The lovely Australian Shepherd has a rather complicated history—descended from long-ago herding dogs found near the Pyrenees Mountains, transported to Australia to herd sheep in the open land, and then eventually ending up in California where they were adopted into the cowboy culture of rodeo performers.
Considered super smart and lovable, this popular breed is not a great fit for a couch potato, since they adore action and will likely try to herd anything they encounter. But they do make wonderful companions, so long as they’re socialized and trained early on.
And there’s that beautiful mottled coat in contrasting shades of blue or red. Framing kind, lovable eyes, their dazzling coif truly sets them apart in the canine kingdom…and also comes with a few special instructions to keep them looking fluffy (but not like an unkempt furball).
To help you get there, here are some Australian shepherd grooming tips unique to this breed.
Basic Grooming Advice
Keeping your Australian shepherd looking cute is all about tending to those tresses. They don’t need endless trips to the groomers, but they do need general upkeep on your part to prevent mats and keep them looking tidy.
- Brushing is the best thing you can do for your Aussie! This breeds sheds quite a bit, so it’s important to get those dead hairs out of there—plus it helps stimulate the skin. Many say a slicker brush paired with a long tooth undercoat rake is the best combination. Make sure you get all the way through the hair but don’t irritate your pup’s skin in the process.
- Do NOT shave this breed, as it messes up the delicate balance of the coat, which insulates them from heat and from cold by holding a layer of temperate air close to the body. The coat may never grow back the same if this breed is shaved. Plus, shaving your dog won’t stop them from shedding—they’ll just lose shorter hairs.
- Bathing your Australian shepherd about once a month is perfectly fine. You don’t want to go overboard with the bubbles, but a fresh-smelling pup is always a welcome treat.
Top Australian Shepherd Hairstyle
1. The Minimal Trim
Let that natural beauty shine through! Sure, you may need to do a lot of extra brushing to keep up with those flowing locks, but it’ll be worth it when you’re on the couch, all snuggled up next to that cozy coat.
You may want to purchase a nice pair of thinning shears to keep things slightly under control (our friends at Australian Shepherd Club of America recommend 42-46 teeth), since they’ll give a more natural look than you’d get with other trimming scissors.
Willing to put the time in weekly to keep their fur free from mats? Then this wonderful style just may work for your Aussie.
2. Teddy Cut
This is a sweet style that is still on the longer side, but softens the look with a slightly rounder shape. For this cut it’s recommended to use a size A snap-on comb (but it can vary based on what you want), and trim up the body, sides, belly and back of the head. You can trim the paws into a cat foot, and use curved shears to make the back of the rear legs a smooth, round shape.
Even cuter? Leave the backside a bit puffy, and clean up the hair around the face and ears to give it that trimmed, stuffed-animal inspired look.
3. Simba Style
When it comes to this look, it seems like the name says it all. Inspired by the glorious character from the Lion King, this hairstyle keeps the dog hair shorter around the body, leaving fur in the neck area fluffy and regal.
Though maybe not as common as some other styles, the Australian Shepherd’s incredible coat is a perfect match for these jungle-inspired locks.
However you decide to groom your Australian Shepherd, they’re going to look dignified, dapper and oh-so-sweet—and you’ll be happy once you find the right style that fits in with your family (and budget and free time).
Just remember to always pay attention to the cues that your dog is giving you, and if something is causing them stress, then it may be time to find a different approach/hairstyle/groomer/etc. We hope these hairstyle ideas and grooming tips have been useful for jazzing up your pup’s coif. Happy clipping!
Learn more about Australian Shepherds in this Rover YouTube video.