Do German Shepherds Shed A Lot
Almost all dog breeds shed, but it seems like thats all your German Shepherd ever seems to do! No matter what time of year, no matter what the weather, no matter what hes doing, theres always a pile of hair beneath him every time you pet him.
German Shepherds do shed a lot. As a double-coated breed, they are naturally heavy shedders and will molt their fur all year round. They will also blow their coat in the fall and spring. This is when they change their undercoat, ready for the new season ahead, and shedding is particularly heavy.
So, to understand this a little better, lets take a more in-depth look at the type of coat that German Shepherds have.
German Shepherds are double-coated, having two layers of fur. The thick, soft, woolly undercoat protects them from the cold and heat and regulates their temperature. The outer coat is dense and coarse and protects the skin from water, dirt, and other external environmental factors.
This is why German Shepherds are good outside dogs and working dogs, as they can tolerate many different weather conditions.
What you might not know is that the shedding habits of the German Shepherd follow a schedule, in a sense. In fact, twice a year, German Shepherds blow or change their coats. Thats why they seem to shed a lot more during certain times of the year.
Lets now take a look at the molting habits of German Shepherds so you can understand how to reduce and control shedding.
Right Grooming Treatments For Your Pets
Eyes and Ear Cleaning
There are cases that you might not notice everything about your pet, especially if you are terribly busy. It is why bringing them to do groomer will do you and your pet pleasant. They can check for possible cataracts or any abnormal appearance in the eye. As for the ear, they can check for likely mites in it.
Paw Nails Trimming
Cutting their nails is an excellent chance to see if ticks are lurking in your pets paw or nails. Having long nails can bring discomfort to your pet. It can affect his or her everyday activities. Walking might even become a problem too because of long nails.
Hair Washing and Grooming
Your pets hair is important because it protects their skin from getting scarred and getting exposed to extreme heat. For German shepherds, they shed a lot of hair. It is better to use only the best dog brush for German Shepherds and canine pets. Keep it always maintained by following the groomers instructions on washing and grooming his or her hair.
Brushing the teeth and cleaning it will lessen the presence of plaque. The plaque can cause bacteria that could affect the health of your pet. Dirty and broken teeth hinder them from eating properly. It makes them lose their appetite too.
Do Dogs Worry About Their Owners
Doggy dont worry, dont worry, no more. For a long time, cynics have argued that dogs dont really love their Owners. The truth, they posit, is that dogs are simply adept at manipulating humans their chief food source. However, the evidence also suggests that a pups love for their human friends is pure and true.
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Are German Shepherds Aggressive
Like any animal, the exact characteristics of a German Shepherd will vary based on the puppy that you choose, the environment where it is raised, and the regular attention and care that it receives.
In fact, the regular training and care a German Shepherd receives impacts it more than many dog breeds.
What impact do training and care have?
One of the reasons some people fear German Shepherds is because they may have experienced, or heard a story, about an aggressive German Shepherd.
If a German Shepherd shows aggressive tendencies, it is often due to one of the following:
- Their owner or handler was being threatened.
- They are being confined in a small area and possibly neglected.
- They were trained to be aggressive.
Many German Shepherds aggressiveness comes because they are kept in a small area or neglected. Sadly, some people do train German Shepherds to be aggressive.
Why does a small area or neglect encourage aggression in a German Shepherd?
Because of their high-energy nature and desire for human companionship, a confined German Shepherds energy begins building and leads to frustration.
If they are confined too long, this frustration becomes bottled in the German Shepherd. When a stranger then approaches the dog, the German Shepherd begins releasing this frustration, and it can be interpreted as aggression.
German Shepherds who are neglected also bark a lot and chew on things around them. This is due to their frustration and pent-up energy.
Next Use The Pin Brush On Thicker Areas Of Hair
Thick hair areas, such as around the neck, back of the legs, and belly areas, are where you need to pay close attention because the hair tends to get easily overlooked since its thicker. Use light pressure to avoid any scratching.
Be careful not to scratch your dogs skin when using the pin brush, especially when introducing the brush to your puppy. Avoid using this brush on their stomachs and bellies unless you have a soft touch.
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Get A Tool Designed For German Shepherds
The best way to groom your German Shepherd is with a de-shedding tool designed specifically for German Shepherds. These tools take your German Shepherds thick undercoat into account and dig out any loose hairs that otherwise would find themselves scattered across the floor in your home.
You need to pick a comb or brush tool that will reach all the way through your German Shepherds fur and be able to latch onto any hair that might just be sitting there. They are ideal to use when your dog is blowing his coat.
I use the FURminator undercoat de-shedding tool from Amazon. It really does a good job by removing all the dead and loose hair as it reaches through your GSDs topcoat without cutting his skin or damaging the outer coat. You can get this tool from any good pet store, and there are a ton of 5-star reviews that you can read on Amazon if you prefer online shopping.
