German Shepherds aren’t only the most intelligent dog breeds but also the easiest to train. They have been reported to exhibit higher intellectual capabilities than most dog species; with sharper brains and softer temperament.
German Shepherds do in fact shed. While shedding is something common with nearly all dog breeds, German Shepherds, in particular, are notorious shedders. Expect the heaviest coat shedding during summer and the least during wintertime.
That said, these dogs are still the most ideal family dogs with a higher percentage preference in the market. This article will walk you through why your German Shepherd sheds and the different ways you can control it’s shedding.
German Shepherd Shedding
Dog lovers often prefer a dog that sheds less often due to the troubles of grooming their coats, cleaning floor mats and couches. While shedding is something common with nearly all dog breeds, German Shepherds, in particular, are notorious shedders.
If not well-groomed, they can shed twelve months in a year. The handsome, natural-looking coat with the distinct coloration is both a selling perk and a spoiler for German shepherds.
So if you’re planning to buy a German Shepherd, be ready to take some ingenious measures to reduce the frequency and intensity of shedding.
How much do German Shepherds Shed?
If you’re not satisfied by the light mention that these dogs do shed, you probably want to hear, how much or how often do German Shepherds shed?
Well, in terms of the measure of how often, you’ll be disappointed with the flying dog hairs and fur on mats- it will depend on a number of factors. Some of the factors include: time of the year, temperature, medical conditions, and genetics.
Not all German Shepherd dogs shed often, and not all grow long hair. When there’s a huge difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures; expect your dog to shed more. Typically, a normal German Shepherd dog won’t shed more than a handful of fur on every surface it sits or lies on.
How often do German shepherds shed?
Depending on the season, most German Shepherd dogs will shed due to the body response to weather and environmental conditions. More often, your dog will molt excessively when preparing for a new season.
In the fall, for example, fur sheds so that a thicker, warmer hair grows. The opposite is also true during spring when the thicker coat molts so that a lighter, less-insulating summer layer develops.
That counts to two major shedding seasons. In between these two shedding periods, the less-firmly attached hairs that cover the inside coat are exposed and can easily detach when your dog comes in contact with various objects/surfaces. If your dog spends most of the time in the cooler outdoors and later comes to an air-conditioned home, the body sends some mixed signals of shedding the winter coat and that’s the reason you’ll often find some fur on the pillow or mat.
When is Shedding Season for German Shepherds?
German Shepherd dogs’ shedding pattern has been divided into three major stages sourced from the contemporary hair follicle growth-cycle; Telogen, Catagen, and Anagen Stages.
Telagen and Catagen stages are infamous for consistent shedding. This is because, during the two stages, your dog is either molting a winter coat or a summer one.
Anagen stage, on the other hand, is the hair growing season. It’s during this season that you’ll not see a lot of hair either in your dining room, on floor mats or even on the pillowcases.
If you live in a region that experiences the four seasons throughout the year, chances are, your dog will shed when transiting from one extreme season to another, i.e; spring to summer and fall to winter.
Why do German Shepherds shed so much?
To fully understand why German Shepherds shed more often compared to all the other dog breeds, it’s important to first understand the anatomy of the skin.
German Shepherd dogs have a double coat; an inner lining that molts twice a year and an outer lining of soft fur that sheds all year round.
Typically, the coat should be brushed and shampooed regularly to keep that fine lining glowing while avoiding skin conditions such as dandruff, loose hairs, and immature shedding. Again, your dog has to prepare for the different seasons by shedding off and growing a new layer of hair. This makes a lot of sense, just like you stock your closet for winter and renew it before summer.
If your German Shepherd dog sheds beyond the bearable limits; it could be due to any of the following reasons:
- Skin condition – Skin allergy is often the first suspect once your dog begins to shed more than usual. These allergies can be caused by food or drug intolerance. Poor grooming has also been linked to deteriorating skin which could worsen into a recurring skin condition.
