1900s, probably based on Basque dog breeds. The Basques in California who developed the breed came by way of Australia, thus, perhaps, the name. I think using a "stripping" comb is a good alternative to cutting hair short and I prefer leaving guard hairs (silky outer coat) because as our dog gets older, his guard hairs come back more slowly. We live in a northern latitude. The advice to leave a protective layer of hair, when cutting it short, is good. Shaving to the skin is not good. I have noticed a difference between the light merle Aussie haircoats and the reds. Our red Aussie's undercoat is very rough, not attractive and less protective than the overcoat. The light merles tend to have a shinier undercoat, or perhaps simply less undercoat, so cutting their coat down makes more sense. Please correct me if this is inaccurate.

by: TManydogs

THANK YOU Jand2562 these people don't know the hertitage of Aussies. THEY ARE AN AMERICAN BREED!

The Undercoat
by: Anonymous

This link explains how to properly trim an Aussie. Aussie fur can be trimmed.

The concern isn't if the fur will grow back, Yes it will. It is if the UNDERCOAT gets damaged or affected. Doing so can actually cause MORE problems for the dog in the heat.

Regardless of where the dog came from, it is important to know that this breed DOES have an undercoat that helps keep them warm/cool but still can become overheated.

Owners need to understand this and be responsible enough to do research before trimming their aussie.

I would NOT recommend shaving, or cutting their hair short. Although the hair grows back, the undercoat that helps them may not.

Please understand this before grooming your dog.

Don't shave that beautiful aussie coat!
by: Anonymous

It does change the coat. And once it changes then it cannot be changed back. Maybe the hair follicles don't change as explained above but the hair is absolutely different when it comes back in. Just shave your aussies bottom first and wait for the hair to come back. When you see how it grows back, then decide if you really want to shave that beautiful coat. The end result is a fuzzy, wild, hard to brush, mess of a coat, that never returns to the original beautiful coat they once had. They are not to be shaved. They have an undercoat and an overcoat to keep warm and cool.

Biggest mistake I made with my Aussie girl!
by: Jessica

Last summer 2016 I took a trim to a new level! I screwed up bc she moved and then I said well it's so hot here in the Carolinas maybe it will good to just finish off the accident. Took my Dottie all the way down to a 1/2" (maybe shorter) and she was beautiful! So I thought until the next trip to pond to swim. She was so freaked out and kept jumping out of the lake and I thought honestly something was attacking her bc the other dogs were all fine. Then it finally came to me after 2 more trips to the lake that it was the shave. She was so oversensitive to everything. I felt so bad and promised her never again. Her hair grew back beautifully and we invested in the FURminator and I do trim her rear and belly and she's cool with that!!

Absolutely shave/trim your Aussie!
by: Anonymous

The answer to this question is obvious. My family has a large cattle farm, where Aussies are commonly used to herd cattle and other livestock. Of all the owners I've talked to, they religiously shave their Aussies during the summer. I cannot stress this enough. A good herding dog is an investment, and you don't want to risk that dog to heat stroke. This goes for family pets, too.
Speak up and correct people when they say that an Aussie's coat acts as "insulation" and keeps them cool. This is foolish logic. A dog is not a cold building. Dogs' bodies produce heat. Especially Aussies, which have a lot of drive and energy. During the summer, they're producing heat on the inside and absorbing heat on the outside. I always make a point to tell those people -- let's put a fur coat on you during the summer and see how you like it!

Puppy cut
by: LeighAnne

We have two Aussies. Our female we had first I asked the groomer to not "shave" her obviously but I guess it would be considered a puppy cut. It was so hot and she was miserable. She’s so much more comfortable sheds less. LOVES when her groomer comes!! Looks ADORABLE and ALWAYS within weeks grows back to her same ol gorgeous hairy Aussie self. I’d like to know how to do it myself. 110.00 every 6 weeks gets spendy. But I promise they look adorable. Feel so much better and grow right back! Quickly!

Yes gently have them clipped
by: Anonymous

I have had an Australian Shepherd since a pup. She is now 15 and in good shape. Take her hiking, swimming in the pool and daily 2 mile walks. She loves it when I get the clippers! Like a new pup. But be careful not to clip her to low! She is so much more active when I clip her. If you don't know how to take her to a pro. On a funny note. When people get in my pool she can't stand it if everyone is scattered around. We have to all get together before she quits running around trying to herd us.

please do not shave the coat
by: Anonymous

dog with a double-coated coat should never be shaved, dogs do not sweat therefore they regulate their body temp differently, they need both the undercoat (which they will naturally decrease in summer to allow air movement across their skin, this is what you see when they shed) and the topcoat which reflect sun helping keep body temp down, protects against UV light (without it they are prone to skin cancer and sunburn) and it protects from bug bites, thorn, water.

when you shave a double coat the topcoat will either not grow back or take a very very long time to do so, this is why it is the undercoat they shed this will grow back very fast which will actually leave them more at risk of overheating. with any double-coated breed, you are going to get a lot of shed however using a good de-shedder as often as possible especially in summer will help.

shaving will not stop shedding or reduce it as the undercoat will come back very quickly and that is what they shed.

when the coat grows back it'll either be very coarse, extremely thin, very fluffy or patchy, by shaving you are ruining the coat.

It’s fine
by: Anonymous

Has anyone considered that maybe Aussies have been bred to have an overly long coat? If left in nature dogs probably wouldn’t have an "overcoat" and "undercoat" for dealing with the Australian outback lol. No, Aussies have a long, dense coat because delusional dog breeders and competition guidelines have pushed them that way. I’m from central California and I have never seen a coyote with a long thick dense double coat. Dogs don’t sweat because they pant. If they needed a double coat then a crossbred would have a very difficult life.

Doesn’t like heat
by: Anonymous

Aussies are NOT from Australia, nor bred for heat. They were bred in the Pyrenees mountains of Spain by the Basque people for shepherds. That undercoat is for warmth and the outer coat is to repel rain and snow. They thrive in high altitudes with cooler weather, but the heat can affect them in warmer climates. We did not cut ours the first year (Mississippi Valley in the southeast corner of Missouri where summer temps stay in the 90s and humidity usually equal or higher than temps) and he laid around panting all season, not his normal exuberant self. We’ve gotten him a puppy cut every March and July since, and his behavior stays happy and energetic. It grows back out by fall and the cool wet winters.

Do not shave!
by: Aussie Breeder

Their coat is protection and a beautiful characteristic of the breed. People that shave their Aussies are just too lazy to comb and brush them.

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