German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Feel free to add info to this sticky with info on the Furminator, high-velocity force dryers, care of coaties, etc. with GSD-specific grooming. There's a reason our breed is nicknamed the German Shedder!

:wild: :wub: :wild:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
part of grooming starts inside. whatever your dog's intake is make sure
it's high quality. i use an under coat comb and a pin brush on my dog.
i comb/brush him in all directions with the under coat comb. then i brush
him in the direction the coat lies. i use the pin brush to smooth him out.
i brush him 3 to 4 times a week.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
The double row undercoat rake is my favorite brush! People were actually commenting on how much nicer Gryffon's coat looked after I started using one.

For nails, I'm a convert to dremeling. For a GSD, a regular dremel works better as opposed to the ones made specifically for dogs and available at pet shops. Someone shared this link on this site a while back, and after reading the linked article I started dremeling my dogs' nails myself.

How to Dremel Dog Nails @ DoberDawn.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
For weekly or daily maintenance, you need a basic rake.

For actual "grooming" (ie, bath time or preparing for a show), a high velocity dryer is absolutely the best tool. Even a cheaper one is amazing, not for drying (completely drying my GSD still takes an hour) but for blowing out the undercoat. It also lets me see the dog's skin so I can check for any ticks, cysts, or other problems while I'm blowing the coat. I have a non-GSD with long hair and super thick undercoat and the dryer actually blows tangles and smaller mats out of his fur. It's much more effective than brushing and the dog doesn't get "brush burn" (both my dogs will get irritated skin if I brush for too long).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,117 Posts
Finally, a grooming sticky! YAY! I can put all my grooming spiels down for posterity.

The best tools for grooming a GSD are a soft slicker, a firm slicker for the thicker areas, undercoat rakes (for longcoats), Zoomgroom or rubber curry comb, and a shedding blade or Furminator.

THE FURMINATOR:

The thing to remember with the Furminator is to use a light touch, like you are just petting the dog with it. You don't need to use a lot of pressure; keep your wrist relaxed and just let the tool do the work. Don't go over one spot for too long, and be extra careful over any bony areas. 5-10 minutes of Furminating once or twice a week is plenty. If you over-furminate, you may end up with bald spots or skin irritation. You definitely can remove more hair than you mean to if you aren't careful!

You will hear people say that the Furminator "ruins" the coat. This is not true if you use it properly. I'm a professional groomer, and I use the Furminator all the time with NO coat damage whatsoever. It is not designed to cut hair, only to grab the loose hairs while allowing the live hair to slide through undamaged.

CARE OF LONGCOAT GSDs:

Coaties *seem* not to shed as much, because the undercoat that dies tends to get stuck in the longer hairs, and sits there. This means a coatie needs MORE brushing than a short coat; even though they seem to shed less, that coat will quickly become tangled and matted with the dead undercoat stuck in it. If you bathe your coatie at home, make sure you brush and comb through the coat all the way down to the skin both before and after bathing.

HIGH-VELOCITY FORCE DRYERS

This the best "brush" you can ever use on a GSD. A high-velocity "force" dryer is simply a very powerful blow dryer that blasts out high-pressure, room-temperature air (not heat). Use it after the bath to dry the dog from the root of the hair to the tip, or use it on a dry dog to blast out dead hair, dust and debris. An HV dryer will cut down on brushing by about 90%.

The little orange Metro dryers are about $140, on up to the K9III, the most powerful dryer available to consumers at around $400. Buy the most powerful dryer you can afford, and you'll never regret it.

GETTING YOUR DOG USED TO THE HV DRYER

First thing you need to do is tie her to something sturdy so she can't run away. Don't let her get into the habit of bolting every time something scares her. Then, put cotton in her ears.

Then, turn the dryer on the lowest setting and let her get used to the sound of it. While the dryer is running, scratch her rump, right above the tail, this is a "magic spot" for dogs and should calm her down.

Once she's calm, replace the scratching hand with the dryer nozzle, making the same scratching motion with it. If she spooks, just go back to scratching her rump. But be persistent, and don't give up, no matter what she does, or she will learn that she can get her way by acting up. Eventually, she will begin to notice that the dryer doesn't hurt, and in fact feels good.

Once she calms down and allows you to blow air on her rump, give her lots of praise and encouragement, perhaps a high-value treat, and slowly, gradually, work your way down her rear legs, then up her back. Don't go anywhere near her head yet. Work your way around to her sides and underside, then that "magic spot" on her chest, between her front legs, where dogs love to be scratched. Slowly, gradually, work your way up toward the neck, avoiding the ears. You may be able to dry her head a little, or you may not for the first time. If at any point she starts to freak out, move the nozzle back to one of the "magic spots" on the rump or the chest. Keep going until she is at least 90% dry.

I have not yet met the dog that hasn't learned to tolerate the blow dryer when this method is used. In fact, most big dogs realize that the dryer feels good, like a massage, and many will lean into it. I have a lot of big dogs who LOVE to have their necks blowdried, right behind the ear, and will stretch out their neck for me. Most of my big dogs willingly jump on my drying table when it's time for the blow dryer, in fact sometimes when I want them to get into the tub, they'll keep trying to jump on the drying table. :)

When you're all done, give her a high-value treat and lots of praise. Eventually she will learn that grooming time is a rewarding experience and she will look forward to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,553 Posts
Good info on the HV Dryer....I may have to get one.

