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How to Groom & Care for a German Shepherd – Tips for Owners

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Regardless of the coat length, all dogs require grooming to ensure a healthy, pleasant-to-live-with pet. Some breeds naturally require more grooming than other low maintenance breeds. So where does the very popular German Shepherd lie on the coat care spectrum? This article aims to address such questions with a number of German Shepherd tips for new owners.

The German Shepherd was originally a breed used in herding sheep. And of course, today, it is a breed often used in a variety of working dog capacities. But the German Shepherd is also a very popular choice as a household pet known for its intelligence, loyalty and ease of training. So let’s see how we can best manage the German Shepherd coat type.

German Shepherd Dog (Complete Pet Owner’s Manual)
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Grooming German Shepherd Coat Types

The amount of grooming required will be largely determined by which type of German Shepherd coat you are dealing with.

You will want your German Shepherd to look as striking as possible which usually goes hand-in-hand with optimal health.

German Shepherd Double Coat

The German Shepherd is generally referred to as having a double coat – an outer protective coat and an inner coat with softer hair generally regarded as providing some degree of insulation against different temperatures.

However, there are definitely other coat types among this breed which means that some German Shepherds just have the more wiry outer coat.

Short or Medium Haired German Shepherd?

The length of coat can vary among German Shepherds.

If your German Shepherd dog (GSD) has a short coat you can usually expect a double coat and a length of  approximately 1 inch, or about 2.5 cm.

If your Shepherd has a medium length coat then it will have an undercoat and you will be looking at a length of about 1 to 2 inches or approximately 2.5 to 5 cm. This is the more common coat length among this breed and certainly what you will tend to find in show dogs.

Anything longer would be classified as a long haired German Shepherd and these can be either double or single coat dogs

This is one dog coat that relies on a lot of brushing and de-shedding. Clipping is not advised and rarely undertaken unless matting has become excessive. And even then, mats can usually be eased out without the need to give the dog a haircut.

German Shepherd Shedding Solution

Because German Shepherds are more likely to be double coated, you can expect a fair amount of shedding.. The undercoat, for example, needs to be shed when that extra insulating warmth is no longer needed with the onset of a new season. 

That doesn’t mean that you will have a non shedding German Shepherd if he has only a single coat. Ceratinly the shedding should be less but you can still expect a certain amount.

So if you are the proud owner of a German Shepherd, then it will pay to have a decent vacuum cleaner that can tackle dog hair.  (If a vacuum cleaner does not excite you, you might prefer to browse some breed-specific gifts for German Shepherd owners instead.)

But of course you can minimise this household task with regular brushing. Correct brushing is something you will need to do anyway as part of your grooming routine so make the task easier with a brush or a deshedding tool suitable for German Shepherds.

HealthyCoat Dog Food Supplement for Excessive Shedding, Itching, Hot Spots, Allergies, 32 oz., Clear

So, as you can see, German Shepherd hair loss, depending on the season, means that maintaining an optimal German Shepherd coat involves a regular grooming routine. More specifically, this requires:

  1. Regular Brushing with the right kind of tool.
  2. Use of a good dog shampoo, one that prevents allergic reactions.
  3. Use of a conditioning spray.
    Some owners showing their German Shepherd use a volumizer hair conditioner spray just prior to entering the display area. This can add a nice sheen to the coat. Just remember to cover the eyes with your hand while spraying.  
  4. Deshedding, again with the right tool.
    Popular here is the Long Hair deShedding Tool for Dogs (affiliate link).
    A real plus with these deShedding tools is the fact that many of them come with a button that allows you to remove hair from the tool itself so that it can be properly cleaned.

How to Deshed a German Shepherd

This video provides a very good demonstration on how to go about the task:

German Shepherd Deshedding Rake Out Tutorial

Other Tools for Grooming the German Shepherd Coat

Having a sturdy table, preferably with a harness, can make your German Shepherd grooming much more manageable.

Dog Grooming Tables for Large Dogs
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RUBOLD Professional Grooming Shears for Dogs – Stainless Steel Rounded Tip Sharp & Durable Set – Dog Grooming Scissors Kit – Tigeras para Perros – Best for Trimming Every Dog and Cat

German Shepherd Allergies

Is your German Shepherd scratching incessantly?

Does your German Shepherd seem to have various itchy spots?

If so, then it is important to let a veterinarian take a look first in case there is an underlying health problem. 

The cause could also be fleas which not only lead to scratching but can also lead to an allergic type reaction.

Or it could be an allergic reaction to something the dog has been eating. So you might want to look at food allergies, a problem quite common in dogs, no less in German Shepherds.

Best Food for German Shepherds Allergies

Selecting the right food, or preparing it yourself, will go a long way towards trying to avoid some allergy problems in dogs. But who has the time to do all of that preparation right? If you are in that boat, no time to spare that is, then there are numerous nutritious solutions available.

Disclaimer: However, always check with your vet first to make sure that your choice of dog food or supplement is suitable for your particular German Shepherd.

The following are affiliate links.

And let’s not forget a health supplement for German Shepherds.

German Shepherd Teeth

For some reason dental care is often neglected when it comes to dogs. But this is an essential part of dog care and has a huge impact on his/her health. Neglect can also prove quite costly in terms of veterinary bills further down the track.

If you have your dog from the age of a puppy, then you can get him used to being touched around and inside the mouth area so that you can take care of cleaning. And of course it also means that you are ensuring appropriate dental care from an early age.

An appropriate dental regime can be as simple as:

  • cleaning teeth with a finger tooth brush for dogs
  • providing a good diet
  • dental chews
  • regular veterinary checks.

Dental Chews for Large Dogs
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German Shepherd Care Books

If you are about to treat yourself to a cute German Shepherd puppy then you can find some very handy caring tips in these books.  Topics include raising your puppy, diet, health issues, grooming at home and obedience training to name a few. 

Your German Shepherd Puppy Month by Month, 2nd Edition: Everything You Need to Know at Each State to Ensure Your Cute and Playful Puppy (Your Puppy Month by Month)

German Shepherd Dogs as Pets: German Shepherd breeding, where to buy, types, care, temperament, cost, health, showing, grooming, diet, and more included! An Ultimate German Shepherd Owner’s Guide

Training Your German Shepherd Dog (Training Your Dog Series)

Pampering Dogs