Hair of the Dog


There’s a saying among Aussie owners: “everything tastes better with dog hair in it.”

These Aussie owners are of course WRONG. How do I know? I’ve been collecting data on this over the past several weeks. Mostly when biting into my lunch sandwich at work.


The hair is everywhere, not just in my food. My clothes have had more dog hair issues than they ever did when Rain’s Uncle Atticus lived with me. The 5’x7′ area rug in the living room needs to be de-furred every two weeks—a process that puts me on my hands and knees and takes about 40-45 minutes. When I make the bed in the morning, small chunks of fur fly as I toss the protective layer over the other layers. The protective layer is so called because it protects the inner layers of the bed from dog hair, muddy paws, drool, and so on. Or at least it’s supposed to. The dog hair has gotten so pervasive that it has penetrated the inner sanctum of my cozy bed. 😦

Rain has a thicker undercoat than most Aussies my family has had. She has been staying at my house more frequently since Thanksgiving, and I’ve barely brushed her at all.

One evening last week I decided to use a slicker brush on her for a bit. It was difficult to run the brush through the thick parts of her fur. I had to work in small patches, and carefully. When I decided to call it a night, I had a pile of dust bunnies made of dog hair that was about the size of a smaller dog. (Some people do amusing things with their dog fur piles to illustrate their size, like this.)

Her fur felt less dense, but I knew it was the tip of the furry iceberg.

In the days since this brushing session, I’ve been thinking about the best way to stay on top of the fur monster. It’s difficult for me to do regular brushing when it’s rainy outside, but clearly the chore needs to be done regularly. Should I pay for a professional groom one or two times a year and trust that I can keep up with Rain’s undercoat the rest of the time? Is this an issue I should tackle by making some bigger changes, like scheduling backyard grooming sessions? Setting up a grooming station in my flimsy, doorless shed to give us a little protection from weather? Perhaps I can consult with someone who handles Aussies for show about how to keep on top of the situation.

This weekend I reached out to a specialized grooming supply company called The 3Cs for a brush recommendation. Having the right tool for the job is a step in the right direction.

Are you a master of the Aussie undercoat? Tell me all your secrets!

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