When most people are considering a new dog, how much and how often a dog sheds are valid questions. After all, a shedding dog means more cleaning, more grooming, more hair on clothes, and more maintenance—It can certainly be an unappealing part of being a dog owner, especially if you’re the one cleaning it up. If you’ve been wondering about German Shepherd shedding– look no further, we’ve done the homework for you!
Do German Shepherds shed a lot?
The short answer is yes – they’re big shedders. German Shepherd shedding occurs heavily, year-round. In addition to that, they have a major shed-fest twice a year. This is when they push out or “blow-out” their thick undercoat which is under their top layer. This shed-fest happens in fall, so a new thick winter coat can grow, and again in spring, when the undercoat is released for the warmer season.
The following article will discuss the German Shepherd coat, tell you what to expect from a “heavy shedding” breed, and give you some helpful tips and recommendations to manage the shedding.
The German Shepherd Coat
German Shepherds are a double-coated breed—meaning they have two layers of fur. There is the coarse outer layer called the “guard coat”, and beneath it, the soft and thick undercoat – aka culprit for most of the hair floating around your house. These coats help GSDs regulate their body temperature so they are warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Twice a year, in spring and fall, German Shepherd shedding gets extreme. GSDs “blow out” their undercoat within a 1-2 week period. This is the major “shed-fest” we were referring to.
In fall, when days begin to get shorter, their coat naturally starts to prepare for the winter months. The coat does this by pushing out the old summer hairs to make room for a new thick coat. You will notice clumped hairs floating around the house (even if you swear you just vacuumed yesterday).
Alternatively, in spring when days get longer, our GSD no longer needs such a dense winter coat. Once again, our GSD “blows out” the undercoat, presenting you with fluffs of hair floating in every corner of your home.
What to Expect
All year, GSDs constantly shed. You can expect the following:
- Little hairs that cling to your clothing
- Carpets full of dog fur
- Sweeping the whole home, then its back again tomorrow
- The occasional hair in your food
- Tumbleweeds of dog fluff floating across the floor and every crevice of your home
- Brushing off enough undercoat that you could make another dog
You will be astonished by the amount of hair that is released from your dog’s undercoat. Although there is nothing you can do to stop the shedding all together, the following tips will help to mitigate the amount of shedding you have to deal with.
How to Manage Shedding
Having raised multiple heavy shedding dogs, we are no stranger to balls of fur and lint rollers! Below we have provided you with our best and basic tips to manage German Shepherd shedding so you can enjoy your dog and preserve your sanity.
It should be noted that “excessive shedding” is quite normal for the German Shepherd breed. That said, if you find the shedding to be extreme, it is never hurts to have a check up with your veterinarian. Excessive shedding could also be a sign of stress, poor diet or a medical condition, especially if the hair loss is coupled with itchiness, rubbing of its face, or a lack of appetite.
Tip 1: Keep a Lint Roller and Vacuum Handy
Self-explanatory. We keep lint rollers by our front door so we can quickly remove dog furs off our clothes before we leave the house. Pro-Life Tip: Visitors will find this very considerate as well!
As for a vacuum, this will make your life 100 times easier. We suggest doing some research to find one designed for picking up fur. It should meet the needs of your living space, as well as your price point. There is no need to spend an arm and a leg on a good vacuum as there are plenty of affordable options.
Tip 2: Brush Your Dog Regularly
Regular brushing is the easiest thing you can do to reduce the amount of German Shepherd shedding. GSDs should be brushed 3-4 times per week, and daily during the spring and fall shed-fest. This will keep your dog’s coat shiny, your dog feeling good, and your home cleaner.
A deshedding brush is the most ideal brushing tool you can have. Make sure the brush targets the loose undercoat, which is where the majority of shedding comes from. We personally use the FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool and it works like magic— It removes tonnes of fur, it’s easy to use, and our German Shepherd is comfortable when we use it.
! If you are interested in the FURminator, make sure you select the correct Style and Size– We chose a size Large, and if you have a long-haired GSD, the long haired version is your best bet.
Check out the demo video below:
Neglecting to brush your dog will not only result in result in heavy amounts of fur in your home, but could also lead to matting of the fur. Matting is when the fur becomes densely tangled in a dog’s coat, close to the skin. It is common in double-coated breeds and can cause several health concerns, as it constricts airflow, hides parasites, and causes your dog pain and discomfort.
Tip 3: Bathe Your Dog Regularly
German Shepherds should be bathed once every 4 to 5 months to clean the coat and loosen up dead hair. Anything more than that isn’t necessary, as it could strip the coat of its natural oils, causing the skin to lose moisture and become dry.
|STEP 2||STEP 3||STEP 4|
|Brush dog||Bathe dog||Allow dog to fully dry|
Before bathing your pup, start by brushing out its fur. After the bath, allow your dog to fully dry and then brush again. You should find that the bath loosens up even more dead undercoat, making it easier to brush out.
German Shepherds make great dogs, and shedding is simply part of the package! Thankfully, there are a lot of helpful tools to mitigate German Shepherd shedding, help you clean up fast, and groom your pup with ease. In this article, we provided you 3 basics “musts” to manage heavy shedding. If you can implement regular grooming practices and invest in quality deshedding tools, you will be more than prepared for those bi-yearly shed-fests and handle it like a pro!