Dry/coarse fur - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Dry/coarse fur

Hey guys,

I have a 3.5 month old GSD puppy and since about 3-4 weeks ago have noticed that his fur is really dry and coarse along his spine. Everywhere else it's nice and soft like a puppy's fur should be; a petsmart employee even petted him once and noted how soft his head was. I'm a little concerned... why only this region? It's literally just a line down his back (beginning with his neck and ending halfway down his tail). It feels like an old brush and it's terrible... How do I fix this?

Any help is appreciated, thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 03:39 PM
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It sounds like his adult guard hairs are coming in! Not to worry, soon it will cover his whole body and the puppy fuzz will be underneath. What are you feeding him? If his skin is dry and flaky, you could add some fish oil to his food.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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I'm feeding him Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy. Is adult hair supposed to be that coarse though? It literally feels like an old brush.. I know I already said that. How do you tell if his skin is dry and flakey? I'm able to push some hair aside but I still can't get a good view of the skin. Will I see dandruff?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 06:42 PM
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Yes when the adult hairs start coming in, they are much coarser than puppy fuzz. That is the guard coat, and it is supposed to be fairly hard and coarse in order to shed dirt, water, and debris properly. In the next few weeks, you will see the guard hair spreading all over his body and he'll start looking like a new dog!

If you don't see flakes in his hair, his skin is probably fine, and he's on a decent diet so I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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But I like the puppy fur haha, well that's a relief. I'll continue to monitor for any flakes. Thanks!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 07:27 PM
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It's normal, have no fear. Unfortunately they do lose the soft puppy coat and the tougher coat is the replacement. Working dogs need those tough guard hairs. They help protect the dogs skin, and help keep them warm and dry by repelling water. You'll notice that once your dog is older, you really have to spray them good with the water to get down to the skin.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 07:54 PM
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don't worry you'll love his fur through all
of his stages. brushing often helps
maintain a nice coat.

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Originally Posted by alphatyson View Post
But I like the puppy fur haha, well that's a relief. I'll continue to monitor for any flakes. Thanks!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 09:09 PM
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I loved the pup softness, but I like the more adult coat... dirt just seems to jump right off. He's almost self-cleaning.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 10:33 PM
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I love Vinca's coat--super hard, almost wiry, and it sheds dirt like there's no tomorrow. Water beads on her when she goes out in the rain; one shake and I can let her in the house. It also has a bit of a wave to it which I think might be a minor fault, but I kind of like it. Here's a photo of her when she first started getting her guard hairs. Alphatyson, is this what your pup's coat looks like?

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 10:53 PM
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It looks like your puppy posed just for this post "like this"? So cute....
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