German Shepherd shedding can be a big problem for pet owners looking to get a GSD. This breed is known for its thick and fluffy coats but is also notorious for being a heavy shedder. But how exactly do you deal with it?
Dogs need to shed to get rid of their damaged hair. While this is natural for all dogs, some pooches shed significantly more than others.
If you are someone hoping to adopt a German Shepherd but worry about its shedding habits, keep on reading. This guide will give you a detailed answer on how much German Shepherds shed and how you can manage them effectively.
How Much Do German Shepherds Really Shed?
German Shepherds are heavy shedders that shed all year round. Normally, these dogs will lose a considerable number of hair strands throughout the day. That said, GSDs tend to lose more fur several weeks into the winter and summer seasons. They may also shed more if they have a double coat.
There is no German Shepherd that doesn’t shed, and they can either be medium or heavy shedders. Furthermore, how much dog hair your canine loses ultimately depends on whether they have single or double coats.
German Shepherds with only single coats shed less because they have a longer hair growth cycle. Meanwhile, double-coated dogs have a top coat and a dense undercoat that help keep them warm during the winter.
Regardless if you have a sable, liver, blue, or black German Shepherd, this dog sheds its undercoat twice a year, and the remainder of its hair is shed naturally.
Other factors can also affect the GSD’s shedding. These factors include the quality of your dog’s dry or wet dog foods, your dog’s skin, the quality of its winter coat, and more.
German Shepherd Shedding Season: Do German Shepherds Shed All Year Round?
Yes, German Shepherds shed all year round. But this is not something to be worried about. This is their way of getting rid of old and damaged dog hair.
Furthermore, this year-round shedding happens in both short and long-haired German Shepherds. This is the main reason why they are sometimes called “German Shedders.”
German Shepherd dogs also tend to blow their coats twice a year. They lose their thick undercoats in the winter season and grow thinner fur suitable for the summer heat.
And once the weather cools down, the thin hair will fall off to give way to thicker coats just in time for harsh winters.
How to Reduce the Shedding
German Shepherds shed to remove loose hair. Since shedding is a natural process, there is nothing you can do to stop your dog from shedding completely. However, you can try to reduce how much hair falls off your GSD.
As a German Shepherd owner, you can try the following to manage your German Shepherd’s shedding:
Choose high-quality grooming tools
German Shepherds have thick coats that not all brushes can handle. One tool you can use is a slicker brush, which is used to de-mat medium to long-haired canines. Meanwhile, a shedding blade is often recommended for short-haired German Shepherds.
Regular grooming will not only reduce shedding but also distribute natural oils on your dog’s skin. If you are not confident with your dog grooming skills, you can always set a regular grooming schedule with a professional pet groomer.
Feed your dog nutritious diet
While canines shed naturally, a poor diet can cause them to shed more than necessary. You can help reduce shedding by feeding your German Shepherd foods rich in quality meat ingredients.
Aside from providing the right dog food, you can also avoid a lot of loose hair by feeding your German Shepherd fruits and vegetables.
Ensure your dog stays hydrated
Besides serving your German Shepherd good food, you should also provide them with clean water. Dehydrated skin is a significant contributor to hair loss, so this is a high priority if you want to reduce shedding.
Large dog breeds, such as German Shepherds, require a large amount of water. Adult GSDs require up to 2.5 liters of water every day to stay hydrated.
Consider adding supplements to your dog’s diet
Not all essential vitamins for healthy fur are found in your dog’s kibble, so you can help manage your German Shepherd’s shedding through supplements.
Supplementing your dog’s diet with supplements will also help develop a healthy immune system and aid cell growth. Fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 can help in reducing shedding and healing skin conditions.
Bathe your dog more often in the summer
In comparison to other breeds, German Shepherds do not require frequent bathing. Bathing their medium-length coats every three to four months is ideal, but you can increase the frequency if needed.
Avoid shaving your dog
Whatever issue you have with your German Shepherd’s coat, you should never try to deal with it by shaving.
Their coat has a straight, coarse, and dense outer coat that regulates temperature and protects them from outside elements. If you remove this layer of hair, their skin will be exposed to harsh sun rays, cold temperatures, and dirt.
Use organic shampoo to promote a healthy coat
The products you use also affect the intensity of your German Shepherd’s shedding. Using organic products will reduce loose hair by strengthening your canine’s coat.
Most importantly, using the right shampoo products will encourage strong hair growth and improve coat texture. For a double-coated breed, some best ingredients include oats and plant extracts.
If you want to learn more solutions to your German Shepherd’s excessive shedding problem, check out this video:
Dealing With Shedding in the House
Discussing the many methods for reducing your dog’s shedding is helpful, especially if there are allergy sufferers in the family. But now, let’s talk about how GSD owners can deal with shedding in the house, especially during shedding season.
Vacuuming is one of the most efficient methods of pet fur cleaning. This process is effective in sucking up loose fur from your double-coated dog. This will also prevent excessive shedding mess on your floor and furniture.
If you have fluffy dogs like the German Shepherd, you should vacuum all carpets and floors daily to remove dander. Furthermore, high-traffic areas such as living spaces and kitchens may require more frequent vacuuming.
Also, make sure you purchase a pet-friendly vacuum. Vacuums designed specifically for pet owners are equipped with particular brushes or filters suited for collecting fur.
Since German Shepherd dogs shed everywhere, another effective method is to carefully select furniture for your home. Leather is one of the top choices for German Shepherd owners.
This type of furniture is sturdy enough to handle the weight of a German Shepherd dog and is easy to clean. You will not have to worry about fur accumulating on the surface.
