The toughest part of owning a pet? The shedding! We dog owners can never seem to escape the dreaded fur on our clothing, furniture, and floors! But like us, every dog's mane is different - So do German Shepherds Shed?
Do German Shepherds Shed?
Though the coat length of German Shepherds varies, they are known as a high shedding breed. German Shepherds are known as a "double coated" breed, meaning they have a protective top coat which is flat and coarse, and an undercoat which is soft and thick.
German Shepherds shed all year round. Because of all the fur they lose all year, they've actually acquired the nickname "German Shedders"!
How To Reduce Shedding:
Unfortunately you're not going to be able to ask your GSD nicely and get them to stop shedding, its just what they do. They've been doing it for thousands of years and it's been working just fine. You can though learn to manage it and improve it so its not taking over your house. There's a few important elements to pay attention to: Proper Diet, Exercise & Hydration, Grooming, and Bathing.
There's not a special 'anti-shedding food' available yet, but feeding your GSD a high quality dog food rich in nutrients and light on the fillers is definitely worth planning for. Keeping your dog healthy overall is of course the idea, but a diet rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are known to help when it comes to shedding in check and their coat in optimal condition.
Exercise & Hydration
It's always a great idea to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise to keep them in the best physical and mental shape. Plenty of walks and ample opportunity to run around is the best, of course things like the Fi Collar can help you to track this exercise and make sure they're getting enough on a daily basis. Make sure they're provided enough fresh water throughout the day too with increased activity to keep them properly hydrated.
Grooming & Bathing
That beautiful coat doesn't come easy! GSD fur requires a lot of upkeep. You should aim to brush them 3-4 times per week, but once per day is even better to reduce the amount of fur around your home. Luckily, in terms of bathing, GSD's are better off with fewer baths, so a bath every 3-4 months should do the trick. If you keep up with their brushing, bathing, and nail trims, you may not need to bring them to the groomer since they don't typically need trims, but groomers can help remove mats in the fur if you've neglected your brushing sessions.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
All dogs shed to some extent, but some shed more than others! A dog's coat offers them protection from the sun and the elements, so depending on their environment, their coat may become extra thick, or shed to let go of some of that extra fur.
Double coated breeds especially will experience seasonal shedding, where they shed their undercoat in the spring and fall. These breeds include Border Collies, Labs, Beagles, and... German Shepherds!
Dogs may also experience stress-induced shedding. If you have a dog that sheds, you may notice excessive shedding when they go to the vet - this is a natural response that dogs have to stress! If you dog frequently experience stress shedding, you can talk to your vet about ways to reduce this stress and make these experiences easier for your dog.
If you notice your dog shedding excessively and it's not due to one of the above reasons, or of they are losing patches of hair, this may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Call your vet so they can diagnose the issue.