Grooming An Aussie

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming' started by Caiti, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Caiti Experienced Member

    I have never owned a longer haired dog, like an Aussie, and I'm a bit confused on the exact grooming requirements of them. I understand that I will have to brush Matrix frequently, but what exactly do you guys do to manage your Aussie's coat and keep it in condition?

    Also, my mum spent a few months working in Petsmart and has cone out obsessing with the Furminator DeShedding brushes. I'm pretty sure that she is going to make it mandatory that I get one for Matrix. Does anyone have experience with those?

  2. 648117 Honored Member

    I don't have an aussie but I do have a Pomeranian which is fluffier than an aussie and I brush him (and Holly) 2-3 times a week and he has never had a knot or mat since I removed the ones he came with. Because I brush so much it doesn't take very long either because there are no knots to gently work out out.
    So I would think you could brush an aussie once a week (maybe even less often) and the coat would stay in excellent condition.
    If your regularly brushing your dog then you wont need to bath it very often (only when it's really dirty) as the brushing seems to prevent any smells developing (well, Holly and Lewis don't smell anyway) and any mud, once dry, should come out easily.

    You shouldn't have to do anything extra (aside from brushing) to keep the coat in good condition if your feeding good quality dog food.
    Lewis' coat improved so so much when we got him because of the brushing and no longer eating cheap supermarket dog food, it became way softer, shinier and thicker.
    Dogster and southerngirl like this.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Furminators work great for Aussies and a lot of other dogs, just be careful that you don't use it too much if you do get one. You can get carried away with it and take way too much hair off your dog.

    I don't have Aussies currently but do have a BC, a mix with a coat similar to a BC, and a Schnauzer, and worked in a salon for a while too. A soft slicker brush will be your best friend for him. I brush my girls twice a week, sometimes more if they get grass or anything in their coat(we live in the country so sometimes they find stickers or twigs to get into). Pay special attention behind the ears, inside their back legs, and the long hair on their haunches. Those areas seem to be forgotten a lot and little mats form there pretty quickly if you miss those spots too often. If your Aussie grows a lot of hair around his paw pads, you might also have your mom show you how to shave or trim there. Stickers get trapped in all that hair and if my girls get muddy they get a bunch of little mud balls in there. It's not horrible to get out, but it's easier to just trim or shave it.

    Can't wait to see pictures!!! :)
    southerngirl likes this.
  4. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I have an Aussie mix and his coat is a lot of work; basically, house-work to keep up with the shedding. I don't know that I would get a dog with a coat like his again. Some Aussies have pretty long coats, and while these make matting more likely, they may not get the same degree of shedding that shorter-coated (sometimes called a working coat) Aussies do. My dog's coat is flatter but still double coated, and he has a big shed-season once it starts getting warmer. Even if I brush once a week, I've got a house full of dog tumble-weeds :-( and his fur is over everything. I have to put a cover on the couch, and keep a sheet over the quilt on the bed because his fur really sticks. My late dog's fur was shorter and not as soft, so it could be brushed off pretty easily; Calvin's can't.

    I'm just being honest, not trying to be a downer! The coat needs work, most of it frequent brushing, so do get the puppy used to being combed at a very early age. Also if you live in an area with ticks or foxtails, make a practice of picking through your dog's coat regularly. Aussies with longer coats can pick up debris quite easily, if you are in a wooded area, so a dog who loves to be combed is a bonus for this as well!

    Re: the puppy -- I haven't followed your selection process, so just to make sure, the dog is from working lines right? These tend to be healthiest. And the parents have had both hips and elbows certified? Eyes too? Herding dogs, and esp. Aussies, are often affected by eye disease, so responsible breeders will have CERF or OFA + genetic testing of parent dogs.

    Best of luck!
    Dogster and southerngirl like this.
  5. passion4pups Active Member

