Dogs with double coats generally shed more than dogs with other coat types.
This means that you will need to spend plenty of time brushing your German Shepherd on a daily or weekly basis, especially if you don’t want a house covered in hair.
If your German Shepherd has a long, double coat, it is even more important that you make brushing your dog, and having a good brush for your German Shepherd, a priority.
Longer coats are prone to matting. Matted hair can be very painful for your dog, so a good grooming routine is essential for keeping your dog healthy and happy.
Bathing your German Shepherd is a task that you should undertake a couple of times per year.
Bathing your dog is important for keeping dirt and debris from causing irritation to your dog’s skin as well as keeping them from having an unpleasant odor.
Bathing your dog also helps wash away any lose hair that may not have been removed during regular brushing.
When you bathe your German Shepherd, make sure that you select a shampoo that is made specifically for dogs, and one that is good for double coats.
Once you’ve washed your dog, make sure that you dry them well, especially if it is cold outside. During the summer, you can safely let your dog “air dry”.
However, if you are bathing your dog in winter, and you live in colder climates, you will want to use a blow dryer on your dog. This will ensure that they stay warm, and avoid catching a chill.
Another essential grooming task that you may want to perform on a fairly regular basis, is trimming your dog’s nails.
Many German Shepherd owners don’t have to worry about this task, especially if they have active dogs that get plenty of exercise and spend lots of time running around.
Running on a variety of surfaces is a great way for your German Shepherd to keep their nails at a healthy and comfortable length, without using tools.
However, as your dog gets older and less active, you will want to watch their nails closely.
When a dog’s nails get too long, it can impact their ability to walk correctly, causing issues with knee and hip joints.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this task on your own, many vet offices and groomers with trim nails for a nominal cost. Some vet clinics will even trim nails for free during your pet’s regular visits.
If you don’t want to do all of this work yourself, a good groomer is always an option. However, make sure you do your research.
You also need to check references and reviews to make sure that your dog will be well cared for while they are with the groomer.
And, make sure you are specific about what you want from the groomer, otherwise you might end up with too much, or not enough grooming for your pup.
German Shepherd Grooming FAQs
Grooming your German Shepherd at home can be a big task, and there are often a lot of questions that come to mind as you are caring for your German Shepherd.
Your dog’s coat can require more work than you might realize to keep it healthy, and if you aren’t sure about the right way to care for you pup, you may end up with a big mess.
Here are some frequently asked questions about German Shepherd coats and how to groom them.
How often should you bathe your German Shepherd?
In general, your German Shepherd doesn’t need a bath that often.
Their thick double coat does a good job of keeping dirt, debris and bugs away from their skin.
However, that doesn’t mean that your dog never needs a bath. Most German Shepherds can use a good bath at least twice a year.
A good bath will help wash away dirt and debris that has worked its way deep in to your dog’s coat. This can cause irritation and itchiness for your dog.
A good bath will keep your dog from scratching by removing potential irritants from the coat.
Your German Shepherd’s double coat will also create oils, just like our own skin and hair does.
This oil, when it builds up can create a “sticky” feeling to your dog’s coat, and can also create an odor.
Too much oil can also hold on to dirt and make brushing your German Shepherd more challenging.
Bathing your dog at least a couple of times per year will limit the amount of oils that build up in your German Shepherd’s coat, keeping it soft, free of odors and reduce the amount of dirt in your dog’s coat.
Can you shave a German Shepherd?
There is some debate about shaving dogs with long coats.
Some groomers will tell you that shaving your dog will keep them cooler in the summer.
However, veterinarians will tell you that your dog’s coat is essential for protecting them from heat, cold and moisture, so shaving is not a great idea.
In general, we would suggest not shaving your dog. Shaving your German Shepherd can cause changes to their undercoat.
The downy undercoat of your German Shepherd is like a raincoat, a down jacket, and a bottle of sunscreen all in one.
If you shave this from your dog, and it doesn’t grow back well, you risk changing your dog’s ability to naturally withstand a variety of weather conditions.
Your German Shepherd has a natural ability to maintain its body temperature with that thick coat, so taking that away makes it more difficult for your German Shepherd to self-regulate its temperature.
However, there are times when shaving is necessary.
If your dog has a long coat, and it has become too matted to brush out, you can shave limited sections of their coat, to remove matted hair and make grooming with a brush easier.
Our recommendation, before you decide to shave your German Shepherd, consult with your veterinarian.
Why is my German Shepherd shedding so much hair?
Any creature with hair sheds.
