The timeframe during which Australian Shepherd puppies lose their puppy fur can vary. But generally, Australian Shepherds usually shed their puppy fur when they are 4 to 6 months old.
The process of shedding is gradual, and can begin anywhere from 3 to 6 months after the puppy is born. For the puppy to shed his/her fur completely can take around a year or so though.
Taking care of your little friends while they are growing, and managing their shedding can be challenging. However, you can make this stage of their life fun and easy with some knowledge and patience.
It is during this time that you will be able to make memories that you cherish with your puppy. You will be able to look back at these memories with fondness and will not even remember any difficulties you’ve faced when they were shedding their puppy coats.
And hey, at the end of it, you get a beautiful and loyal friend that will be with you for life. So it’s a win-win!
What Are Australian Shepherd Coats Like?
An Australian Shepherd’s fur is longer than that of most breeds. They have a double coat consisting of an undercoat and a topcoat.
Their fur can, sometimes, look wispy, patchy, or spotty. Their long fur, if unkempt, can look ragged and untidy. This will especially be true for a puppy that is shedding their fur. It may come in uneven for a while, but this is normal.
Your puppy might just look downright odd while they are still shedding, as their coats will be messy and scruffy. Do not worry though; they will still look absolutely adorable.
Why Do Australian Shepherd Puppies Shed Their Coats?
Adult Australian Shepherds have a double coat. However, Australian Shepherd puppies are born with only a single coat and so must shed this in order for their more resilient coats to grow.
Their puppy coat helps regulate their body temperature; but is not as effective as their adult coats. They will grow in a stiff, thick coat – that will aid them when they remain outdoors.
What To Do While Your Puppy Is Shedding Their Puppy Coat
A baby Aussie will have soft and fuzzy fur up to the age of one. By this time, they will completely shed off this coat for a longer, silkier one – the luscious fur Australian Shepherds are known and loved for. Your little one will soon grow into this mature coat, but they need you to help them with this change.
When your Aussie puppy is shedding, you will have to groom them more often than usual. Brushing and grooming should become an almost daily routine, which will get them to look as good as possible and will produce lush, healthy fur.
Why Is Grooming Important?
Grooming not only detangles fur and helps release loose fur, but it can also help produce natural oils. Brushing stimulates the puppy’s skin to produce more oils which will, in turn, make their fur healthier and shinier.
Here are some tips you should follow while grooming your puppy:
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Grooming should be made rewarding for the Aussie puppy at this point in their life and learning process. They should be having fun while you groom them. For this reason, you should offer them a lot of treats for good behavior while grooming them.
Be patient with your puppy during this time. Puppies have a lot of energy and are extremely excited and curious. Their short attention spans might make the grooming process challenging, but they need to get used to it.
Positive reinforcement will make grooming easier. Additionally, if your puppy is getting too agitated, let them take a small break from grooming.
Establish A Routine
At this stage, their coats do not need to be perfect and so try to have fun with your little puppies and make them learn that grooming will be part of their lives forever.
Australian shepherds are outdoor dogs that are very active. This means, they get dirty very easily. Their double-coated fur is water-repellant and thick to protect them against the environment.
However, it is difficult to groom them, so having a routine would help your dog later in life.
With some time and patience, you and your puppy will get through this learning stage.
The good news is: Australian Shepherds are extremely intelligent and cooperative dogs. Soon enough, he/she should learn the routine and be perfectly calm while you groom them.
Do Not Worry If Their Coat Is Not Perfect
Once the puppy’s coat is grown out, it may not be completely even or a solid cover. Their coats can vary and be patterned, spotted, or solid. Some Australian shepherds have a shorter coat than others, or some might have thin fur.
At times, their new coat might even be a different color from their puppy coats. Nevertheless, the dog will be gorgeous and a loyal friend.
How Do I Deal With My Puppy Shedding?
When your puppy is shedding, there will be a huge mess around your house. You will have to spend more time cleaning up the strands out of your couches and carpet. So, you better buy a vacuum cleaner.
Regular grooming can minimize this issue.
A good grooming routine is important to establish while the puppy is still young. You will have to groom your Australian Shepherd throughout their life, so getting them accustomed to it while they are young will let them identify it as a part of their routine.
Will Spaying Or Neutering My Australian Shepherd Affect Their Coat?
Spaying or neutering your dog is a responsible thing to do. This would ensure that you do not have a litter that you did not plan for on your hands. It would also mean that fewer dogs are in shelters.
Breeders often do not allow the dogs they provide to be bred. This can be a part of the contract you sign when getting your Aussie. It is then possible that you will not be allowed to have your dog unaltered unless you inform the breeders.
For these reasons, most just opt to have their dog spayed or neutered.
However, some people believe that leaving an Australian Shepherd unaltered will mean that their coat grows thicker.
There is no real evidence to prove this, and pet owners highly contest this issue.
So, we can conclude that getting your Aussie spayed or neutered is most likely the best course of action.
Will Diet Affect When My Puppy Loses His/Her Coat?
No. Diet will not affect your puppy’s shedding period; this is a developmental change that is primarily determined by age.
This natural process occurs when the puppy’s body is biologically ready. However, your puppy must have a balanced, healthy diet so that they remain illness-free and their immunity remains strong.
A good diet is especially important in these months because your Aussie is still growing.
Heath Issues With Shedding Puppies
A puppy losing their coat is normal, but they may face some health issues at this time that their shedding can mask. If your Aussie puppy is losing fur very quickly, there might be some underlying health issue.
While grooming, you notice that the hair comes off in patches and leaves red skin; this is a problem. If their skin looks scaley or inflamed, please see a vet as soon as possible.
Other indicators of a health issue are bare patches on the skin, loss of big patches of fur in one go, and excessive scratching.
If your dog shows these symptoms, it might be suffering from alopecia or Cushing’s Disease. It could also be because of ticks, fleas, bacteria, or fungus infecting the skin. These abnormalities might also be because of a poor diet, stress, hormone imbalances, or bowel disease.
You will need to get your dog treated by a vet for any of these reasons.
Your puppy’s well-being is very important, so remaining aware of any issues that can impact it, is essential to help them grow up to be healthy dogs.
Goodbye Puppy Fur!
Pretty soon, your Australian Shepherd will have a whole new coat. They will lose all their puppy fur and grow in a luscious coat.
Getting there might present some challenges. So, the key is to be patient with your puppy and help them through this stage.
You might even look back at these memories with fondness. Your little furry friend will thank you, and you will spend years of happiness with them and their thick new coats!