Need to know the best dog brush for German Shepherd pups? You’re in the right place.
German Shepherds are an instantly recognizable breed. They’re iconic and quickly identifiable.
These dogs are extremely popular companions and also spend quite a bit of time as guard dogs and police dogs. They’re loyal and protective, making them useful in a number of different fields.
No matter where these dogs work and live, though, German Shepherds have medium hair and a double coat that requires some maintenance.
And they shed quite a bit as well, which requires care.
Do German Shepherds Need Brushing?
A German Shepherd does have a very thick, two-layered coat. This coat can produce a massive amount of excess fur.
If your German Shepherd isn’t brushed, this fur will likely end up all over your couch and wardrobe. This can be unsightly and even cause allergies.
Regular brushing can remove a lot of this excess fur from your dog, preventing it from ending up on your furniture.
Brushing your dog often can also distribute the natural oils in their fur, which can keep their coat healthy and shiny. It also massages their skin which can prevent skin ailments.
What Type of Fur Do German Shepherds Have?
German Shepherds have a double coat that is usually medium length. Some German Shepherds can have short or long coats, but these are rarer.
The outer coat is dense and designed to protect the dog from the elements, including rain, snow, and dirt. German Shepherds were originally bred to herd flocks in harsh climates, so this outer coat helped them stay healthy and dry.
This layer is most commonly made up of straight hairs, but can be wavy in some German Shepherds. It is often rough and is described as wiry.
The inner coat is softer and designed for warmth. While the outer coat keeps the German Shepherd dry, the inner coat works to insulate.
This layer is often softer than the outer one, with shorter hairs. Most of a German Shepherd’s shedding will come from this layer, though they do lose hairs that belong to the outer layer as well.
In many ways, the German Shepherd’s coat acts like a winter coat. There is a layer of protection from the elements on the outside, and another layer to keep them warm on the inside.
How Often Should You Brush a German Shepherd?
German Shepherds need to be brushed at least two to three times a week. The more you brush a German Shepherd, the less he will shed.
This breed constantly sheds all year around. So, there is no letup to the endless rain of loose fur.
You will need to develop a brushing routine and stick to it no matter the season.
But German Shepherds also tend to shed worse two times a year. This is referred to as “blowing a coat,” or molting.
Suddenly, your German Shepherd will be losing ten times more hair than usual. This phenomenon is caused by hormones, not the seasons or weather, so it can be unpredictable. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1748-5827.1982.tb01676.x)
At these times, we recommend brushing your German Shepard every other day if possible.
Besides brushing, there is no much you can do to counteract the shedding.
We do not recommend bathing your dog in an attempt to get rid of loose hairs. This can strip your dog of their fur’s natural oil, which can make their coat unhealthy and lead to even more shedding.
Instead, you will need to rely solely on a brush, which is why it is so important to choose the perfect brush.
Dog Brushes for German Shepherds
The FURminator is a very popular dog brush for German Shepherds.
It features a stainless-steel deShedding edge that reaches through the topcoat and into the undercoat, where most of the shedding happens. This removes loose hairs that a lot of other brushes simply can’t reach.
A comfortable handle makes long grooming sessions comfortable for you while the unique brush design removes hairs without damaging your dog’s coat or skin.
Whenever the brush fills up with hair, simply press the button to release the hair. This feature helps save you time and prevents you from accidentally cutting yourself on the bristles, which I have done more than once on lower-quality brushes.
There are quite a few different size options available, so be sure to pick the one that best matches your German Shepherd.
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
Slicker brushes are another common choice for German Shepherds, especially those with longer hair.
This slicker brush by Hertzko is designed to gently remove loose hair, tangles, and foreign bodies such as dirt from your pet’s fur.
The fine bristles make it easy to penetrate deep into your pet’s coat and remove hair from the inner layer. They also won’t scratch your pet’s skin.
Once you’re done grooming, the bristles retract into the brush with a click of the button. This makes it easy to both clean the brush and store it. You don’t have to worry about the bristles breaking in storage or having to dig all your pet’s fur out of the brush.
Pet Grooming Gloves
If your German Shepherd is new to grooming or just doesn’t like the experience, these gloves might be the way to go.
They are designed to easily remove the excess fur from your pet’s coat while your dog thinks they’re just getting petted.
Each finger has bristles on it, so you can remove hair from small and delicate places like your pet’s face. Plus, this set comes with two gloves, allowing you to use two hands and groom your pet in half the time.
If you don’t love the gloves, the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee. So, there is really no reason not to try them.
However, even if you buy these gloves, you should still introduce your German Shepherd to a brush. This will prevent distress and irritation from grooming.
How to Brush a German Shepherd
Because of the German Shepherd’s thick coat, it is essential that you reach all the way through to the inner coat to remove the excess hair there. Otherwise, your dog will likely continue to get hair everywhere.
The best way to accomplish this is in small sections. Brush one small section at a time completely before moving onto the next one. Take your time.
It is often helpful to use different kinds of brushes when grooming your German Shepherd.
Slicker brushes are helpful for removing loose guard hairs, which are constantly shedding. Regular combs work better for sectioning off the undercoat and brushing it thoroughly.
Sessions should be as short as possible, especially if you have an older dog. Strain from grooming can result in injury, exhaustion, and even death.
This might seem like a lot of work, but it really goes by quickly. And, regular grooming sessions can help strengthen your relationship with your dog.
Also be sure to wash your dog’s grooming tools regularly. It isn’t uncommon for them to grow bacteria, so a good wash every once in a while is important.
German Shepherd Brushing Video
Other Dog Brushes
If you have other dog breeds, you might be looking for the best specific brushes for them too!
Check out our other dog brush guides for the best advice.
Best Dog Brush for German Shepherd
While German Shepherds aren’t particularly prone to mats, you should brush and de-shed them regularly. These dogs shed quite a bit, so it is essential to brush them at least a few times a week.
References and Resources
- Maria, A. C. B. E. et al (2013). Necropsy findings in dogs that died during grooming or other pet service procedures. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 58(5).
- Power, E (2008). Furry families: making a human-dog family through home. Social and Cultural Geography, 9(5).
- Ellson, T. (2008). Can we live without a dog? Consumption life cycles in dog–owner relationships. Journal of Business Research, 6(5).
- Bagcigil, A.F et al (2009). Recovery of dermatophytes in pet grooming tools from veterinary clinics and pet grooming salons. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 51(1).
- Hale, P. (2008). Periodic hair shedding by a normal bitch. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 23(6).