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Shedding is one of many biological processes that occur inside a dog’s body, and in this case, it goes throughout the year.
There are a couple of reasons behind dog shedding, which are quite logical and self-explanatory. For example, every 2 times a year they either gain more fur or lose it to keep up with the weather effects (temperature, humidity, etc.).
This can also be seen as a dog changing its clothes. Another, more regular reason for light shedding is hair replacement. Like human gradually replaces old skin layers with new ones, dogs replace old hair with new ones.
Shedding in German Shepherds
German Shepherds, quite unfortunately, are much more susceptible to shedding than many other dog breeds, as opposed to many rumors. As such, they drop off or gain a lot of hair extremely fast, and it might seem very weird at first.
How often does this happen? It is almost exactly 2 times a year, every summer or winter season (not including the “refreshment” shedding). At those times you will have to take care and groom your Shepherd more thoroughly than ever.
Grooming the dog while it is too young, and its hair is not strong enough is not beneficial at all. Let the hair get more rigid first:
- using low quality grooms etc.;
- scratching the skin while grooming;
- and many more.
Long Haired Shepherds
Although most Shepherds shed at a very fast rate, special long-haired breeds are less common to do so. When some don’t classify them as pure German Shepherds and more as a mix of different dog breeds, they have pretty much the same characteristics.
So, if you are unable to care for your dog when it is actively (and very strongly) shedding, perhaps long-haired Shepherds are your choice. Overall, they require a bit more grooming because of the amount of hair, but it is balanced throughout the year.
How Much Shedding?
There is also one important factor that you should take into consideration. While German Shepherds do shed quite a lot of hair quite often, the amount almost fully depends on other things. Those are:
- Hydration. A dehydrated animal will shed more, as the skin beneath its hair will get very dry. Obviously, a bad thing, isn’t it?
- Allergies, fleas and other skin irritations. If in any way the skin gets irritated, it may drastically increase the shedding amount. The biggest problem and the most common problem of them all are fleas. To prevent them, make sure your dog is cooled down, and doesn’t sweat too much. Inspect its coat every day for signs of any parasites.
- Diet. The better it is – the less hair you need to deal with. Even though it doesn’t have a direct impact on the shedding, it does improve fur and skin quality, and that already decreases shedding itself.
When shedding occurs (or is about to occur), it is best to deal with it correctly, otherwise, you will find a lot of hair lying around your household.
There are many good deshedding techniques and devices that will make life easier for you and your German Shepherd:
- Before grooming, ensure that your Shepherd is on a flat surface, e.g. a table.
- Don’t be too hard when grooming, Not only your dog definitely won’t like that, but it also may harm its skin and result in even more shedding.
- Play with your dog a bit while grooming. Improve your relations with it! It will also create a very good grooming habit, as your pet will visualize it just as a game.
And finally, thank you for reading and good luck.