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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard many things about the variety of tools used for grooming while browsing around from Furminators and pin brushes to Kong Zoom Grooms. With so many options available, it becomes pretty confusing which tools are used when. The basic question is - is there a certain order of brushes or grooming regiment each of you guys use to keep the coat in good shape (or the shedding in check?) How often do you brush and bathe your shepherds?
 

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I brush my Sting daily. First I use a small rubber curry comb, work gently in circles, to massage the skin and work out the loose hair. Then I use a small rake - go against the grain of the coat that helps remove the loose hair especially when he is shedding, then last I use a soft bristled brush and gently brush in the direction the coat grows. I don't bathe him - he has never gotten dirty enough for one.
 

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I use an undercoat rake and then a bristle brush or slicker brust to finish up. I will be 'raking' them every day right now because my dogs are beginning to blow the Winter coats. Baths are seldom and only when necessary. To get out the dust or mud, not just a routine bathtime.
I feed raw, supplement with oils and my dogs skin/coats are fairly healthy.
But I notice itchy behaviors in the late Fall and early Spring because of the change in temps/length of daylight hours. I run a humidifier all Winter which helps tremendously.
 

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I use a curry brush and a regular brush once every other day. I found this amazing (to me) tool called a De-Shedder on Saturday and it has been a life saver. Finn has started blowing his coat and it was obscene. Twenty minutes with the de-shedder and you would think he was not shedding at all.

Finn gets a bath once every three months or so, but now that we're hitting rainy season, it may rise up to once a month depending on how muddy he gets.
 

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Both of mine a long stock coats so rubber curry combs/zoom grooms do nothing :) And a fulminator or coat king ruins their coat in a few minutes so I won't use either!
I have a Mars coat king, when they are really shedding I have used it on their thighs but never on the top coat, it cuts too much hair.

I generally start with a quick brush over with a pin brush, then a really good going over with an undercoat rake (they are the best).
After that if I do a more thorough grooming I'll blow them out with the HV dryer :) That gets all the dust and loose hair out rally well, then go over with a slicker brush and I comb their ear floofies with a finishing comb :)
If the pantaloons are a bit rough and ready I ave a coat spray to help them brush out easier without pulling (they don't really like their butt hair brushed LOL )

While they are blowing coat I brush every day, even if it's just pin brush and undercoat rake.
otherwise I brush them around once a week and use the HV dryer for a bow out to keep them a bit "fresher".
I own a Hydrobath so they get washed every 2 or 3 month or if they get a bit smelly or their coats are dull from lots of swimming in muddy water :)
 

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I've used a slicker brush for the last 30 years of GSD's and they've all turned out looking great.

You don't need a salon's worth of hair or fur care products to have a great looking dog.

That probably goes for humans too, but we're so taken in by the advertising that most will spend hundreds a year for the 'best looking' hair.

Maybe they just need a slicker brush ran through their hair every now and then.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! So many responses and different methods for grooming.

Can you get away with only a couple of brushes or are a wider variety of tools necessary for all the shepherd parts? ( and shepherds never need stripping or clipping, right?)
 

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I use the furminator on Dodger (stock coat) followed up by a comb to make sure it goes through like butter ( meaning all undercoat is gone). on my coaties and plushies at work I usually use a slicker brush followed up by a comb making sure, again, it goes through like butter.
 

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Can you get away with only a couple of brushes or are a wider variety of tools necessary for all the shepherd parts? ( and shepherds never need stripping or clipping, right?)
All you really need is an undercoat rake and a pin or slicker brush :) Everything else is nice to have but not really necessary :)

I love grooming tools etc so have a rather large array of brushes etc :)

Oh and some good quality nail clippers or a dremel for toenails if you're going to do them yourself :D

Oh and no no stripping or clipping ever (clipping me be necessary if a coat is really really matted and can't be brushed out but it's not recommended)
 

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Really all you need for a stock coat (normal short coat) GSD is a good slicker brush. That is the type of brush that is square with lots of small, bent pins in it. A good daily slicker brushing will remove dead hair, dirt and debris.

