German Shepherd grooming results in an appearance befitting such a regal-looking breed. This shepherding breed’s history also prompts owners to take good care of their dog’s coats.
Grooming long or short-haired German Shepherd dogs also entails looking after their nails, ears, and teeth.
Establish a schedule for home grooming, purchase the right kit for the job, and spend quality time with your pet. Do a thorough job at home or take your GSD to a professional groomer.
Whatever you do, don’t neglect German Shepherd grooming as excellent care adds to their physical appeal.
Is German Shepherd Grooming Necessary?
German Shepherds are fondly referred to as German shedders for a good reason. They shed their thick coats seasonally for the warmer and colder months.
German Shepherds are a double-coat dog breed which means that regular grooming is essential to maintain a healthy coat.
GSDs shedding process can seem like it goes on forever. Just as one shedding season ends, it seems your German Shepherd begins shedding hair to prepare for the next season.
Although they may not shed all year round, it certainly seems as if they do. Your house, furniture, and vehicles are covered in dog’s hair, and it feels as though your time is mostly spent cleaning up after your precious pet with an overworked vacuum cleaner.
There are many other reasons for regular German Shepherd grooming, which include:
1. Preventive health check
Grooming requires brushing, touching, and feeling your German Shepherd from head to toe.
You can check for any health problems such as bumps, skin inflammation, ear infections, ticks, and fleas. Thorns and seeds can get caught in their long coat that cause problem.
When you spend time on grooming, it is also easier to note whether your pet has lost weight, has an infection in its ears, and whether its teeth need attention.
Regular grooming means that you can spot health issues before they become problems.
2. German Shepherd grooming is good for bonding
Your dog enjoys being touched and pampered because it is the center of attention. This is your time to strengthen your bond with your pet and familiarize them with constant touching.
You will be doing yourself and your GSD a favor if you groom your pet regularly.
One day you may be unable to groom your pet, and you will need help from a groomer. You can then safely take your GSD for professional grooming because it will be used to being touched. The same logic applies if you ever need to use kennels.
3. Chipping and recognition
Get your German Shepherd chipped as it will be easier to track and trace your pet if they escape the confines of your home.
When people see a well-groomed dog, they also recognize that it has a home and are more likely to alert the right people to its whereabouts.
Therefore, chipping and grooming helps ensure that if your dog does escape, you will be able to find it sooner rather than later.
4. German Shepherd grooming maintains cleanliness
The simple truth is that your German Shepherd’s coat will stay cleaner for longer with regular brushing. An established grooming routine helps keep your dog clean.
Brushing regularly also limits shedding in the home–leading to a cleaner interior space.
Your home environment is more pleasant and spending time with a clean dog is much more enjoyable. Also, your pet is less likely to emit an unpleasant skin odor when it is well taken care of.
Before getting excited about spending more quality time with your pet, you will need good grooming tools.
What Grooming Tools Do You Need For German Shepherds?
German Shepherds typically have short, medium, or long hair. Long-haired dogs may need an extra tool for grooming, but mostly you can do a good job with a few basic brushes and gloves.
Your German Shepherd grooming toolkit should contain some or all the following:
- Basic brush (wire or plastic) for daily brushing – Try the Furminator
- A slicker brush for long-haired German Shepherd grooming
- A comb to de-mat your pet’s coat
- A de-shedder
- Grooming glove
- Dog shampoo and conditioner
1. The basic brush
Purchase a high-quality basic brush with wire bristles for dogs with longer coats as this brush type works well for grooming the deeper undercoat. This is an essential piece of kit for all German Shepherd owners.
Brushes with plastic bristles are ideal for shorter-haired German Shepherd grooming as they also reach the undercoat.
Plastic bristled brushes will catch the guard hairs of the undercoat. Guard hairs are the stiffer hairs that protect the softer undercoat, which also protects and distributes the dog’s natural skin oils.
Guard hairs also help create natural waterproofing for your German Shepherd to protect its skin from getting wet. The German Shepherd undercoat serves another purpose: to cool your pet’s core in summer and keep it warm in colder months.
With a basic brush, you will reduce your pet’s shedding tendency, maintain the outer coat’s illustrious shine, and help prevent the coat from becoming matted by removing loose hair and dead hair.
2. Slicker brush
Slicker brushes are ideal for brushing long-haired German Shepherds as the fine bristles reach deep down into the coat.