    Being a professional Dog groomer I will tell you what I know . . gladly :-) Aussie coats are dense, and while they do not require clipping or intense maintenance like a Shih-Tzu, Poodle or Yorkie there is still quite a bit of maintenance. Regular brushing, twice a week at least will keep it from matting up. A lot of people will not thoroughly brush the coat and do what is called "top brushing" which means you get the top layer of the coat soft shiny and glossy , but did not get all the way down to the skin where the dead "shedding" undercoat is. If this is not brushed out it will compact and matt and cause skin irritations and eventually infections. My suggestions are to buy a couple of tools. First a Curved slicker brush. One with longer teeth designed for longer or more dense coats . . read the packaging, it will state the coat type somewhere. A comb . . Preferably a combo . . meaning it has teeth of a certain size on one side and a different size on the other. and the last piece would be a too similar to the furminator tool, but was around long before the furm. and in my opinion still works better.
    With brushing , work in sections and lift the hair and then brush in a downward motion, brushing the coat back into place in two or three swipes of the brush. Once your done brushing, go back through the coat with a comb , making sure you got all the loose hair and there are no tangles. Once the coat is tangle free follow with the coat king . . because it consists of tiny hooked blades , do not dig into the skin. Tighten/stretch the skin with one hand and pull it through the coat with the other. Be careful not to pull in into your arm or wrist , it will be sharp and will cut you. (I've seen groomers end up with many stitched because they were going at a good speed and slashed into their arm.) IMO the coat king pulls out so much more dead and loose coat than the furm, and you don't have to put as much work into it, but like the furm you can overdo it and strip thin or bald spots in the dog. Be careful not to run this over the back of the hocks, exposed or loose skin or nipples . . you will likely cut the dog.
    If you are going to be cultivating a show coat it will be a little more involved than that . . but for starters this is my advice :-)

    Attached Files:

  6. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Brody is possibly Aussie mix, 13 months old. His coat is not that thick at the moment (we're in the middle of summer here!), but I read somewhere that Aussies and border collies get thicker coats every winter for the first few years. Is this what I have to look forward to? That coat king looks scary!
  7. passion4pups Active Member

    Each dog is different, especially with mixed breeds. There used to be a saying that puppy's of all breeds go through 2 sometimes 3 coat changes before they are 2. I have only seen it a handful of times . . . mainly on the designer breeds such as the Teddy Bear (bichon/shih/poo mixes or the like depending on the breeding facility) or Doodles.
    Keep in mind that as a groomer I only see my aussie and border clients every 3, 4 or 5 months and its hard to remember how dense their coat was the last time I saw them , or I wasn't there from the start. A lot of Aussies come to see me when they have huge knots hanging off their rear plumes and clumps of dead hair/shed sticking out everywhere. Makes it hard to know what the coat as like when they were puppies ;-)
    If you stay on the ball and have a regular grooming routine, odds are even if he does get more dense you won't notice it much :-)
    freedomdreams likes this.
  8. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I haven't been brushing him much the last few weeks as he has pretty much stopped shedding for the season. He really hates it when I brush his rear plumes (or "skirt" as I like to call it"). A couple times he had some poop hanging off and I had to muzzle him up just to clean him. Does anyone trim those, because when he squats, they pretty much are laying on the ground.
  9. southerngirl Honored Member

    Missy hates it when a brush her feathering too. If he is getting poop stuck on it I would trim it some or bring him to a groomer to have them do it.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  10. Caiti Experienced Member

    Thank you so much everyone! This is so helpful. :D
  11. Pawbla Experienced Member

    I own a furminator and rarely use it. A metal comb is basically the best thing ever if you aren't sure what to get first. Otherwise passion4pups basically covered everything :).
    As you can see my dog has pretty dense coat in some parts. Ideal would be brushing him every 2-3 days, but I brush once a week and he's fine.
  12. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I rarely brush Brody (use a pin brush) since he doesn't enjoy it much. I have tried feeding him really good treats, but for some reason, grooming really freaks him out. This includes nail trimming. He tends to get mats on the back of his ears and between his hind legs where the hair is long and really fine. Naturally, these are the areas he hates being brushed the most. I usually have to cut the mats off with scissors. He gets really suspicious any time I pick up a pair of scissors, so I have to be really sneaky about it. I had to cut three really big ones this past week, and now his ears are all scraggly looking.
  13. Pawbla Experienced Member

    My dog still doesn't like nail trimming. I have to distract him with treats. But he doesn't mind brushing and combing. And I have to make his hygienic cut with scissors because he totally freaks out about the trimmer (seriously, he is the worst dog I've ever seen). Since trimming with a trimmer is not necessary and I don't own one, I'd rather do it with scissors anyways. I have a good excuse now :p.

    If Brody freaks out badly, start out brushing his back, which is usually the least sensitive area, and treat a lot. Don't try to touch anything else unless he's really comfortable with it. Don't pull on the mats (only brush non-matted places for now) and maybe you could try to change to a comb at least for starting out so he doesn't have the association between the comb and something bad.
    brodys_mom and southerngirl like this.
  14. brody_smom Experienced Member

    He gets very freaked out any time I need to pay any kind of attention to his mats or other things stuck in his long hair. When he released his anal sacs spontaneously, I have found that spraying his back end with diluted vinegar helps to neutralize the odor, but he won't let me near him with the spray bottle. His claws are badly in need of trimming as well. Normally he does a lot of running and stopping on concrete when we play fetch in the back yard. With the cold wet weather, we've switched to playing indoors, so they don't wear down. His reactivity is such a challenge in so many areas. I really hope this gets better as he ages!

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