Optional is the Furminator. It is an undercoat removal tool and can be helpful during times of heavy shedding. You need to use a light hand, like you are petting the dog with it, and it will remove gobs of dead undercoat. Don't go over the same area for too long, and don't use too much pressure, or you will remove more hair than you want to! A 5-minute Furminator session once or twice a week is plenty. You will hear people say that the Furminator damages the coat, but if used properly, it will only remove the dead hair and will not hurt live, healthy coat. I'm a professional groomer and I use the Furminator all the time without causing coat damage. Do be careful when using it over bony areas or sensitive spots like the flank.

I wouldn't use a Mars Coat King unless you really want to thin out the bushy areas. The Mars WILL cut coat. It can be helpful for thinning/dematting thick areas, but if you keep up your slicker regimen, you should never need to thin or demat.

Some folks like to use a boar bristle brush for the final polish. It helps bring the natural oils through to the ends of the hair. It's also good for face, ears, and legs, the shorter areas.

A rake is useful for long coats, especially the thick areas like the breeches, ruff, and tail.

If you can afford it, the best "brush" in the world is a high-velocity force dryer. It's basically a very powerful hair dryer with a hose and a nozzle that concentrates fast-moving air into the coat. It will blast out dead undercoat, dirt, and debris like you wouldn't believe. It's mainly used for drying the dog after a bath, but you can also use it on a dry dog. A good force dryer will cut down your brushing by about 90%. The downside is that it's quite noisy, but most dogs learn to tolerate it quite well. A little orange Metro dryer costs about $130, but if you buy the most powerful dryer you can afford, you'll never regret it!
 

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I will second that force dryer and wondered WHY on earth I did not make that purchase years ago. Probably wasted more than that on various combs.

That and a slicker to pick up the loose ends and you are done. Beau likes it enough that he comes running when he sees me bring it out. Plus when you are done you can blow the hair off of you, the porch or whatever.

I would not use this inside though.
 

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I will second that force dryer and wondered WHY on earth I did not make that purchase years ago. Probably wasted more than that on various combs.

That and a slicker to pick up the loose ends and you are done. Beau likes it enough that he comes running when he sees me bring it out. Plus when you are done you can blow the hair off of you, the porch or whatever.

I would not use this inside though.
Tumbleweeds will be everywhere for weeks!
 

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I use the Furmintator and a regular brush. I brush her a couple time's a week, unless she's shedding heavily, than everyday. And I have give her a bath whenever she needs it. And her coat looks good :)
 

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My dogs stay relatively clean since they are bathed for dog shows. I probably wouldn't bathe a dog more than every 2-3 months, if mine weren't shown. I'm pretty sure Carly hasn't had a bath since November when she was last shown. :p She's due for one.

As far as brushing, I confess, I don't brush. Ever. When one of the girls starts blowing coat, then I will bathe and then use the force dryer to blow all the excess hair out. It might take a few tries to get it all out, but then we're done.

One of my dogs is 3 years old, and the other will be 3 in May, so I'm not dealing with puppy coats anymore. Mine just don't shed much at all, unless they are blowing coat before they come into heat...

I think the best tools you could have are a slicker brush, a metal greyhound type comb, and a force dryer.
 

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Can you use the air dryer on a dog when he/she is dry? (Outside of taking a bath?)
Yes, it does not put out heat (other than the air gets a little warm from the motor) Just blasts off dirt and loose hair. I like it a lot better than the brushing because it DOES blow off dirt! I have the 4HP model. I am really amazed. I rarely brush anymore.
 

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Right now I borrow my sister's Furminator but I'll be purchasing a slicker brush and undercoat rake :) and I brush about twice a week ore once every other day during his hardcore shedding times.
 

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I have all kinds of grooming 'tools', but the only one I use on my gsd(s) , have been my metro air force blower..nothing else needed:)
 

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Furminator is nice but an unnecessary expense for stock coats. All you need is an under coat rake and a slicker brush. Be gentle with the rake and follow up with the brush.
I bought a bottle of shampoo for my last dog about 15 years ago. It's still 3/4 full. I use damp towels with a tiny bit of shampoo for 'bathing'.
 

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I use a Chris Christensen pin brush and a finishing brush made for horses, daily.
 
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