If you love your German Shepherd Dog, you need to care about it and for that; you need not only to care for its food and environment, but it’s grooming as well!
Grooming your German Shepherd is very beneficial for its health and a hygienic dog is even more adorable!
You don’t want your dog to be developing a disease or picking up a virus, thus it is very important to keep your German shepherd clean and tidy as often as you can.
You want to keep your German Shepherd well-groomed.
If you are the owner of a GSD, there are several things you have to keep in mind before you trim your dog’s coat. Here are some tips to trim and groom a German Shepherd dog.
Do You Know Your German Shepherd Well?
Even though you know your German shepherd really well, do you know the quality of your dog’s coat? How can you identify what type of coat does a German shepherd have? Let’s have a look.
Is German Shepherd A Double-Coated Dog?
Yes, GSD is a double-coated dog. A double-coated dog means they have two layers of fur. These two coats are called top coat and undercoat.
The top coat is also known as guard hairs, which you can only see when you play with your dog.The undercoat is the coat that helps your dog to stay warm during the winter.
The outer part of the coat is harsher feeling and tough while the undercoat is thick. The coat is around the front legs and the face is tight and short.
Dogs with this coat will shed often, and if the hair is not clear it can mat tangle, and clumps can form.
The hair type also produces the oil, which may make the dog smell bad if you don’t groom your GSD periodically.
If you are a beginner or just recently got a German Shepherd, here are a few tips about the basic grooming you can follow and include in your dog’s grooming routine:
- Stand Your German Shepherd Dog on a flat surface
- Move away from noisy places, dogs can often get frightened if there is too much noise and distract them, you need a calm dog to start the grooming
- Don’t grab onto your dog, you have to be patient, gently pet it and make it feel at ease and comfortable
- Your German shepherd Dog might get a little uncomfortable initially and it might even move back and forth now and then, but you need to soothe your dog and make it calm down. This can be done by offering treats whenever it shows good behavior, in fact, good behavior should always be encouraged.
- Inspect your dog’s mouth and eat, look closely for details, sometimes there is minute infectious which might cause trouble later. Also, check your dog’s paws.
- Your German Shepherd might act restless while you are trying to clip its nails or giving it a bath, you have to act patient and calm. Screaming at your dog will just aggravate the situation and make it worse for both of you.
- Always start brushing from your dog’s head and gradually move down to other parts of the body such as the back followed by the tail
- If you started grooming your German Shepherd late, it might have problems adjusting to this new idea of grooming, this is why it is advised to start as early as possible so that your dog can get used to it.
- Always remove the loose coat so that there is no dead hair build up
- Try to make grooming a great experience for both of you, don’t force your German shepherd, and instead try to bring it in the mood.
How to Groom a German Shepherd?
Brushing Your German Shepherd Dog
Well-groomed dogs are healthy, happy and active dogs. German Shepherd Dogs shed hair around the year in a moderate quantity, but the real shedding season hits twice a year.
Brushing really helps in removing dirt or any dead hair so new hair can come in their place and of course, the fur gets healthier and shinier. Moreover, as the hair follicles are exercised, more blood is circulated.
When brushing your German shepherd, if you haven’t brushed its coat in a long while, the fur will become matted over time, this will result in your dog shedding a lot of fur.
To get started, detangle your dog’s coat, especially if your German shepherd is long-haired. You can easily do that by using a conditioner specified for dog coats.
Next, you need to look out for the loose undercoat, the way you do it is brushing your dog started directly from the head and extending it towards the tail. Make sure you brush carefully. Pin brushes are effective in removing loose undercoat which are unattended by the brushed. Use a brush with soft bristles.
As for you, if your German Shepherd’s fur keep getting stuck in your vacuum cleaner, you will need to maintain it often, and of course, clean it. Always remember the more well groomed your dog is, the healthier he will be!
Combing and Other Care
Once the dog is dry, you can groom the dog’s coat by using a regular dog comb. Comb through the coat several times to remove any mats or tangles that you may have missed prior to washing your dog.
When you work with the dog’s coat, be methodical and work along the body of the dog. You can part the hair with a comb or use your hand to get to the undercoat. Try to brush right down to the roots of the hair.
You need to ensure that the hair is raised so you get to the undercoat as this is where most of the Loose Hair and at angles are found. Do this throughout the entire grooming process to ensure that all the loose hair, tangles, and mats are out of the dog’s coat.
Comb in the direction of the hair, check for bumps or lumps while you brush the coat. Also, keep your dog’s coat fleas free and check for any signs, take action if you find any immediately!
Manicure the Toenails
If you are a new dog owner, this might come as a surprise to you, but yes, your dog does need a manicure!
Your German shepherd’s nails need to be clean, no dirt, trim them often and also do keep a check if they are growing fine.
Clip your dog’s nails at least once a week using a dog nail clipper, never try clipping dog nails with a nail clipper which you use for yourself, also be careful not to cut the dog nails too deep, you don’t want to be cutting the quick! However, this depends on the length of the nails.
If you take your dog out on a walk, and he walks pavements and places which have rocks, then chances are that the nails naturally get trimmed naturally. Check out for split nails, any infected nails or any unusual color of the nails. Nails can often signify the health of your dog.
Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth
Cleaning your German shepherd’s teeth is a vital part of grooming. Dogs can have dental issues just like humans including plague, stinky breath, tarter and diseases related to gums.
Although, you can’t brush your dog’s teeth every day, brushing them thrice a week is enough to keep the dental hygiene at its best.