Additionally, this material is puncture-resistant, which means it can withstand your dog’s nails to a certain extent.
Another popular furniture material among dog owners is microfiber. This synthetic cloth is remarkably impervious to claw marks and easy to maintain.
Lastly, make sure that your flooring is also suitable for a double-coated canine like your German Shepherd.
Tile flooring is a long-established option material for pet owners since it makes it easy to pick up loose fur. Likewise, premium vinyl and laminate flooring are also excellent choices.
All these options will make it easier for you to clean dog fur and lower the possibility of itchy skin, skin allergies, and other issues caused by dirt and dander brought by your German Shepherd.
While these will not stop your GSD from shedding, they will surely minimize shedding maintenance and will help you manage loose fur, regardless if it’s puppy coat or full-grown adult fur.
Spotting Abnormal Shedding
Although the average German Shepherd sheds heavily throughout the year, you should still be mindful of abnormal or excessive shedding. This can be caused by underlying dog illnesses that you should address immediately.
With that, here are some ways you can tell if your canine is going through abnormal shedding or if they are just going through their natural shedding seasons.
According to WebMD, thorns, glass, and even the coarse hair on your dog’s coat can all cause inflamed skin. This can make your dog also experience highly itchy, scaly skin.
If your dog is going through this, the Animal Medical Center states that cortisone products such as prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone should help lower inflammation.
If you start seeing missing patches in your German Shepherd’s coat, know that this is not a normal occurrence.
Bald spots on dogs are caused by a disorder called alopecia, which is characterized by a partial or complete lack of hair in your pooch.
This condition can be caused by various skin infections, including ringworm. This is an infection that is spread directly from the fungus.
You must eradicate all environmental contamination to treat this infection completely. Furthermore, VCA Animal Hospitals recommends treating ringworm in dogs with a combination of topical and systemic medication.
Furthermore, German Shepherds typically have slightly wavy, wiry hair. However, if you find that your canine is shedding more than usual and they have falling brittle hair, they may be having health issues.
Some dogs exhibiting brittle hair have parasitic infestations or thyroid disease. However, this can also be caused by a poor diet.
When the dog food you serve is insufficient to meet their nutritional requirements, they develop a dull coat and frequently shed excessively.
Thus, make sure you avoid supplying your German Shepherd with cheap dog food that contains only a fraction of their health requirements.
Once you start feeding your pooch with quality dog food, you will slowly reduce its shedding.
A healthy German Shepherd will have hydrated skin and soft fur. If you find your canine going through heavy shedding and dry skin, this may be most probably caused by allergies.
Specifically, this can either be environmental allergies like mold or seasonal allergies like pollen.
Furthermore, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), dry skin is also a symptom of parasitic infection, Cushing’s illness, and hypothyroidism.
German Shepherd Grooming Guide: How to Groom a German Shepherd
After answering the question, “do German Shepherds shed,” it is time to move to the next concern, which is how exactly we should deal with their fur.
Keep in mind that proper grooming will not completely stop shedding; this will only lessen excess fur and keep your German Shepherd’s skin free of damaged and dead hair.
For a healthy coat, it is recommended that you brush your German Shepherd at least three to four times a week to remove any loose, dead hairs. This also goes for giant German Shepherds, although you might need to spend more time brushing them.
It is unlikely that you can overbrush a German Shepherd, so daily brushing will also be fine. This can help improve air circulation in their undercoat.
In terms of trimming, your German Shepherd does not necessarily need regular haircuts. If you cut their coats too short, they will not properly regulate body temperature.
Therefore, the safest option is only to trim their hair if the length starts to interfere with their mobility and eyesight.
Likewise, you should only trim the nails of a German Shepherd when necessary.
In general, dogs who frequently spend their time on soft surfaces will need more regular trimming than those who often stroll on cement and hardwood.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Coat Type Do German Shepherds Have?
The German Shepherd breed has a double coat, so they have thicker and fluffier fur than other dogs.
Furthermore, this breed can either have short hair or long hair. But regardless of the length, a German Shepherd will most likely have wiry, wavy, and abrasive fur.
Are German Shepherds Hypoallergenic Dogs?
No, German Shepherd dogs are not hypoallergenic, and there is no such thing as a non-shedding German Shepherd. German Shepherds shed all year and lose a significant amount of fur twice a year.
Furthermore, the hair of these breeds may aggravate dog allergies in those who come into contact with them.
Do German Shepherds Drool?
Yes, German Shepherds drool, and they will drool more as they grow older. This is a normal behavior often observed when they are excited, eyeing particular food, feeling nauseous, or experiencing an allergic reaction.
However, if your German Shepherd is drooling an excessive amount, this can be caused by an underlying health concern and should be addressed by a vet.
Do German Shepherds Smell?
No, German Shepherd dogs are not notoriously smelly. They do have a distinct odor due to their natural oils, but it is not unbearable.
However, if your German Shepherd develops an unpleasant odor, it may have a skin infection or other health problems.
Shedding intensity is a huge factor when choosing a dog, especially for those allergic to pet fur and dander.
But while all dogs experience hair fall, German Shepherds shed more than the average dog breed. Therefore, they are not suited for those who cannot deal with a lot of loose furs.
These fluffballs shed a lot throughout the year and will lose a lot of hair during the summer and winter seasons.
And while grooming, a proper diet, hydration, and choosing the right furniture can help reduce scattered hair around your home, this will not eliminate your German Shepherd’s shedding completely.
Do you have any tips for managing loose fur on dogs? Don’t forget to leave your tips and tricks on managing German Shepherd shedding in the comments below!