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The German Shepherd is a loyal, intelligent, beautiful, and one of the most popular canine breeds that many people love. They are smart, active, courageous, and excel in everything they do, thus making them an excellent companion to many families.
The German Shepherds were initially bred to herd sheep but later evolved to work with law enforcement. That being said, it’s always important to learn both the bad and good traits of a pet before welcoming them into your home. The most important question people ask is about dogs is their shedding habits. So, without further ado, let’s look at the German Shepherd’s shedding habits.
Do German Shepherds shed? Yes, they shed a lot. They are considered a heavy shedding canine breed. It is impractical to live with a German Shepherd and not find hair lying around your house. Some German Shepherd parents are even amazed at their dog’s molting intensity. Therefore, if you are thinking of adopting this canine breed, know shedding will be a continuous event in your house. And, managing their shedding will be an everyday task that you will have to make a routine.
But don’t let the shedding stop you from owning this wonderful canine breed. This guide will provide you with ways to reduce and manage your German Shepherd’s shedding, thus keeping your home fur-free. This is always important to people with canine allergies to help reduce their allergic reactions.
You will also learn more about German Shepherd shedding to know what to expect. For instance, how much and why they shed, type of coat, shedding frequencies, and lastly, whether or not they are hypoallergenic. So, read through so you do not miss out on any important information.
How Much Do German Shepherds Shed
German Shepherds shed a lot and are considered a high shedding canine breed. You can expect two types of shedding if you are a German Shepherd parent. There’s the regular shedding that happens all year round, which is relatively high. And then seasonal shedding, which is even more heightened and noticeable, and occurs in spring and fall.
German Shepherds will drop fur anywhere and everywhere in your house. They shed so heavily that even other pet parents have nicknamed them ‘German Shedders.’ But worry less because this guide provides ways to manage and reduce your dog’s shedding and enjoy a fur-free home.
Why Do German Shepherds Shed?
Every canine breed shed, and the German Shepherds are not an exception. They undergo a hair growth cycle whereby the hair grows, then falls off naturally and is replaced by new, healthier ones. In addition, shedding is a natural and important process because it helps dogs regulate their body temperature, protects their skin from diseases and injury, and assists with sensory perception.
German Shepherds will also shed to get rid of their puppy coats and grow new permanent adult coats. They will also shed during the seasonal shedding to adjust to the weather changes.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
When do German Shepherds shed? This canine breed is a heavy shedder throughout the year but sheds even more during the seasonal molting. The seasonal shedding mostly happens in spring and fall for about 2-4 weeks. During this period, you will notice even more strands of hair lying around everywhere in your house.
Your German Shepherd will shed their thick winter coat during summer to keep them cool because they do not need it. And come winter, they will also shed their light summer coat to develop a thick one to keep them warm. This process is known as the blowing the coat. You will have to keep up with their shedding during this period least you end up with a house full of dog fur.
Like any other canine breed, your German Shepherd is also prone to unhealthy shedding. You have to learn to differentiate when the shedding is normal and when it isn’t. Things might happen in your German Shepherd’s life that can cause them to shed excessively. If you notice your dog is shedding more than usual, you should visit your local vet to check what could be causing your pup to shed unhealthily.
German shepherds are very anxious when something isn’t right in their lives. This could cause stress and lead to excess shedding. Other causes of excess shedding include allergies, hormonal imbalances in pregnant females, parasites, and poor diet, to name a few.
Given that German Shepherds are such natural heavy shedders, it can be tricky to decide what’s normal and what’s excessive shedding. So, look out for other signs of unhealthy shedding such as bald patches, irritated skin, dull and brittle fur, dry skin, or excess scratching.
What Type of Coat Do German Shepherds Have?
The German Shepherds are a double-coated canine breed, meaning they have a topcoat and an undercoat. The topcoat is the one that is visible when you look at the German Shepherd. It is usually straight and thick and has some brown and black colors. It protects the dog against the wind, water, and ice elements.
On the other hand, the undercoat is thick and wooly and closer to the dog’s skin. It isn’t visible enough from the outside, and you have to separate the fur with your hands to see it. The undercoat usually keeps them warm. It is during the seasonal shedding that the German Shepherd loses its undercoat.
