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Short-Haired Australian Shepherd: Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

Jessica Rossetti

By Jessica Rossetti

short-haired australian shepherd dog standing outdoor

If you think of an Australian Shepherd, you might picture their famously thick, fluffy, silky coats. Aussies are known for their unique markings and beautiful fur, so it may surprise you to see one with short hair!

Short-haired Australian Shepherds exist, and the only difference between them and their long-haired counterparts is their coat length. The dog is not a separate breed. They are still Aussies in every way, just not as fluffy. If you’re wondering if this dog is right for you, this article will tell you the most important things to know about them.

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Can Australian Shepherds Have Short Hair?

Australian Shepherds can and do have short hair. A short-haired Aussie does not mean that they are not purebred or that there is something wrong with the dog. Breeders tend to breed these dogs to have fluffy coats because that’s what people usually like. They breed the dogs that supply the demand.

Dogs with a gene for short coats may end up passing it down to their puppies no matter what. Short-haired Aussies are not that rare either. The dogs look exactly the same as long-haired Aussies in size, body shape, and markings. They just look like they’ve had a haircut. Their coats are smooth and short.

Deciding between a long-haired or short-haired Aussie is just a matter of preference. With short-haired Aussies, you don’t have to take your dog for haircuts, which might be a bonus. Long-haired Aussies will require regular grooming that includes clipping to keep their coats tidy.

It is perfectly natural for some Aussies to have short hair, even though the standard coat length for this breed is medium, according to the American Kennel Club. Some people believe that the coat length depends on the types of dogs being bred. If the Aussies are considered to be working breeds and spend their time herding livestock, they tend to have short coats. Long-haired Aussies are considered show and prize dogs.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd dog outdoors
Image Credit: EvitaS, Pixabay

5 Short-Haired Australian Shepherd Facts

1. They Shed

You might think that a shorter coat means less shedding, but that’s not the case with Aussies. They are known for their heavy shedding, so it just means the hairs that they shed will be shorter. You can try to mitigate this issue by regularly brushing your dog to remove the dead hair before it ends up around the house.

2. They Herd

Short-haired Aussies are still true to their roots as shepherds and consider children and other pets in the home part of their flock. This means they will try to herd them by chasing and nipping at them to keep them in line. They may need training to show them that this isn’t acceptable.

3. They’re Not Really Australian!

Australian Shepherds originated in the Basque region of Spain. Basque shepherds used dogs to control their flocks. They were known as Basque Shepherd dogs and contributed to the development of the Australian Shepherd. The Basque people took their dogs with them to Australia. After that, they brought them to the United States. The dogs were then referred to by Americans as Australian Shepherds. The breed was then developed further through selective breeding. Australian Shepherds as we know them today originated in the United States.


4. Their Eye Color Is Unique

All Aussies, no matter how long their coats are, commonly have two different eye colors. This is called heterochromia. Sometimes, the dog can have two colors in the same eye.

5. Their Tails Are Naturally Short

Australian Shepherds were bred to have naturally short tails, so many of them have a bobbed look. This kept them safer while they were herding. About one in five dogs will be born with bobbed tails.

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What Is the Temperament of a Short-Haired Australian Shepherd?

Short-haired Australian Shepherds are intelligent, energetic dogs that love to stay active. They’re friendly and affectionate with their owners but can be wary of strangers until they get to know them. This dog loves playing, hiking, and running. Their temperament is not different from long-haired Aussies.

If this dog doesn’t get enough exercise, they can become destructive and develop behavioral issues. They need daily exercise and playtime to stay healthy and happy.

Aussies are friendly with people and other animals, but they may try to herd them. Obedience training will help keep this behavior to a minimum or stop it altogether.

These dogs are smart and can compete in dog sports and agility. Anything that combines training and activity is going to be a winning combination for them.

They are a loyal breed and will be dedicated to protecting their family.

australian shepherd dog licking near table and chairs
Image Credit: flashdashaway, Shutterstock

Where Can I Find a Short-Haired Australian Shepherd?

Australian Shepherd breeders may have short-haired puppies available. You also may be able to find breeders that specifically breed short-haired Aussies, although it’s not a guarantee that they won’t also end up with dogs that have long coats.

Make sure you choose a reputable breeder. They will let you visit the premises, see the dogs, and look at the puppies. They’ll answer any questions that you have and be up front and open with information. If you feel like a breeder is being short with you or trying to hide something, move on to someone else. The right breeder will put the health of their dogs first and provide you with vet paperwork showing that the puppies have been checked out and deemed healthy. The puppies will also receive age-appropriate vaccinations and parasite treatments.

If you would like to adopt a short-haired Aussie, contact your local Australian Shepherd rescue group. You can also search rescue groups online to view available dogs in your area.

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Final Thoughts

Short-haired Australian Shepherds are still the same breed as other Aussies, they just have shorter coats! Australian Shepherds are known for their fluffy coats with beautiful markings. Short-haired Australian Shepherds are exactly the same, just with less hair.

These herding dogs make great family pets and lovable companions. Even though they have short coats, they can still shed heavily, so regular brushing is necessary. If you’re considering adding one of these dogs to your family, make sure you find a reputable breeder. You can also work with a rescue organization to find the right dog for you.

Featured Image Credit: VKarlov, Shutterstock

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