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How to groom an Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds have a strikingly beautiful double coat that needs regular grooming. Complete guide to Australian Shepherd grooming that includes coat care, bathing an Aussie, clipping the dog's coat and dental care. Whether you are grooming a Miniature Australian Shepherd or a Standard size Australian Shepherd, the procedure is very similar with the only difference being the dog's size. Of course, grooming a Mini Australian Shepherd may take you slightly less time than the larger type. Also the smaller Toy Australian Shepherds or Miniature Australian Shepherds are easier to groom indoors because the more convenient size allows to easily bathe the dog indoors. A larger Australian Shepherd is easier to groom outdoors if you have access to warm water that you can use to bathe the dog.

Australian Shepherd grooming

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Australian Shepherd grooming

Grooming an Australian Shepherd

Regardless of the type of the Australian Shepherd you own, grooming needs of Standard Australian Shepherd are similar to those of Miniature and Toy Aussie varieties. Grooming the dog's coat frequently helps to keep the coat beautiful and to minimize the amount of shedded pet hair around your home that can accumulate on the floors and on furniture. Video tutorial with detailed information on how to groom an Australian Shepherd from a professional Australian Shepherd groomer.

Australian Shepherd grooming tools
Basic Australian Shepherd grooming starts with brushing the dog's coat and removing the shedded undercoat hair with an undercoat rake. A lot of dog's hair will be coming out with each brush stroke and you want to be outdoors as you are brushing your Aussie because there will be a lot of dog's hair around. Aussie's hair needs to be brushed following the direction of hair growth, from the neck down the back and around each leg as well as chest of the dog. Once the dog's coat is thoroughly brushed with an undercoat rake, mats and tangles can be removed from behind the dog's ears using a greyhound brush and scissors if necessary. All the coat should now be smooth and tangle free. It's time for bathing an Australian Shepherd.

As you can see, grooming an Australian Shepherd is possible with the right grooming tools. Undercoat rake is a must for every Australian Shepherd owner, regardless of the size of the Aussie that you own. This breed features a massive undercoat that produces a generous amount of shedding and an undercoat rake can take care of removing the shedded part of the hair, thus allowing the dog's skin breathe and stay healthy.

Grooming your pet also includes keeping the dog clean. Bathing an Australian Shepherd is easier outdoors. You need to have access to warm water (outside hot and cold water hook up) and a booster dog bath. Place the dog in the bath, wet the coat and start applying the dog shampoo. Use bright white dog shampoo on all white areas such as the dog's chest and legs. Use a regular dog shampoo on the rest of the dog's coat. After shampooing the dog, wait a couple of minutes and thoroughly remove all the shampoo with warm water. Now it's time to apply a dog coat conditioner on the dog's coat. Be sure to wash off all of the conditioner from the dog's coat and use a large towel to dry the dog's coat. Be sure to wipe Australian Shepherd's ears to prevent ear infections that may occur if excess moisture is left in the ears. Use blow drier for dogs to dry the coat.

Wait until the Australian Shepherd's coat is completely dry before continuing with trimming the dog's hair. Now is a good time to trim your pet's toe nails. After trimming the dog's nails, we can start with trimming the dog's coat. As you will notice in the Australian Shepherd grooming video tutorial, the first area that gets trimmed is the tail area. Thoroughly brush the dog's coat using a pin brush. Carefully lift the dog's tail (many Australian Shepherds have a naturally bobbed tail). Using thinning shears start trimming the area around the tail. Slowly and carefully trim the hair around the dog's tail at an angle to create a nice and neat appearance.

After the tail area is done, use a slicker brush to lift up the hair on Aussie's hind legs. This way you can see the direction of hair growth and will be able to carefully trim the hair using grooming scissors. Next step is to trim the dog's feet. Your goal is to create a round paw appearance around the base of the foot using shears.

Australian Shepherds have a lot of hair around their tail and hind legs. Here's a detailed tutorial on how to properly groom Australian Shepherd's hocks, tail area and britches.

After finishing with grooming Australian Shepherd's hocks, tail and britches, it's time to move to the dog's top line where there's often an excess hair that needs to be trimmed to give the dog's back a neat appearance. Thinning shears and greyhound comb help to get the job done. As you are trimming the dog's back area, only close the thinning shears half way. After thinning the hair on the dog's back, trim the coat at an angle to achieve a smooth transition from the back towards the hind legs. See video demonstration of how to properly groom Australian Shepherd's top line.

Trimming the hair around Australian Shepherd ears should be done very carefully with shear scissors. Brush the hair around the ears and remove any tangles. Carefully and slowly trim excess hair from the ear area. Watch the tutorial video first to see how to properly shape the cut around Australian Shepherd's ears. Remove a little bit of the fuzzy hair from the top of the ear. Do not trim too much hair from this area, only the excess hair should be removed with shears. Be extremely careful not to accidentally cut the dog's sensitive ears with shears or scissors.

Dental care is a part of grooming an Australian Shepherd and needs to be done regularly. Should I brush my Australian Shepherd's teeth every day? Many owners wonder whether brushing the dog's teeth help to keep them healthy. According to studies, most dogs develop dental problems by the time they are two years of age. Owners of Australian Shepherds can help prevent many dental problems by starting to care for the dog's teeth early, while the dog is still a puppy. Even if you have an older dog, regular brushing helps to keep your pet's teeth, heart and other vital organs healthy. The plaque that forms on a dog's teeth needs to be removed daily to prevent the layer of bacteria from hardening and turning into a hard, yellow tartar that eventually surrounds and causes damage to your pet's teeth. This bacteria can affect your pet's overall health because as the dog is eating his or her food, some of the bacteria can enter your pet's system with the food and cause all kinds of health issues as well as bad breath. Always use a canine toothpaste because it is safe for the dog to swallow. Human toothpaste is not safe for your pet. Dental sprays for dogs are becoming more and more popular and can be easy to use.

Australian Shepherd shedding

Potential owners of Australian Shepherds often wonder how much do Australian Shepherds shed and whether grooming this breed is very time consuming. Aussies feature a medium length double coat that produces a significant amount of shedding, especially during fall and spring. Most owners of Aussies report that Australian Shepherds shed a lot with the most shedding happening during spring season. Males tend to have a more abundant coat and as a result males tend to produce more shedding than do females.

How to manage Australian Shepherd shedding. Investing in a pet friendly vacuum cleaner makes removing the dog's hair from all surfaces much easier, especially if you have any areas that are carpeted. Rugs and carpet trap the dog's shedded hair and in comparison to wooden or hard floor surfaces are more time consuming to keep clean.

Besides using a vacuum clean during the heavy shedding time, brushing an Australian Shepherd with an undercoat rake and using a Furminator deshedding tool can really help in removing most of the dead hair from Aussie's coat. The key to successful shedding management is brushing an Australian Shepherd regularly, every day if you have time or a few times per week especially during the heavy shedding periods that usually occur during the spring and in the fall. Brushing an Australian Shepherd indoors can create a big mess full of dog's hair and the clean up after you're done can take up extra time. The easiest way to groom your pet is to take your Australian Shepherd outdoors where you can comfortably brush your dog and not worry about the cloud of dog's hair that you will notice around as you are brushing your furry friend. Start training your Australian Shepherd to accept brushing early, when the dog is still young. Have some treats available and reward your Australian Shepherd for sitting still while gently brushing the dog's coat. Many Australian Shepherds learn to enjoy grooming sessions, especially if there are some healthy treats offered in the process. Remember to brush the areas around the Aussie's ears and around each leg as mats tend to develop in these areas.

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