How to Stop German Shepherds from Shedding?

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One of the most commonly asked questions from new German Shepherd owners is “how to stop my GSD from shedding?”.  If you are looking for ways to reduce the shedding or planning to bring a German Shepherd puppy home, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss how to deal with your German Shepherd shedding to make your life easier.

German Shepherds shed for their entire life and there is literally no way to stop it from happening. Yet there are several ways to reduce shedding, such as proper grooming, feeding your dog a nutritious diet, and keeping your dog in a hygienic environment.

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Why do German Shepherds shed so much?

All dogs shed. Some breeds shed more than others. German Shepherds are known to shed heavily. But why?

First thing first, we have to understand German Shepherds are double-coated. In other words, they have two layers of coats for different purposes:

  • The outer coat: This is the top layer that you see and feel for the most part. The hairs are thinker here than the inner coat. This is a protective layer that traps dirt or fleas and serves to protect their skin from any tick or flea. The outer coat sheds daily. Depending on the age, weight, size, lifestyle, or diet, the outer coat can shed more or less.
  • This inner coat: This is the inner layer of soft fur in medium length, designed to keep your German Shepherd warm and water-resistant. The inner coat sheds twice a year, usually towards the end of winter and fall.

How long does German Shepherd shed?

Shedding is an all-year-round process. German Shepherds tend to shed their coats 365 days a year. And some days, like during spring and fall, they shed more heavily than the others. This is the reason why they earn their name as “German Shedders.” 

In fact, German Shepherds “blow” their coats twice a year. 

This means, for twice a year, during spring and fall,  German Shepherds will shed their entire inner coat all at once – to prepare for a seasonal change. 

In the spring, German Shepherds shed the winter coat. And again in the fall, they shed their summer coat. 

This usually happens over the course of a couple of days or a week.

When do German Shepherds start shedding?

Once German Shepherds developed their full coats, they will start shedding their coats 365 days a year, and they blow their coats twice a year. During these times, it will take 10 days or more to shed their entire undercoat. 

When do German Shepherds get their full coat?

At about 4 to 6 months of age, they’ll begin to grow in their new adult coat. She will start the coat change on her face first. Then her fluffy puppy coat will be replaced by the smoother adult coat down her back, towards to trail and gradually down her sides.

What months do German shepherds shed the most?

Related: FAQs Before Getting a German Shepherd (2022 version)

How much do German Shepherds shed?

German Shepherds can shed as much as the volume of an entire dog.

How to Stop German Shepherd from Shedding?
How to Stop German Shepherd from Shedding?

If you cannot tolerate dog hair everywhere – your clothes, on your bed (no doubt), on your couch, in your car, on your plate, and anywhere you can or cannot imagine, do not get a German Shepherd.

Check out this video below and you can see how much a German Shepherd can shed:

How to reduce German Shepherds shedding?

Shedding in German Shepherds is inevitable and you literally cannot stop it from happening. 

The good news is, with proper and strategic planning, you can manage it when shedding season comes. In order to deal with the shedding of a German Shepherd especially during the shedding seasons, below are some tips that you can follow:

Brush your dog regularly

Double-coated dogs such as the German Shepherd need to be brushed regularly. This is an important routine of your dog’s grooming especially since it sheds its coat all year round. It is recommended to brush your German Shepherd at least twice a week during normal days. When shedding season comes, use an undercoat rake to remove all loose hair.

Brushing is important to prevent the development of skin problems and remove any tangling of the coat which is also called matting. Always brush in the direction of the hair growth and not against it as this will damage your dog’s skin. Do it gently so you will also not damage the topcoat.

Bathe your dog 3-4 times per year

Due to their dense coat, German Shepherds do not need to be bathed regularly. In fact, they only need to bathe 3-4 times per year. This is just to remove all dead and loose hair from their undercoat and keep it smelling fresh and clean.

When bathing your dog, use only natural, mild shampoos or moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. The latter is a specialized formula that helps slick the dog’s coat for easy removal of loose hair. After bathing and while the coat is damp, brushing it with an undercoat rake will further help in removing all dead and loose hair.

Keep your dog in a hygienic environment

Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for your German Shepherd is very important. This to make sure that your dog is free from parasites, ticks, and fleas. If your dog is infected, it might lead to health problems and excessive shedding. Make sure that your dog’s beddings are properly cleaned.

Feed your dog a nutritious diet

Cheap dog food is largely made of ingredients such as corn and grain that is difficult for any dog to digest. Look for dog food that has meat as the main ingredient. Sure, it costs more, but it is beneficial to your German Shepherd in lots of different ways. Dog food with meat as its main ingredient is easier to digest and absorb. Not only will it help to maintain a healthy coat and reduce shedding, it is also good for the overall health of your German Shepherd.

This is eye-opening and revealing. And it may even be a game-changer when it comes to feeding your dog.

What is more convincing than the advice of a vet who has been practicing for 45 years on dog food?  
I want to share with you this video by Dr. Marty, where he will reveal what are the 3 ingredients to avoid and 3 superfoods to feed your dog.

It is a must-see if you really care about the well-being of your dog.

Hydrate your German Shepherd at all times

Dehydration can lead to dry skin, which can cause shedding and (worse) illness. Make sure your German Shepherd has access to fresh and clean water at all times.

If your German Shepherd is not drinking enough by himself, you can always choose to incorporate moist foods into its diet. Wet dog food contains up to 78% moisture – compared to 10% for dry food. Another way to do this is to add warm water or chicken broth into kibbles.

Many people feed their dog kibbles because it’s easy and efficient. Or simply they are too lazy (they use “busy” as an excuse) to prepare the best food for their beloved dog.

That’s where vet-designed, freshly-made dog food comes into play. 

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Maintain proper indoor humidity

Dogs cannot use a moisturizer or cream like we humans do when it comes to dry and itchy skin. If you live in a place where humidity is lower than 50%, you should create a moisturized environment that reduces shedding.

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People also asked

Is it normal for my German Shepherd to shed a lot?

There might be times when your German Shepherd can experience excessive shedding and this might be because of an underlying health reason such as stress, allergies, pain, hormonal changes, or fleas, parasites, or ticks. If your dog’s excessive shedding is caused by one of these reasons, you should consult your vet for a proper consultation and medication. 

What are the best grooming tools for German Shepherds?

Double-coated dogs like the German Shepherd will need an undercoat rake to remove unwanted and loose hair from its undercoat especially during shedding season. 

Do German Shepherds need haircuts?

German Shepherds are not high-maintenance dogs, but they definitely benefit from regular care and grooming. While their double coats don’t need clipping or trimming, they can develop mats and skin problems if you don’t brush them regularly to remove dead hair and debris.

How often should you bathe a German shepherd?

Your German Shepherd’s coat has plenty of natural oils, and bathing too often will strip the coat of its oils. Making the coat dry and itchy could lead to irritation. It is recommended that bathing is done every 3-4 months.

Can I shave my German Shepherd to reduce the shedding?

It is not advisable to shave your German Shepherd’s coat. Shaving will take away your German Shepherd’s protection from the cold and heat. Brushing and proper cutting will be sufficient. Shaving will affect your dog’s natural protection from insect bites. Shaving will also affect the growth of both the topcoat and undercoat.