German Shepherds sport an outer coat and an undercoat. No matter what the variety (plush, long-haired, or double–the three different fur types for German Shepherds), you should expect shedding with this breed.
Typically, this breed’s outer coat is thick, coarse, and gives way for hairs that fall flat against the body. The undercoat is thicker than the outer coat and works as a sealant for certain seasons. As you can deduce, German Shepherds are seasonal shedders.
While German Shepherds do indeed shed year round, expect the heaviest coat dump in the summertime and the least during winter. Regardless, even during times where shedding is less prominent, the volume in which this breed will lose hair can be startling. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t want to devote much time into keeping the house clean or grooming your pup, then a German Shepherd might not the breed for you.
The reason the German Shepherd sheds in such extreme volumes has lots to do with their origin.
Being that they come from a long line of herding dogs, their thick coats are what protect them during harsh winters or elevation coldness.
They need the dense and compact packing to regulate body temperature. When the summer starts to roll around, that thick double coat works against them, which means they need to rid of it.
How To Manage German Shepherd Shedding
You’d be surprised at just how much an impact diet has on your German Shepherd’s coat quality. While it’s considered a myth that the ‘better your German Shepherd eats, the less he’ll shed,’ it’s been proven that a nutrient-heavy, balanced diet can help optimize coat health. A healthy coat is easier to maintain, responds more efficiently to grooming, and preserves natural oils (the dryer the coat, the higher the chances of shedding).
Do a Quick Daily Brush
Brushing a German Shepherd too rigorously or often will cause breaks in his hair follicles, making it easier for hair to fall out. However, a quick and gentle daily brushing will greatly mitigate shedding. This should be done especially during this breed’s shedding season. A great tip here is to always begin by brushing against the line of growth (to loosen and rid of hair ready to drop) and end by brushing with the line of growth.
Bathe Your German Shepherd
A German Shepherd doesn’t need to be bathed weekly, but this breed’s dense coat benefits from a monthly washing. It is important to ensure that you properly bathe your dog and use the right shampoo. Do your research and buy a shampoo that can specifically be used for a German Shepherd. This shampoo should work to keep your dog’s coat healthy and preserve his coat’s natural oils.
Take your German Shepherd to a Groomer
Taking into consideration the size and coat complexity of a German Shepherd, they are more expensive to groom than most breeds.
But, a professional groomer will effectively de-shed your canine, mitigate future shedding, and trim his coat to allow for healthy hair growth.
All in all, if you are thinking about adding a German Shepherd to your home, you’ll need to be aware of this breed’s heavy shedding.
Even with these tips and the experience you’ll gain by grooming your German Shepherd, you will still have to bring out that vacuum cleaner to clear the floor of your dog’s fur.
But with the proper precautions, care, and diligence, you can minimize that shedding to a manageable degree. Despite their propensity to shed, German Shepherd’s are still the #2 most popular dog breed in America.