You may have been attracted to their deep blue eyes or perhaps their exciting and multi-colored coat. Or, perhaps you just like their medium size that is packed full of energy.
Whatever the case may be, Australian Shepherds are adorable dogs with big personalities. Australian Shepherds may not be the best dog for allergy sufferers despite being amazing pets unless you’re willing to dedicate time and energy to grooming and cleaning your home.
An Australian Shepherd is not considered a hypoallergenic dog due to their intense shedding, especially twice per year as their coat changes. Unlike commonly thought of hypoallergenic dogs like the Maltese, an Australian Shepherd has a thick double coat, producing much more hair and dander throughout your home. If you suffer from allergies, an Australian Shepherd is not the right dog for you.
However, compared to dogs with extremely thick and wooly coats, the Australian Shepherd’s shedding may be managed for people with light pet allergies.
With regular brushing and bathing, along with routine cleaning throughout the home, it may be possible to minimize shedding and potential allergens floating through your living space. Be sure to invest in a powerful vacuum and sound air filtration system if you suffer from allergies and are considering an Australian Shepherd for your pet.
- Do Australian Shepherds Shed A Lot?
- How Can I Prevent Excessive Shedding?
- Is There A Way To Limit Fur Accumulation In My Home?
- What Medium Size Dogs Are A Good Option For Allergy Sufferers?
- Related Questions
Do Australian Shepherds Shed A Lot?
Part of what makes Australian Shepherds so beautiful is their uniquely patterned coat. The fur on an Australian Shepherd is actually extra thick because they have a double coat.
The top exterior fur is dense, intended to repel rain and snow, while the undercoat is soft and downy, intended to keep the dog well insulated. While a double coat is beautiful, unfortunately, the Australian Shepherd is prone to shedding.
Normal shedding is to be expected throughout the year, but expect an intense shedding season twice per year, usually as the seasons change. Australian Shepherd owners usually report particularly heavy shedding during the winter and the summer, as the dog replaces the last season’s coat with new fur.
While shedding can feel extreme at times, it is manageable with regular brushing and routine bathing to help catch and remove loose hairs before they have a chance to trigger allergies.
Do Australian Shepherds Have Intensive Grooming Requirements?
To help keep your Australian Shepherd looking great, you’ll want to bathe your dog about once per month. Bathing your dog more often will strip too much of the necessary oil from their fur, actually causing your dog to shed more.
Washing your dog with oatmeal shampoo can help keep your pet’s skin healthy while pulling out the dead and loose fur. You can also try using an anti-shed shampoo, as long as the formula is made with all-natural ingredients to keep your pet safe.
Be sure to brush your Australian Shepherd about three times per week. You’ll want to make sure you brush your dog outdoors to prevent hair from collecting inside the home. Use the correct type of brush, like a pin brush, to fully penetrate both layers of fur, removing dead and loose hairs.
To help with the heavy shedding seasons, use a deshedder brush. This type of brush will pull out the built-up dead fur before it has a chance to collect in your home, causing your pet allergies to worsen.
How Can I Prevent Excessive Shedding?
Although the Australian Shepherd has a thick double coat, keeping up with your dog’s shedding with the right preventative measures and proper cleaning is possible.
If you suffer from pet allergies, you may still be able to own an Australian Shepherd. To limit the amount of shedding and fur in your home, you should:
- Regularly Brush – Dead and loose hair that falls from your dog’s coat can cause hair and dander to irritate allergies. Be sure to regularly brush your dog, at least three times per week, to help eliminate dander and loose hairs that could worsen pet allergies.
- Dog Food – Be sure to use a high-quality diet dog food packed full of protein and healthy fatty acids. Having enough fat and oils in the food means your dog’s skin will be healthier. When your pet’s skin is healthy, hair is less likely to fall out.
- Supplements – Adding fatty acid supplements to your dog’s diet can help reduce the amount of shedding. The fatty acid can be added as an oral medication taken just once per day. Not only will fatty acid help reduce the amount of shedding, but it’ll keep your pet healthier.
- Find the Right Brush – Brushing your dog throughout the week will help reduce the number of loose hairs floating through your home, but be sure to use the correct brush. A thin brush or a paddle brush won’t do enough for the Australian Shepherd’s tough double coat. Find a large pin brush, big enough to comb through both layers of fur.
- Summer Bath time – Although you don’t want to bathe your dog too frequently, be sure to stay on a regular bathing schedule, especially during the summer. During the summer, your pet’s fur may attract other allergens, like pollen and mold spores, that can cause your pet allergies to go into overdrive. Routine bathing in the summer not only helps to eliminate dead and loose dog fur but also cuts down on other potential allergens that might come into your home.
Is There A Way To Limit Fur Accumulation In My Home?
Keeping your pet well-groomed will certainly help reduce the amount of shedding, but it is also essential to keep your home clean and free of pet hair. To help ensure that you limit the amount of pet hair through your home, and thus reducing the severity of your pet allergies, you will want to:
- Regularly change your air filters.
- Use a Hepa Filter vacuum cleaner.
- Vacuum regularly, if not daily.
- Routinely launder soft textiles like couch cushions, pillows, blankets, and drapes that could collect pet hair and dander.
If you are adopting a breed of dog like the Australian Shepherd known to shed profusely, set a cleaning routine ahead of time and stick to your regiment. When you can keep up with routine cleaning, you can minimize pet allergies.
What Medium Size Dogs Are A Good Option For Allergy Sufferers?
An Australian Shepherd is an attractive dog for many families due to its size and temperament. Not only is this a happy and intelligent dog, but its 30-45 pound weight range makes it easily manageable.
If you suffer from pet allergies, other medium-size dogs may make an excellent addition to your family that are considered hypoallergenic. Some of the most popular medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs include:
- American Hairless Terrier – Although this dog may be on the small side, some species of American Hairless Terriers are just under 30 pounds. Their smooth skin and lack of fur make them perfect for people suffering from allergies.
- Irish Water Spaniel – Males tend to be larger, but females will stay around 40 pounds, making them comparable to the larger Australian Shepherds. Their tight, soft curled fur rarely sheds, making this dog a perfect option for allergy sufferers.
- Poodle – One of the most popular hypoallergenic dogs is the Poodle. The Poodle comes in various sizes, including the standard Poodle, which can be quite large. This dog is adventurous, intelligent, and well suited to a range of home environments.
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – Good-natured and loving, the Wheaten Terrier is a good choice for families because this hypoallergenic dog does remarkably well with young children.
- Schnauzer – Available in both standard and miniature sizes, the Schnauzer is an intelligent and lively dog. This dog breed excels at agility and obedience training and is the perfect hypoallergenic addition to any family.
Can an Australian Shepherd live in an apartment?
Even though the Australian Shepherd is a small dog, it will not do well in an urban environment or an apartment. Australian Shepherds are lively, vibrant, and high-energy dogs. These little dogs were born to work on farms from sun up to sundown.
As such, this breed of dog was born to run and work, constantly keeping its body and mind active. Even with daily walks and plenty of exercise, the Australian Shepherd doesn’t thrive in confined spaces.
What colors does the Australian Shepherd come in?
One feature that attracts many dog owners to the Australian Shepherd is the beautiful coat. The stunning fur is a thick, double-coat that is prone to shedding. There are 16 possible color combinations for the Australian Shepherd that are accepted by AKC standards.
The dog can be one, two, or even three colors. The coat can be black, white, gray, tan, red, or merle coloration, which is a marbled coloring that features several colors together. The rarest coat coloration is solid red.