Check out this video below showing an elderly German Shepherd being de-shedded, also with the FURminator tool. This dog hadnt been de-shedded or brushed for around 6 months! Theres enough fur to make a woolly sweater!
How Should I Clean My Dogs Ears
Cleaning a dogs ears is probably the simplest part of the grooming routine. Your German Shepherds ears should be cleaned at least once a week.
You can buy special ear wax drops from your vet. Put a few drops of these in your dogs ear and it will dissolve the excess wax. Your dog will shake out the remaining liquid by shaking its head.
You can use a cloth to clean the area outside of your dogs ear, but never put anything inside of your dogs ear beside the drops.
Dont use water in the place of the ear drops. Water wont get rid of the ear wax. It will just sit in your dogs ear and could create an infection. The ear drops are specially formulated to keep your dogs ears dry.
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What Type Of Brush Do I Need For A German Shepherd
While it is possible to use one type of brush for a German Shepherd dog, it is better to use a variety. Slicker brushes have little balls on the end of their bristles. These are ideal for the top coat and guard hair. It helps to keep the hair in condition and the dog will often enjoy being brushed with them as they feel therapeutic.
Undercoat brushes have finer teeth and are best at ensuring the undercoat is kept in best condition. These can be most useful during shedding season as they will be best at removing dead hair. Long hair dogs may need a different brush to medium dogs.
Dematting combs are special brushes which have metal teeth to help us work out tangles and knots. They will only need to be used when necessary. If we brush our German Shepherd regularly, the dog will not likely need a dematting comb.
The Zoom Groom: Best Brush For Wet And Dry Grooming
The Zoom Groom is perfect for both dry and wet use!
The Zoom Groom brush works great for getting shampoo and conditioner onto the skin of thick-coated German Shepherds.
Massaging bristles work through deep undercoats to work products into the coat and hair without discomfort. With gentle rubber tips, this tool is also perfect for dry brushing German Shepherd puppies!
Use the gentle and soft rubber Zoom Groom to work up a cleansing lather of shampoo or to helps reach your dogs skin through their dense fur if you need to apply any treatments.
The wet and dry brush is a convenient tool to keep on hand for times when you need both a brush in the bath and after the bath.
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Is Dog Teeth Cleaning Necessary
Dogs can get tarter, plaque, bad breath, and gum disease just like humans so it is important to keep your dogs teeth clean. Your dogs teeth will need to be cleaned a lot more often than they will need to be bathed.
Its recommended that you brush your dogs teeth at least three times a week, but brushing your dogs teeth every day would be best. You may have to work with your dog to get them comfortable with getting their teeth cleaned.
Make sure you use toothpaste for dogs, not toothpaste for humans. Dogs toothpaste can safely be swallowed by dogs so you dont have to worry about it harming them.
Try putting a tiny amount of toothpaste on each tooth before you start brushing just to relax your dog. You may even want to let your dog sniff and/or taste the toothpaste.
Once your dog is relaxed, brush the teeth in a circular motion, making sure you brush near the gum lines. Try and be thorough but be gentle.
This is one of the things I wish I did more when Allie was a puppy.
I didnt start regularly brushing her teeth until she was older and now its a struggle. Normally, her mouth is wide open, but when the toothbrush comes out her mouth closes up like a clam.
Imagine someone trying to pry open the mouth of a German Shepherd while also trying to brush teeth, Im sure its a comical sight. Luckily, Ive been able to reach enough of her teeth that she hasnt had any dental issues.
Pin And Bristle Brushes
Pin and bristle brushers are double-sided, featuring a soft-bristle brush on one side and a mat of plastic-tipped pins on the other.
These are handy, and they save you the expense of buying a separate soft-bristled brush.
You can use the pin brush to get rid of loose undercoat, debris, and dirt. The soft brush side can then be used to pick up any loose hair from the top of the coat, leaving it with a lovely shine.
The Safari Pin & Bristle Brush for Dogs* is a best-seller on Amazon.
This well-made brush has round-ended pins that are designed to be easy on your dogs skin, and soft bristles to slide smoothly over the coat.
Another pin and bristle brush we like is the best-selling HaloVa Professional Double Sided Pin & Bristle Bamboo Brush*.
The HaloVa is a superior-quality brush that does an excellent job.
The brushs round-ended pins are made from durable plastic, and its bristles are manufactured from all-natural material.
Whats more, its back and handle are made from responsibly-sourced wood.
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Cleaning Your German Shepherds Ears
Keeping your Shepherds ears clean is an important part of their care. Though German Shepherds have ears that arent as prone as some other breeds to chronic infection, ear infections can still happen from time to time.
