German Shepherds are special dogs, we can all agree on that. It is not for nothing that they are in second place of the most popular dog breeds in the United States! Their uniqueness is a combination of faithfulness, intelligence, courage and compassion.
Their medium-length, double coat is lovely to cuddle, but does require special care. So can you shave a German Shepherd? Read on to find out how you can best care for the coat of your beloved shepherd.
General Advice for the Care of German Shepherds
If you want your German Shepherd to always look spectacular, you should pay particular attention to their full coat. That does not necessarily mean that you have to visit the grooming salon all the time, but to keep shedding within bounds and your dog looking clean, you have to keep it up.
Below are a few tips:
- Because of the dense top coat and soft undercoat, it is important to brush your German Shepherd often to prevent shedding. Usually once every few days is enough. A variety of combs and brushes are available, so be sure to find out which ones best suit this breed and the length of the coat.
- Your German Shepherd will really shed a few times a year. During this period, which usually lasts about 1-2 weeks, you will need to brush and vacuum a little more often . We wish you the best of luck!
- A wash once a month is more than enough. Washing too often can cause skin to become dry and irritated.
- Check your dog's nails once a month. They often wear off on their own, but if they are too long, your dog will suffer from them and will need to be cut or filed.
- Also think about the ears. Your shepherd's ears should be cleaned weekly with ear drops (never water!) and checked for infections.
Buy a good vacuum cleaner. We're not going to make things prettier than they are: if you have a German Shepherd in the house, you will really find hair everywhere. So you better be prepared!
Can You Shave a German Shepherd?
One thing we want to emphasize in these grooming tips for German Shepherds is that shaving your dog is definitely not recommended. This is a bad idea for several reasons, the main 3 of which are listed below:
- The double coat keeps your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The outer coat is hairy, water and dirt repellent and protects against insect bites. The undercoat is soft and woolly and protects against cold and heat. If you shave the coat, your dog will miss out on all those great natural protective properties.
- When shaving, the top coat is removed and with it the beautiful color and pattern of your dog. What remains is the undercoat, which is much less beautiful and often has an even cream, gray or beige color.
- Even a shaven German Shepherd will still shed (although the hairs will of course be shorter).
Do German Shepherds Need Haircuts?
So if it's not recommended to shave German Shepherds, you may be wondering if haircuts are necessary.
Usually, German Shepherds do not need haircuts. If you have a long haired German Shepherd, you could have the ends of their long hair trimmed to make them look sleek. Short-haired shepherds should not be given haircuts as their fur protects them from heat and cold.
The Best Haircut for a German Shepherd: Au Naturel
There is not much choice in hairstyles for German Shepherds. Often times they look (and feel) best when they are well brushed and groomed, and have a shiny and healthy coat.
Because really, if you just keep up with your Shepherd's head of hair with regular brushing and the occasional wash, they'll probably look good on their own.
Your dog also indicates what they like and dislike. If something stresses them, you better take a different approach, haircut or groomer. In any case, we hope that with these tips your pup looks even more fantastic than they already did!