My Aussie Has A Thin Coat

by Andrea
(Austin, Texas)

Hello! I have a 4 year old red tri Australian Shepherd. She was spayed at about 7 months old, before first heat. She was very fluffy and Aussie looking as a pup, but through maturity her "full" coat never grew in. I know she is purebred, as I received papers from the breeder, but as a companion dog, I never registered her.

Her coat is soft and wavy, but not thick or full bodied. She has never displayed any symptoms of skin disorders. She is extremely agile and leaps like a gazelle and flips in the air for tennis balls. She displays very strong herding instincts, and what I'm getting at is that she otherwise seems like a normal Aussie. Admittedly, she is also longer than most Aussies I have seen and more lanky, rather than stocky; very lean.

What could be the reason for her the reason for the shorter, thinner coat?

Comments for My Aussie Has A Thin Coat

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by: Anonymous

From what I know and understand of Aussies. Some Aussies have long, thick fur, some have short thick fur, some are wavey and some are thinner. My Aussie had a really thick fluffy long coat before she had her first heat. Now her coat is shorter but thick.
Your Aussie is beautiful.

Mine too!
by: Anonymous

My 8 year olds (blue merle) coat is sooo thick! Like a sheep! But my 10 month old is thin. Long & straight but thin. I keep thinking she will thicken up w age but i havent seen any change yet. Although her coat works well at repelling water & def keeps her warm enough being a black tri. My first aussie was a red merle & his coat was also thick. I also was starting to wonder if she was mixed but i trust the breeder.

by: Anonymous

Your Aussie looks like ours... he has very thin hair and is beyond healthy. Like any genetic makeup... not all Aussies are the same. Enjoy your pup.

by: christina

My man was desexed at 5 months , his coat is very very thick , wavy, and Long. The coat of an aussie can vary from breeder to breeder, what do his parents/ grandparent coats look like.....we play with many aussies and all bred by same or different breeders and all the coats vary in length and thickness. Desexing has no effect on a dogs coat.....desexing a male dog in the early months like we did, means that our boys will be most likely a bit taller as a adult dog as the sex hormone they produce goes into the growing of their don't stress he looks great.

by: jcrply

Aussies from herding lines tend to have thinner coats than Aussies from show lines.

Here's a website that describes the differences.

by: Anonymous

Thanks all! I just haven't ever met an aussie with her coat type and was worried I was doing something wrong. She's not too skinny though and her coat is super soft, so not worried about malnutrition. I get the less fur, the higher she can jump! And she sure loves doing back flips for a frisbee. :D

Tori red coat
by: Jenifer

We have a 6 year tri black with a fluffy coat. Our 3 year tri red has a very straight light coat. Do you think that is characteristic of the tri red? Ours is healthy other than a weak stomach.

Mine too!
by: mary_ph

Thank you for posting this!

I also have a 19mo male Aussie with the same coat and body style. I've been running with him (after vet gave the OK) and I wondered if that might have had something to do with it. He is healthy and active otherwise. He's had his regular check ups with his vet and there aren't any indications that there is something wrong, so I'm going to consider myself lucky that I don't have to groom the bushy coat.

Out of curiosity, how much does she weigh?

It's normal, mine came from a show breeder and has a thin coat
by: Rachel

Totally normal. My Aussie came from a show breeder who is a big breeder of show dogs and her dogs win lots of titles and some in the litters have the thick coats and some thin. I prefer the thin actually, so much less shedding!

Reply Mary_ph
by: Anonymous

Same! Vet has always said nothing is wrong but a lot of fellow aussie owners in austin tilt their head and says a mix, which isn't true.

She last weighed in at 39 lbs.

we are not alone!!
by: Lynn's Human

It is wonderful to see that i am not the only one receiving tilted heads, =) my 17 month old aussie looks exactly like yours! short haired. i used to hope it would grow to look like the "normal aussies" but i am happy if she is healthy and that is all that matters. will see what happens this summer after neutering her.

by: Anonymous

I would imagine the thickness of the coat could differ in different climates, as well. I live in the Colorado mountains, it’s even cold in summer. My elderly Aussie boy never fully shed his undercoat. I’ve got a new fella - 14 week old furball. He seems to be all undercoat, a microfiber plush toy, like sheared beaver! Your pup is beautiful, I would not worry.

Red tri/short choppy coat
by: Anonymous

We purchased a female red tri, and her coat is short and uneven (choppy). I have had Aussies for 20 years and never had one with this type of coat. I too thinks some red Tris end up with this type of coat because I've seen three like this.

Working dogs
by: Anonymous

I don’t know how old this post is... But someone once told me that usually Aussies that come from a line of working dogs, tend to have thinner coats.

Thin Coat Red Tri Aussies
by: Anonymous

I have an 8-year-old red tri female. She has a fine, soft single coat. Very healthy. Very active. She has a strong herding instinct. Great runner, very agile. And she’s beautiful. No better dog!

by: Anonymous

My 14 month Miniature Australian Shepard is the same way. He has his mother’s coat. The breeder I got him from actually lives out in a farm with 4 generations of Mini Aussies. Not show dogs but herding dogs. His mother has a flat coat and his fathers is fluffy. He is a red merle and I always worried that his coat might not be healthy because it was so flat and made him look soooo much thinner than he is. But nope he came out with a perfect bill of health and weighs 18.6 lbs. Maybe it come with age? Or could just be genetics. She’s beautiful nonetheless. :)

Working Coat vs Show Coat
by: Life.With.Aussies

People tend not to realize that there are 2 types of Australian Shepherd coats. The Working Coat is what it seems like your lovely Aussies has, and a Show Coat. Which is typically a lot fluffier and the "typical" coat when you think of an Aussies.

Also, Working Coat Aussies tend to me leaner, longer and/or taller while Show Coat Aussies tend to be the "classic" stocky look.

I have two Aussies from the same breeder and one is a working coat and one is a show coat. This is because just like people in the same family can look different so can dogs!

Healthy dog
by: Anonymous

Your Aussie is fine. There are 2 different types of Aussie coats. First there is the longer, fluffy coat you were expecting. This is associated with AKC conformation show line Aussies. The second is the shorter, thinner coat your Aussie (and mine) have. This is associated with working line Aussies (herding, agility bred dogs). Both are fine and perfectly healthy.

Working dogs
by: Aussie mom

A thinner coat means they come from working/herding lines. A fluffy coat means show lines. I find the thinner coats to be more "breed standard" IMO. Way more functional for an active dog.

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