German Shepherds are affectionately called German “Shedders” due to their tendency to shed everywhere and all the time. You can’t stop this breed from shedding, but you can get it under control. Here is what you need to know:
Is It Normal for My German Shepherd to Shed So Much?
The first thing to get out of the way is that, yes, it is normal for your German Shepherd to shed. Unlike some other breeds, German Shepherds will shed all year long. During certain times of the year, their shedding will increase even more as your dog blows their coat.
German Shepherds also have a double coat which is two separate layers of fur. As each layer sheds, there appears to be even more fur than usual.
You should only be worried about your German Shepherd’s shedding if you notice bald patches on your dog or if their skin appears to be scaly or patchy. Dull fur or your German Shepherd itching itself constantly can also be indicators that something is wrong.
What Can I Do to Reduce German Shepherd Shedding?
Here are the tips and tricks you can use to get your German Shepherd’s shedding under control:
What Grooming Tools Do You Need?
Brushing your German Shepherd with just one brush won’t be enough. This breed has a double coat and you will require several different brushes to reduce shedding.
The first brush that you need is the slicker brush. This is what you will use most often. The main purpose of the slicker brush is to dislodge loose fur – mostly in the outer coat – and reduce matting.
The other important brush is the undercoat rake. As the name suggests, this allows you to remove loose fur trapped in the bottommost layers. This brush is used less frequently but it’s an important tool to keep overall shedding under control.
Finally, there is a de-shedding tool. The most recognizable feature of this is the Furminator. Use a brush that is specifically made for the length of your dog’s coat. It works best when your German Shepherd enters their shedding season. This drastically cuts down on fur around the house.
Some people choose to use Furminators as undercoat rakes as well. When utilized too often, though, this brush can cut or damage the coat. An undercoat rake is the better option for regular use as it only gets rid of excess fur.
How Often Should You Brush Your German Shepherd?
The only way to reduce the amount of shedding is to brush your dog regularly. Every German Shepherd shed at different rates and in varying amounts as well. You need to figure out what brushing schedule works best for your dog.
Start by brushing your dog once a week and determine how much they shed after that. If you think there is too much fur everywhere, try brushing them twice a week. Keep doing this until you find out how often your German Shepherd needs to be brushed to keep things under control.
To maximize brushing efficiency, use the undercoat rake at least once a week. Be thorough about it and get rid of any loose fur that may have accumulated under the top layer.
When Should You Increase Brushing Frequency?
When the seasonal shedding begins, you need to increase how often you brush your dog. With German Shepherds, it is best to do this at least once a week. This can seem like a lot of work but it will keep your home much neater.
You will not have to do this all the time, only when your dog’s shedding increases. During this period, you should also use the Furminator or other de-shedding tool at least once a week. This will help to cut down on how much brushing you do.
Should You Hire a Groomer?
Getting your German Shepherd’s shedding under control can feel like an overwhelming task, particularly when they begin to shed more than usual. If you have trouble staying on top of it, you can get a dog groomer to assist you.
Dog grooming professionals will have more sophisticated equipment, making it easier for them to get rid of excess fur. At the same time, they will be able to do a more thorough job as well.
You can take your dog to the groomer every six or so weeks to reduce the amount of grooming you have to do. If this is too much of an expense, only take them in when the shedding season sets in.
What Months Do German Shepherds Shed the Most?
German Shepherds have two main shedding periods. The first is before the winter months, during fall. Your dog will shed most of its undercoat and grow an even thicker one for the winter. At this point, increasing your use of the undercoat rake can help to reduce shedding.
This breed will also shed its winter coat excessively before the warm months. Once again, the undercoat is shed the most so using the rake will come in handy at this point as well.
Keep in mind that if you live in a warmer area, your dog’s shedding levels can be quite heavy throughout the year. In this case, you will need to keep up a fairly regular brushing schedule.
You can’t stop your German Shepherd from shedding but you can certainly reduce the amount. Follow the guidelines above and you can get a handle on things easily.