Maybe you have had an Aussie for a long time or just looking to get one either way it is a good idea to know how to groom them and keep their hair healthy. Also a good idea to know much an Australian Shepherd is going to shed and how to stay ahead of it. Having dog hair all over the house can be very tough to clean up unless maybe you get one of those pet roomba auto vacuums.
So can you use a FURminator on your Australian Shepherd?
FURminators should not be used for an Australian Shepherd or any other dog with an undercoat. The FURminator is actually like a razor so it cuts the undercoat which any groomer will tell you is a very bad idea because it will cause damage. You should use an undercoat rake first for around 10-20 minutes once a week and pin brush 2-4 times a week.
This doesn’t mean you absolutely can’t use the FURminator if you already have one or have been using one on your Aussie. We are just stating that you probably shouldn’t use it since it actually cuts the undercoating of the dog.
If you absolutely want to use the FURminator just make sure you are very gentle since it is more like a razor then that of a brush. Make sure you still use a different brush like a paddle brush first to remove the tangles and straighten the hair. Then use the FURminator this will keep from from pulling and cutting more hair then it can with the tangles.
We will go over the alternatives to the FURminator along with how the FURminator actually works. Also we have gone out and got the opinions of actual Aussie Owners to bring this back to you to answer any and all of your questions on this situation.
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How Does The FURminator Work?
The FURminators sole purpose is to remove the undercoat which is the coat that dogs shed throughout the year. Although this can workout great for most dogs that isn’t always the case for Australian Shepherds.
The reason we don’t use the FURminator on our Aussies anymore is because unless you keep your dog very clean and groomed already it is likely to tear and shred the undercoat instead of just removing the loose frizzy hair.
So if your Australian Shepherd isn’t outside getting dirty every day like ours are on the farm it may work better. We live on a small horse farm with lots of animals so our dogs are constantly getting dirty and wet.
NEVER USE THE FURMINATOR on your WET AUSSIE as this will cause tugging and ripping of the coat.
Using The FURMinator On Australian Shepherds
If you are deadset on using the FURMinator that is fine. The way you minimize damage and make it enjoyable for your Aussie is to use shampoo and mainly a nice conditioner to keep their hair smooth.
This way there will be less knotted hair for the FURminator to pull out. Take your time and use lightly do not apply much presser as it isn’t needed.
While you are giving them a bath using a good shampoo and conditioner try a rubber brush that will help work that conditioner in their deep all the way to the roots of their undercoat.
We love our Aussies, but don’t believe just us we have gone out and gathered FURminator opinions from other Australian Shepherd owners and brought that back to you.
We curated this information from several different Aussie sites and forums. Only corrected grammar and spelling where needed to make more readable. Other then that the answers and opinions remain the same.
Real Aussie Owner Opinions
1. Cpersall “Used it but did cut the hair of Aussies” – Any aussie people I know do not like the furminator for the reasons you mentioned. My puppy’s breeder who also works as a groomer hates them. I’ve have tried it (I used to work at a pet store and had free access to grooming tools) and found right away it was only cutting my aussies fur.
I find that a fine toothed comb works best to get right down to the undercoat and get out any burrs or whatever is stuck in their coat. The comb I have is one up from a flea comb with 1 inch teeth. I line comb (skip to min 1:15) which is basically lifting the fur up and combing underneath. My aussie also gets small mats kind of like mini dreadlocks especially when he goes swimming.
I find that the brush like you are using is really only good for tidying up the coat, but not really getting the loose stuff out. A slicker brush will do a better job, but I still find the comb works the best.
2. Broja “First just pull out clumps of hair” – We use a Furminator. But first, we pull out massive clumps of hair by hand because he is timid and that’s easier on him. He’s timid in general, not just around the Furminator.
3. Signgirlamy10 “Use undercoat rake instead of FURminator” – I use an undercoat rake (a Furminator actually cuts the hair so I’m not a fan), a Chris Christensen 20 (pin brush), and a slicker. I mainly use the slicker to remove burrs or other junk the dogs pick up at the lake or hiking. The other brushes are my primary grooming brushes.
I also use a pair of curved scissors to trim feet and thinning shears for ears.
4. FSHammersmith “Kong Zoom Groom over FURminator” – For all that loose overcoat ‘tumbleweed’ fur I got one of the Kong Zoom Groom brushes. It’s soft rubber/silicone with thick nubs and has done REALLY well at getting just stray topcoat hair off. It’s like a hair squeegee, just sweeps it off.
5. MR_Ballyhoo “Our Aussie hates the FURminator” – I’ve tried to use the furminator on my Aussie but he hates it a lot. i usually end up just using a normal grooming comb, which helps with the little matts you get in their fur from time to time, then run back over with a brush. His coats looks awesome after doing it and he loves it when i groom him this way. The second he sees me pull the brush and yellow handled comb out, he just lays at my feet and gets that “lets do this” look on his face.
