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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Shedding

Hi there, this is my first time posting here. While I do not own a german shepherd yet, our family is considering one to add to our family. From what I've read, I think a shepherd would fit in well with us but the only thing holding us back so far is everything we have read about them shedding alot. Now, since I don't know anyone personally who owns one I would like a few opinions on this. Would we still be seeing alot of shed hair if we were to take it to the groomers once a month ( for a good bath and grooming) and also brush it ourselves lets say 3 times per week?? Do they shed massivly even after a good brushing out? Is this something that you really can't control?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 06:01 PM
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Re: Shedding

Personally, I don't seem to have much trouble keeping the hair under control with our dog, Kodee, and I'm a total neat freak. Kodee is a black/tan long stock-coated GSD, and although he sheds, it doesn't seem that bad to me. The main thing to do is brush them a lot. And I would not get them bathed every month, but that is just me. GSD's tend to get dry skin/coat if bathed a lot. Kodee just had his first bath in about 4-5 months a couple days ago, and that's because he stunk really bad (anal glands - ugh!) Kodee is a housedog, almost 9 mos old, and I brush him at least every other day - not a total brushing out, but I do go over his body with a slicker brush fairly often, and he gets the total treatment (combed all over thoroughly and then brushed, about once a week, nail trim every other week.) His bedding gets washed twice a week, which keeps both him and the house from smelling "doggy". I noticed that he smells clean all the time unless I let the bedding stay in his crate for a week or so. I guess the bedding absorbs whatever "dog odor" he has, and as long as I take the bedding out every 3-4 days, it doesn't build up enough to notice.

I do have to clean the carpet around his crate (which is in the living room), pretty thoroughly about 1x/week. This is the only place in the house where I can actually see dog hair, normally. The best way to get pet hair out of carpet (I learned this while working at a vet clinic), is to take a slicker brush and go lightly over the surface of the carpet to pick up the hair. This works WAY better than just vacuuming or using those lint roller things. Then I vacuum. Pretty much no pet hair (at least that I can notice) in our house. He sleeps in my room, sometimes on his bed, sometimes on my cream colored carpet - still not much problem w/dog hair. GSD's do blow coat (read: shed a ton of the undercoat) in the spring and fall. I noticed that Kodee doesn't shed as much as our dogs did as kids, but they were outdoors (had thicker coats, probably), and we never brushed them.

Another thing I've noticed is that Kodee sheds a lot more after a bath than any other time. I guess bathing loosens the hair maybe? I bathed him 2 days ago, and I'm still getting hair out of him when I just run my hand over his body. A few more days and that will stop happening.

IMO - I said I would never have a housedog, b/c i'm a freak about keeping my house clean, and I didn't want to deal w/dog hair. Then, I changed my mind, got a GSD, and I am so glad I did. He is worth every moment of cleaning up dog hair that I do (which really isn't all that much).

P.S. I just re-read your post, and meant to tell you - you probably will never need to take a GSD to a groomer, if you are brushing him yourself at home 3x/week. Unless you just want to... Mine is long coated, and I still don't take him to a groomer. If you get a short-coated dog, you'll need a groomer even less than I do.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 06:10 PM
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Re: Shedding

Welcome to the site!
If you feed a good diet you should have very little shedding, except when it is time for the dog to get rid of the winter coat. Supplement with a good fish oil and vitamin e along with the food, and the coat/skin should be very healthy. I feed raw. and have a long coat, and a stock coat, along with a border/golden cross. The cross is the one that I find has the most shedding...I wouldn't bathe the dog on a regular basis either, it can dry out the skin. My pack only get a bath when they get into something, and they have no doggie odor.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 06:17 PM
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Re: Shedding

They are huge shedders. I feed excellent food, supplement with salmon oil and brush Rafi regularly and his hair is EVERYWHERE! Basu did not shed as much but he still shed a lot more than Chama (a rottie cross). My first gsd was also a huge shedder. I had to brush her every day to keep the hair under control and even then it still got all over everything.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:05 PM
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Re: Shedding

Well, Gabby is also a black/tan long stock-coated GSD and I have to say that I see a lot less shedding with her than the standard coated dogs that I come in contact with quite frequently. She is on a fish oil suppliment (4 capsules) every day and I brush her every other day or so, but she doesn't have the under coat that other dogs do and she sheds no more than my cats do. I have to say that I bathe her weekly...I know, not recommended but she has severe allergies and the vet actually prescribed a weekly shampoo to keep environmental allergens off. It's followed by a special conditioner and her food also contains high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which combined with the fish oil give her the most beautiful sheen, if I do say so myself! :-)
I've never had more than a couple of hairs come off in my hand after rubbing her, so maybe the long coat would be a good option for you...

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:11 PM
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Re: Shedding

GSDs shed more than any other dog I've ever owned or know of.

Don't get me wrong--all the other wonderful qualities of this breed make up for that housekeeping issue. But don't let anybody fool you--we're talking lots of hair which sheds constantly. To keep up with it, you'll need to brush the dog frequently, and plan to vaccuum your house even more frequently.

This is not a dog for the overly fastidious. Most of us with GSDs eventually just learn to live with having hair on everything.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:11 PM
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Re: Shedding

Gabbysmom-

I have a long stock coated GSD - and he does have an undercoat. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was the true long-coats (not long stock coats) who had no undercoat?

Also, I forgot to mention - Kodee eats an excellent diet (all-natural grain free kibble and/or raw sometimes), as well as gets Vit E and Salmon Oil daily...this might help, I don't know. he's been on it since he was tiny.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 07:33 PM
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Re: Shedding

I don't find it unmanageable. My dog spends a lot of time in his crate, so most of the hair stays localized to that area. He has a carpet under his crate which collects much of the hair he sheds and the rest becomes tumbleweeds on the tile floor. A good pass with the swiffer every couple of days keeps it pretty hair free.

They DEFINITELY shed more after a bath and they do dry out with frequent bathing. Most people I know bathe maybe 2 times a year when the weather turns warm and before it gets cold again (or especially with puppies, when they get into something).

There are different kinds of coats in German Shepherds from long to quite close, and I would bet they probably shed about equally, but I think sometimes the difference you see is in the actual length of the hair. We had a GSD-Husky mix who had this really fine soft hair, not very long...but oh man it was like lint in the air and it stuck to EVERYTHING. I find my coarser haired GSD easier on the shedding.

A good 10-15 minute brushing every other day, a run by with the vacuum every 3 days and I think you should be good. The trick is to not let it build up, then you can have a major de-hairing on your hands. Of course puppies don't shed much until they're older and by then...everyone is willing to deal with the hair!

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 09:29 PM
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Re: Shedding

Some of the Hooligans shed more than others. Ringer and Honey have a very dense undercoat and shed like crazy. Mac is the complete opposite and sheds very little. My longhair is a medium shedder as are Slider and his evil spawn.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 08:00 AM
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Re: Shedding

Mine all shed at different rates too. Some of them shed a lot and others just a little. It depends on the individual dog from my experience. I’ll second what Tracy said. Grooming, extra vacuuming, and a sense of humor so you can learn to live with it.

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