How To Groom An Australian Shepherd

Despite what the dog breed’s name may imply, the Australian Shepherd was actually originally bred in California, making this an American, not Australian, dog breed. The Australian Shepherd is often associated with ranch life, but that is not the case with all dogs of this breed. Cowboy or not, here is the process of how to groom an Australian Shepherd so that you can get your dog looking good and healthy.

How To Groom An Australian Shepherd

1. Brush Your Australian Shepherd

(Photo courtesy of Trickdog-Fina via Wikimedia)

As is the case with numerous other dog breeds such as the German Shepherd, the Australian Shepherd is a hair shedding dog breed. That means that the dog’s hair will eventually end up on your floor.

So, it makes sense for you to clean out any and all dead hair from your Australian Shepherd’s coating by brushing it out. That way, you don’t have to worry about mowing up your floor full of fallen dog hair.

Brushing your Australian Shepherd’s coating will also help to keep the dog’s skin healthy by getting rid of the mats which can cause skin pain for your dog if allowed to gather on the coating.

In addition to cleaning out the dead hair and mats, brushing your Australian Shepherd will help to spread his/her natural oils throughout the coating in order to keep the hair soft and silky.

Considering that your Australian Shepherd has a double coating, a slicker brush is going to be your best friend. More specifically, you will want a slicker brush that will be able to penetrate your dog’s coating without scratching his/her skin when you’re brushing.

With that in mind, you will want the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. This purple-colored slicker brush comes with a self-cleaning feature so that you don’t have to waste a ton of time trying to rid your brush of mats and dead hair.

With the slicker brush in hand, proceed to brush your Australian Shepherd’s body including the head, back, sides, belly, legs, paws, and tail parts. You will want to brush your Australian Shepherd’s coating in the direction of hair growth in order to have best results.

Also, the undercoat of your Australian Shepherd can vary in its thickness. So, certain areas may require more brushing effort than others.

So, I would suggest that you run your hand through your dog’s coating in order to get a better sense of which areas need more brushing.

During normal times, you can brush your Australian Shepherd once a week. But, during the autumn and spring when your Australian Shepherd shed the heaviest, you will need to increase the frequency of brushing.

2. Brush Your Australian Shepherd’s Teeth

You will need to brush your Australian Shepherd’s teeth regularly – once every 24 to 48 hours. If you don’t do that, the tarter will gather on your dog’s teeth which can result in tooth decay.

Your Australian Shepherd isn’t alone in needing to have his/her tooth regularly brushed, all dogs from all dog breeds need to have this done. You will want the Virbac toothpaste as that is what veterinarians often recommend for use on a dog’s teeth.

3. Bathe Your Australian Shepherd

(Photo courtesy of JoDi via Wikimedia)

Your Australian Shepherd normally only needs to be bathed once per month. Before you start bathing your Australian Shepherd though, let’s make sure that you have a good shampoo that you can apply on your dog.

Your Australian Shepherd has sensitive skin. So, any shampoo that you get will need to account for that. You will want the Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo as many veterinarians have been known to recommend it as one of the best for Australian Shepherds.

This dog shampoo does a great job of combating rashes and skin irritation which Australian Shepherds are known to have. This is done with Oatmeal and organic Aloe vera.

The dog shampoo also contain a balanced pH level that will help to thoroughly clean your Australian Shepherd’s coating and get the dog to smell good. Once you have the shampoo, you can get started with the bathing.

You can take your Australian Shepherd into your bathtub. Fill a cup with warm, but not hot, water and then pour it onto the dog in order to get him/her all wet in preparation for the shampoo.

Now, use your hands to thoroughly apply the shampoo onto your Australian Shepherd’s coating with a massage. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally put the shampoo inside your dog’s eyes.

With the shampoo thoroughly applied, rinse your dog with water and run your hand through his/her coating to make sure that the shampoo is all gone. Proceed to dry your Australian Shepherd with a towel in a gentle manner.

Then use a blow dryer set to a medium heat level to finish drying out the dog’s coating. Be careful that you don’t blow dry too close to your dog. Keep it at a reasonable distance.

Once your Australian Shepherd is all dry, brush the dog’s coating. Doing this after the bath is finished will help to prevent your dog’s hair from getting tangled up.

4. Only Trim Certain Areas Of Your Australian Shepherd

There is a misconception out there that if you trim your Australian Shepherd’s hair that it will help to keep the dog cool during the summer. That is not true at all. In fact, the exact opposite will happen.

As I noted earlier in this post, your Australian Shepherd sheds hair with the heaviest happening during the autumn and spring in preparation for the winter and summer respectively. So, trimming your Australian Shepherd’s hair isn’t a good idea.

Even so, there are a few certain area of your Australian Shepherd where you will want to do a light trim – the ears, paws, and the end of the tail. Only use a pair of thinning shears to work on those areas.

Be careful not to point the thinning shears at any of those body parts as you don’t want to accidentally cut any of it. Turn the thinning shear about ninety degrees away from the body parts. You can use your slicker brush to bring the hair out if you need to.

5. Clean Out And Clip Your Australian Shepherd’s Ears And Nails Respectively

It is important that you keep an eye on your Australian Shepherd’s ears and nails. The ears can get all waxed up. So, cleaning your Australian Shepherd’s ears of all those waxes will minimize the risk of ear infection for the dog.

When it comes to ear cleaners, veterinarians often recommend that dog owners get the Virbac ear cleaner. So, that is the one that you will want to get for cleaning your Australian Shepherd’s ears.

Now, apply the ear cleaner onto the cotton balls and use them to clean out the visible parts of your Australian Shepherd’s ears. You will also need to clip your Australian Shepherd’s nails if they are too long.

If you leave the nails too long without clipping them, there will come a time when that will cause pain for your dog’s paws. So, let’s be proactive and clip the nails before that happens.

You can use a nail clipper like Millers Forge Nail Clip to clip your dog’s nails. Be careful that you don’t accidentally cut the quick part of your dog’s nails as that can easily cause bleeding.

There It Is For How To Groom An Australian Shepherd

So, there you have it. This is how to groom an Australian Shepherd. If you are struggling to get your Australian Shepherd to cooperate during grooming, I would encourage you to read this post to find out some of the things that you can do to get your dog’s cooperation.

What are your thoughts? Do you own an Australian Shepherd that needs to be groomed? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Groom An Australian Shepherd”

  1. You just made my day! I can never figure out how to groom our shepard and she is always suffering for it. This article is very informative and explained it in a way that is simple and step by step. When weather permits, I will take these pointers and use them on my own pup and get back to you with results 🙂 Thanks for the great info!

    • Oh, I am so glad that I made your day with this post. I am sorry that you weren’t able to figure out how to groom your Australian Shepherd. Now that you are armed with this post, I hope that you will get a chance to go back and groom your Australian Shepherd soon.

  2. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips for grooming an Australian shepherd. Their unique coat makes it challenging to effectively keep the coat looking shiny and healthy unless you know which tools to get for their “double coat”. I’m surprised to hear that mineral oil is an effective way to keep the ears clear — that seems like it’s pretty harsh to get near the face. Is this a common cleaning agent for all pets with ear wax buildup?

    • You are welcome. I am glad that you have found these tips to be helpful for grooming an Australian Shepherd. Yes, you are right, it can be challenging to handle a double coated dog without the right tools which is why I recommend using a slicker brush in order to make the job easier.

      As for using mineral oil to clean out the dog’s ears, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will double check about this and will be sure to update this post if there is a better product that I can recommend for cleaning a dog’s ears.


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