Australian shepherds are typically known for their long lush coat and striking markings, but are you aware that naturally short-coated australian shepherds exist?
This article covers everything you need to know about how Aussies can have very short coats, whether they’re still purebred, and much more.
This will also answer some concerns that existing Aussie owners might have about coat fluffiness, and why their aussie may not have long locks as expected to!
Can Australian Shepherds have short hair?
Yes, Australian Shepherds can have short hair. While the breed is typically known for its long and fluffy coat, there is a variation known as the “Smooth” or “Shorthaired” Australian Shepherd.
These dogs have a shorter coat that is sleek and shiny, rather than fluffy and thick like their long-haired counterparts.
Pros and cons of Australian Shepherds having short hair
Like any dog breed, there are pros and cons to consider when it comes to the coat type of an Australian Shepherd. Here are some of the most important factors to consider if you’re thinking about getting a short haired Aussie:
- Less grooming: One of the most significant advantages of a short haired Aussie is that they require less grooming than their long-haired counterparts. While regular grooming is still necessary to maintain a healthy coat, you won’t have to spend as much time brushing and de-matting their hair.
- Easier bathing: Dogs with shorter coats can not only stay cleaner for longer, but it makes each bath time easier. It requires less shampoo and less effort to give a high quality bath. This ultimate leads to a more hygeinic dog
- Less shedding: Australian Shepherds are considered fairly heavy shedders. But this changes quite a lot with short haired aussies. Yes, they still shed, but at a much more managable level than long-haired aussies.
- Less insulation: While a short haired Aussie might be cooler in hot weather, they are also less insulated in cold weather. Long-haired Aussies have a double coat that provides extra warmth and protection against the elements, so a short haired Aussie might not be the best fit if you live in a cold climate or enjoy winter sports with your dog.
- More susceptible to skin problems: Without the protection of a long coat, short haired Aussies can be more prone to skin issues like sunburn and bug bites. You’ll need to take extra precautions to protect your dog’s skin if you opt for a short haired Aussie.
The difference between naturally short coats and shaving!
There is a important difference between a short haired Australian Shepherd and a long haired one that has been shaved.
While it may seem like a good idea to shave a long haired Aussie in hot weather, it’s not recommended by veterinarians or breed experts.
Shaving a long haired Aussie can actually do more harm than good.
The undercoat of an Australian Shepherd acts as insulation, keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When the undercoat is removed through shaving, it can disrupt the dog’s natural cooling and heating system, making them more susceptible to heat stroke or hypothermia.
Additionally, shaving can cause skin irritation and even sunburn, as the dog’s skin is not accustomed to direct exposure to the sun. It can also lead to coat damage and uneven regrowth, resulting in a patchy and unappealing appearance.
In contrast, a naturally short haired Australian Shepherd is bred to have a short, smooth coat that is suitable for hot weather and requires less grooming. Their coat still acts as protection from the sun and other environmental factors, but they do not have the heavy undercoat that long haired Aussies do.
Overall, it’s important to resist the urge to shave a long haired Australian Shepherd and instead opt for regular grooming and brushing to keep their coat healthy and manageable. And if you’re looking for a dog that is better suited for hot weather, consider a short haired Aussie instead of altering a long haired one’s natural coat.
Are short haired Australian Shepherds still purebred?
Yes, short haired Australian Shepherds are still purebred.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes both long and short haired Aussies as part of the same breed. The difference in coat type is simply a genetic variation that occurs naturally within the breed.
How do breeders create short haired Aussies?
Short haired Aussies are not a separate breed from long haired Aussies: they are simply a variation within the breed.
By far the most common way short haired aussies are developed is by selective breeding. This means that over time, breeders will only choose to breed together Aussies that have particularly short coats. After a few generations of doing this, you end up with an offspring of Aussies that all have uniquely short coats.
Sometimes, however, breeders do not need to do anything special to create a litter of short haired puppies. If two long haired Aussies with the recessive gene for short hair are bred, there is a chance that some of their puppies will have short hair.
It’s important to note that not all long haired Aussies carry the recessive gene for short hair, so it can be challenging to predict whether a litter will have any short haired puppies.
Where can owners find short haired Australian Shepherds?
If you’re interested in getting a short haired Aussie, you may be wondering where to find one. Here are a few places to start your search:
- Rescue organizations: Australian Shepherd rescue organizations often have dogs of all coat types, including short haired Aussies. Check out rescue organizations in your area or search online for organizations that specialize in the breed.
- Breeders: While short haired Aussies are not as common as long haired Aussies, there are still breeders who specialize in producing this coat type. Be sure to do your research and find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs.
- Online classifieds: You may be able to find short haired Aussies for sale on online classifieds websites, but be cautious when dealing with individual sellers. Make sure to ask for health certificates and references before purchasing a puppy.
Ultimately, the decision to get a short haired Australian Shepherd comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle.
While they may require less grooming and be more comfortable in hot weather, they may not be the best fit for colder climates or winter activities.
Remember to always do your research before bringing a new furry family member into your home, and consider adopting from a rescue organization or purchasing from a reputable breeder.
No matter what coat type you choose, Australian Shepherds are a wonderful breed with plenty of energy, intelligence, and affection to give to their owners. As an experienced dog owner, I can attest that the love and loyalty of a dog is priceless, no matter what their coat looks like.
Australian Shepherd Club of America for extra info