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If you’re thinking of getting a German Shepherd, you should probably consider how much fur you’ll have to deal with. Dog shedding can affect your health if you have allergies, but it will also affect your daily life since you’ll need to clean up to maintain a tidy home.
So, Do German Shepherds Shed?
Yes, German Shepherds shed throughout the year. How much they shed daily will depend on the type of coat they have and the season of the year.
Understandably, long-coated GSDs will shed more than their short or medium-coated counterparts. Nevertheless, they will all shed their undercoats twice a year during the shedding season.
How Much Do German Shepherds Shed?
German Shepherds shed pretty heavily compared to other popular breeds. The amount of hair and fur that a German Shepherd sheds will depend on the type of coat they have.
Generally, there are three types of GSDs: (1) Short-coated, (2) Medium-coated, and (3) Long-coated. The longer the coat, the more hair you’ll have to contend with.
Although the straight outer coat is definitely a concern, all three types will have a dense, woolly undercoat that contributes even more significantly to how much they shed. All German Shepherds will shed some of this undercoat on a daily basis and could easily produce tiny tumbleweeds of fur in your home.
This daily shedding gets even worse when they “blow” it off completely two times a year, which is when you’ll deal with excessive amounts of hair and fur.
German Shepherd Shedding Seasons
Like most double-coated dogs, German Shepherds blow their coats twice a year.
In the fall, they blow their undercoat to make way for a thicker, denser winter coat that will keep them insulated throughout the cold season. Then, during the spring, they’ll blow out their winter coat to get rid of excess insulation and keep their bodies cool during the warmer summer months.
Coat blowing can go on for several weeks depending on how thick your GSD’s coat is. During these times, you’ll notice tufts of fur that easily come off. You’ll need to step up your grooming habits as well as your cleaning schedule during this time.
How To Deal With A GSD During Shedding Season
The amount of fur German Shepherds shed during shedding season can become overwhelming because it can accumulate and take over your home very quickly.
It can certainly be a lot to deal with if you’re experiencing shedding season for the first time.
To keep your sanity during the shedding season, here are some of the best ways to deal with your GSD:
Give them a bath
To keep their skin and coat healthy, German Shepherds should bathe no more than once a month, with the ideal frequency being around 5-6 times a year.
No matter your bathing schedule, make sure you bathe your GSD at least once during the shedding season. That will help you get rid of accumulated dirt and also wash off loose fur.
Use the right brush
Dog brushes come in different types and each has its own function. Nevertheless, choosing the best brush for your German Shepherd need not be overly complicated.
For general grooming, a slicker brush might be your best option. However, a rake brush designed specifically to remove loose undercoat will be incredibly useful during the GSD shedding season.
Brush more often
Generally, German Shepherds should be brushed around once a week in order to keep from accumulating excess dirt and dander, to remove shed fur, and to keep the skin healthy.
During the shedding season, however, you’ll want to brush at least two or three times a week to keep that extra fur off your floor and furniture.
Invest in a good vacuum cleaner
When you have a German Shepherd, you can’t rely on just any vacuum cleaner to help you maintain your home. Of course, choosing the best vacuum cleaner will depend on a variety of factors like your flooring, furniture, lifestyle, and budget.
Nevertheless, you need to choose one that was developed specifically to tackle pet hair. That might mean a stronger motor and specific attachments that will help you deal with your beloved shedder.
Other Tips To Deal With German Shepherd Shedding
Apart from keeping them groomed and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule, here are some other things you can do to keep your GSD’s shedding in check:
Choose their diet carefully
Whether you prefer dry dog food or fresh feeding, make sure your dog gets all the nutrients they need for their overall health. A complete and balanced diet will definitely contribute to a healthier coat, which helps you avoid excessive shedding.
Give them coat & skin supplements
Adding supplements for dog coat growth to your dog’s daily diet will help keep their shedding to a minimum. Consider giving them some omega fatty acids or even some biotin.
Alternatively, you can ask your vet about daily multivitamins that will give them a complete boost of all the vitamins and minerals they need for general wellness.
Keep them hydrated
Dehydration can lead to excessive shedding. When your dog lacks sufficient water intake, their skin suffers and becomes dry. That makes hair and fur more prone to shedding.
To avoid this, make sure your dog always has access to fresh drinking water. If you can’t get them to drink enough, some frozen broth might help them take in more fluids.
Get a robot vacuum cleaner
A Roomba or a similar autonomous robot vacuum cleaner might help you deal with everyday cleaning. Running a Roomba daily will keep your floor clean and so you’ll only have to fuss over your furniture and other surfaces when it’s time to take out the vacuum cleaner.
Identify allergies & intolerances
Certain food allergies and intolerances can lead to abnormal shedding. If you find that your German Shepherd is shedding in excess, work with your veterinarian to identify food ingredients or environmental allergens you might need to avoid.
How to Identify Abnormal Shedding
If you’re experiencing a GSD shedding season for the first time, it can seem abnormal and excessive. Don’t worry! It’s normal for them to lose tons of hair and fur at this time.
However, keep in mind that normal shedding doesn’t produce any bald patches. If your dog is losing hair only in specific areas, or if they’re scratching excessively, you might want to get them checked for any allergic reactions, skin conditions, or other illnesses they might be suffering from.
Should Shedding Stop You From Getting A German Shepherd?
Easy maintenance is hardly the main reason you should choose a dog breed, but it’s definitely a legitimate concern. Whether German Shepherd shedding is something that should stop you from getting a GSD is really a personal decision.
You’ll need to consider any allergies or other health issues you might have that might become exacerbated by fur and dander since German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic.
Additionally, you’ll also need to consider your willingness to groom and to clean up after your dog. If you’re not willing or barely have the time to brush them and vacuum your home regularly, how willing are you to live with the shed fur?
These considerations should really form a part of your decision to welcome a GSD into your home.
Yes, German Shepherds shed and just dealing with the fur can be a lot of work, especially during shedding season. Additionally, making sure they’re fed a diet and given supplements that support healthy coat growth can add to expenses.
But if you’re willing to put up with all that (on top of their exercise and intellectual requirements), the GSD’s general temperament and disposition can make them one of the best options for a working dog, companion, or family dog and will prove to be more than worth the trouble.