That’s just a fact. If you live with a person with long hair, the likelihood is good that you find a ton of long hairs wrapped in your vacuum and attached to your clothes.
The same is true for any breed of dog, not just German Shepherds
It may seem however, like your German Shepherd sheds more than other dogs. This may have something to do with their double coat, their diet or even the time of year.
Dogs with double coats tend to shed more than other dogs. In order to stay healthy and protect your German Shepherd from the elements, their body constantly grows new hair, and lets go of older hairs.
This is a natural process, and it is essential for keeping your dog heathy.
Shedding is also a matter of season. If you’ve noticed an increase in your dog’s shedding during the spring or in the fall, you’re seeing your dog prepare for a change in temperatures.
In the spring, your dog will shed its heavy winter coat, growing a lighter summer coat.
This process will keep your dog from overheating during the summer months when temperatures are higher.
On the flip side, in the fall your German Shepherd will shed that lighter summer coat and begin to grow a thick, warmer coat.
This new coat will keep them warm during winter months, and allow them to spend time outside, without you having to buy them a coat.
Diet can also play a role in how much your dog sheds. Dog foods that do not have a good amount of natural, animal based fats may cause shedding more than dog foods that are well-balanced.
Fats are very important to keeping your German Shepherd’s coat and skin healthy.
Not giving your dog enough of the healthy fats that its body needs, will cause a variety of health issues, including excessive shedding.
How can you stop your German Shepherd from shedding?
The fast answer – you can’t stop your German Shepherd from shedding.
And the reality is, you don’t want your German Shepherd to stop shedding. Yes, you’ve probably got dog hair all over your house.
And any dog owner, no matter the breed would likely tell you that they would love it if their dog didn’t shed.
But shedding is a natural process, and it is important for maintaining a healthy dog. There are things that you can do to help reduce the mess that your dog makes from shedding, however.
Having a good grooming routine is the first, and easiest way to make shedding a more manageable process for both you and your dog.
Diet is another good way to reduce the amount that your dog sheds. Feeding your dog a high quality diet, with plenty of natural, animal based fats is a great way to help your German Shepherd maintain a healthy coat.
A healthy coat will shed significantly less than a coat that doesn’t have enough of the nutrients necessary to be healthy.
Since you can’t completely stop your dog from shedding, nor should you, you may want to consider some home “remedies” to reduce shedding or to keep your home looking tidy.
Start with a healthy diet. A good quality dog food is the easiest way to reduce shedding. If your dog consistently gets the right nutrition, they will be healthier over-all and you’ll notice less shedding.
Add a bit of olive oil to their food. Olive oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds are great for healthy skin and fur. For most large dogs, about 1 tablespoon per meal is plenty to help with shedding.
Add molasses to their food. Some dogs won’t like the taste of olive oil, so a good alternative, that is also great for skin and fur, is molasses. Molasses has a bit of sweetness to it, so it’s like an extra sweet treat for your pup that can also reduce shedding. For best results, 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight, mixed with their food is great.
Brush daily. Yes, this is a lot of work, but if you really don’t want to deal with a house covered in hair, it’s a legitimate answer.
Baths. Lots of Baths. While your German Shepherd really only needs a bath a couple of times per year, if you want to keep shedding to minimum, bathe your dog weekly.
And, finally, it may not be a home remedy to “give” your dog, but we’d recommend that you invest in a good vacuum.
You aren’t going to stop your dog from shedding, so make sure you have a good tool available to clean up the hair that they do shed.
This will make your life easier, and keep your home healthy for everyone that lives there, too.
How often should you brush your German Shepherd?
We’ve made lots of suggestions throughout this buying guide about how often you should brush your German Shepherd.
The short answer to this question is that you should brush as frequently as possible.
Especially if you own a long coated German Shepherd, frequent brushing will reduce shedding and keep your dog’s hair from matting.
Most experienced Shepherd owners will suggest that a good grooming routine will include a weekly brushing, at the minimum.
If you are really concerned about keeping hair at a minimum in your home, or if you want to avoid matting, brushing every other day or daily is your best bet.
One of the most important parts of owning a German Shepherd is having a good routine of grooming.
Your German Shepherd is a shedding machine, that’s just a fact. This means starting early with a process and buying the right tools for the job.
In this guide, we’ve given you lots of suggestions of great tools to use, and how to keep shedding at a minimum for your German Shepherd.
These aren’t the only options out there, but they’ll get you started on the right path for keeping your German Shepherd happy, healthy, and looking amazing.