Australian Shepherds, also called Aussies, are known for their beautiful coats, but they also tend to shed. This can create a lot of hair clusters in your home and can be tedious to clean. Products like the furminator were developed to combat excessive dog hair, but are they safe for your dog’s coat?
Furminators are de-shedding tools that are popular for long-haired dogs that shed a lot. There is some concern about whether the furminator is safe for Australian Shepherds. As long as you use the correct product and use it as recommended, then the furminator is safe to use on an Aussie.
We will go over some more specifics about using a furminator on Australian Shepherds so you can make sure you are using it properly and avoiding damage to your Aussie’s coat.
Can You Use a Furminator on Australian Shepherds?
As long as you are using the correct product, the furminator is safe to use on Australian Shepherds. The furminator comes in varieties for:
- Small dogs
- Medium-sized dogs
- Large dogs
- Long-haired dogs
- Short-haired dogs.
For an Australian Shepherd, specifically, it’s recommended to use an Undercoat deShedding Tool for Large Dogs and Long Hair. This particular furminator deShedding tool works by combing through the topcoat on your dog to reach the undercoat and remove loose hair.
The furminator is only recommended for dogs with a fully grown coat. Do not use this product on a puppy or still-growing dog, as this might damage the coat. If your puppy is shedding a lot, you can use a regular brush frequently to remove hair until their adult coat has finished growing.
How Often Can I Use a Furminator on My Aussie?
If you use the furminator too often, then you run the risk of damaging your Aussie’s coat or irritating its skin. In general, you should use the furminator 1 to 2 times per week, for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. If you don’t want to use the furminator that often, you can use it once every two weeks or once a month.
It’s recommended to use the furminator regularly, though, as one of the benefits is to reduce shedding over time. You will see a big difference in the amount of dog hair in your home if you use the furminator regularly. Check out the related blog post Caring for an Aussie’s Coat: 11 Do’s and Don’ts.
Another thing to consider is that most dogs shed even more than usual during certain parts of the year. Australian Shepherds lose their winter coats and shed a lot more than usual in the spring and summer. You might want to consider using the furminator at least once per week during these times to reduce the amount of dog hair in your home.
Does a Furminator Damage an Aussie’s Coat?
One of the biggest worries in using a furminator is that it will damage the dog’s coat and cause it to grow back incorrectly. To avoid this happening, it is important that you purchase the correct type of furminator. For a standard Australian Shepherd, it is recommended to buy a large size, but for mini Aussies a small or medium would be a better size.
To be sure that you don’t cause any damage when using the furminator, be gentle with the tool. If it has been a while since you’ve used the tool, try brushing through your Aussie’s coat with a regular brush first. This will detangle your dog’s hair so that the furminator doesn’t pull on the tangles.
How Much Hair Does a Furminator Remove?
The furminator works by removing loose hair from your dog’s undercoat. When used properly, the furminator won’t remove any hair unless it has already fallen off of your dog. Therefore, the furminator will only remove loose hair.
The more often you use the furminator, the less hair will come off with each session. With your first time using the furminator, you can expect a lot of hair to come off of your dog, maybe even more than you thought was possible. With weekly use, however, you will likely get a few clumps of hair off per session.
Remember that the furminator will simply remove hair that has already come off of the dog and is still trapped beneath the topcoat. Your dog loses hair regularly throughout the day. Using a furminator will significantly cut down on the amount of dog hair around your home but will not stop your dog from shedding completely.
Does a Professional Still Need to Groom my Aussie?
Since Australian Shepherds have long hair and a double coat, they require a lot of brushing. You should be brushing your dog, even just with a regular brush, at least once per week to detangle their hair.
Your Aussie will also need regular bathing, which can be done by a professional groomer or at home. If you are comfortable bathing your dog at home, remember to:
- Properly dry after the bath to prevent matting of the undercoat
- Clip nails
- Trim hair around paws
In short, a lot of the grooming process for an Australian Shepherd can be done at home, as long as you are keeping up with it regularly. If you notice that their hair is extremely tangled or the undercoat is matted, take your dog to a professional groomer.
Are Other Grooming Tools Similar to a Furminator?
While the furminator is a great tool for deShedding your dog, there are plenty of other products that accomplish the same thing that come at different price points.
One alternative to the furminator is known as an undercoat rake. This tool works similarly to the furminator in that its teeth penetrate to the undercoat to remove the hair. This type of tool does not collect as much hair as the furminator but is much more affordable, and there is no risk of damaging the dog’s coat.
Another alternative to the furminator is a combination brush with pins on one side and bristles on the other. This type of brush is another affordable option. The side with pins can penetrate down to the undercoat, while the bristle side is great for brushing out the topcoat and distributing the natural oils throughout the coat.
One final alternative to the furminator is a deshedding blade. With this type of tool, you want to apply a very little bit of pressure, and you will come away with a lot of loose dog hair. This type of tool can be used with the handle together, or you can separate the pieces for more surface area.
At the end of the day, it is your choice as the Australian Shepherd parent whether or not you choose to use a furminator. If you choose to use it, remember to be gentle with the tool and use it regularly. Pay attention to your dog’s shedding rate as it changes with the seasons. Be ready to use the tool more frequently in the spring and summer months while your dog is losing its winter coat.