The German Shepherd Dog is one of the “natural breeds”. He does not require special clipping, combing, or scissoring. However, he does require regular and thorough brushing, as German Shepherds are heavy shedders. Grooming should be a pleasant experience for both you and your German Shepherd. It’s a great way to bond with your dog while checking him for health problems. The best way to ensure this happens is to start when your dog is still a puppy.
Equipment you will need for grooming a German Shepherd includes:
- a wire slicker brush
- pin brush
- natural bristle brush
- a shedding blade
- mat breaker
- metal rake for getting rid of shed hair
- metal comb
- nail clippers
- towels and shampoo.
Brushing A German Shepherd
Start grooming your German Shepherds with your hands. Before you ever take a comb or brush to him, a gentle massage will loosen dead hair, stimulate circulation, distribute oils, and make your dog happy!
You can brush your German Shepherd in under ten minutes, provided you do it regularly. The actual amount of time depends on the length of the coat. Although a long coat is considered a fault in the show ring, many German Shepherd dogs do have longer coats, and they need longer and more frequent grooming sessions.
For best results, brush your German Shepherd twice a week in order to manage the double coat. You’ll need to work to remove the loose hairs – not just the hairs from the comparatively thin outer coat, but also the dense woolly hair from the undercoat. This undercoat can be deceptively thick in some individuals, while others have comparatively little or none at all.
Use your brush, especially the wire slicker brush, with care. If you put too much downward pressure on it so that it rubs against the dog’s skin, he may develop brush burns, or some small blood vessels might break. As you brush, angle the brush near the skin, not against it. Skin around the stomach, anus, and sheath is especially sensitive.
During times of heavy shedding, consider using a shedding blade. Use a shedding blade gently, with only the slightest pressure. Sometimes a lot of hair bulks up around the croup. This destroys the picture of the gently sloping croup. Use a mat breaker to thin the hair and loosen mats. Mats in the undercoat can be removed with a metal rake or shedding blade. This will massage the skin and distribute oils, as well as remove hair.
If you want your German Shepherd to look fluffier, with more coat volume, try first brushing the dog in the opposite direction of hair growth and then in the same direction of hair growth. (use an ordinary bristle brush for this, not a slicker brush.)
If the hair around the hocks is uneven or too long, you can trim it with thinning shears. If there are any longer or stray hairs under the feet or between the pads, scissor them out.
Some show groomers use a long-pinned pin brush on the tan-colored parts of the legs and brush in the opposite direction of hair growth. They then spray on mink oil, which gives the appearance of a darker red dog.