Australian shepherd fur question

I have a 3 year old blue merle Australian shepherd with a mid-length coat. She has been shedding out her undercoat like crazy over the last few months and we have been brushing her frequently. I think she has finally finished shedding for now. My husband and I have both noticed that the texture of her fur feels much different - maybe a bit more coarse? It seems like her hair might also be getting longer because the two mohawks that she has down her back are getting more pronounced. We gave her a bath but that didn’t make a difference.

My husband has suggested that maybe she is growing in an adult coat but I would have expected that to happen at a younger age. We don’t remember the change in fur texture last summer. Nothing has changed in her diet or general health to suggest the change is health related. Any ideas whether this could be a seasonal thing or age thing?

So depending on diet, genetics, and topical products the coat softness can vary. However when double coated breeds are shedding their under coat they are shedding the very downy under layer. When that’s gone the coat can seem tougher since you primarily just have the guard hairs left.

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Your Aussie will shed again in the fall…many Aussie lines are slow to mature, and their coats can change even as 7 or 8 year olds.

Right now it looks like she has shed her undercoat.

I have 8 Aussies, and while they are all related, their coats are all different. Some have heavy undercoats, some have long straight topcoats, some have the occasional curl or wave in their coats like yours.


My Aussies’ coats slowly changed over the life of the dog. Spaying also changes the coat. Good looking girl you have there.


Is she spayed? If so that may be the reason although I agree that coat texture can and does change over time. But if spayed that is likely the difference. Eventually every hair will fall out and regrow but full growth takes a while.

Interesting that the coat changes over several years. The mother of this dog has a similar coat but father has a long silky coat. It will be interesting to see how this one develops.

Thanks! She is a beauty!

She is partially spayed - uterus removed but ovaries intact so she has all those hormones doing their thing. Maybe that plays a role here?

I doubt it then. It’s probably just maturity. Especially in dogs with longer hair; it takes a while for the whole entire coat to change over. It might be typical for this breed.

I assume, also, that you haven’t shaved her down before? Some people say that it can alter a dog’s coat but I don’t really think it usually does. I think what’s more common is that it seems to alter the coat texture because all the hairs are the same length and they are blunted.

So the altering the coat thing is true - if the dog has a certain genetic marker. I can’t remember which one it is but essentially if they have it there’s a good possibility the coat grows back patchy.

I shave my Aussie/border collie down each year on the recommendation of my vet. He’s an old man now and even as a young dog he had issues over heating. When we herded he would literally jump in the water through multiple times to cool down.

Another point - with a puppy clip it takes well over a year and a half for the coat to grow back properly. It may look relatively normal but that downy undercoat is still pretty minimal. I learned that lesson the first time I took my dog to a winter cabin after clipping him the summer before. He needed a jacket even though normally he’d practically sleep in the snow.

I’m not familiar with Aussies, but my spayed female started losing her undercoat along her sides recently, at about 3.5 years. In one spot she developed a bald patch. She was already on flax and my vet recommended fish oil. She’s on both now, and the plan is to reevaluate in a few months. Her bald patch grew back and she’s not losing undercoat anymore, although it’s hard to tell if it’s grown back all the way. It’s not getting worse. We’ll see what he says when we return, I think the plan was thyroid testing. She’s otherwise a normal looking/behaving dog with lots of energy. :woman_shrugging:t2: