German shepherds are notorious for shedding a lot. As a double-coated breed, German Shepherds will normally molt year-round. During spring and fall, a GSD also goes through “blowing” to change its coat in preparation for the upcoming season. This is when you will notice excessive amounts of fur everywhere. Worse is they come out in clumps, so you’ll need to vacuum a bit more.
While there’s nothing you can do to stop canine shedding, there are things you can do to somehow control it. One of these is to brush the coat often. It’s advisable to brush German Shepherds four times a week.
When it comes to grooming tools, it’s best to invest in a decent, high-quality brush so you will not have to buy a new one over and over again. If you’re currently on the hunt for the best dog brush to use for your German shepherds’ coat, here are some of the highly recommended brands to check out:
1. Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
Pros: When you have a dog that sheds like crazy, you know brushing his coat isn’t the end of your task. You eventually need to get rid of all the hair on the brush. This requires you to be extra careful so you will not end up bending the wires and damaging it. So when Hertzko produced a brush that cleans itself, it’s like a big relief for pet parents.
It retracts its own bristles, so it will be much easier to take the hair out of the brush after each use. Once you’re done, simply press the button and it will be drawn back. Since it can be retracted, you can store it without worrying about the bristles bending and eventually being damaged.
In addition to its self-cleaning feature, you’ll love that it has smooth bristles. With comfort in mind, you will not have to be concerned about getting a little deeper into the coat. Grooming a German shepherd involves penetrating deep into the coat to effectively get all the excess hair.
Cons: You may need to press the button hard to be able to lock the bristles in place, if you’re going to use it. You have to press it again to retract and get rid of all the fur. Avoid holding it down with your thumb continuously because it may screw up the automatic retraction button.
2. FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool
Pros: It comes in different sizes and for a German Shepherd that can grow from medium to large, a large FURminator is just the best one to use. If you can’t completely remove all the hair using an ordinary comb or brush for pets, this one might be the perfect tool to use. A de-shedding tool like this one isn’t really bad for pets as long as you know how to use it accordingly.
Just remember to avoid putting too much pressure while brushing your pooch. This can leave the skin irritated. Also, keep in mind that it should only be used not more than twice a week. Best of all, ensure that your German Shepherd’s coat is completely dry when using any de-shedding tool.
The FURminator comes with an ergonomic handle. Since it’s easy to hold, it speeds up the process of grooming your pet.
Cons: A bit more expensive, but the price is actually for the large brush. The extra small size is not always available and can be purchased from other sellers and not from the official retailer.
3. GoPets Double Sided Pin and Bristle Brush
Pros: German Shepherds are prone to skin problems, such as flaking and dryness because many of them tend to have sensitive skin. If your buddy has sensitive skin, you might want to choose a brush with soft pins like this one from GoPets. What’s nice about GoPets’ brush is that the pins were made with rounded ends so it will be easy on the pet’s skin.
German Shepherds can either be long-haired or short-haired and for that matter, it helps to have a double-sided brush in handy. You might want to begin with the bristle side, since it’s recommended to distribute the natural oils in their coat. These dogs have a lot of natural oil in them, that’s why they should only be bathed once every four months to avoid stripping it away.
Cons: Cleaning the brush by hand is the only way to get rid of all the hair, dander, or dirt from it. It’s important to clean the brush after each use to avoid redistributing the dirt on your next grooming session. Just a tip, you can soak the dirty brush on warm water combined with equal parts vinegar to clean it. Do it for around half an hour before spraying it with disinfectant.
4. GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Rake
Pros: Grooming a matted dog can be a massive chore, especially when you got a long-haired German Shepherd. The problem with long-haired GSD is that it’s prone to getting mats on the back of their ears.
For that matter, it helps to have a tool, like this one, that you can use to effectively get rid of the matted fur. Do note that it’s important to remove the mats, otherwise, it can develop into skin lesions that can cause pain on your pooch.
A few gentle strokes should do the trick, because you might end up hurting your buddy’s skin if you did not do it carefully. What’s nice about this de-matting comb is that it will not scratch the pet’s skin since it’s safe to use even if it’s a rake.
Although this one’s made of stainless steel blades, the edges were rounded so you will not be concerned about further irritating your dog’s skin. One side has 23 teeth while the other side comes with 12 teeth. Most of all, this comb will not stress your hands since it’s made of easy-to-hold gel handle.
Cons: You might need an additional grooming tool for severely matted hair. Spraying your pet with a leave-in conditioner will help. Some pet parents even had to trim their GSD a bit, since de-matting heavy mats can be painful. Overall, it’s still pretty effective at removing little knots out of the fur.
5. SleekEZ Original Deshedding Grooming Tool
Pros: Aesthetic-wise, this de-shedding tool is definitely a winner. It comes in a wooden handle, which you will like if you don’t find silicone or plastic handles comfortable to use. But more than the nice wooden built and patented pattern, this comb works well in removing dead hair. It should also work in removing dirt and dander in a gentle manner since it promises not to snag the dog’s skin.
Available in different sizes and also in “combo” or wave pattern, this tool is value for money because you can also use it for removing pet hair on beddings, couches, car seats, and carpets. It can be great for quick tidying up, especially when you don’t have a vacuum cleaner at home. With its many uses, this de-shedding tool is already value for money.
Cons: It may not work for every coat type, but for GSDs with medium-length coats, this will be worth the buy. It can be used as an additional grooming tool especially when you want to do a quick grooming session at home.
Tips in Brushing Your German Shepherd
Grooming your GSD is easier than ever once you got the right brush. But what if your German Shepherd just does not want to be brushed at all? Some GSDs are fine with a quick brush on the back and on the sides, but will not let you comb other parts like their legs and the area near the tail. Here are some tips to make grooming easier and more enjoyable for your buddy:
Offer him something to chew on. The goal is to distract your pooch while you try to brush your buddy. There are rubber chews and bully sticks that you can buy online and on pet stores. But if you want to give something natural, go for beef ribs or raw bones. Just make sure its size is appropriate for your dog.
Start with quick sessions. If you’re doing it for the first time, you might want to begin by keeping the grooming periods short. You want to make the experience a positive one so your dog will get used to being touched or groomed.
Make your pooch as comfortable as possible. Let your pooch lie down before using the brush on your pet. Giving lots of praise will not hurt, especially if you know it will help your German Shepherd feel at ease.
The German Shepherd may not be the easiest to groom because of its size, besides the fact that some of them have long hair that is prone to matting. But with the right tool, removing dirt or tangle from your pet should not be as difficult as it looks. Invest in a good brush to make grooming sessions enjoyable for your GSD and easy on your part.