Caring for a German Shepherd is relatively easy as long as you consistently brush their double coats. Discover the essential steps for grooming your Shepherd breed of dog in this comprehensive guide.
How to Groom a German Shepherd: What You Need to Know About Brushing and Clipping
There is no doubt that German shepherds are special. This is likely why they are second on the American Kennel Club website‘s list of most popular dog breeds. They have gained a reputation for being loyal, intelligent, brave, and compassionate, making it difficult for other breeds to match their qualities.
This breed, which originated from German herding dogs, became increasingly popular in the United States in the early 1900s, mainly due to the influence of movie stars such as Rin Tin Tin.
German Shepherds have been widely regarded as the top choice for police and military work due to their intelligence and their remarkable dedication to protecting their loved ones, as stated by the AKC.
Additionally, these animals are incredibly furry, making them perfect for snuggling. However, it is important to note that their medium-length, double coats can be somewhat intimidating and may require some time to understand and properly care for.
To assist you with hair maintenance, I would like to provide you with some grooming tips specific to this particular breed.
Here are some essential grooming tips to keep in mind:
Maintaining the stunning appearance of your German shepherd involves caring for its abundant coat. While they don’t require frequent visits to the groomers, it is important for you to invest effort in reducing shedding and maintaining their appearance. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Frequent brushing is essential for German shepherds due to their dense outer coat and soft undercoat in order to manage shedding effectively. Generally, it is recommended to do it every couple of days. Rakes and de-shedding tools can be very helpful when it comes to grooming your pet. It’s important to do some research to find out which brushes are most suitable for your pet’s specific breed and hair length.
- Throughout the year, there will be a few occasions when your German shepherd sheds heavily. During this period, it is important to increase the frequency of brushing until the intense molting phase subsides, which typically lasts for about 1 to 2 weeks. Best of luck!
- Bathing your dog approximately once a month is sufficient. If you give your pup too many baths, it can result in dry and irritated skin.
- It is important to set aside some time each month to trim your nails. Although dog nails may naturally wear down over time, it is essential to regularly check and trim them to prevent discomfort for your furry friend.
- And please also remember to include the ears. It is recommended that you clean your shepherd’s ears every week using ear drops, avoiding the use of water. Additionally, it is important to check their ears for any signs of infection regularly.
- Purchase a high-quality Hoover cleaner. We won’t sugarcoat it – there will be hair everywhere, so it’s best to be prepared.
Shaving your German Shepherd: Why it’s not a good idea.
When discussing grooming tips for the German shepherd breed, it is important to emphasize that shaving your German shepherd is not recommended. There are several reasons why this idea is not advisable, and we would like to highlight a few of the most significant ones:
- Your dog’s double coat works harmoniously to ensure their comfort, keeping them cool during the summer and warm throughout the winter. The experts at German Shepherd Corner also inform us that the outer guard hairs of a German Shepherd serve as a protective barrier, shielding them from water, dirt, and insect bites. Your dog’s undercoat is soft and fuzzy, serving as insulation against both hot and cold temperatures. When you shave the coat, you eliminate the protective barriers the fur provides.
- Shaving your pup removes the outer coat, resulting in the loss of much of its beautiful coloring and markings. What remains is solely the undercoat, which is a less vibrant and more subdued shade of cream, grey, or beige that covers the entire surface.
- Even after shaving, they will still continue to shed, although the hairs will be shorter.
German Shepherds are not considered high-maintenance dogs; however, they benefit from regular care and grooming.
Regular brushing is essential for dogs with double coats, as it helps prevent the formation of mats and skin issues. While these coats do not require clipping or trimming, neglecting to brush them can accumulate dead hair and debris.
Ensure that grooming is always a positive and enjoyable experience for your dog by providing ample petting and praise.
Dogs that eagerly anticipate grooming are generally more manageable compared to those who dislike or fear it. The optimal time to begin grooming your pet is during the puppy stage.
It is possible to teach older dogs to enjoy grooming time, although it may require some patience on your part if they are resistant.
German Shepherds do not require frequent baths because they are naturally clean and do not have a strong odor. Bathing a dog once every three months is sufficient, as washing them too frequently can remove the natural oils from their coats, which can lead to skin problems.
It is important to select a dog shampoo, as many human shampoos can cause skin irritation in dogs. Additionally, be careful to avoid getting shampoo in your pet’s eyes.
Building up a good lather on a German shepherd’s coat can be challenging, so it is important to be prepared to use ample shampoo to achieve sufficient suds.
Using a hand-held sprayer can be quite useful during the rinsing process. It is important to exercise caution and ensure that all the soap is thoroughly rinsed from under the dog’s legs, around the neck, and around the tail.
These areas can be particularly challenging to rinse effectively. Make sure to run your hand through the dog’s coat after bathing to check for any soap residue.
If there is soap left on the skin, it can cause dogs to scratch and chew the affected area.
The German Shepherd dog has a double coat, making the rake the ideal tool for general brush-outs. The rake, resembling its name, functions more like a comb than a brush.
The tool consists of long teeth that are set perpendicularly to a sturdy handle. By pulling the rake through the coat, it effectively loosens and removes dead hair.
In order to be effective, the teeth of the rake should extend all the way to the dog’s skin. To achieve the best results, that is why, it is recommended to work on the coat in small sections.
Make sure to thoroughly comb through the hair in each section before proceeding to the next one. A pin brush or a slicker brush is useful for removing the loose guard hairs that are constantly shed from German Shepherd coats.
Often, even a quick surface brushing will remove a handful of loose hair.
It is a common misconception that German Shepherds do not shed much due to their lack of long, flowing coats. Their top coats shed stiff, wiry guard hairs almost constantly, and the entire undercoat is shed about twice a year.
To minimize the amount of hair that your German Shepherd sheds in your home and on you, that is why, it is recommended to brush your dogs several times a week thoroughly.
Daily brushing is crucial when your dog is shedding their undercoat. This is particularly important for German Shepherds to prevent the formation of mats or tangles in their hair, which can potentially result in skin issues like hot spots and rashes.
Teeth and nails.
Proper care of your German Shepherd includes taking care of their teeth and nails as part of their grooming routine. If you don’t have expertise in clipping nails, it would be advisable to have a professional groomer handle it or teach you the proper technique.
When trimming your dog’s nails yourself, it is important to always use a proper dog nail trimmer that includes overcutting protection. Dogs have a quick in their nails that can be easily severed by accident, leading to pain and bleeding for your pet.
To properly care for your German Shepherd’s oral hygiene, use a pet toothbrush and a small amount of pet toothpaste to brush their teeth. Brush your teeth as you would brush your own.
If your dog is not used to having its feet and teeth handled, it may be necessary to start slowly and gradually.
To help your German Shepherd become comfortable, gently touch and handle their feet and mouth. Next, start by trimming your dog’s nails and brushing their teeth.
Is it possible for your German Shepherd to become a show dog?
The German Shepherd is a highly popular dog breed in the United States. This comes as no surprise, considering that the Shepherd is known for being a reliable working dog as well as a loving and devoted family pet. German Shepherds are consistently popular contenders at the Westminster Dog Show, particularly in the show dog category.