Question for the more advanced groomers in here....I have a coat and was curious what electric trimmer would be the best in your opinions? The Oster A5 Turbo clippers I have work fine for larger areas such as the lower flank and lower chest...on occasion I clean up the longer fur in these areas as well as the longer fur growing off the hindquarters....nothing radical as far as the clipping goes but enough to even it up and the A5 Turbo works well. The trimmer I am looking for would be one much smaller than the A5 Turbo as I want to use it for around and in the ears and perhaps the excess fur around her paws. I have used quality smaller shears in the past for these areas but I tend to be a bit "nervous" as the idea of sharp shears near her ears and face makes me a bit uncomfortable....so any ideas would be appreciated...cordless would be optimum if available in a good quality touch up trimmer.

Thanks,

SuperG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,150 Posts
I don't like the furminator, as it doesn't get right down past the guard hairs IMO

My new favouritest, bestest brush in the whole wide world, is this undercoat rake. I swear I could have made a new dog with all the hair, and I brush my dog often!

Get yourself one of these bad boys! In the wide style, the 20 tooth worked well for my tight coated GSD, but if you have a long coat or plushier coat, a 13 would probably work better

Mars Double Wide Coarse 18 Blade - Online Pet Store
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I know all of this is years old, but I just found this thread and it's stickied, so I'm writing, anyway! :D

THE FURMINATOR:

The thing to remember with the Furminator is to use a light touch, like you are just petting the dog with it. You don't need to use a lot of pressure; keep your wrist relaxed and just let the tool do the work. Don't go over one spot for too long, and be extra careful over any bony areas. 5-10 minutes of Furminating once or twice a week is plenty. If you over-furminate, you may end up with bald spots or skin irritation. You definitely can remove more hair than you mean to if you aren't careful!

You will hear people say that the Furminator "ruins" the coat. This is not true if you use it properly. I'm a professional groomer, and I use the Furminator all the time with NO coat damage whatsoever. It is not designed to cut hair, only to grab the loose hairs while allowing the live hair to slide through undamaged.
I was just thinking this was the best Furminator advice I'd ever read, and then I saw you were a groomer! haha! :toasting:

I don't like the furminator, as it doesn't get right down past the guard hairs IMO
The thing with the Furminator, in my experience, is that it only really works for very specific types of coats. I'd probably say on MOST coats it's just going to either glide over the top, or get stuck in longer hair. But when you hit that sweet spot where it actually works, watch out!

RE: Coat damage, I totally think it does damage certain coats, so I'm going to disagree on that one. It might not be actually cutting the hair, but with the tight teeth and the way the thing is shaped, if you go the wrong direction or with too much pressure, you'll yank on hairs that aren't meant to come out. I've definitely seen people mess up coats with it, so it's worth warning about. It would be like if you had a tangle in your own hair, but instead of brushing it out carefully, you just pulled on it until it came loose. Some hair that isn't meant to would just rip out, and some of the hair that's left would be damaged from being pulled on.

I think with the Furminator, if you think you're going to end up damaging the coat, just go with something else.

Personally, since there is so much discrepancy between GSD coats, from the super short/close coats up all the way to the long haired dogs, the absolute best thing you can do is try EVERYTHING to see what works best! I'm constantly asked as a groomer what the best tools are for certain dogs, but the big secret is I have a whole bin full of brushes and rakes and I seriously do trial and error to see what works best. :wild: Rakes, combs, and slickers are the old stand-by's, but every coat is going to be different. Especially when it comes to rakes, slight design differences can make a world of difference in how much hair you get out. So try everything!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,931 Posts
Cornstarch! Work it into the coat before you start grooming - undercoat comes out much better, much easier, without pain. Also can be worked into matts to help loosen them.

At about a buck a pound, it's a bargain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
I bought a pet hair dryer, but it gets too hot and that will dry out his skin, also makes him uncomfortable.
I just use a shop vac set on the blower function, it gets rid of loose hair and water easily. Just make sure it's clean inside first.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,527 Posts
So I know it's said to not Groom your GSD (bath and all) more than once or twice a year.. is this very accurate? I don't groom him often, but we found a great groomer we have been thinking about getting him regularly groomed, which would be maybe, once every few months.. is this too much?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I think every few months is fine for your dog wyoung2153, some people just get a little crazy with their pups and a weekly (or more) shampoo tends to NOT be what is best for our breed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,527 Posts
that makes me feel SO much better! We really like this groomer and I really think it will help with his shedding. I know I should be better, but I am horrible at remembering to brush him regularly. While I plan on making it a better practice, I know that getting his undercoat out professionally would really help my sanity. :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
679 Posts
Does the cornstarch dry their skin out? Lyka is fully combed out nicely and has her sleek summer coat, but when I got her she was very matted trying to blow her winter coat, and it took days and days to work through the matts and get rid of the dead hair. She loves to be groomed, but the butt fluffs seemed to be uncomfortable for her. Just thinking ahead for her winter coat ;)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
Just a quick reminder - Now that we're into August - pay a little extra attention to your dog's coat when they come in from walk or play. All the weeds, burrs and seed heads are ripe for getting trapped in your dogs coat. They can be hidden and cause irritation. A quick brush and check for stickers will keep your pup happy:):)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top