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Aussies are a double-coated breed, possessing both a primary coat of moderate length and texture and a dense undercoat which varies in fullness according to climate and to the individual dog’s genetic makeup. Males generally have more coat than females, and the puppy coat is quite different from the adult coat, which will come in at around one year of age. Texture, length, and even colour may change at that time. Feathering on the front legs, the ruff at the neck, and the britches on the hind legs will all take time to fill in.
What all this hair means for the owner is that Aussies will require regular care and maintenance in order to look their best.
Weekly brushing with a pin brush or rake will keep your Aussie’s coat in top condition by getting rid of loose hair and anything else that might have become caught in the coat during your Aussie’s travels. It is also a great opportunity to put your hands on your dog to check for anything untoward (like skin problems, ticks, etc.). Aussies will require bathing about once per month (and perhaps more often during muddy seasons). Always remember to brush your Aussie thoroughly before you bathe him; tangles and mats that are relatively easy (or at least possible) to get rid of when the hair is dry will become grooming nightmares once they’re wet.
Some Aussies “blow” their coats a couple of times a year; if you have never experienced this, it can be something of a shock since you will find yourself wading through tumbleweeds of hair that will test the mettle of even the most valiant vacuum cleaner. A forced air dryer can help get rid of loose coat after your Aussie’s bath, but you should use it outdoors or in a designated grooming area as you may well find yourself in a virtual storm of flying undercoat.
A working breed, Aussies are meant to be shown in natural coat, but trimming of the ears, hocks, and feet is quite acceptable and helps them look neat and tidy. Aussies should not be clipped or shaved down because their hair provides them with vital insulation from both the heat and the cold.