How to Manage and Reduce German Shepherds’ Shedding
Now that we have answered the question, do German Shepherds shed? Let’s look at the possible ways you can manage and reduce their shedding. Remember, you can never stop your German Shepherd from shedding because it is a normal process for all canines. But you can manage the situation through regular grooming and providing an optimal diet, among other things.
German Shepherds Grooming
Grooming is one area you can never ignore if you want to keep your dog’s shedding under control, especially for the German Shepherds parents since they are heavy shedders. You have to be consistent with the brushing to manage their shedding.
Most German Shepherds will worsen their shedding if the owner falls behind on the grooming routine. Therefore, you should aim to brush yours 3-4 times a week. And during the seasonal shedding, you should brush them daily to keep up with the increase in shedding.
A pin brush is the best choice for your German Shepherd but you can also use a de-shedding tool like the Furminator to help remove excess fur during the coat-blowing season. Brushing will help catch the dead, loose hair before falling on your floor.
German Shepherds Diet
Never neglect your dog’s nutrition if you want to keep their fur healthy and reduce shedding. Always feed your German Shepherd an optimal diet rich in Omega fatty acids to promote healthier fur. Examples of foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids include tuna, salmon, and other types of fish.
Bottom line, do not sleep on nutrition when promoting healthy fur and reducing molting. Be consistent in feeding your German Shepherd an optimal diet, and you will manage to keep their shedding under control.
The right type of food and right portions will vary depending on a number of things including the dog’s age, health, weight, sex, whether they are pregnant, etc. If you’re unsure what you should be fedding your German Shepherd, visit your vet to recommend the best canine food for them.
Bathing your pup can also help to reduce shedding by removing the dead, loose hairs from your pup’s coat. But keep in mind that German Shepherds have sensitive skin, making frequent bathing a problem. It can dry out their skin and fur, making them prone to excessive shedding. I recommend using dog shampoo with natural ingredients. Any other shampoo will cause their skin to get irritated, thus increasing their shedding. You can wash your German Shepherd occasionally when they catch dirt or roll themselves in mud.
Supplements are good to help promote your dog’s coat health. For example, supplements like olive oil, fish, and flaxseed are great for maintaining healthier fur. Talk to your vet to recommend the best dietary supplements for your German Shepherd.
Are German Shepherds Hypoallergenic
Before I answer this question, let’s first explain what hypoallergenic means. A hypoallergenic canine breed is one that is less likely to trigger dog allergies. Usually, the dogs labeled as hypoallergenic shed less because, in the end, they will produce less dander. Remember, urine and saliva also cause allergic reactions.
Someone with severe canine allergies can still get affected by a less shedding canine breed. That means no canine is 100% hypoallergenic because all dogs produce the proteins that cause allergies. However, canines that shed a lot produce more dander into the air, and the loose hair transports all the things that cause allergies. By this explanation, German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic at all. As I mentioned earlier, they are double-coated canines and shed heavily throughout the year.
There’s still hope for German Shepherd lovers who have dog allergies. Here are a few tips that can help you live comfortably with your pup and reduce allergic reactions:
- Invest in a HEPA air filter to help catch allergens in the air. Consider placing it in your bedroom, where you spend a lot of time to help clean the air you breathe and have a goodnight’s sleep.
- Restrict your canine to specific areas so you can have a pet-free zone. This will help reduce your allergic reactions because dogs’ dander will always build up in places where they spend the most time. For example, keeping your bedroom out of bounds.
- Have someone groom the dog to avoid too much contact with it when fur and dander is flying around the most.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly after petting your pup to avoid touching your eyes and causing your allergies to flare up.
- You can visit your allergist or doctor to recommend some medications to reduce allergy symptoms.
For those with severe allergies, I wouldn’t recommend this breed. Consider well-known allergy-friendly dogs like the Afghan Hound, Basenji, American Hairless Terrier, Chinese Crested, Giant Schnauzer, Irish Water Spaniel, etc.