Do All Kinds of Sheepdogs Shed?

by Deborah Lundin
    The puli breed's coat intertwines into cords, which reduces shedding.

    The puli breed's coat intertwines into cords, which reduces shedding.

    Dana Neely/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Unless you have a dog with no hair, he's going to shed. Shedding is a normal process in healthy dogs. How much hair a dog sheds, however, can depend on the breed and seasonal changes. Sheepdogs are no different. While many sheepdog breeds have long hair, it doesn’t mean you will be cleaning up large piles of hair each day.

    Healthy dogs lose small amounts of hair similar to their human companions. Just as you may notice hair in the shower or collecting in your brush, a dog sheds hair in the same way. During winter months, dogs may grow thicker coats to protect against the cold. When spring arrives, these heavy coats shed. Keeping a dog inside reduces these natural temperature changes and the need for coat thickness fluctuations. Regardless of the breed, regular grooming with a brush designed for your dog’s coat helps to reduce the amount of hair shed on a regular basis.

    When it comes to sheepdogs, one of the most recognized breeds may be the Old English sheepdog. Covered in fluffy hair, you may assume these dogs shed heavily, but that is not the case. Old English sheepdogs do not shed a seasonal coat. However, because of their long, fluffy coats, they do require daily grooming to reduce the risk of matting and skin problems.

    The Bouvier des Flandres breed originated in Belgium where it is used for herding livestock. While they have long hair, their coat is unique and designed to reduce shedding. Coarse guard hairs in the outer coat trap the shedding undercoat hairs, keeping them off the floor and furniture. However, this trapping of hair requires regular brushing or the trapped hair becomes matted.

    The Hungarian puli is a medium-sized dog used for sheep herding. This breed’s coat is unique in that the undercoat and outercoat weave together between 6 and 9 months of age, to create long cords. This intertwining reduces shedding almost completely. Initial help from the owner is necessary during the early months to help establish correct cord formation and avoid large clumping or matting. One downside is when these cords get wet, they can take days to dry naturally.

    Photo Credits

    • Dana Neely/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

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