Grooming Your Aussie

     (This page is under construction and more photos will be added  as soon as I can.  I do hope to add a section on show grooming, as I can get the series of photos taken.)



     A healthy, well groomed coat shines in the sun!  A healthy, glowing coat starts with a good diet, and good grooming just brings out what is already there.


      I want to put together a little information on grooming your Aussie, more for the daily life of an active pet than for the show ring, as that is a totally different type of grooming. I will just explain here what works for me for my dogs' every day life. I like them to be clean and well groomed, as they are more comfortable and more enjoyable to have on my lap! 

      The amount and even texture of coat an Aussie may have will vary from dog to dog. Some will need more grooming than others.  In my own dogs, most don't have enough coat to really mat or be high maintenance, but one does.  Some will need a good combing several times a week, especially behind the ears as the fur there is often of a texture more prone to matting.    Mostly I would recommend trimming around the anus and tail nub to keep the area clean, and if needed, you can trim the bottom of the feet and around the ears, if they get really fuzzy.  I will try to add photos of this soon.

   *** Grooming experts strongly recommend NOT SHAVING your Aussie.  ***

     I get asked that from time to time by owners or even prospective owners.  Unless the dog's coat is severely matted, I would try to brush it out and bathe it, but not shave it all the way down.  Sometimes the coat never grows back in normally.   If you want to help your Aussie stay cool in summer, make sure the coat is clean and free of mats, as well as free from undercoat.  A normal, healthy coat helps protect the dog from the sun.  Since a dog doesn't sweat like people do, the coat doesn't hold in heat in the same manner a fur coat on us would.   At the most, you could trim the belly hair and that inside the back legs, but leave the rest intact.  A shaved dog is more prone to sunburn, insect bites and heat stroke. 

    For normal grooming, I mostly use a steel toothed comb of medium coarseness.  By that I mean medium spacing between the teeth.   It gets down to the skin and removes any dead undercoat.  I use scissors and thinning shears to trim around the back side, tail and ears.   I use Millers Forge medium size nail trimmers on the nails. 

    For bathing, I use various shampoos depending on the dog's color.  I use Bio-Groom bright white on the white areas, and contrary to what a lot of pet store employees will say, I sometimes use a people shampoo/conditioner.  The biggest thing about bathing is to make sure you rinse very thoroughly.  I towel dry as much as I can, then I have a Christ Christensen Kool Dry blow dryer and a grooming table.  With all this, I can give my dogs a nice "spa" day with a bath in warm water (in the utility sink we installed just for this purpose), a blow dry, and dog their nails and coats.  When they are done they look and feel their best, and everyone is happy! My grooming area is pictured below (when we first installed the sink, but we hadn't finished the trim and dry wall work yet.)  The tub was very affordable, around $600 delivered.  I have a new dryer that was was pictured there.




Close up of dog tub from Pet Edge



     Below, a pair of Chris Christensen Kool Dry dryers, one for me and one for my friend and show partner




     One thing I do want to add is the more nutritious a dog's diet is, the healthier his coat will be.  I feed a premium dry dog food and human grade raw meat/bones/organs, and supplements. My dogs' coats are very shiny and healthy, and they shed far less than dogs I've seen who were fed a lower quality diet.  You can read more on my "Feeding Your Aussie" page. 

    I will add more photos here as I can take them, to show how to trim feet, nails and around the ears and anus, and a before and after shot of a dog who needs a full grooming.



     Above are photos of a male Aussie before and after he has had some grooming done on his rear.  He is really shaggy and unkempt looking before.  I trimmed some fur just to keep him clean and easier to groom.  This is just a casual groom, nothing fancy and it's not appropriate for the conformation show ring.  This is more for a pet Aussie at home.  I took the photo before I was totally done.  I need to tidy up a few uneven areas, but you can see the difference already. I SHOULD ALSO POINT OUT THIS IS A VERY HEAVY COATED PET AUSSIE WITH A COAT TEXTURE VERY PRONE TO MATTING.  I WOULD NEVER TRIM A SHOW DOG THIS WAY, AND MOST OF THE MORE MODERATE COATED DOGS DON'T NEED IT EITHER. SOMETIMES WHEN YOU START CUTTING THE COAT COMES BACK IN THICKER AND IT GETS HARDER TO MAINTAIN.      OVERALL I DON'T TRIM THE WHOLE BODY COAT OR MAJOR PARTS OF IT.  IF YOU KEEP YOUR AUSSIE BRUSHED REGULARLY YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO CUT THIS MUCH OFF.



    Here are some foot photos.  In the double photo, it shows a paw after, and before some trimming of the extra hair.  On the far right is a hind foot still showing the extra hair.  Trimming the top and bottom of the feet gives them a more tidy look, as well as helps keeping the amount of dirt tracked in the house to a minimum. Some Aussies get very hairy feet while others need little or no trimming.




    I thought it would be fun to show pictures of an Aussie in full winter coat and after a big shed before the new coat grew back in.  These pictures were taken only about 6 months apart.  She was NOT SHAVED.  This just shows how dramatically some Aussies will blow coat (shed), especially intact females.



 For more on this topic, here is another website link with information and grooming photos:


     Thornapple has a great page on show grooming too:


Thornapple Groom and Handle





   Below is part of an article on this site: 


    The last thing to consider before having your dog shaved down is what the long term consequences to the coat may be.  Clippers, even when expertly used, will cause a little inflammation in the skin.  Often this is of no consequence,  especially in breeds that are traditionally clipped close.  Many breeds that are not commonly shaved are that way for a reason.  It is not unusual for Golden Retrievers, Chows, Pomeranians,  and most arctic breeds to have their hair follicles so angered by the small amount of inflammation caused by the clippers that they never grow hair normally again.  If you see a Malamute walking down the street with a wooly, felted coat there is a good chance that he has been shaved  before and his coat has been ruined.  This does not always happen with these types of dogs, but it is nearly impossible to guess which individuals will be affected.  Your groomer will probably do whatever you ask, but if you talk with her she may be able to give you some sound advice about whether a shave-down is the best choice for your breed of dog. 


    Because of the risk of ruining the coat forever, I strongly recommend NOT having your Aussie shaved.



    "The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you."

 Deuteronomy 28:8