- Poor Dieting – A diet that is rich in nutrients combined with appropriate supplements are enough to maintain a healthy skin that is easy to brush and comb. Improper dieting such as dry food served under untidy conditions worsen hair tingling, making grooming harder.
- Stress – This is commonly referred to as separation anxiety, but your dog doesn’t necessarily need to be separated from you to develop stress. Sometimes, stress is caused by lack of exercise, physical abuse or too much aggression towards your dog. High stress levels cause hormonal imbalances which causes your dog to shed more.
- Dehydration – While this may not be the main reason why your dog is shedding excessively, it’s still a contributing factor to excess shedding. Inadequate water in the dog’s body leads to a dry skin which messes up the shedding pattern. Again, dry skin increases the chances of hair loss.
How to Control German Shepherd Shedding?
Knowing what to do and what to avoid when raising a German Shepherd dog is quite crucial. You don’t want to invest heavily in some expensive shampoos that promise too much but delivers nothing when you can simply control the shedding yourself with few simple things. Below are important takeaways on German Shepherd dog shedding control:
- Adopt the right grooming procedures such as; start the cleaning by brushing against the line of hair growth.
- Choose effective and appropriate grooming tools – avoid slicker brushes or the ineffective sticky tape rollers.
- Dry your dog properly and shampoo the coat after swimming or a shower.
- Where possible, avoid the highly-hyped skin supplements and instead stick with a balanced diet.
- Choose the shampoos keenly- avoid the high-fragrance ones which could lead to allergies.
- Brush your dog outdoors if you have the option – yard/garden.
How to deal with German Shepherds shedding?
Shedding control isn’t enough to get rid of the common problem facing nearly all German Shepherd dog lovers. Sometimes knowing how to tackle the problem head-on is more important than just knowing how to dodge it. Below is how you can deal with shedding if the control measures don’t work.
First, access the level of shedding; how frequent and how much hairs or fur is left on the surface or flying in the air. This way, you’ll be in a position to decide whether to call a vet or handle it yourself.
If the shedding is beyond your control and you can’t possibly help; call a vet or visit a nearby vet station. If you feel you can handle the task, keep it simple and precise with the right grooming procedures, exercise your dog, maintain a high-quality diet and let you dog have enough sleep. You’ll see improvements with time.
German Shepherd Shedding Solution?
When it comes to sourcing solutions to the German Shepherd dog shedding problem; there’s no quick fix. You’ll need to appreciate the fact that it’s natural for these dogs to shed.
The only viable solution to this problem is to change your mindset about the shedding problem while working on the things that you can actually control. These include the causes of excessive shedding such as poor diet, skin hygiene, health issues, etc.
Instead of complaining of your dog leaving hair on the coach, just train him to lie on his mat instead of roaming the entire house. Again, replace the cotton mats with those that won’t trap the fur. If possible, you can also choose to get rid of the floor mats.
How to stop a German shepherd from shedding?
Sincerely speaking, you can’t completely stop the shedding process since it’s more natural. If the question, however, is how to reduce the shedding, then we have you covered. As a general rule of thumb, proper grooming and appropriate dieting are important.
You should also brush the top coat and the undercoat daily to help remove dead fur. This way, you’ll minimize shedding. Using a rake brush that’s not hard on the skin is highly recommended.
German Shepherd Shedding Conclusion
Owning a German Shepherd comes with all the advantages and the few bearable disadvantages. If you’re thinking of a way to minimize shedding, prioritize on the above control measures.
In order to live peacefully and stress-free with your German Shepherd dog, train yourself to be a discipline dog lover who is not house-proud and doesn’t mind the exercise and grooming involved in keeping an obedient, coated and energetic dog.
If you’re lucky to have a good German Shepherd dog, you definitely know why they are ranked as some of the most companionate creatures. Various studies and researchers have confirmed that close intimacy and affection between humans and dogs wasn’t an overnight affair. The special bond dates back to millions of years ago and this explains why certain people have more empathy for dogs than their fellow humans.
If you have any more questions on how to take care of your German Shepherd, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.