I bet you want your own big, strong, bushy-tailed German shepherd, right? This breed makes good pets for most families, but are you aware of German shepherd shedding.
Loss of fur can be one of the most annoying parts of owning a shepherd since you would probably spend hours sweeping and vacuuming dog hair from carpets and upholstery.
You don’t have to be an expert dog parent to be able to deal with shedding. We handle German shepherds on daily basis, and we believe you can too. All you need are useful tips that can help you learn how to deal with the loss of fur.
A good brushing twice a week will keep her nice looking, and get rid of lots of shedding. But you still need a few more tricks, which we will discuss shortly.
- How Much Do German Shepherds Shed?
- Why Do They Shed A Lot?
- How to Control the Shedding
- Our Deshedding Tools Recommendations for German Shepherds
How Much Do German Shepherds Shed?
Like all dogs, German shepherds shed a lot, we even call them German shedders sometimes. If you cannot tolerate hair in any part of your house, this breed is not for you.
Normally, the outer coat will shed all through the year. So, keep this in mind if you have a problem with allergies, as you might need to make additional arrangements.
Why Do They Shed A Lot?
There are a number of reasons as to why they shed. Some of the reasons can be controlled, making it easy for you to deal with the shedding problem.
They have double coats, which protect them from wet and cold conditions. The medium hair of the thick outer coat is straight. The wiry undercoat keeps cold and water from reaching the skin.
The double coat makes them shed a lot, but you do not need to have their hair cut. You should never shave your German shepherd. Shaving will certainly not stop her from shedding and could cause harm as she will lose protective factors of her hair.
German shepherds shed more in the spring as well as fall. Normally, your shepherd’s coat responds to light of day. Now, when winter approaches, days get shorter and your dog’s coat responds by growing winter hair.
When this happens, all the summer fur is forced out in order to give way for the new fur. As a result, you will observe a huge amount of hair loss in the fall season.
During the spring and autumn (longer daylight), your double-coated dog will “blow coat” by shedding the old winter coat. German shepherds can lose an astonishing amount of dead fur during spring and autumn.
Puppy Coat Shedding
Naturally, a German shepherd puppy begins life with a fluffy, thick coat that helps to keep her well-protected and warm. At around four to six months of age, she will start to grow her adult coat. Therefore, more shedding will occur at this stage of life.
Health Related Issues
There are quite a number of health-related issues that may result in German shepherd shedding, and they include:
One of the major health-related issues that can encourage excessive shedding is poor food quality. It is not always about the quantity you feed her, but the nutritional value she receives.
Your dog’s coat, as well as skin, are particularly sensitive to nutritional deficiencies. The best dog food should not only be complete but also balanced. The food should also be AAFCO-certified.
The biggest cause of itchy and inflamed skin in dogs is allergies. This can lead to continued scratching and excessive shedding. We urge you to look out for the following symptoms just to make sure the excessive fur loss is not caused by allergies:
- Constant scratching
- Itchy-red skin
- Watery-red eyes
- Infected, inflamed, or red ears
- Missing patches of fur due to scratching
You should know that allergies that affect your pooch can either be environmental or food related.
Dogs who are shedding excessively out of season are said to be blowing their coats, and it is often a sign of emotion or physical stress. This is likely the scenario if your shepherd is ill or when her life is disrupted in some way.
You should always look for the following symptoms in order to ensure your dog is not under a lot of stress:
- Destructive behavior
- Tail between legs
- Pinned back ears
- Panting or drooling
While you may be thinking it is a common thing for your German shepherd to shed a lot of hair even out of season, there may be physical pain that causes the unusual shedding. Look for signs that suggest she is hurting, such as:
- Excessive vocalizations
- Constant localized grooming
- Differences in eating, drinking, and sleeping
- Altered breathing
- Difficulty resting
- Aggressive behavior
- Withdrawing / seeking affection
- Changes to her eyes
Consider seeing your vet if you observe odd behavior or worrisome symptoms.
Several external parasites can invade your German shepherd’s coat. Mites, fleas, ticks, and biting flies are common, especially in warmer weather. These parasites may live in the hair coat or on the skin.
When your pooch is scratching so hard that the fur is literally flying, there is a very good chance that external parasites are the problem. Vigorous scratching not only releases hair that’s ready to fall, but also causes severe skin irritation, itching, and allergic reaction.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnancy and lactation will run down minerals, calcium, and energy reserves leading to postpartum dog shedding. You can easily control the situation by feeding your shepherd supplements and balanced nutrition.
How to Control the Shedding
Even though you cannot entirely stop your German shepherd from shedding, there are a number of ways to keep your pooch’s coat and the house a little neater. Here’s what we advise you to do:
Brush It Out
The easiest way to control German shepherd shedding is to brush or comb the coat every day. This will remove surplus fur before it hits the carpet. Try to get her used to being brushed at a young age so that it becomes a pleasant experience.
