German Shepherds are special dogs; we can all agree on that. It is not without reason that they are in fourth place of the most popular dog breeds in the world! Their unique character is a combination of loyalty, intelligence, courage, and compassion.
The breed has its origins in Germany and gained popularity in the US at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to movie stars (dog stars?) Like Rintintin. In addition to great family dogs, German Shepherd dogs are particularly suitable as guard, police, and tracking dogs.
Their medium-length, double coat is delightful to cuddle but does require special care. So quickly read on how you can best take care of the coat of your beloved Shepherd.
General advice for the care of German Shepherds:
If you want your German Shepherd always to look spectacular, you should pay particular attention to his or her full coat. That does not necessarily mean that you have to bring your Shepherd to the groomer on a weekly basis, but to keep the shedding under control and your dog looking clean, you do have to maintain the coat, and here a few tips on how you can do that.
Below are a few tips:
- Because of the dense topcoat and soft undercoat, it is essential to brush your German Shepherd often to prevent shedding. Usually, every few days is enough.
- A variety of combs and brushes are available; make sure to find out which ones best suit this breed and coat length; there are different brushes for different hair lengths.
- Your German Shepherd will shed a few times a year. During this period, which usually lasts about 1-2 weeks, you will need to brush and vacuum more often.
- Your Shepherd needs a good wash; once a month is more than enough. If you wash your dog too often, you get the chance that the skin becomes dry and irritated.
- Check your dog’s nails once a month. They often wear off on their own, but if they are too long, your dog will suffer from them, and they will need to be cut or filed down.
- Also, think about the ears. The ears should be cleaned weekly with ear drops (never water!) And when you are cleaning the ears, you need to make sure you check for infections.
- Buy a good vacuum cleaner. I am not going to make things prettier than they are: if you have a German Shepherd in the house, you will find hair everywhere. So you better be prepared and get yourself a good vacuum!
Why it’s a bad idea to shave your German Shepherd?
One thing we want to emphasize in these grooming tips for German Shepherds is that shaving your dog is definitely not recommended. This is a bad idea for several reasons, the main 3 of which are listed below:
- The double coat keeps your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- The outer coat is hairy, water and dirt repellent, and protects against insect bites.
- The undercoat is soft and woolly and protects against cold and heat. If you shave the coat, your dog will miss out on all those great natural protective properties that the coat provides.
When shaving, the topcoat is removed, and with it the beautiful color and drawing of your dog. What remains is the undercoat, which is much less beautiful and often has an even cream, gray or beige color.
Even a shaven shepherd will still shed (although the hairs will of course be shorter).
The best haircut for a German Shepherd: au naturel
There is not much choice in hairstyles for German Shepherds. Often they look (and feel) their best when they are well brushed and groomed and have a shiny and healthy coat. If you take care of your Shepherd’s hair with regular brushing and the occasional washing, you’re gonna have a great-looking dog.
Shepherd are great communicators, and that will let you know what they like and what they don’t like when it comes to grooming; sometimes, it will take some time to figure out what the best approach is. In any case, we hope that with these tips, your pup looks even more fantastic than he already did!