Do German Shepherd Shed?
– More About Shedding in This Breed
The question: “Are german shepherds sheds?”
The answer: Yes! They are definitely one of the most popular breeds of dog. However, there are many misconceptions about them. Some people think they don’t shed at all or only very little. Others believe that their coats get so thick that it’s impossible to brush them properly without getting dirt and grime everywhere. Still others think that if you have a german shepherd, you must be some kind of animal lover because they love being brushed. There are other myths about german shepherds too, but these are the ones that interest us here today.
1) Germans Shepherds Don’t Shed Because Their Coat Is So Thick That You Can Never Get Them Cleanly Without Getting Dirt And Grime Everywhere
It is true that a typical German shepherd coat does not shed easily.
But what does that mean exactly?
A typical german shepherd coat is made up of several layers. These include a short undercoat (called the undercoats), a medium length fur layer called the guard hair, and finally a long outer coat called the pelt. All three layers need to come together in order for your dog to stay warm when it’s cold outside. The guard hair protects the undercoat and the pelt protects both layers. The long fur, or pelt, layer keeps these layers together in one warm package. The short undercoat is what keeps them from getting wet.
The problem with these coats is that they get dirty very easily. The long fur can pick up leaves, dirt, twigs, and other kinds of debris very easily, even if your dog usually stays on the clean side of things. When these things get caught in your dog’s fur, you have to brush them out.
If you don’t brush them out, the debris can cause knots and tangles to form that can be very difficult for even the most patient pet owner to comb or brush out.
However, the problem isn’t just getting the debris out of the coat. It’s also getting it out of the undercoat and the guard hair. During a normal grooming, you’ll probably only be able to get to the undercoat.
The guard hair protects this layer, but that also makes it more difficult to remove the dirt and debris that’s gotten caught in there.
So how do you get the debris out of the undercoat without getting the fur all dirty?
There are a few things you can do. The first thing is to use a stripping knife to remove the undercoat. This can be a painful process for your dog and it requires a lot of time and patience on your part. It’s best to learn how to do this from a professional groomer. Once the undercoat is removed, you can brush the rest of the fur just as you normally would, getting it nice and clean.
The second way to clean your dog is with the help of a “fur saver”. This is a kind of blade that looks like a comb on one end and scissors on the other. You use the comb side to get rid of most of the debris trapped in your dog’s fur and then flip it over to the scissor side to trim away most of the undercoat.
This allows you to get your dog nice and clean without completely stripping them bare, which can be very traumatic for some dogs.
These methods work well on short haired German shepherds, but for long-haired shepherds they can be much more challenging and may not work as well. For long haired shepherds, the best solution is to get them clipped every once in awhile. This keeps their fur from getting too matted and tangled making it much easier to take care of.
If you can’t (or don’t want to) get them clipped, then your best bet is to brush frequently. This will reduce the amount of fur that gets trapped and tangled in their undercoat, but it won’t eliminate it completely.
The best way to keep your dog clean is to brush them often. This prevents the fur from getting too matted or tangled to begin with and makes it much easier to deal with when it gets dirty.
If you brush your GSD every day, you shouldn’t have any problem keeping them clean. If you can’t brush them every day, make sure you at least do it every other day so they don’t get too matted or tangled. If you can’t do that, at least make sure you’re doing it weekly to prevent problems.
Brush first thing in the morning, just before you’re about to bathe them, and just before you put them to bed. This will get out the largest knots and mats and prevent them from getting too bad. If you find a mat that’s too big to brush out, then you should use a mat splitting tool or a pair of grooming shears to cut it out.
When you’re brushing your German Shepherd’s fur, be sure to only brush in the direction that the fur naturally grows. This prevents you from pulling the fur out or stretching it out too far, which can cause it to break near the skin.
Brush slowly and carefully so you don’t miss any spots or get impatient and start yanking on their fur. Take your time and do it right. This prevents you from getting too frustrated or tired and hurting your dog in the process.
