Do german shepherds shed? This is an important question you should ask yourself before buying one. After all, you don’t want to have to spend all your time cleaning up dog fur.
In short, the answer is yes (however, that’s not all you need to know). Keep reading to find out how much german shepherds shed, how to control it, how to reduce it and many more things as well!
So, Do German Shepherds Shed A Lot?
Honestly, german shepherds do shed quite a lot. If you’re going to get one, then you’ll be vacuuming your house at least twice a week. As well as vacuuming, there are times where you’ll notice that you’ve got fur all over your couch and clothes.
However, your german shepherd’s shedding can be managed. And it can become easily manageable with the right preparation!
How Often Do German Shepherds Shed (And When?)
There are two main times that a german shepherd will shed (fall and summer), however, they will also shed a little bit throughout the year.
The two big coat blowouts occur around fall when they shed their summer coat for thicker, warmer fur, and in summer when they need fur that’s thinner to keep them cool.
But remember, as their fur gets replaced there always going to be shedding out their old coat, at a slower rate.
Why Do German Shepherds Shed So Much?
There are lots of different reasons your german shepherd can shed. Some of them are in your control and some of them aren’t.
Here are the main causes of shedding.
It’s Part Of The Natural Cycle
As you already know, your german shepherd is going to shed more in the summer and fall because of the natural cycle of their bodies.
When they feel the temperature and amount of sunlight in the day changing, they’re going to start shedding accordingly.
A poor diet can also result in excess shedding in your german shepherd. In fact, if you’re not giving your german shepherd high-quality dog food, then they could be shedding more than they need to.
When you’re looking at their diet, the two main things they’re going to need for a healthy coat is essential fatty acids and protein, along with minerals and vitamins.
Without the right nutrients in their diet not only will you notice shedding, but you’ll also notice their coat looks lackluster as well.
If your german shepherd is allergic to something then it could cause more of their fur to fall out. When they’re allergic to something it might cause them to scratch which will increase the amount of fur falling out.
As well as noticing scratching you may also notice inflamed areas, scabby areas and patches of fur missing.
(Find out all the different reasons your german shepherd may be scratching.)
They May Have An Illness
As well as allergies, excessive shedding can occur due to a disease (however, this isn’t as common). If you think that your german shepherd is shedding more than normal then your best bet is to take them to the vet as soon as possible.
If your german shepherd is stressed then they may end up shedding fur at a higher rate. This doesn’t mean stress like our stress, but things in their environment that are making them anxious.
Perhaps there are loads of loud noises that scare them, or they’re suffering from separation anxiety. It could be a new person, pet or another stimulus entering their territory that stresses them as well.
Stress can also be caused by pain too. It’s always a good idea to periodically go over your german shepherd’s body and make sure they’re not hurt. If you notice any signs of discomfort you should take them to a vet straight away.
They Naturally Shed Hair All Year
While german shepherds have two big blowouts every year, the rest of the hair on their bodies is constantly being replaced. As the new hair is ready to sprout, it comes from the same hair follicle as an older one.
It slowly pushes it out until it falls off. And with the number of hair follicles on your german shepherd, the amount of hair that comes out at once can become quite significant.
Believe it or not, your dog can get sunburnt. This is even one of the reasons why you shouldn’t take them out around midday during the hottest part of the year.
If they do become sunburnt the skin is going to become damaged and inflamed. And then the inflammation can often result in their hair coming out more rapidly.
(Do you know how to keep your german shepherd comfortable in hot weather?)
Changes In Hormones
If there are drastic changes in your german shepherd’s hormones then it could result in hair loss. These kinds of hormone changes can be caused by neutering, spaying, and pregnancy.
When the hormones are affected it can end up causing the elasticity of your german shepherd’s skin to suffer, increasing the amount of shedding that occurs.
They’re Losing Their Puppy Fur
German shepherds are born with a puppy coat that’s thick and warm. It’s designed to keep them protected from the elements when they’re still tiny puppies.
However, around the four-month mark, they’re going to begin to lose this coat. Which means you’re going to notice an increase in the amount of fur being shed.
If you’re lucky, this shedding will occur during the changing of the seasons, however, in some cases, there may be 3 big coat sheddings in one year.
Parasites like fleas and ticks are extremely aggravating to german shepherds and all dogs. They’re going to cause inflammation in the skin as well as make it incredibly itchy.
When the skin is itchy, obviously your german shepherd is going to scratch more, and this scratching is going to cause more fur to be shed.
