Yes; they do shed a lot. Don’t be surprised if you notice your German Shepherd’s hairs are all over your carpet, your furniture, and clothes. That’s the reason why GSDs are also called ‘German Shedders’. If you want to know why German Shepherds shed so much when they shed, and how to control their shedding, continue reading this article.
Why do German Shepherds shed so much?
German Shepherds shed a lot because of the following reasons:
- Puppy coat shedding
Puppies have a fluffy ‘puppy coat’. As they become adults, they shed their puppy coat when they reach 4 to 6 months of age to accommodate the ‘adult coat’.
- Changing seasons
Adult GSDs shed their hair to prepare for the changing seasons. This will be further discussed below.
- Health issues
Some health issues like allergies and stress can contribute to excessive shedding. Physical pain from illnesses such as thyroid disease and autoimmune disease can also affect his shedding. If you noticed a sudden change in your GSD’s shedding, consult with your vet. For GSDs who just gave birth and are nursing, they can shed a lot of hair due to hormonal changes.
- Nutrition deficiency
Food that lacks important fatty acids and protein make your GSD’s coat dull. This results in weak hair follicles.
- External parasites
Parasites such as mites, lice, fleas or ticks will make your GSD scratch his skin because of excessive itch. This excessive scratching will result in hair loss.
German Shepherd Shedding Season
When do German Shepherds shed and stop shedding?
Sorry to disappoint those who are asking. They don’t stop shedding. There’s no German Shepherd that doesn‘t shed. German Shepherd Dogs have a double coat which is comprised of a coarser outer coat and a soft undercoat. They shed some of their outer coat throughout the year but they shed or ‘blow’ a lot of their undercoat twice a year. The ‘heavy’ shedding seasons for German Shepherds are usually in the late summer or early autumn. They shed the least in the winter. However, the timing and amount may vary depending on the climate and the GSD’s lifestyle. GSDs who always stay indoors tend to shed evenly all year round.
Now that you realized how bad German Shepherds shed or how much German Shepherds shed, let’s move on to the ways on how to control your German Shepherd’s shedding.
Tips on Dealing with German Shepherd Shedding
You can’t stop your GSD’s seasonal shedding because it’s a natural process. However, you can control or manage it by following these tips. For easier reference, we separated what you need to do and what you don’t need to do.
- Brush your GSD’s hair every day or at least once every other day. Use a brush with round heads to prevent skin irritation and abrasion. If your GSD has a thick coat, use a metal comb. You can also use a rake to help untangle knots.
- Feed a high-quality diet to your GSD so that he won’t have a coarse and brittle coat.
- Exercise daily and stimulate his mind to avoid stress because stress may increase hair loss.
- Wash your GSD’s coat using warm water and a de-shedding shampoo made from natural ingredients. The natural shampoo combined with warm water will help loosen the dead hair so you won’t have a hard time brushing your GSD’s coat.
- To prepare for the seasonal shedding of your GSD, de-shed him just before spring and in the autumn.
- Make sure your GSD is free of external parasites because these can cause serious skin irritation and wounds.
- Don’t shave your German Shepherd. Shaved GSDs can become vulnerable to extremely hot weather and cold weather. Aside from that, they can become prone to skin conditions and their hair will grow unevenly. You can only shave your German Shepherd for medical reasons.
- Don’t over bathe your GSD to avoid coat drying since excessive washing will strip its coat of all-natural oils.
- Avoid exposing your GSD to environmental allergens such as pollens or dust mites.
- Don’t dehydrate your GSD because dehydrated skin can be dry and itchy.
When you decided to get a German Shepherd, you also accepted the responsibility of investing your time, money, and effort in caring for your GSD. It may not be easy but it’s all worth it. Just follow the tips above and your GSD’s shedding will be under control.