After going through a long list of dog breeds, you have finally settled on the cattle dog, and it feels like you hit the jackpot.
They are energetic, masculine, intelligent, and make great companions for both adults and children.
Those are the qualities you have been looking for in a dog.
But, before you leap, you are concerned about how much they shed?
Should you be concerned?
Do cattle dogs shed?
Yes, cattle dogs shed moderately throughout the year and increase the rate during the spring and fall in readiness for the change in weather patterns.
Cattle dogs feature a double coat, meaning they could carry more dead hair that falls off the coats than single-coat dogs.
All dogs shed at some point in their lifetime.
Although it’s a natural process, the difference in how much a dog sheds depends on several aspects like the breed, health, and time of the year.
Below we look at how much the cattle dogs shed and how to keep it under control.
How Much Do Cattle Dogs Shed?
Cattle dogs are heavy shedders.
You will leave it a few minutes on the couch, and the moment they walk off, the evidence of their presence is undeniable from the hairs left behind.
As their name suggests, the cattle dogs were initially meant for herding, and as such, they feature a thick coat meant to protect them while working outdoors.
With oncoming winter, they shed the lighter coat and grow a heavier one to keep them warm, aggravating the shedding.
Then, with temperatures rising, they no longer need the thick coat, which means they have to shed it, increasing the shedding.
In a year, the cattle dog will blow coat twice in response to the weather changes.
During the less extreme times of the year, the cattle dog will shed moderately.
The undercoat sheds more as their hair growth cycles are more active.
The hair follicle grows to a certain length, and once it hits maximum height, it falls off and allows a new hair follicle to emerge.
It’s this process in the cattle dogs that make their shedding rate higher.
How Can I Control Shedding on My Cattle Dog?
There are a few ways you can keep the shedding of your cattle dog under control:
Ensure you have the right diet for your dog.
Observe the nutrients you are serving the dog during every meal.
Although there isn’t a specific diet that can control shedding in dogs, feeding the dog with the right combination of nutrients helps keep it at a minimum.
For instance, ensure the meals have enough proteins.
You could also add supplements that boost the dog’s skin health to their meals.
It’s important since the health of a dog’s skin influences how much it sheds.
For example, if the skin is dry, it becomes itchy, and the dog sheds more.
You must regularly groom your cattle dog to eliminate the dead hairs and allow room for the new ones to thrive.
To groom your dog, ensure you brush it regularly and bathe it occasionally.
Brush the cattle dog regularly, like once or twice a week, to avoid matting and tangling of dead hairs on the undercoat.
To brush the cattle dog, use a slicker brush and a medium metal comb.
Start with the undercoat, brush off any dead hairs gently on the outwards, and finish with the outer coat.
Brush on the direction of the fur as this will make the dog cooperate as it’s soothing.
To avoid the hairs falling off on your surfaces, brush it outdoors or open space.
You can also bathe your cattle dog.
Do it occasionally when they are filthy because the cattle dog is generally clean, and the regular brushing should handle the dead hairs.
Use the right shampoo and conditioner when bathing the dog, as the wrong products could make the skin dry and itchy, aggravating the shedding.
Before and after the bath, give the cattle dog a thorough brushing as they tend to shed more during baths.
How to Bathe the Cattle Dog
Don’t rush water through the dog and assume it’s clean.
Since it’s an occasional affair, handle it properly.
If you don’t enjoy the process, get a professional dog groomer to do it.
If you choose to bathe the dog, follow this process:
- Ensure you have water at room temperature
- Brush off the dog first to remove dead hairs before bath
- Cover the ears with cotton balls to prevent water from penetrating
- Lather the dog entirely, from behind the ears to the back, down to the underbelly and the legs.
- Avoid getting the shampoo on the dog’s eyes as this will make the dog irritable.
- Rinse the dog thoroughly. Avoid leaving behind traces of shampoo as it will dry up and make the dog itchy, thereby increasing shedding.
- Dry up the dog
- Help it shake excess water
- Brush both coats, and that’s it.
The process should give you a clean and tidy dog whose skin is shiny and lustrous, devoid of dead hairs.
What Makes My Cattle Dog Shed Excessively
If the diet is right and you have been grooming the cattle dog regularly, then the excessive shedding could be a result of any of the following:
- Pregnancy or lactating females
- Parasites such as fleas and lice
- Skin infection
- Allergic reaction
- New environment
Get the cattle dog regularly checked by a vet to ward off serious ailments that could trigger excessive shedding.
Are the Cattle Dogs Hypoallergenic?
No, they aren’t hypoallergenic.
Their moderate to high shedding rate can easily trigger a reaction in people allergic to the fur.
Cattle dogs, otherwise known as the blue heelers, are a great breed.
They are not only strong and obedient but also beautiful.
Their coats, which mostly feature a blue hue with black or brown patches, make them admirable.
Commit to a balanced quality diet and proper grooming, and you will be rewarded with a jolly, strong, low-shedder pet.