Our neighbor’s German Shepherd (GSD) has regular grooming appointments, which made me wonder how different their coats must be to need such special care. After talking with my neighbor, I wanted to share their suggestions of what you should and shouldn’t do to help keep your GSDs fur healthy.
In this blog post, we’ll go over 10 dos and don’ts of caring for a German Shepherd’s coat and list some of the best grooming tools.
Are German Shepherds high maintenance?
German Shepherds are often considered to be high-maintenance dogs, but this reputation is not entirely deserved. While GSDs require more care and maintenance than some other breeds, they are also incredibly loyal and intelligent dogs that make easy-to-manage companions.
One of the most important things to remember when owning a GSD is that they need plenty of exercise. A bored GSD is likely to become destructive, so it is important to provide them with plenty of opportunities to run and play.
German Shepherds require regular grooming and brushing, especially since they have a double coat. With a little bit of care and attention, a German Shepherd can make a wonderful addition to any family.
5 “Dos” for German Shepherd Coat Care
If you’re lucky enough to have a German Shepherd as part of your family, there are a few things you should know about caring for their coat:
DO brush your GSD regularly
One important way to take care of your German Shepherd is to brush its coat regularly. This will help to remove any dirt, debris, or mats.
Brushing also helps to distribute the natural oils produced by the skin, which can keep the coat healthy and shiny. Regular brushing also provides an opportunity to check for any signs of injury or skin irritations such as lumps, bumps, or rashes.
While it is important to brush your German Shepherd regularly, it is also important to be gentle and avoid causing pain. If you are unsure of how to properly brush your dog’s coat, ask a vet or groomer for guidance.
For some great grooming tool ideas, I’ve listed some relevant product recommendations at the bottom of this post.
DO consider your GSDs double coat
German Shepherds have a double coat which is one of their most distinguishing features. The outer coat is made up of long, thick hairs, while the undercoat is shorter and softer.
This combination provides German Shepherds with excellent insulation against the cold, but it also requires special care to keep the coat healthy and free of tangles.
German Shepherds should be brushed regularly to remove dead hair and prevent matting. The frequency of brushing will depend on the individual dog’s coat type, but it is generally recommended that German Shepherds be brushed at least once a week.
DO trim off mats and other areas as needed
Mats and tangles can be uncomfortable for dogs, lead to skin irritation and make it difficult for your dog to move freely. Regular grooming will help to keep your German Shepherd’s coat healthy and free of mats and tangles. For stubborn mats, carefully trim them off. Or, you can also ask a professional groomer for help grooming and dematting.
DO groom more often during peak shedding times
Shedding is a normal part of the hair growth cycle, and German Shepherds shed year-round. However, they shed more heavily twice a year, in the spring and fall.
During these times, it’s important to groom your dog more often to help remove the loose hair. Brushing will also help to redistribute the natural oils in your dog’s skin, keeping the coat healthy and preventing excessive shedding.
DO bathe them when necessary
While German Shepherds are certainly known for being a relatively clean dog breed, there are still times when they will need a bath. If your GSD has been rolling in mud or playing in the rain, for instance, then it’s probably time for a bath.
You should also bathe your dog if he starts to develop an unpleasant odor. In general, German Shepherds only need to be bathed once every few months.
However, you may need to bathe them more often if they have a particularly oily coat or if they tend to get dirty easily. When bathing your German Shepherd, be sure to use a shampoo that is designed specifically for dogs. Some human shampoos can be harsh on a dog’s skin and coat.
5 “Don’ts” for German Shepherd Coat Care
German Shepherds require special care when it comes to grooming. Here are three things that you should avoid doing when caring for a German Shepherd’s coat:
DON’T shave your GSD
Many people believe that it helps to shave their German Shepherds to keep them cool during the summer months. This is actually not recommended.
Shaving a German Shepherd removes the protective coat, causing the dog to be more susceptible to sunburn, skin irritation, and parasites. Shaving a GSD also disrupts the double coat’s natural insulating function, making it difficult for your dog to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Additionally, shaving a German Shepherd’s coat can damage regrowth and cause it to grow back patchy.
DON’T trim their fur too short
GSDs coats help to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also provides some protection against scrapes and bruises. For these reasons, it’s important not to trim your German Shepherd’s fur too short.
DON’T allow their fur to mat
If left unchecked, a GSDs long hair can quickly become matted and tangled. This not only looks unsightly, but it can also be painful for the dog. Mats can pull on the skin and cause irritation and reduced blood flow around the matted area.
Mats can also trap dirt, bacteria, and other harmful substances, which can lead to skin infections. For these reasons, it is important to regularly brush German Shepherds.
DON’T bathe them too often
One of the most important things to remember is not to bathe your German Shepherd too often. Doing so can strip away the natural oils that help to keep the coat healthy and shiny. Instead, aim to bathe your German Shepherd every few months, or as needed.
DON’T be afraid to use a groomer as needed
While many German Shepherd owners are able to groom their dogs themselves, there are times when it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Dog groomers have the experience and expertise to properly groom your German Shepherd, and they can also provide helpful tips on how to maintain the health of your dog’s coat.
5 Highly Rated GSD Grooming Tools
German Shepherds are big dogs that require regular grooming to maintain their sleek coats. Although they don’t need to be bathed as often as some other breeds, they do need to be brushed regularly to prevent mats and tangles. The following is a list of the top five best German Shepherd grooming tools:
An essential tool for any dog owner, and it’s especially important for German Shepherd owners. A slicker brush, like this one from Hertzko, will help to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from your dog’s coat.
A de-shedding brush can also be helpful for German Shepherds. This type of brush helps to remove the thick undercoat, which can reduce shedding. There are many brands of de-shedding tools, but this one is seriously highly rated at a good price.
A mat splitter can be used to carefully remove mats and tangles from your dog’s coat. Mat splitters like this one from Mikki are ergonomically designed and easily cut through tough mats safely.
A pair of grooming scissors can be helpful for trimming your dog’s fur as needed. Most grooming scissors come as part of a set with combs and specialized sheers. This Gimars set is highly rated and a best seller.
Shampoo and conditioner
Good quality shampoo and conditioner are important for keeping your German Shepherd’s coat healthy and looking its best. Your local pet store and veterinarian can offer the best quality for your specific climate conditions and your German Shepherd’s needs.
All in all, taking care of a GSD’s coat is not as daunting as it may seem. With regular brushing, occasional trimming, and bathing when necessary, your GSD can maintain a healthy and beautiful coat. And don’t forget the importance of using the right grooming tools – they’ll make the job a lot easier!