Shedding: guard hairs vs undercoat and tools HELP - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Shedding: guard hairs vs undercoat and tools HELP

I have been baffled by this since Ive had my dog now 9 years. She has a stock coat, but I would say on the thinner side for a GSD.
This sounds crazy but I can't find a tool that address the course slick guard hairs! I use a furmurator but it miraculously skips right over the guard hairs. Im not kidding I can have a huge pile of soft fur and virtually no guard hairs, and then I use my fingers to pinch and pull and they all come out in clumps!
I have tried a soft rubber "curry comb" type tool, this seems to grab the hairs and get them to move by friction, but doesn't really work like we expect a brush to do.
Any one else have a dog with similar type fur? I find this so strange.

Also I have a shedding question, yes my dog has a huge shedding 2 x year, but now its summer (since Aug 1) in midwest. and her guard hairs are falling out like crazy! is this normal?
I have thyroid checked in spring (normal) she is on a very high quality dry food. Normal health otherwise.

Im also curious about shepherds in general compared to other breeds with double coats. My sisters dog (a chinook/ bred from huskies and mastiff) has a thick double coat, but blows her coat and is virtually shed free all summer. Should GSDs be like this? or is heavier all year shedding just the norm (I don't know better Ive lived with it for 9 years!)
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 06:52 PM
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My Sting was the same type of very short stockcoat like your gsd's. I didn't use a furmurator and I couldn't pull out the guard coat in clumps. So, I suspect the furmurator may be causing it. What I did was to first go over the coat with a rubber curry comb in circular motions using light to medium pressure. Then I used a rake and brushed first against the grain of the coat and then with the grain. This would remove the loose hairs. I then used a soft brush (called a body brush or a face brush for horses) and brushed in the direction of the coat. I used the curry comb to clean the hairs from this brush. I also used a dog comb for the thicker hair by the neck, thighs, and the tail. Like your gsd, he did shed some year-round but the major shed was in spring when the heavy winter undercoat came out. Depending on the climate and if the gsd in an indoor dog, I have read that some gsds seem to skip the big shed times. I know what you mean about a husky, since my husky was the same with the big shed in spring and that was it for the summer.

The rake if you not familar with it does remove the undercoat. I got mine from Leerburg:

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 08:17 PM
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For guard hair I use:
Doesn't cut the hair and a lot comes off.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 01:07 AM
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I use a combination of rake, and furminator, and the rubber knock off zoom groom, rake gets out the undercoat with a little help of the furminator, and the rubber one gets the guard hairs and usually one undercoat as well depending on what stage of shedding the dogs at. With the rubber one you can go pretty hard and not be hurting the dog, my dog loves a good hard massaging brush with the rubber one, i don't go in circles, just with the direction of the hair, but I suppose that would work I just don't really do it.

First there is a undercoat shed and then after there is usually a guard hair shed for the kind of double coat that GSD's have. I don't have much experience with the plush double coats like husky's but from what I do know don't think they have much of a guard hair shed after the undercoat, probably a small one not as much as the GSD type coat.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 07:16 AM
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I use a rake for the undercoat when needed. I use a basic pin brush most of the time and a plastic / rubber comb meant for humans to pick up the guard hair. It works very well on my long haired boy. My stock coat, well, I am still sweeping up dog hair every day even though I brush and comb every night.
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