Most of us are used to seeing Australian Shepherds with long hair. But did you know there is also such a thing as an Australian Shepherd dog with short hair?
And by now, maybe you’re interested in having a short-haired Australian Shepherd.
So in this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the Short-Haired Australian Shepherd, including their physical appearance, health, temperament, and how to care for them.
Is There Really Such a Thing as a Short-Haired Australian Shepherd?
As previously mentioned, yes, short-haired Aussies exist. Although this dog breed is best known for its thick, fluffy coat, some dogs have short fur.
They are intelligent, active, and loyal dogs. This dog breed is also considered a natural herder and excels at tasks such as rounding up livestock and controlling crowds.
Long hair is just one of the many identifiable traits of the Australian Shepherd, and it can range from medium to considerably shorter.
Just like the color of the eyes or hair color, dogs of the same breed sometimes differ in appearance.
Their short fur is most probably because of their genetics. The Aussie is a big, energetic dog breed that descends from a long line of European herding dogs, notably Collies and Border Collies.
You can anticipate significant diversity in appearance whenever a breed is descended from many similar but different-looking dogs.
How Rare Are Short-Haired Aussies?
A short-haired Australian Shepherd is not particularly rare but is not as common as its long-haired counterparts.
In many situations, an Aussie puppy will have short coats at birth that eventually develop into longer ones.
As a result, it may be difficult to distinguish a real short-haired Aussie for the first time. It will become evident only after the dog reaches adulthood and retains its short fur.
Like a typical Australian Shepherd, Aussies with shorter hair have a two-layer coat, a thick undercoat, and a long outer layer.
A double coat is essential even in the summer when it’s hot outside and keeps the body temperature constant by acting as insulation and offering further protection for the skin.
This is why most experts do not recommend shaving the hair of Aussies.
How Do Short-Haired Australian Shepherds Look Like?
The Australian Shepherd with a short coat looks like its longer-haired counterpart. Its less fluffy, flatter, and shorter dog fur sets it apart than usual.
As the name suggests, a short-haired Aussie has shorter hair than a typical Aussie with a long coat.
Its coat color is usually a mix of black, red, red merle, or blue merle. However, its coat can also be bicolor or tricolor.
According to the American Kennel Club, a short-haired Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog, standing 18-23 inches tall and weighing 40 to 65 pounds.
Like those Aussies with long coats, it has a well-proportioned, compact body and strong legs. Its bone structure suits its physical activity.
The Australian Shepherd’s head is medium-sized and wedge-shaped, with relatively long ears that sit high on the head. It typically has blue or dark brown eyes.
This dog breed is also prone to having heterochromia or two different-colored eyes.
Caring for a Short-Haired Australian Shepherd
If you’re interested in getting a short-haired Australian Shepherd, you must know how to care for it properly.
The food requirements of a short-haired Aussie will vary depending on their age, size, activity level, metabolism, and any health problems.
However, a well-balanced diet is required to maintain your dog’s health. Minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins are just a few nutrients needed for a dog’s diet.
This diet helps to keep the dog lean and muscular while providing the high energy they need to work hard all day long.
It’s also essential to choose a food specifically formulated for large breeds, as this will help prevent joint problems later in life.
You can feed your dog 1.5 to 2.5 cups of good-quality dry food daily.
It’s better to measure your Aussie’s food and provide it twice a day, rather than leaving the dog food out all the time, to keep him in excellent condition.
If you’re not sure if your dog has the right weight, you can always consult your vet.
The Aussie breed was not originally from cold weather areas, yet they can survive in extremely low temperatures. Their thick double coats do an excellent job of keeping their bodies warm.
Generally speaking, the Aussie is an active dog breed, so they need plenty of space to run around and play.
A backyard is ideal, but you need a securely fenced-in yard as these dogs are notorious escape artists, and their herding instincts can lead them to chase cars, bikes, and even joggers.
They also love to swim, so if you have a pool or live near a lake or river, that’s even better.
Aussies were bred to live alongside humans and enjoy being around people. They should not be left alone. They don’t cope with boredom, which may also create separation anxiety.
Brush your Aussie’s hair at least once a week to prevent mats and tangles from forming in his coat. But before brushing, use the dog hair conditioner diluted with water to disentangle it.
Use a slicker brush to stroke the hair in the direction it grows. Do that down to the skin. Also, it’s best to use an undercoat rake to remove excess hair.
And for the mats behind your Aussie’s ears, remove them using a stripping comb. All these grooming tools are available in any pet store and online.
It’s also important to trim your dog’s nails regularly, as overgrown nails can cause pain and difficulty walking. Finally, they need to have their teeth brushed often.
Aside from your pet’s proper hygiene, grooming sessions are your opportunity to assess your dog’s general health.