Slicker brushes are also excellent for German Shepherd grooming to maintain that rich shine on the dog’s topcoat. Slicker brushes are mostly self-cleaning and convenient, so be sure to choose one with this feature.
Please avoid using this brush type to de-matt your dog’s coat as it tends to snag matted fur easily. The temptation is to tug at the fur, pulling the hair from the skin follicles and cause pain.
Rather use a special de-matting comb to untangle knots in your pet’s fur.
3. De-matting comb
A de-matting tool is designed to reach down into the soft undercoat of the GDS without harming its skin.
The de-matter is made with fine, sharp stainless-steel teeth that can easily de-mat your pet’s coat, whether your GSD has long or short hair.
Rather get this tool to eliminate knots in your pet’s fur than using a cheap knock-off that can injure their delicate skin.
4. De-shedding tool
A de-shedding tool is necessary for German Shepherd grooming, no matter the length of their hair. This tool is available in several forms and is known as undercoat rakes.
The de-shedder’s rakes capture loose coat hairs that you can dispose of before they fill your home. De-shedding tools are also effective in reaching through both the top and undercoat of the German Shepherd, which increases its efficacy.
5. Grooming glove
Dog grooming gloves have rubber nodules that massage the dog’s skin. Rubbing your pet’s skin increases the distribution of its natural oils and is suitable for brushing wet or dry hair.
If your pet doesn’t like the regular brushes discussed, this may be a better option for it.
6. Dog shampoo
Purchase a quality dog shampoo from your vet. Your GSDs skin is tender, and this breed is known to be prone to dry skin and irritation. Build up a lather using your hands or a specialist shampoo mitt.
Treat this animal with respect by stocking your German Shepherd grooming kit with top-quality products.
How Often Should You Groom Your German Shepherd?
The best way to approach your German Shepherd’s grooming is to create a schedule. Make time to brush your pet’s coat regularly. When speaking about regular grooming, your GSDs coat should be brushed daily with a basic brush, as discussed earlier.
Only use the de-matting tool when your dog’s coat requires detangling. This need may arise after a walk in the veld or through a forest where its coat can pick up grime and mud.
Brush your German Shepherd with the de-shedding tool ahead of seasonal changes in the spring and fall. De-shedding your pet’s coat daily at this point will limit the mess that its coat leaves around the home.
Your pet’s skin and coat will also be healthier with regular de-shedding.
Your German Shepherd only needs one full-body bath once or twice a year at most. Of course, you should bathe your pet if they have become dirty from play, but weekly or monthly shampooing will harm their skin.
If you notice that your GSD has rolled in something unpleasant, then give it a full-body wash or a local wash to remove the mess.
This is a good time to brush your pet’s hair with the grooming glove, as this tool works well for brushing dry or wet coats.
Do’s And Don’t’s Of Grooming Your German Shepherd.
You should and shouldn’t do several things when it comes to German Shepherd grooming.
- Do brush your pet daily.
- Purchase the right brushes for the job as described above.
- Do be gentle with your GSD, always caring not to harm its skin when brushing its coat.
- Do use nail clippers or nail trimmers if you hear their toenails on the floor.
- Do check your pet’s ears daily when grooming as these are susceptible to mite and other infections.
- Do clean your GSDs ears with a special ear cleanser.
- Do check your dog’s teeth daily and give these a regular brushing twice a week with dog toothpaste to maintain overall grooming.
- Do remember to groom your pet’s tail.
- Do go to a vet to remove hair in the case of a parasitic infestation.
Things that you shouldn’t do when grooming your German Shepherd:
- Don’t shampoo your GSD more than twice a year unless necessary.
- Don’t shave your dog’s coat off, as regrowth may be patchy. Shaving your GSDs coat is also unhealthy for your pet’s skin and overall health as it contains natural heating and cooling properties.
- Don’t cut your dog’s nails too close to the quick as this will draw blood and be painful.
- Don’t clean your dog’s ears with a Q tip, as this may cause harm to the delicate inner ear.
Have fun with your German Shepherd grooming time. See grooming as an opportunity to improve the bond with your pet. They enjoy the extra attention, and you get to appreciate reduced shedding throughout your living space.
Your home will be cleaner, and so will your dog. Additionally, your pet’s health will benefit from regular checks, which can preempt any nasty health surprises.