However, brushing may not be as simple as you would have imagined. Remember German shepherds have a double coat. Therefore, you will need appropriate brushes or combs to successfully reach the undercoat for effective grooming.
Bathing with Deshedding Shampoo & Conditioner
If your German shepherd is going through a spell of profuse shedding, a treated bath can be the best way to manage the situation.
The use of deshedding shampoos, as well as conditioners, treat the fur, allowing for easier removal. The bathing process doesn’t change, you will only include deshedding treatments.
Here is how you can give your shepherd a deshedding shampoo/conditioner bath:
Shampoo your pooch with the best deshedding shampoo. Wet your dog’s coat with water, then apply a generous amount of shampoo and work it into a good lather. The shampoo will need to set for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure you rinse all the shampoo with water.
Condition your German shepherd with a high-quality deshedding conditioner. After rinsing off the shampoo apply an adequate amount of the condition and work it into her entire coat. As you are working in the conditioner, you are going to be lifting up a lot of loose hair.
Allow the conditioner to set for 5 to 10 minutes. You can give your shepherd a full body massage while you are waiting for the conditioner to soak properly. Then completely rinse all the conditioner.
Once your pooch is dry use a deshedding tool to remove all the excess fur. You are going to get a ton of hair. Therefore, don’t be alarmed. It’s normal since that’s what the tool does. Alternatively, you can use a high-velocity dryer to get rid of excess fur while drying her coat.
Use a High-Velocity Dryer to Blow out Loose Hair
A high-velocity dryer uses a nozzle to sweep excess hair from the coat. As you direct the airflow at the coat, the hair blows off.
There is a right way and wrong way to use force dryers. If used improperly on long-coated, their powerful airflow can actually tangle and mess the coat.
For a German shepherd, use the force dryer hose without its nozzle, sweeping the hair in one direction. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending twice as much time, having to de-shed your pooch both before and after the bath.
Healthy Diet is Necessary
Adequate nutrition is another important shedding control measure. Healthy foods will put omega 3 & 6, fatty acids, vitamin, and supplements into your dog’s body, helping to reduce the shedding problem.
Of course, there are various things you need to consider when buying food for your shepherd, which can include allergies, activity level, and age. We advise you to consult with your veterinarian about supplementing your dog’s food.
Our Deshedding Tools Recommendations for German Shepherds
German shepherd dogs shed throughout the year. So, it is advisable to equip yourself with the best deshedding tools (brushes and combs) and treatment (shampoos and conditioners). Here are a few recommendations.
Safari Long Tooth Undercoat Dog Rake – Best Deshedding Rake
A well-groomed German shepherd is a healthy, happy pet. With the Safari Undercoat Dog Rake, you can achieve professional deshedding in your home.
Rounded pins rotate three hundred and sixty degrees to get rid of mats and tangles with minimal skin irritation and tugging.
Before using the Safari Undercoat Dog Rake, we advise you to conduct a complete physical inspection of your shepherd. Look for skin conditions, bruises, and sores.
Paws Pamper Professional Grooming Comb – Best Deshedding Comb
After brushing your German shepherd, you will need the Paws Pamper Professional Grooming Comb to remove excess loose hair.
This specific comb is made of top-quality stainless steel (corrosion and rust resistant) and it is tapered to avoid scratching and tugging.
This model is double side. One side has coarse comb teeth for loosening knots and fluffs and smoothening large areas. The other side has finer comb teeth for detailing smaller areas.
Shelandy Pet Hair Force Dryer – Best Hair Force Dryer
The Shelandy Pet Hair Force Dryer is a portable high-velocity dryer that will cut your deshedding time in half. It is lightweight as well as powerful for mobile use.
It uses a stream of air to successfully blow hair from your German shepherd’s coat. It comes with a spring hose and four nozzles, including grooming rake.
You should consider using this force dryer outside if you do not want to mess up your carpet and upholstery.
Furminator Deshedding Ultra-Premium Dog Shampoo – Best Deshedding Treatment
Brushing and blowing are the two most effective ways of controlling German shepherd shedding. However, you can improve the performance by using the Furminator dog shampoo.
This deshedding shampoo is enriched with plant extracts, vitamins, and omega fatty acids to help protect against excessive hair loss.
Unlike ordinary shampoos, this product is non-drying and non-irritating. It is the perfect choice for promoting a healthy coat and skin.
German shepherd shedding is inevitable. You cannot permanently cure the condition, but you can effectively control the hair loss to make sure it doesn’t become a problem in your home.
This dog breed occasionally sheds more than usual, especially during pregnancy, shedding season, and transition from a puppy to an adult.
If you notice non-seasonal shedding, the first thing you should do is to check with your vet to ensure there is no underlying disease of the skin, allergies, or external parasites, such as fleas.
We strongly urge you not to shave your German shepherd. You will not only interfere with the normal growth of the double-coat, but you will also destroy your pooch’s skin protection from external elements.