You might think that a Blue Heeler is not comfortable during the hot summer days. You might think that the double coat of your puppy might make him sweat a bit more. And naturally, you might be wondering, can you shave a Blue Heeler?
This question has left many people wondering, if would it be cooler for their dogs to trim their coats. Or even have them shaved? Well, we have the answer to your question.
Understanding Your Dog’s Hair
The first thing you need to do is understand your dog’s coat. Now, the question is do Blue Heelers have fur or hair? Well, the simple answer is they have fur, and it makes a lot more difference when it comes to regular grooming, shedding, and trimming. According to the standard by the American Kennel Club, the Blue Heeler is a double-coated breed with dog fur.
Dog fur and dog hair are both made of keratin, but they are different. For starters, dogs with fur typically shed more than those with hair. The difference is in the growth cycle.
Dog hair has a longer growth cycle, growing to greater lengths, and shedding less frequently. Dogs with fur, on the other hand, have a short growth cycle. And because their cycle is short, their hair falls out more frequently to make room for the new hair follicles.
The second reason why a Blue Heeler might shed more is because it has a double coat. It consists of a soft undercoat for insulation, and a coarse, protective outer coat.
The fur of the Blue Heeler feels coarse and rough. Those two features protect the Australian Cattle Dog from the elements when he works outdoors.
Why You Shouldn’t Shave Your Blue Heeler?
Now let’s go back to the original question, and that is can you shave a Blue Heeler. Well, it is never a good idea. Shaving your double-coated dog might cause the dog fur to grow back thicker. That will result in even more shedding than before.
The double coat of your Blue Heeler dog is there to regulate body temperature, protect your dog from the elements, and provide insulation. Shaving will remove the protection, resulting in sunburn, injuries, probably allergies, and skin infections. Here are the three most important reasons why you shouldn’t shave a Blue Heeler dog.
- Their coat regulates body temperature, keeps your puppy warm in the winter, and protects him from the sun in the summer. Unlike your logic that shaving might make your dog cooler, it doesn’t work that way. Instead, the coat keeps your dog cool in the summer
- The double coat serves as a protection. Remember, Blue Heelers spend a lot of time outdoors, and their coat protects them from extreme weather, cuts, scratches, sunburn, and insect bites and stings
- And last, and most importantly, once shaved, the coat might regrow thicker and wiry and result in your dog shedding even more
Can You Trim a Blue Heeler?
Now, since shaving is out of the question, let’s talk about trimming. Same as shaving, it is not recommended to trim a Blue Heeler. Why? You might trim make it too short. The only time you should and can trim a Blue Heeler is if there is mud or debris stuck in it. Or if his fur becomes matted.
How to Groom Your Blue Heeler?
Let’s talk about how you should groom your Australian Cattle Dog. Regular brushing and bathing is all you need. Those two provide the necessary hair removal, prevent matting, and keep your dog’s double coat well-oiled.
- Brush your Blue Heeler puppy once per week to get rid of loose hair, and distribute natural oils through the coat
- Use grooming gloves with soft prongs on the palm to turn your hand into a brush, making it a special bonding experience with your pet
- If you bathe your Blue Heeler dog, dry him with a towel. Do not use a blow dryer unless it is one designed for pets
- Blue Heelers do not need regular baths like most dogs. Their double coat repels dirt. Frequent bathing might remove the natural oils, resulting in a dry skin. You should bathe your Australian Cattle Dog once every four months, or even six months if possible.
Do Blue Heelers Shed?
Speaking of shedding, Blue Heelers shed moderately throughout the year with periods of heavy seasonal shedding. They are not hypoallergenic. Yes, there are times when breeders try to mix them with other breeds to get a hypoallergenic dog.
But even in that case, the chances for a hypoallergenic dog are 50/50. Why? Because the offspring gets 50% of the genes of the mother and 50% of the father. If only one of the parents is hypoallergenic, that is a 50% chance the offspring will be as well.
Blue Heelers shed moderately throughout the year. They do have a blowout season when they blow their coats out. During this period, they shed massively for two to four weeks. You can reduce excessive shedding during this period by brushing your puppy more often.