Originating from herding dogs native to Germany, the German Shepherd breed gained recognition and popularity in the US around the 1900s. At the time, their popularity was attributed to the German Shepherd movie star Rin Tin Tin. Their hyper-vigilance, intelligence, and trainability have also made them the most popular breed to be used in both the police force and the military.
German Shepherd grooming Must know:
The loyal breed has countless positive points that enamor people to them, although their thick coats are challenging to manage. This small article outlines some of the most important tips you need to know about grooming your furry companion.
Managing the German Shepherd coat
A German Shepherd’s coat is double-coated, with a dense outer coat lined by a soft undercoat. Due to their thick coats, they shed excessively throughout the year, which makes the German shepherd grooming challenging. Once a year, they also blow through their entire coat, which means that for 1 to 2 weeks, they will essentially be molting.
Generally, you should brush their coat three to four times a week.
As their coat is so thick, you should invest in a rake and other high-quality de-shedding tools to ensure that your pet’s coat remains in tip-top condition. However, during shedding season, brushing should be done on a daily basis. A high-quality vacuum will go a long way to help your German Shepherd grooming sessions and can pick up a lot of your pet’s stray hairs.
Fortunately, the German Shepherd produces natural oils that give its coat a natural sheen. This means that you should bathe them about once a month. Over bathing your pet can strip their coat of natural oils and make their fur dry.
Cleaning Your GSD Ears
Cleaning your pet’s ears is a really important aspect of grooming. It is easy to forget that your pet can be susceptible to ear infections, and the best way to keep them clean is by using vet-approved ear drops. Once you’ve poured in ear drops, you should massage the base of their ears as gently as possible. You can also use some soft cloth or cotton pad to clean wax or other ear debris.
Additionally, you should inspect their ears for redness and other signs of irritation so that you can catch on to sign off any infection early on.
Trimming The German Shepherd nails
A more German Shepherd grooming challenging aspect is trimming their nails. While at times, the nails can wear down on their own, you should check their nail size once a month. If you are noticing that the nail length of your pet has become too long, then you should cut them to avoid making your pet feel uncomfortable.
Before you begin to trim their nails, you should press their paw gently with your fingers, which will separate their nails. You can then cut off excess hair around the toes by using some round-edged scissors.
An important point to note is that this particular dog breed has black nails, making it significantly harder to discern which part should be trimmed. So, while you are trimming them, be sure that you do not cut the nails too short, as it can result in bleeding.
Dental hygiene for German Shepherds
Your German shepherd’s dental hygiene should also be included in your grooming regimen as their teeth are susceptible to both plaque and tartar build-up due to their diet. As such, you should brush your dog’s teeth once a week on a regular basis.
Use dog-friendly toothpaste and be careful not to brush their teeth too harshly as it may damage their gums. If your pet is not keen to have their teeth brushed, then other innovative solutions such as dental chews and dry kibble can act as good teeth cleaners. These products are especially handy for more fussy pets.
Why you should never shave your German Shepherd
When people that live in hot climates adopt a German Shepherd, they may be inclined to shave off their pet’s fur to make them feel more comfortable. However, several experts have come forward and stated a number of reasons why doing so are a bad idea. For instance:
- While your pet’s double coat may make it seem like they are going to suffer from high temperatures, in actuality, the double coat acts as an excellent insulator against both hot and cold temperatures.
- While the outer coat guards against factors such as water, dirt, and insects, the inner coat acts as an insulation layer. When you shave their coat, you are essentially removing the essential layers they need to stay comfortable. Overheating is always a possibility if the region where you live has extremely harsh temperatures, but shaving your pet’s fur should be done as a last resort.
- When you shave your pet’s outer coat, you will be left with a rather drab-looking inner coat that has none of the original coat’s dominant coloration. This can definitely reduce the attractiveness of your pet as their inner coats tend to be single colors of dull white, grey, or beige.
- One of the major proponents of shaving your German Shepherd is so that you can avoid all the hassle that comes with their shedding. Unfortunately, these claims are wholly unfounded as even shaved pets shed the same as those with fully grown coats (although the fur being shed is admittedly shorter in length).
German Shepherds are notoriously hard to groom dogs, and the amount of hair they shed makes them an especially challenging and high-maintenance pet. While some owners may prefer their dogs to be shaved in an attempt to make them easier to groom, this breed looks best in the characteristic long-hair fashion. The best way to show off your pet is to keep up their regular grooming sessions and stick to their naturally luxurious hairstyle.
If you find things like trimming your dog’s nails or bathing them especially challenging, then you can simply go to your local groomers to get this done. You can even get your pet’s nails trimmed at the vets.