If you’re thinking about making an Australian Cattle Dog your next pet, you’re in for a treat—these animals are loving and enjoy high-energy outdoor activities besides their owners.
But if you’re not a fan of vacuuming, you might be asking yourself, “Do Cattle Dogs shed?”
Australian Cattle Dogs shed a moderate amount due to having two layers of fur. However, they don’t require as much of a grooming commitment as other breeds, such as Poodles.
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A Background on the Australian Cattle Dog’s Coat
Australian Cattle Dogs, which also go by the name of Blue Heelers, have short fur. They have a thick, dense undercoat that sheds the most. A coarser and sparser layer of hair makes up their top coat.
The Australian Cattle Dog’s double coat keeps them warm in the cold and cool in the summer. It does this by trapping air in their fur, helping them regulate their skin temperature.
According to theclubs, Australian Cattle Dogs rank three out of five, with one being the “no shedding” category and five being the “hair everywhere” category.
But despite Australian Cattle Dogs being moderate shedders, many owners appreciate that they rank low on the grooming frequency scale. The clubs state these dogs only need monthly grooming, which is the most maintenance-free category.
Are Australian Cattle Dogs Seasonal Shedders?
You might be wondering—do Cattle Dogs shed according to the season?
Yes, they do.
Australian Cattle Dogs shed the most fur in the spring and fall. During the spring, they shed their coat and don’t regrow as much hair in preparation for the summer. In contrast, these dogs shed and grow a thicker undercoat in the fall to keep them warm through the winter.
It’s common to hear people referring to Australian Cattle Dogs as “blowing” their coats during seasonal shedding.
The good news is that this excessive shedding only happens for a couple of weeks twice per year. I recommend brushing your Australian Cattle Dog daily during seasonal shedding to help reduce (although it certainly won’t eliminate) the amount of fur that lands on your furniture and floor.
That’s not to say these dogs don’t shed at other times during the year—you can expect some fur around your home all the time. But it’s a much more manageable amount than during the blowing season in the spring and fall.
Do Australian Cattle Dogs Need Clippings?
Australian Cattle Dogs don’t need clippings like certain dog breeds.
In fact, you shouldn’t clip them; their double coat offers your dog protection from both the cold and heat. So, bringing your Australian Cattle Dog to the groomer for a clipping will throw off their natural fur equilibrium.
How To Groom an Australian Cattle Dog?
Even though you shouldn’t clip your Australian Cattle Dog’s fur, it’s vital to help their coat stay healthy by grooming them occasionally.
There aren’t a lot of tools you need to keep your Australian Cattle Dog’s coat in tip-top shape. Below are the essentials:
- Slicker brush
- Undercoat rake
Even though the AKC states that Australian Cattle Dogs only need grooming once per month, I find it helpful to brush these dogs once or twice per week. Doing so will help keep excessive amounts of fur off your floor.
But when you want to give your Australian Cattle Dog a more thorough grooming, you can follow the steps below.
Step 1: Bathing
The frequency you should bathe an Australian Cattle Dog depends on how often they get dirty. Ideally, you should aim to bathe them once every two to three months. Giving your dog a bath more often can strip essential oils from their skin, leading to dander, itchiness, and other issues.
I encourage you to choose a gentle, organic shampoo. Be sure to test the new shampoo on a small spot of your dog’s body to ensure they won’t have an allergic reaction.
Step 2: Slicker Brush
A slicker brush has long, metal bristles that can reach down to an Australian Cattle Dog’s undercoat. The result is that you can dig up more loose hair than a standard bristle brush.
Applying moderate pressure when grooming your dog with a slicker brush is best. Too little pressure won’t be as effective for pulling up hair; too much can injure their skin.
Should your Australian Cattle Dog be undergoing seasonal shedding, this is an excellent time to pull out an undercoat rake. These rakes will help to significantly reduce the amount of fur you find around your home.
Step 3: Comb for Final Touches
A standard comb can help smooth out your Australian Cattle Dog’s coat. It also helps capture small remaining pieces of fur from your deeper grooming so that they don’t end up on your couch.
Tips for Managing Shedding
Three things are certain in life—death, taxes, and your Australian Cattle Dog shedding. But you can manage your dog’s shedding by taking the following proactive steps below.
Feed High-quality Food
A diet rich in the nutrients your Australian Cattle Dog needs will equate to a healthier coat and less shedding. In addition to spending extra money on your dog’s regular food, consider adding a bit of extra virgin olive or coconut oil on their kibbles as well.
Doing so will increase the shine of their coat and improve the skin moisture and strength so that they shed less. You can also consider adding flaxseed or fish oil to your Australian Cattle Dog’s food, particularly if they suffer from itchy or inflamed skin.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to—and shouldn’t—bathe your Australian Cattle Dog often. But brushing them once per week or more with a slicker brush and comb is one of the most effective ways to manage their shedding.
I recommend brushing your Australian Cattle Dog outside so that you don’t have to pick up fly-away fur afterward.
Use Flea and Tick Medication
Fleas and ticks are common culprits causing fur loss in Australian Cattle Dogs. These infestations often appear in the form of clumps of hair falling from your dog, and they’ll itch those areas constantly.
In addition to keeping your dog on a regular flea and tick medication, using a dewormer for internal parasites is also vital. Certain internal parasites can cause hair loss.
Buy a Robot Vacuum
Owning an Australian Cattle Dog will generate more fur in your household. So, to reduce the amount of vacuuming you have to do, consider buying a robot vacuum.
These vacuums will peruse your rooms and hallways, picking up fur along the way. They’re not a perfect solution for getting every inch of Australian Cattle Dog fur off your floor, but they make your regular house cleanings significantly easier.
The Bottom Line
So, do Cattle Dogs shed?
Yes, Australian Cattle Dogs shed, but they do so in a moderate amount. Furthermore, they’re low-maintenance in terms of grooming needs, meaning you’ll spend less time caring for their coat than certain other dog breeds.
Many people, including myself, believe that Australian Cattle Dogs are well worth having despite their seasonal shedding. So, I wouldn’t let a little fur around your home stop you if you’re leaning towards owning this breed.