Keeping your dogs ears clean can help to prevent the occurrence of infection, and also prevent your dog from experiencing any unnecessary pain.
In order to clean your dogs ears, you have to know if they are even in need of an ear cleaning in the first place. Be aware that cleaning your dogs ears when its not needed can also cause infection, so it can be a tricky process.
A clean ear will be odorless, flesh-colored, free of irritation, no swelling, no obvious debris, and no pain will be experienced when it is touched.
An ear in need of basic cleaning may have a slight odor, obvious debris in the ear, the hair around or in the ear may appear waxy. Your dog may also shy away from ear and head rubs.
If you see inflammation in the ear at any point during your ear examination, see your veterinarian before doing any cleaning on your own at home.
Cleaning the ear when an infection is present can be excruciating for your pet, and can further irritate the ear.
The only tools that you need to perform an ear cleaning at home are some cotton balls and a veterinary-approved ear cleanser of your choice. Make sure to avoid the use of Q-Tips, as they can cause injury to the inner canal of the ear.
Two important things to keep in mind when cleaning your dogs ears are:
Bathing And Grooming The German Shepherd
German Shepherd Dogs only need baths occasionally. This is the case assuming that they are fed good quality food and brushed out and groomed on a regular basis. Baths should be given no more than once or twice a year to avoid drying out their skin – over-bathing your German Shepherd will strip its coat of it’s natural oils.
Remember to use a shampoo made specifically for dogs since their body “pH” is so different from shampoos made for people. You may find that during flea season that you will need to bathe your German Shepherd more often as part of a complete program to control these little critters.
When grooming the German Shepherd and bathing it you should also place cotton in their ears to prevent water from entering the ear canal. This will help to prevent potential future ear infections.
If you don’t know how to wash your dog properly we have created a new page entirely on the correct way to wash your GSD.
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Why You Should Use De
De-shedding tools are your best chance to remove the dead undercoat from your German Shepherd.
Without a de-shedding tool, you’ll be brushing until the cows come home. But you’ll be getting nowhere.
De-shedding tools are a must-have when grooming a German Shepherd for summer or you’ll have a collection of fur balls all over your home.
And a very hot and unhappy pooch.
There are a ton of de-shedding tools that both professional groomers and pet owners use.
And de-shedding tools are a must unless you want your house filled with tumbleweeds of hair.
Grooming Tips For Amateurs
- Place your GSD on a flat table or surface.
- Choose a quiet and traffic-free place for grooming your GSD as your dog will not be comfortable around people.
- Gently touch your puppy to make it feel comfortable.
- If your GSD struggles while you are trying to groom it, train it to stay calm and offer treats to keep it still.
- Look closely into your dogs ears, mouth, and paws.
- Do not get angry at your GS while grooming it.
- Use a soft brush and gently brush your dogs hair.
- Keep talking to your dog as it will keep it calm.
- Gradually move the brush from your dogs back to the neck and other areas of its body.
- Do not let your GS play with the grooming tools. You dont want your dog to assume that the tools are toys.
- Start grooming your GS at an early age as it will help keep it calm when it has grown into a huge dog.
- Use a slicker brush to remove loose hair of your GSD.
- Make the grooming experience enjoyable for your dog.
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Tools You Need To Groom Your German Shepherd
It only takes a few good quality tools to make grooming your German Shepherd easy.
Those are my basic grooming tools up there. And that hair is from a regular daily brush!
My tools are a little old school but they do a great job! There are more modern, comfortable, and easier to use tools which I’ll be showing you next.
Getting Your Puppy Used To A Grooming Routine
If your GSD hasnt been brushed in a while or the fur doesnt come up with another brush , one of these brushes is your best bet.
Shepherd puppies are going to be understandably wiggly when you try to brush them. Many puppies will think that you are trying to play with them and will twist around to try and grab the brush, which may not look that dissimilar to one of their favorite chewy toys.
Its important to be diligent with your GSD from early puppyhood to adulthood, gently correcting him if he is trying to get away or play with the brush, and rewarding him both with a treat and with verbal praise when he behaves during a brushing session.
In order to ensure that you have removed the maximum amount of fur from your dog, it is best to brush him once with the grain of his fur, and then gently against the grain to loosen any trapped hairs, and then once more with the grain.
Only go against the grain of his fur with a pin brush, bristle brush, or shedding rake. You may have to go over the same spots several times in order to get all of the fur out of the over and undercoats.
Having a puppy sit while you brush his neck, legs, and back, is a good way to stay in control of the dog, before standing him up to brush his haunches and back legs. If he seems particularly averse to brushing sessions, your technique may be too rough, or his skin may be sensitive to the brush you are using.
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