Before brushing your Aussie’s hair, check for sores, rashes, dry skin, or symptoms of infection such as irritation or sensitivity.
Examine your dog’s eyes for goopy discharge and ears for foreign objects. Your dog’s coat should look shiny because a dull coat could indicate the need to change diet or more frequent grooming.
Training and Exercise
Australian Shepherds were initially bred to work, herding livestock on farms. As a result, they have a high energy level and need 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily to stay happy and healthy.
A good daily walk is essential. Aussies love walking, running, agility trials, and Frisbee games. Australian Shepherds also need mental stimulation to stay challenged. It can be obedience training or simple puzzle toys.
Training methods with positive reinforcement work for Aussies. They follow the command of their trainer, and in return, they get rewards like food, praise, or simple belly rubs.
You should note that Australian Shepherds can become bored and destructive without enough exercise and mental stimulation.
This breed doesn’t like being a couch potato, so be prepared to spend time training and playing with your Aussie every day.
The short-haired Aussie shed, but not as much as the long-haired variety. They are considered a low-maintenance breed in grooming and only need to be brushed a few times a week to keep their coat looking smooth and pretty.
Their shedding season is usually during the spring and fall seasons.
Short-Haired Australian Shepherds – Health Issues
Like all breeds, the short-haired Australian Shepherds are generally healthy but prone to specific health problems.
Some of these health conditions are genetic and cannot be prevented, while others can be avoided or managed with proper care.
The following are five of the most common health issues seen in short-haired Australian Shepherds:
- Elbow and hip dysplasia: These are two of the most common skeletal disorders related to many dogs. Both conditions are caused by a malformation of the joints that leads to pain, lameness, and arthritis. Dysplasia is usually genetic but can also be due to injury or obesity.
- Allergies: Like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies to things like pollen, dust, and certain foods. Symptoms of allergies in dogs include itching, scratching, hot spots, and hair loss.
- Ear infections: This is common in dogs, especially those with floppy ears like the Australian Shepherd. Symptoms include head-shaking, scratching at the ears, and foul-smelling discharge from the dog’s ear. Bacteria, yeast, or allergies can cause ear infections.
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV): Commonly known as bloat, it is a condition that affects deep-chested dogs like the Australian Shepherd. It occurs when the stomach twists on itself, trapping gas and causing the stomach to expand. Symptoms of this health problem include restlessness, pacing, drooling, and an enlarged abdomen.
- Cancer: Unfortunately, cancer is one of the leading causes of death in dogs, and short-haired Australian Shepherds are no exception. They are prone to having different kinds of cancers, which are sometimes treatable.
Knowing the common health issues that can affect your short-haired Australian Shepherd, you can be prepared to deal with them if they arise.
Regular vet check-ups and a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in giving your dog a happy and longer life.
Short-Haired Aussie: Personality and Characteristics
The short-haired Australian Shepherds have sharp intellects and keen observation capabilities and are curious pets, always looking for patterns.
A short-haired Aussie is also great with children and other animals, making it an excellent family pet. Aussies are wonderful companions as they protect their families and belongings.
The Australian Shepherds tend to be reserved and cautious around strangers. A poorly socialized Aussie may become violent when seeing other people or dogs.
And to help them become used to meeting new faces, owners should encourage their dogs to interact with others while avoiding forcing social situations on them.
One thing potential dog owners should be aware of is that Australian Shepherds bark a lot. They are very vocal dogs and will often bark to alert their owners to something that is happening.
It can be good if you are looking for a watchdog, but it may not be ideal if you live in an apartment or other close quarters.
Moreover, this breed needs plenty of dog sports and stimulation. Australian Shepherds need enough space to run, sprint, chase, and sniff, so they are not the best breed for someone who is inactive or lives in a small area.
Short-haired Aussies are an excellent breed for anyone looking for an energetic, playful dog. The short dog’s fur makes them low-maintenance, and they are also relatively healthy dogs.
They make great pets and can be a lot of fun to own. If you’re thinking about adding an Aussie to your family, be sure to do your research to find the right breeder and Aussie pup.
Short-Haired Australian Shepherds – FAQs
Let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions regarding short-haired Aussies.
Are Aussies With Short Hair Hypoallergenic?
No, Australian Shepherds with short hair are not hypoallergenic. Although they may not shed as much as some other breeds, they still shed enough to cause allergies in people who are sensitive to dogs.
What Is the Average Cost of Short-Haired Australian Shepherds?
The cost of a short-haired Australian Shepherd can vary depending on the breeder, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $500-$1,500.
Do Aussies Have Tails?
Yes, this breed generally has tails, but there is some variation within the breed. Some dogs have what is known as a “bobtail,” a tail that has been shortened through breeding.
Other Australian Shepherd dogs have full-length tails, while some have a tail that falls somewhere in between the two extremes.