Many German shepherd dogs tend to take time adjusting to this new setting, but with time they get used to. Many dog kinds of toothpaste are available in the market as well.
Firstly, make your dog familiar with the smell of the toothpaste or maybe let your dog taste it a little. Another thing you need to be sure of is that you aren’t using human toothpaste. If your dog swallows human toothpaste, it is going to be pretty harmful whereas dog toothpaste is safe to use!
Once your German shepherd has adapted to the smell and the idea of brushing, you need to put a small blob of toothpaste on each of its teeth and brush each one is slow circular motions, be very gentle, you don’t want to be damaging its gums.
Moreover, make sure every tooth is clean off the tarter and your dog’s breath smells comparatively fresher.
If you won’t regularly brush your German shepherd’s teeth, they won’t get used to the idea of brushing and hold on to the brush, this will create difficulties in making your dog let go off the brush.
Many German shepherds won’t open their mouths to let you brush their teeth, it closes like a clamp and they can literally stay hours like that! It is going to be a bit of a struggle initially, but eventually, it will turn out just fine. Your goal is to maintain your dog’s dental hygiene in the best way possible!
Cleaning Your German Shepherd’s Ears
Most people pay little or no attention to cleaning their dog’s ears, but this is an integral part of your dog’s grooming! A German shepherd dog’s ears are deep, but cleaning is very easy.
Clean both the ears at least once every week. If you aren’t cleaning your dog’s ears well, wax can build up over time causing ear infections and hearing problems if not taken care of.
Your vet can recommend you for the best ear wax drops. Just channel a few drops in your dog’s ear, the drops are effective in dissolving excess wax, which might prove bothersome later!
Never try cotton buds, towels or anything in your dog’s ear! Don’t try your own remedies; don’t put anything in its ears, nothing at all except for the ear drops which are recommended by your vet.
Never try to use oil, water or anything else in place of the recommended drops it might clog your German shepherd’s ears causing an infection later on.
Bathing A German Shepherd
How Often Should You Bathe Your German Shepherd Dog?
The number of times you shower your dog largely depends on how much you are brushing its coat, if you are brushing the coat regularly, chances are less dirt and germs are going to be trapped in your dog’s coat and it won’t need frequent baths.
Moreover, if you have been giving your dog vigorous training sessions, a bath is important to get rid of all the dirt stuck on the coat.
GSDs often tend to get dirty because of their frequent exposure to the outside environment. Whenever your dog starts smelling and stinking, it’s time for a bath. Also, when they encounter other dogs, you never know what kind of germs other dogs carry which could infect your dog.
Some Important Accessories You Might Need Before You Bathe Your Dog
- Look for a good dog shampoo, which is preferably tangle-free and provides coat conditioning for your dog. Don’t try to use human shampoo on dog coat, it won’t give you the results you need plus most human shampoos are not to be tested on humans as they might cause harm to their coat.
- Towels (Depends on the size of your dog)
- A big tub so that your German shepherd can adjust inside comfortably.
- If your dog is comfortable with bathing, you could use a sponge to make sure no dirt is clung on the coat.
A German Shepherd should be bathed at least once a week, or at least once every 12 weeks. Baths should occur more often when the dog is molting and shedding.
Pay attention to the back of the legs, the ears, chest, tail, and stomach. What the dog during the bathing process but not the head of the animal. Use a proper shampoo for bathing dogs and lateral throughout all parts of the body, especially around the areas where the hair is dense.
Once the dog has been shampooed, rinse and lather thoroughly. You want to wash the head of your dog with a tear-free shampoo and make sure you rinse all the soap out thoroughly. Never apply any conditioner to the dog’s coat. Sure that your dog is dry properly.
This can be done using a hairdryer; it will make your dog’s hair fluffy and smooth. However, do take care your blow dryer isn’t set on high for it might frighten your dog or the excessive heat might even damage the coat!
Bathing your dog is essential but don’t overdo it because just like human hair, dog coat also has essential oils in them to keep the coat intact and strong. If you are going to bathe your dog too frequently, chances are you are stripping your German Shepherd’s coat’s essential oils.
Also, you don’t want your dog’s skin to get flaky and dried out so use a balanced pH dog ‘shampoo, nothing too harsh.
It is really important to care for your German shepherd’s paws. You see, whenever you take your dog out for a walk, you are wearing shoes to protect your feet, but your dog isn’t.
Dogs can get soared paws in winters. If your dog’s potty area is outside your house, make sure you cover that area with hay or straw so the snow doesn’t hurt its paws. Winters can get extensively cold and you don’t want your dog getting frostbites for being out for too long in the snow!
If you are extra possessive about your German shepherd, dog boots are also available to keep the paws protected and warm.
Inspect the paws frequently, sometimes your dog’s paw can even get hurt but they can hide pain really well so you will have to figure out the situation well.
You can then inspect other areas of the dog. Make sure you inspect the teeth to see if there are any dental issues. You can also check the condition of the dog’s paws and remove any hair here if it is getting too long or trim the nails if you think this is required.
You can also remove any wax buildup from the dog’s ears. Specific grooming tools are also available at the supermarket which will really help in cleaning your dog clean and well-groomed.
These are just some quick tips to help you clean a dog that has a double coat. Make sure you take your time when grooming your dog’s coat. It needs patience; Sometimes you might also need help if your dog is too big.
If you don’t know how to do this properly or need some help, see a professional who can give you tips on how to clean your dog’s double coat properly.
Most importantly, you must love your dog, give it the affection it seeks from you and look out for its basic needs. Pay attention to your dog’s needs and you will have the most amazing dog in the world.