I was doing some research the other day, and I noticed there are quite a lot of people posting on forums who are concerned about their Australian Shepherds having “short hair.” Many of these owners also expressed concern that their Aussies fur is not fluffy enough.
One of the defining characteristics of the Australian Shepherd is their long, thick, fluffy coat; so it’s understandable why so many owners become worried when they realize their Aussie has a short coat, and it isn’t getting any longer.
This phenomenon is more common than many people realize, however. No two dogs are ever 100 percent the same, even if they are the same breed, and Aussies are no exception. While most Australian Shepherds have the iconic long coat, it is typical that some will not, and there is no need to worry about it – i.e., there is nothing wrong with your Aussie.
Continue reading to learn more…
Why Some Australian Shepherds Have Short Coats
The Australian Shepherd is a complex breed that comes from a long line of European herding dogs, including Collies and Border Collies. Whenever a breed descends from several similar but different looking dogs, you can expect a lot of variety in their appearance.
For example, some Australian Shepherds have blue eyes, while others have brown eyes or even both; some have spots, whereas others have more or less solid colors; and some can get as large as 70 lb, while others won’t get much heavier than 35 lb – that’s a 100% difference in size!
The same holds true for the length of their fur. Again, most will have relatively long coats, but others will have medium-length coats, and on occasion some sport short coats.
Some owners argue that if an Aussie has a short coat, it is not a pedigree. Others insist that there short haired Aussie is 100 percent pure bred. I could not find any evidence to support the theory that an Australian Shepherd with shorter than usual fur is not pure bred.
Why It Doesn’t Matter if an Australian Shepherd Has Short Fur
The big, fluffy coat most Aussies sport is mainly for appearance. People like the way it looks, so breeders select for it. It’s really just that simple. Nevertheless, genetics are complicated, and selective breeding doesn’t always yield the intended result.
Having a short coat, even if it is not as fluffy as the typical Aussie, does not mean there is anything wrong with the dog. So if your Aussie pup is all grown up now but they don’t have the coat you were expecting, don’t sweat it.
American Kennel Club. Australian Shepherd. Retrieved from: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/australian-shepherd/