If your german shepherd is suffering from parasites, make sure you treat them as early as possible.
How To Control And Reduce The Amount Of Fur Your German Shepherd Sheds
Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the amount of fur your german shepherd is going to shed.
If you follow the advice below, then you’re going to make your life a lot easier. And you’re also going to make your german shepherd a lot happier as well.
Brush Them Daily
One of the best ways to control your german shepherd’s shedding is to brush them every day. When you wake up in the morning, take them outside and give them a good brush.
This is going to remove most of the fur so you won’t have to worry too much about it covering your home.
Just make sure when you’re brushing them you’re not being too rigorous. When a dog is brushed too much, the hair follicles can become weak; causing the fur to fall out easier.
Lastly, when brushing start by going against the line of growth and end by brushing with the line of growth.
Make Sure You’re Brushing Their Undercoat
As well as brushing your german shepherd normally, make sure you’re brushing their undercoat too.
When you brush your german shepherd, most of the time you’re only going to be brushing the topcoat not the undercoat. However, a lot of the time it’s the undercoat that’s going to be the cause of most of the fur.
So make sure you’re using an undercoat rake, to help get the loose fur from the undercoat.
Improve Their Diet
If you aren’t feeding your german shepherd high-quality food, now’s the perfect time to start. As previously mentioned, opt for food that’s rich in nutrients, especially fatty acids and protein.
Asking your vet which food is best for your german shepherd is the best thing you can do. And they’re going to give you recommendations specifically suited for your pup!
You should only bathe your german shepherd every 3-4 months, however, if you do it at the right time, then you’re going to help remove a lot of the fur they’re shedding.
When you are bathing your german shepherd, make sure you’re using a suitable shampoo.
And lastly, the best time to do it is when they’re in the middle of shedding their summer or winter coat.
Go To A Groomer
If you want to go one better than bathing your german shepherd then you should take them to a groomer!
Groomers are going to remove all of the excess fur and due to some of the tools they have, they’ll also be able to remove some fur you can’t get too as well!
Also, it’s a nice treat for your german shepherd and in most cases, they’re going to love the attention!
Make Sure They’re Getting Enough Water
It can be hard to see the correlation between german shepherds shedding and water. However, there definitely is one. The more dehydrated your german shepherd becomes, the more likely they are to get dry skin.
When they get dry skin, it’s going to be much easier for them to shed, so plenty of water is a must.
As well as dry skin, dehydration can also make german shepherds sick and lethargic as well.
Give Them Healthy Snacks
You don’t just have to feed your german shepherd dog food and dog treats, there are plenty of other healthy snacks they can eat as well.
There’s also plenty more food you can give your german shepherd, so make sure you spend some time learning about them!
Add Olive Oil Or Flaxseed Oil To Their Diet
As well as giving them healthy snacks you can also try adding olive oil or flaxseed oil to their diet. Both oils are full of fatty acids that your german shepherd needs for many reasons. However, one of the reasons is that they promote healthy hair growth.
As a rough guide when adding olive or flaxseed oil to your dog’s food you should be adding 1tsp per 10lbs of bodyweight.
But if you don’t want to add oil to their meals, you can also give them omega 3 supplements as well!
(Just remember when adding any new food to your german shepherd’s diet, it’s always a good idea to consult a vet first.)
When Is Shedding A Problem?
It’s perfectly normal for german shepherds to shed, however, if you notice they’re shedding a little bit too much then there could be a problem.
If you notice any of the following then there could be a problem with your german shepherd.
- Bald spots
- Constant scratching and itching
- Dry skin
- Flaky skin
- Inflamed skin
When any of the following occur, there can be a whole range of causes, so it’s best to take them to the vets to figure it out.
Normally these sorts of problems come about due to various skin conditions and parasites, however, they can almost always be treated.
And even if you don’t notice any of them, if you notice that your german shepherd is shedding more than they should be you should still take them to the vets to figure out why.
Now you know, german shepherds do shed a lot, however, the shedding can also be managed. You can expect the most amount of shedding during the fall and summer. But shedding will still occur all year.
And remember shedding can be caused by poor diet, allergies, illness, stress, sunburn, hormones, when they’re losing their puppy fur and as part of the natural cycle.
You can control your german shepherds shedding by brushing them daily, brushing their undercoat, improving their diet, bathing them, taking them to a groomer, giving them plenty of water, giving them healthy snacks, and adding olive oil and flaxseed to their diet.
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