You should also regularly check for fleas and other insects, ticks in particular since they can carry Lyme disease. If you find a tick, don’t pull on it with your fingers; their mouth has a backwards facing tooth that can easily tear your flesh if you do. Instead you can easily get them off by using a flat blade like the back of a knife or a credit card and gently scraping them off the skin.
Besides keeping your dog clean, regular grooming also has the added benefit of helping you spot any bumps, lumps or other weird growths on their skin that could indicate an illness or other health problem. If you do notice anything, have a vet check it out as soon as you can.
Mats are areas of fur that have become tangled up with other fur and dirt, debris and other stuff like urine that’s gotten ground into the fur. They’re very problematic for two reasons: they can’t get clean and they can get infected.
When your dog grooms himself, he typically works from the top down. This means that the hair near his head remains relatively free of dirt and debris, but as he works down his body, the fur collects all sorts of stuff and gets matted with other fur.
To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to give your dog a bath at least once per month. If your dog goes to a groomer, this is typically done for you.
Use a high quality pet shampoo for his baths. Human shampoo that’s meant to moisturize or repair dry hair will dry out your dog’s skin and do more harm than good. Look for something that’s designed especially for dogs and carefully follow the instructions.
When you’re washing, start at his head and work down his body to keep his coat from getting too wet and heavy. Wet fur can cause his skin to break down and become infected, as well as making it harder for the fur to dry. If you notice any redness or flaking in his coat, that’s a sign of dry skin and you should look for a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to use after his bath to help fix the problem.
You should also gently brush your dog while he’s wet to prevent tangles and mats from forming in his fur. Look for knots and areas that are concentrated clumps of fur and comb them out with a pet brush or a coarse toothbrush.
If you do find any mats or tangles, don’t try to comb them out right away. Use your fingers to gently tease the mat apart as you wet it and let the water help it come loose. You can also try running a fine toothed comb through the fur against the way its growth to loosen it up before working on it with a brush.
When you’re done bathing him, be sure to completely rinse all of the shampoo out of his fur. Leaving any residue on can cause your dog to get dry, itchy skin which is not only uncomfortable for him, but also means that he’s more likely to continuously pick and lick at his fur which can lead to bigger problems like fur loss, skin irritation and infection.
In addition to matting, your dog’s fur can also collect a lot of dirt, debris and even waste products (you know, like urine). If you’ve ever had wet hair, you know that it starts to smell after it’s been wet for a day or two. Now imagine what the extra sweat and dead skin cells from your dog’s undercoat do to his fur!
Professional groomers will typically give your dog a “bath” by giving him a quick rinsing with a high powered hose in his tub. This helps keep the tub from getting too dirty and saves water, but it doesn’t do much for keeping your dog clean and fresh!
That’s why you should take your dog for a quick walk or run after his bath.
Sources & references used in this article:
German shepherds by FG Kern – 1990 – books.google.com
… Shepherd: Being a History of the Sheep, with Their Breeds, Management, and Diseases: Illustrated with Portraits of Different Breeds, Sheep Barns, Sheds, &c … by LA Morrell – 1846 – books.google.com
Coccidial infection in German Shepherd dog pups in a breeding unit by BL Penzhorn, KGM De Cramer… – Journal of the South …, 1992 – researchgate.net
German Shepherd Boxer Mix–A Guide To Their Personality and Needs by AN Mix – kyrapets.com
Oocysts of Neospora caninum, Hammondia heydorni, Toxoplasma gondii and Hammondia hammondi in faeces collected from dogs in Germany by G Schares, N Pantchev, D Barutzki, AO Heydorn… – International Journal for …, 2005 – Elsevier
Periodic hair shedding by a normal bitch by PA HALE – Journal of Small Animal Practice, 1982 – Wiley Online Library
Dog shedding oocysts of Neospora caninum: PCR diagnosis and molecular phylogenetic approach by JR Šlapeta, D Modrý, I Kyselová, R Hořejš, J Lukeš… – Veterinary …, 2002 – Elsevier
Faecal shedding of antimicrobial‐resistant Clostridium difficile strains by dogs by S Álvarez‐Pérez, JL Blanco, T Peláez… – Journal of Small …, 2015 – Wiley Online Library