The German shepherd is a popular dog breed with lots of attributes. This dog’s intelligence, high energy levels, and loyalty have seen it rise in ranks to become a popular dog breed in the military and police departments. Besides these attributes, this dog is known for its shedding abilities. During spring and fall, this dog tends to shed the winter coat. More so, you’ll often find most people call this dog the ‘German shedder.’
With that, most German shepherd owners who are bothered with their dog’s shedding get concerned whether it’s right to shave these double-coated breeds to minimize this shedding. And probably that is also one of your questions.
So, do German shepherds need a haircut to make them look good and reduce the shedding rate?
Do German Shepherds Need A Haircut?
Unlike other single-coated dogs, German shepherds don’t require a haircut. In dogs with single coats such as Poodles and Yorkshire terriers, shaving is helpful for removing mats beneath their coat.
Again shaving is an important fashion procedure important to those dogs who take part in the dog’s fashion show. For such dogs, the hair grows more quickly compared to that of the double-coated dogs like the German shepherd.
So, why is a German shepherd’s double coat important?
Importance Of German Shepherd Double Coat
First, the dense and coarse outer guard hairs act as a protective layer to protect your dog from insect bites that may irritate your dog’s skin.
During the cold season, both the outer and fluffy undercoat help keep your dog warm throughout.
Lastly, in hot weather, both of these coats help protect your dog from harmful UV rays.
Disadvantages Of Cutting A German Shepherd Hair
Perhaps you have seen your dog pant heavily during the hot season, and maybe you thought the coat is making your dog overheat. Thus to make your dog sweat less and feel less overheated, you’ve decided to cut his vast amounts of hair short. Right? More so, it’s like taking out your coat on a hot sunny day. You are wrong; you will have exposed your dog to lots of dangers than benefits.
Let’s look at why shaving or giving your German shepherd a haircut is never a wise idea.
- Removing your dog’s undercoat and outer coat can expose it to lots of injuries- cutting your German shepherd coat with hair clippers exposes your dog to lots of injuries and skin bites. Remember, it’s this outer coat that will bar insects like mosquitos from sucking his blood. Also, when your dog walks in thickets and bushes, his coat will be easy to prick.
- Also, cutting a German shepherd’s hair is never a prudent idea, especially on sunny days as you expose him to lots of UV rays. These UV rays burn your dog’s skin, leading to sunburns, which can lead to skin cancer.
- In the cold weather, it’s never good to shave your dog’s coat—the reason being the German shepherd inner and outer coat work together in regulating your dog’s temperatures. And during the cold season, these coats work together to conserve the much scarce warmth. Now imagine cutting your German shepherd hair. You will have let your dog’ naked.’ Similar to our early example, in this case, it’s like removing your coat during a cold, freezing day. I bet it’s never fun, now think of it happening to your German shepherd.Giving your German shepherd a haircut during these two seasons imply now that your dog cannot regulate body temperature.
- Also, one of the important coats in your dog is the fluffy undercoat. When you cut it short, it will take a lot of time to grow, and if it does, it will grow improperly.
When Should I Cut Or Shave My German Shepherd’s Hair
In some instances, your German shepherd may require a haircut, which may be the only suitable option. However, all this should not come through your will; a veterinary should be involved when you’re making this decision. So when should a German need a haircut?
When Your Dog Is Going For A Surgery
When an animal veterinary is about to perform a surgical procedure on your dog, he may need to shave a part of your dog’s coat for him to get better access. Such a scenario may occur when your dog is about to get spayed or neutered. He will need to shave a small part of your dog’s genital area for the surgical procedure to be successful. In such a scenario, the benefits of shaving your dog outweigh the disadvantages.
Your dog has a skin condition
When your dog has a severe skin condition, cutting your German shepherd hair may be the only right option if he has a severe external parasitic condition on the skin.
For example, when your dog has the nuisance mange, your veterinary may advise that a haircut will be okay to make it easier for you when applying topical medication.
Dealing With Tough Mats
Some mats can be tough, and using other ordinary tools to curb them will not bring the intended results. Such tough mats can happen to stray dogs or those dogs who have been neglected.
Such dogs will need a haircut to break out any tough mats. At such a point, cutting this GSD’s hair will be the only advantageous option.
As you can see from the above points, a haircut will be much more important and the best alternative for such German shepherds.
Grooming A German Shepherd
Here is how you can ensure your German shepherd is well groomed –
Bathing is important to make your dog look and smell good. When doing so, ensure you use a veterinary-approved shampoo that will not corrode your dog’s coat. Also, avoid human shampoo.
Lastly, avoid bathing your dog daily as you can make its skin dry.
Brushing The Coat
Brushing is one important grooming aspect that you, as a German shepherd owner, should never skip. Adopt a routine of brushing your dog now and then, and rarely will you find stray hairs flying around your house- or you find the need of using a hair clipper on your dog.
Learn the best German shepherd grooming tools that will help in your German shepherd grooming sessions.
These tools are –
Look for the best de-shedding tool to remove all the loose and dead undercoats from your German shepherd. Some of the best de-shedding tools like the FURminator help remove all loose undercoats without pitching your dog’s coat, ensuring this dead hair doesn’t end up on your clothes or furniture. Furthermore, this FURminator has a self-cleaning button to make your work easier when you want to dispose of all loose hair on the brush. Lastly, you can also get an undercoat rake to help remove this loose inner coat.
A slicker brush
A slicker brush is one important tool you should never miss in your German shepherd grooming kit. Such a slicker brush has fine bristles with curved ends that help remove all loose hair.
Get a dematting comb
Such a de-matting tool has metal teeth that Help work out tangles that may make your shepherd dog less comfortable.
Such a special brush is far more important if you have a lovely German shepherd exposed to matting.
All in all, if you use the fine bristles brush daily, then you will rarely need to use a dematting comb to keep your dog comfortable.
soft bristle brush
Another important tool you can use is a soft brush with soft bristles to give your German shepherd a shiny coat.
Why Is Brushing Your Dog Important?
- Frequent grooming helps remove tough knots and excess hair common in long-haired German shepherds.
- Regular brushing helps spread natural oils found on your dog’s coat, ensuring your dog has healthy skin.
- Frequent brushing helps build the bond between you and your dog the more you spend time together.
Other regular grooming tips you should not forget –
- Keep your dog’s teeth clean – use a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste
- Keep the dog’s nails short- use a nail clipper and when dog so avoid cutting the nerve endings
- Clean the ears daily
Cutting your German shepherd hair should be an idea that you should never have. As you can see, the disadvantages of cutting your dog’s hair are many compared to the advantages.
Unless advised by your veterinary, don’t cut your GSD’S hair for cosmetic purposes. Rather it’s important you adopt other regular grooming etiquettes we had earlier stated that will make your dog look good when done properly.