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4 Australian Shepherd Haircuts & Grooming Guide (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

brushing australian shepherd dog

When people think of Australian Shepherds, they often picture one specific style. It may be surprising to learn that this breed can sport various haircuts for different looks!

If you own an Aussie, you know that their uniquely patterned coat adds to their beauty. In this guide, we look at the most popular haircuts for Australian Shepherds and discuss what you can do at home to keep your dog’s coat in top shape. An Australian Shepherd’s grooming is easier than you might think!

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The Top 4 Haircuts for Australian Shepherds Are:

1. The Teddy Bear Cut

The Teddy Bear Cut gives your Australian Shepherd a soft, fluffy look, similar to that of a puppy. The leg hair is trimmed short. The face has a rounded shape. The hair on the back end is rounded and puffy. The corners are rounded and instantly give your dog a slimming look.

Since the coat is puppy-like, it makes them look younger too. Your dog will look like a stuffed animal, inspiring the cut’s name.

2. The Minimal Cut

The minimal cut is just a trim. It keeps the natural look that follows the breed standard. To keep the coat looking neat, this style requires more brushing.

This cut trims the edges of the coat to even it out without sacrificing its natural length and shape. It controls overgrowth and keeps things tidy.

3. The Rounded Cut

This style is recommended for Australian Shepherds that have coats with just two colors or a brown overcoat. However, any Aussie can sport this style and look adorable.

The cut gives the dog a rounded appearance, making them look friendly and cuddly. Dogs with single color tones have their coat colors emphasized with this cut. The legs have a slim, clean look. The head is usually left natural for an extra-fluffy appearance.

4. The Simba Cut

This cut leaves the fur around the head and neck long, resembling a lion. Tufts of fur are usually left around the tail and paws, while the rest of the coat is trimmed. The dog looks regal and fluffy, like any good king of the jungle should.

This style is less common than the others, but it’s still a great option if you want your Aussie to stand out in the crowd.

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Australian Shepherd Grooming Guide

You can opt to use a professional groomer to keep your Australian Shepherd clean and neatly trimmed. A grooming appointment usually includes a bath, haircut, and nail trim. You can choose the haircut that you want for your dog. Many places have additional services available for extra costs, like ear cleaning and deep conditioning.

If you don’t know how to groom your dog or you’d like to groom your dog but just don’t have the space or time, professional groomers are there to help. Groomers have access to quality grooming tools and plenty of space to work. You won’t have to get your own bathroom soaked and covered in dog hair.

That said, grooming your own Aussie can be fun! If you’re interested in learning how to do this, there are plenty of tutorials available online. Luckily, the Australian Shepherd isn’t a difficult dog to groom.

Read on for our grooming guide for Australian Shepherds and learn tips to keep your dog clean and tidy either every day or just between professional grooming appointments.


Blue Merle Australian Shepherd
Image Credit: Vera Reva, Shutterstock

Brushing is the most efficient way to keep your Aussie looking their best. It’s also the most important thing that you can do to keep their skin and coat healthy. The dog should be brushed daily to have a soft, detangled coat. If they aren’t brushed, their coats can become matted, locking in dirt and debris. Plus, the more that you brush your dog, the easier it will be to brush them in the future. Brushing a tangle-free coat is easier than fighting with mats and tangles after weeks of neglect.

Australian Shepherds shed and they shed frequently. Brushing can help reduce the amount of hair that you see all over your house. You can use a slicker brush, steel comb, or de-shedding tool to remove as much loose hair as you can.

Start brushing from the head down to keep the coat smooth as you work. Carefully brush through any mats or tangles that you find without ripping them out of the coat. If you can’t remove a mat, you may want to trim it out with grooming scissors. It may leave an uneven look to the coat, but the mat should be removed to keep dirt from getting trapped in the hair.


Australian Shepherds don’t need frequent baths, which is a great thing about them. You’ll only need to bathe your dog if they’re excessively dirty or smelly. Use a good-quality shampoo with ingredients to nourish the skin, like aloe vera, oatmeal, and vitamin E. These ingredients will also smooth and soften coats.

