Are you wondering if your German Shepherd is in need of a trip to the groomer, or if regular brushing at home will be enough to keep them in tip-top shape?
The truth is that German Shepherds are not very high-maintenance dogs when it comes to their coats. They do, however, need regular grooming. It is up to you whether you want to take your pup to a professional groomer or simply take care of it yourself at home. At a minimum, your dog will need regular care to keep up with their coat and shedding, teeth, and nails.
This article will go into detail about the necessary grooming for German Shepherds, whether you should do it at home or take them to a groomer, and how to do so no matter what you choose.
Do German Shepherds need to be groomed?
Do German Shepherds need to be groomed? Yes! All dogs need to be groomed! The level of grooming, however, will be different for every breed. German Shepherds definitely need to be groomed, but the extent of the grooming will vary depending on whether your dog has a longer or shorter coat.
You should also be sure to regularly take care of your pup’s teeth and nails in order to ensure that they stay healthy.
Should I take my German Shepherd to a groomer?
Whether you take your German Shepherd to a groomer or take care of all their grooming at home is completely up to you. There are pros to each option!
If you take care of your German Shepherd’s grooming at home, you can keep up with them on a weekly basis and ensure that the workload is never too much to handle at once. You can also save quite a bit of money.
If you take your German Shepherd to the groomer every four to six weeks, you save yourself the trouble of having to deal with bathing, brushing, and trimming your pup, and place it all in the hands of a professional. This can be appealing to some, especially if you are not quite sure where to start with grooming.
For owners of long-haired German Shepherds, you may prefer to take your pup to the groomer simply because they require a lot more upkeep than their short-haired breed siblings. It may be worth it to you to spend the money to have a professional take care of it for you.
How frequently should I groom my German Shepherd?
The obvious follow-up question to “Do German Shepherds need to be groomed?” is, well, “How frequently should I groom my German Shepherd?” This varies depending on exactly which grooming aspect you are talking about. For basic brushing, if you are planning to take care of this at home you should plan to do so at least three to four times a week.
Brushing your German Shepherd at this frequency will ensure that you are able to stay on top of their shedding and reduce the amount of work for yourself if you were to do it less frequently. You may need to brush at a higher frequency during the times of the year when your pup is shedding.
For things such as brushing your dog’s teeth or trimming your dog’s nails, the frequency differs. Like us, it is ideal to brush your dog’s teeth every day, but this is not always possible for some dogs. It may help to do all their grooming at the same time, so you can get their teeth brushed whenever you brush them during the week.
For trimming your dog’s nails, you should simply do so as often as necessary to keep their claws from curving down to touch the ground while your dog is standing upright.
If you take your German Shepherd to the groomer instead of taking care of their grooming at home, you should go every four to twelve weeks depending on the length of your dog’s fur and the necessary frequency of grooming.
Should I bathe my German Shepherd?
Yes, you can bathe your German Shepherd. However, you should not do so more often than about once a month. You may need to bathe them more frequently if they happen to get into something messy, like mud or poop, which requires a bath. However, in general, German Shepherds are naturally clean animals who should not generally smell or get too dirty.
Bathing your German Shepherd too frequently can actually strip the natural oils from their fur. This can lead to your pup having dry fur and irritated skin.
Should I shave my German Shepherd?
No, you should never shave your German Shepherd. It is definitely not a recommended idea to do this with this breed! German Shepherds have a double coat. Just like its name indicates, the double coat does double duty to make sure that your dog is never too warm or too cold. It works to keep them cool during the hot summer months and warm in the freezing winter.
The outer layer of their coat also works to keep water, insects, and dirt away from their skin. By shaving a German Shepherd, you are removing all of these protective layers and leaving your dog open to the elements.
It is also important to mention that shaving your German Shepherd will not stop them from shedding. In fact, they will still shed just as much as before—although the hairs will not be as long, of course. If you are looking to stop your dog from shedding, your best bet is to brush them very frequently to keep the loose hair at a minimum.
How can I find a reputable groomer?
The number one easiest way to find a reputable groomer is to go by word of mouth. Ask some of your friends or family who have dogs where they go to get their pups groomed!
If you do not have any friends or family who use groomers, the next best thing is checking out online reviews. A good groomer will be very highly regarded and their clients will not want to stop raving about them.
Another important thing to remember when finding a groomer is that you are the client. A good groomer will be willing to answer as many questions as you want to ask. Feel free to ask about the facility, their methods, and yes—their prices. A good groomer will be totally transparent with you.
What supplies do I need to groom my German Shepherd at home?
If you are planning on taking care of your German Shepherd’s grooming at home, there are a few key tools you will need.
- A slicker brush or comb
- A de-shedding tool
- A toothbrush
- A set of nail clippers
The slicker brush is a brush for more regular upkeep of your German Shepherd’s coat outside of their heavier shedding periods. They have wire bristles that are able to penetrate deep into the undercoat to remove loose hair. You want to find a slicker brush with blunt bristles so that you don’t end up scratching your pup’s sensitive skin.
Next, you want to make sure you have a proper de-shedding tool for those heavier seasonal shedding periods. One of the most popular de-shedding tools is known as the Furminator. It comes in a variety of different sizes to accommodate different dogs and coat lengths, and it works by reaching deep into the coat to pull out all of the loose under fluff before it ends up falling out.
Lastly, a good toothbrush and set of nail clippers are the last basics you will need for grooming at home. You can easily find these at a pet supply store, along with flavored toothpaste that your dog will love. There are a variety of other grooming tools you can buy if you want, such as a vacuum to suck up loose fur, but these are optional.
How do I get my German Shepherd used to grooming?
Ideally, you want to get your German Shepherd used to groom while they are still a puppy. Start when they are very young by brushing and combing their fur, brushing their teeth, and generally messing with their paws, mouth, and ears.
You want to get your dog used to you messing with various parts of their body and show them that you are not hurting them but actually helping them to feel better.
Getting your dog acclimated to grooming as a puppy is not always possible. If you did not start grooming your dog as a puppy, or if you have adopted an older dog, you may need to start at the beginning later in their life.
To do this, start slowly. Let your German Shepherd sniff the grooming tools and see that they are not scary. Begin by gently brushing them, holding their paws, touching their mouths, and rewarding them generously whenever they allow you to do so. It may take a while, but soon enough you will be able to get your pup used to you touching them where you need to groom them.
Do German Shepherds need to be groomed? Yes, they do! However, whether you take your dog to be groomed by a professional or if you take care of it yourself at home is up to you.
If you take your pup to the groomer, expect to take them every four to twelve weeks depending on the length of their fur. If you do it at home, regular grooming should ensure that your dog is always in excellent shape.