Miniature Australian Shepherds are a great option if you love the look of Australian Shepherds and want a dog that is a little smaller.
You may have heard of these mini dogs, and if you have then one of the first questions that you may be wondering about this breed of dog is if they shed.
Yes, Mini Australian Shepherds do shed nearly just as much as Australian Shepherds do. This is in part due to the fact that they have the same double coat which sheds twice a year.
Because of this, you will need to take care of their coats if you do not want their hairs to get everywhere.
However, this is something that can be well worth the effort since there are so many benefits to having a dog of this breed which is often abbreviated to a MAS to differentiate between them and regular Aussies.
Just How Much Do Mini Australian Shepherds Shed?
As mentioned, Miniature Australian Shepherds have a double coat that sheds twice a year.
The exact amount of shedding does vary a little from one dog to the next, but even ones that do not shed as much as average will still shed a noticeable amount.
Sometimes with individual dogs that shed a little more you may notice a small amount of shedding year-round. In order to get a true idea of how much your dog will shed, you will have to wait until they are two years old.
This is because during the first year it will not be as bad since your puppy will still be growing.
The second year when your mini aussie will have mostly finished growing you will have a much better idea of what their shedding will really be like.
One little-known fact that holds true most of the time is that the females of this breed tend to shed a little less than the males do.
While this is not a guarantee, if you are having a hard time deciding which gender you want then this fact may help you make your final decision.
The climate you live in can also affect how much your mini Australian shepherd sheds.
In areas that have a lot of snow and get really cold in the winter, you will find that they shed next to nothing during that season. On the other hand, if you live in the south where the summers are long then it will very likely trigger more shedding as your dog tries to stay cool.
Finally, hormonal changes can also affect shedding a little. So, if you get your Miniature Australian Shepherd spayed or neutered you may notice a slight decrease in the amount that they shed.
How To Care For A Mini Australian Shepherd’s Coat
To care for the coat of a Miniature Australian Shepherd you will need to have a brush that is specifically equipped for dogs that have a double coat.
A brush that is meant for a short-haired dog will not be able to get down into the bottom layer of a double coat to pull out the loose hairs there. The brushing gloves that you sometimes see, for example, will only take care of hairs in the out layer of fur.
You may decide that you want to different brushes that complement each other if your goal is to get as little hair on your furniture and carpet as possible.
Spring and fall are the seasons where the shedding is the worst, with spring being slightly the worse of the two.
During these two times of year you should be brushing your mini’s fur at least every day if not twice a day. This usually lasts around 3 weeks each time during which you may see tufts of hair all over the place even with the daily brushing.
The rest of the year you can cut back to once a week. Even if your Mini Aussie is not shedding you do not want to brush them any less than this.
If you do not brush their hair often enough, you will end up with matting hair in places which are much harder to deal with.
While Mini Aussies are not particularly prone to matting, you should still give extra attention to brushing the areas that might mat up.
You want to make sure that when you brush them that you make sure to get underneath their collar. You may have to take their collar off entirely to make sure that you do a good job.
The Best Way to Brush Out Thick Fur for Mini Australian Shepherds
In order to brush out as much of the loose fur as possible, there are a few things that you can do to help you do this.
While you can do a simple brushing if you do not care to do anything more, if you get as much hair out as possible when you brush then you will not get as much hair on your furniture.
First, get a spray bottle and put some water in it. Put it on the mist setting if it has one and lightly spray the fur on your aussie in order to get the fur damp.
As you do this, brush the fur alternating between brushing it with and against the grain.
This will get out a lot of the hair and will help the dampness to be worked into the coat. This is important because of the fact that the coats of this breed, like many working breeds, have somewhat of an ability to shed water.
You just want to dampen the undercoat of fur, then stop applying the water. Continue brushing both ways until you notice that less hair starts coming out.
Then stop brushing backwards at all and solely brush in the direction that the fur is supposed to lay in.
Tips To Help Mini Australian Shepherd With Shedding
While brushing your aussie is something that you will always have to do, there are a few other things that you may find helpful especially during shedding season.
For example, you should at least consider looking at shampoos that have some form of shed control formula.