If your Aussie has skin issues, like allergies, lesions, or infections, you may need a medicated shampoo. Talk to your vet about which shampoo would be best for your pup if they have any skin problems.

australian shepherd tricolor
Featured Image Credit: torstensimon, Pixabay

Trimming & Shaving

As a general rule, shaving your Australian Shepherd is never encouraged. Many people think that shaving a dog that sheds frequently will reduce shedding. This isn’t the case. The dog will just shed shorter hairs.

Aussies have double coats, meaning an undercoat exists under the topcoat. This holds a layer of temperature regulation for the dogs, keeping them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It also protects their skin from the sun. Shaving an Aussie means they lose their protection from the elements. The coat may not grow back in normally, so it won’t insulate the dog against heat or cold. It also won’t protect them from the sun, so your dog is at risk for sunburn.

If you’d like to trim your dog’s coat to keep it neat, a pair of 42–46 teeth thinning shears is recommended for a more natural look.

These shears can be used to thin the hair on your Aussie’s legs. Cut the fringe if you wish, although most Aussie leg hair is left natural. Trim the hair around the paws to keep the feet clean and free of trapped dirt and debris. Clippers work well for this and create less risk of injury to the paws.

Trimming should be done around the tail and ears to neaten the coat. Remove any unruly hair for a more aesthetically pleasing look.


The hair on your dog’s ears can be trimmed evenly during a haircut. The hair on the inside of the ears should also be trimmed to keep the ear canal from attracting and holding onto dirt, bacteria, and moisture.

Use this time to check your Aussie for signs of ear infections. Dogs with floppy ears tend to get more ear infections than other breeds, so look in each ear to see what’s going on. Check for any redness, swelling, tenderness, discharge, crustiness, or foul odor. If you notice any of these signs, contact your vet.

close up australian shepherd
Image Credit: Pascal zum Felde, Shutterstock


Don’t forget those pearly whites during your Australian Shepherd’s grooming session. Brushing your dog’s teeth will keep plaque and tartar from building up and causing dental issues over time.

You can use a regular brush or one that slides over your finger, making it easier to reach your dog’s teeth. First, add toothpaste to your dog’s toothbrush. Be sure to only use toothpaste suitable for dogs. Never use human toothpaste. Dog toothpaste is designed to be edible for them, so no rinsing is required.

Gently rub the brush over your dog’s teeth, reaching to the gumline where bacteria like to hide. Brush in circles to get the top and bottom teeth as you work your way from one side of the mouth to the other. Aim to do this for at least 2 minutes. If your dog is not used to getting their teeth brushed, you may have to start with shorter increments and work your way up.


Keeping your Aussie’s nails trimmed will prevent paw injuries. Overgrown nails can grow into paw pads and get snagged on objects and break or tear, causing a great deal of pain.

Nails that are too long also inhibit the way that your dog walks. Not only is each step painful, but altering movements to avoid pain can also lead to bone, muscle, and joint issues. Over time, this can cause arthritis.

Trim your dog’s nails up to the edge of the quick. The quick is the vein that runs down into the nail and carries blood. If you cut the quick, your dog will bleed. Be careful to cut just before the quick. If bleeding does occur, use cornstarch or styptic powder to stop it.

Use your clippers at an angle that follows the natural curve of the nail. Don’t cut a blunt edge. After you cut the nails, you can use a file to smooth any rough edges that might get snagged.

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Final Thoughts

There are several haircut options for your Australian Shepherd, so you can choose the one that matches their personality. Go for a look that you enjoy!

If you’d like your dog to have one of these styles but don’t know how to do it yourself, we recommend contacting a professional groomer. They can give keep your dog cleaned and trimmed for you. Also, there’s no cleanup to deal with at home!

If you’d like to tend to your dog yourself at home, our guide goes over the steps that you should take, including ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail clipping.

The most important thing to remember to do is brush your dog every day. This will keep their coats clean, smooth, and healthy.

Featured Image Credit: Jennie Book, Shutterstock

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