What Is The Best Brush For An Australian Shepherd?
Aussies have very unique coats and with that you need a more unique and efficient brush. We personally like the Petbyrn Deshedding Slicker Brush. This is mainly due to the design that it actually will rake the undercoat so it with get rid of the shed hairs while detangling at the same time.
We have also gone out and gathered information from Aussie Owners on their best brush setups for their Australian Shepherds.
Best Brushes For Aussie Deshedding (Real Owner Opinions)
1. Crock “Zoom Grooms” – Zoom Grooms or other rubber curries are good to have on hand, but I’d definitely suggest getting an undercoat rake comb
2. QuestsMom “Skip the FURminator” – An undercoat rake. Skip the furminator, it’ll just strip his too guard hairs and expose the undercoat, not good for him.
3. Cali “Undercoat rakes all you need” – Undercoat rakes are the best. And they’re cheap! That’s almost all I use on my Aussies.
4. Jclark343 “Large slicker brush” – The breed who I got my aussie from recommended a large slicker brush and a comb. She shows aussies in Confirmation so I went with it.
5. CharliGirl “Slicker brush” – I highly recommend the Tougher Than Tangles Slicker Brush. It has extra long bristles that can get down to the skin, but are soft enough to not scrape it.
Wholesale Pet & Grooming Supplies – Ryan’s Pet Supplies – Tuffer Than Tangles Slicker Brush (Regular Medium)
That, along with a metal comb, is pretty much all you need for regular shedding. If he is blowing coat, I would highly recommend a trip to the groomer for a blow out to get all of the loose undercoat out. You can either pay to have them do it, or many salons have some sort of a self washing station where you can use their dryers yourself. It takes some practice to master, but a good blow out with a quality dryer can get a lot more hair out in a lot less time with less damage to the skin and topcoat than a brush could.
6. Indy788 “Slicker brush” – I have a slicker brush, undercoat rake, and a furminator but nothing works like the mars coat king: Mars Coat King – Mars Grooming Products (they’re cheaper on amazon)
Honestly, I used this thing once and a friend saw him later and the day and asked if I had gotten him a haircut. Also despite the looks of this brush it’s really less abrasive than any of the brushes mentioned above. My pup doesn’t really like being brushed at all but with the mars coat king he will sit longer and tolerate it much more than the other brushes.
I find that the slicker brush is only good for finishing. I only use that after I’ve brushed him with the mars king coat and sprayed an almond oil/water mix to soften his coat.
So out of the 77 Aussie Owners we went over in forums only 2 of them actually recommended using the FURminator. So that means that just about 3% of the Aussie Owners would use the FURminator on their Australian Shepherd.
We used it for years especially on our Toy Australian Shepherds we didn’t have any problems when they were younger but they really started to hate it and we could see the damage it was doing at that point.
We do take them to a groomer everything once in a while and that is when they actually told us we should never use the FURminator so live an learn I guess.
Since then we have used a higher quality shampoo and conditioner to get their coats back in shape which also makes grooming and deshedding much easier.
We have since gone to the slicker brushes you don’t have to spend an arm and leg on them as they are very cheap. Even with all this it will help but not eliminate the issue of your Aussie shedding and you in turn having to clean it up.
So as we stated in the opening paragraph if you can afford to get a nice PET ROOMBA like this one. The Roomba 650 seems to do a great job for our Australian Shepherds along with our Lab.
Another area to look into is the Aussies food make sure they are getting high quality food. We have used both Eukanuba and Science Diet. Currently our toy Aussies that are both in double digits with age are on Science Diet Adult 7+ which helps with their coat. Since then their shedding has gotten a little bit better so highly worth it.
Also talk to your vet they can also recommend supplements that will help with shedding and strengthening your Aussies coat as they age. Depending on where you live you will have more or less issues as the years go on as well. Aussies in warmer climates their hair won’t grow as much meaning it won’t shed as much.
Where we live in upstate New York we get all 4 seasons so our dogs fur is constantly growing or shedding.
How Many Coats Does An Australian Shepherd Have?
The Australian Shepherd has two coats where the outer layer is meant to protect against the weather and the inner layer or undercoat is there to provide extra insulation.
How To Deshed An Australian Shepherd?
- Regular brushing weekly is a must
- Baths with shampoo and conditioner every few months
- Using different brushes such as undercoat brush along with a comb to keep hair smooth
- Feed high quality food with extra supplements for your dogs coat so it can be health and shiny
Doing these steps will ensure you will have a Aussie that is easy to deshed and also needs to be deshedded less frequently then if you didn’t follow these steps.