These can sometimes make a noticeable difference, though they will not get rid of the shedding entirely.
There are even dog shampoos and conditioners that are made to help with shedding and which smell more like human shampoo if you do not like the smell of regular dog shampoo.
Another thing that you can consider doing is getting your mini a haircut. If you live in an area that has a lot of cockle burrs, you may not be able to avoid this.
It is worth considering even if you don’t, however, since it can really help with shedding if you do not mind the way it looks.
If you do this during the summer, they will barely shed at all in the fall and will instead grow back their overcoat.
You can cut their hair yourself if you want to try it, your dog is not likely to mind if you do it wrong, or you can hire a groomer to do it.
A buzz cut is one of the simplest, but there are three cuts that are fairly common for Mini Aussies. Practically any groomer can do these for you, or you can watch a few videos and try to do them yourself.
1. The Puppy Cut
This is perhaps the simplest out of the three options. For this cut the hair all over you Mini is cut to somewhere around 1” to 2” all over.
Sometimes the head and legs are left alone, and if you are doing this yourself you can also leave the tail alone since tails are sometimes hard to keep still.
2. The Lion Cut
This is a cut that you have possible seen and which is pretty self-explanatory. The hair around the neck is left alone while the hair elsewhere is cut extra short everywhere except for the very tip of the tail.
Most people either thinks it looks ridiculous or they like it and think that it looks cute. However, it is not as useful to prevent shedding since it leaves hair in one of the worst shedding areas.
3. The Teddy Bear Cut
This one is more similar to the puppy cut because most of the hair is cut short all over your dog. With this style though, the hair around the head and around the tail are sculpted in order to make you dog look as much like a teddy bear as possible.
What Colors Can A Mini Aussie’s Coat Come In?
Being closely related to Australian Shepherds, it should be no surprise that the coat options are the same for Miniature Australian Shepherds. The most common colors are black, liver, and either red or blue merle colors.
There can be almost any amount of white or tan markings, sometimes even both white and tan markings. Even black markings are perfectly permissible. These colors can be combined as well in combination with each other.
With all of these colors, it can sometimes be hard to pick what color you want! However, whatever the combination happens to be, you can be sure that your dog will look adorable.
The nose of a Mini Aussie can be either liver or black depending on the color of the fur.
If you want an Aussie that is mostly blue merle or black, then you are going to get a black nose. In the case of red merle and liver red fur, the nose will be liver as well.
There is also a pale pink nose that is sometimes seen if there is a lot of white around the nose. If the fur is a mixture of both of these options, then there is a possibility that you can end up with a nose that is part one color and part another color.
The same is true of the eyes of a Mini Aussie which can be two different colors as well. This is one of the comparatively few breeds that can have blue eyes and which can even have one blue eye and one brown eye.
If you think that this feature is cute, then it is fairly easy to find a puppy that looks like this.
Final Thoughts On Shedding
As you might imagine, if you have carpets in your home and your Mini Australian Shepherd is allowed to come inside then you will have to vacuum regularly.
During the shedding seasons you may very well need to vacuum daily even if you are brushing your dog twice a day.
This being the case, you should consider replacing as much of your carpet with hard floors as possible.
You should also look at vacuum cleaners that are specifically designed to pick up fur since vacuum cleaners that are not designed for this will break down quite quickly sometimes if you try to use them to clean up behind your Mini Aussie.
Soft fabrics tend to attract dog hairs which cling to them quite tenaciously sometimes.
You will want to keep lint rollers handy by the door, but make sure that the one you get is sticky enough to really work. In an emergency you can sometimes use tape to get the hairs off.
Finally, you should be aware of the fact that sometimes when a dogfood does not have the right amount of nutrients in it that it can worsen the amount of shedding.
Other similar things include parasites, fungal infections, or even food allergies.
This being the case, if you feel that your Mini Aussie is shedding a lot more than you think they should be it would never hurt to ask a vet about it.
There is no point in dealing with extra shedding when adding a supplement or changing foods might help.
All in all, caring for your mini’s coat may be a bit of trouble sometimes, but with their personality and eagerness to please they are definitely worth the trouble to care for.
This breed is so smart and lovable that you should consider getting one of your own.