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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I need some grooming tips or some overall advice. My male gsd who is 16 months old has weird fur along his spine. I’ll try to post pictures later but it looks like his hackles are constantly raised. Like his guard hairs have a curl to them. It’s been this way since he first started getting his adult coat. We thought it would settle once he got older but it hasn’t.

His coat also gets dry, dull and dandruffy but doesn’t seem to be too itchy because he doesn’t constantly try to scratch himself. We feed him a grain free diet, fish oil, coconut oil and a raw egg every other day. I’m not sure what else to do. Is his coat going to stay forever like that? Did we do something that ruined his coat? At first we were using a furminator then we used a slicker and undercoat rake and a rubber brush. Am I not brushing enough? Am I brushing too much? Bathing too much or not enough? Not using the right products? We also use a tea tree and aloe vera shampoo. Even my trainer who has worked with tons of gsds has never seen anything like it…Any advice would be greatly appreciated. TIA
 

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What’s your main food source for him?

Have you tried only using the wide bristle type brush for a few weeks instead of any of the others? I know the furminators can cause you problems if you aren’t careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He's currently on Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost mixed with some wet food.

I haven't used a bristle brush yet. I'll look into getting one.

If the furminator has caused a problem would that problem be permanent. Because we haven't used it in over 5 months and there hasn't been an improvement.
 

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I wouldn’t think so, but another thing to consider he’s probably not in his full adult coat just yet.

I doubt it’s a diet issue either. That looks like a solid meal plan. You may just have a Mohawk dog..
 

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If the outer coat has been damage it could take up to a year for them to shed out and be regrown. While under coat is shed frequently, the coarser outer coat does not shed as frequently and takes longer to regrown. All you can really do is wait and see. I would definitely stop using a furminator since that is likely what caused the coat issue.
 

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I'd love to see a pic.

How often do you bath him? It really shouldn't be necessary unless he's been out playing in the mud or dirty water or something.
 

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When the furminator first came out I completely furminated my dog and his coat was bizarre for like a year. Long story short, in groomer's term I over stripped his coat and made it grow back in haphazardly and slooowly. And he shed way more in the process.

Me personally, I get best results from brushing like maybe every 10 days and not like aggressively. I don't bathe dogs unless something serious happens lol Even if they get muddy, I crate until dry then just brush them in the yard.
 

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Could he be mixed with Rhodesian Ridgeback?
Even without ridgeback, this can occur - I’ve known a gsd, Doberman, English mastiff and Boston Terrier with it. That said, not sure if the OP is even describing the same thing. It’s basically a cowlick.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's not the greatest pic but I think you can see it a little bit. I'll try and take better pics later. Sometimes it can be more prominent and sometimes it's a little less noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd love to see a pic.

How often do you bath him? It really shouldn't be necessary unless he's been out playing in the mud or dirty water or something.
It's been pretty rainy here in Hawaii and our grass got all messed up from him running back and forth through it. So he's been getting a little muddy. And since he's in and indoor/outdoor dog he gets bathed maybe twice a month. The vet had us bathing him more than that at one point because he was using a special shampoo for some yeast issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Even without ridgeback, this can occur - I’ve known a gsd, Doberman, English mastiff and Boston Terrier with it. That said, not sure if the OP is even describing the same thing. It’s basically a cowlick.

Do you think he has a cowlick or is it something else? I'm not sure what cowlicks look like in dogs lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Definitely looks over brushed, and doesn’t really look mixed. Looks like you went to aggressive down the top of his back (it’s easy to do), but you’re just gonna have to wait it out.

https://www.chewy.com/jw-pet-rotating-comfort-comb-medium/dp/40241

Grab you something like this. It isn’t the “best” at removing all that Shepherd hair but it won’t burn him, or mess up his hair.
Okay thanks! I must've been too vigorous with the furminator when he was younger :frown2: I'll ease up on the brushing and see how it goes. Do you think some kind of moisturizer would help or should I just leave it alone?
 

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Don’t over think it to much. Just gently brush him once a week or so and you should be good for the most part.

For me it was easier to train mine to enjoy getting a once or twice over with the shopvac as I went around collecting all the hair.
 

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Agreed, looks like a case of Furminator overuse. It’s easy to think you should continue brushing as long as hair is coming off....but the flaw in this logic is that the Furminator will begin to cut the guard hairs (top coat) which are the longer, shinier hairs that lay down and gives your dog a sleek appearance. The result is short, prickly hairs that give the dog a more coarse / fuzzy appearance.

A conditioner (a type with fats in it) wouldn’t be a bad thing, and I’d keep the oils that are supplementing his diet... may take some months to start to see a difference. He’ll likely need to go thru a full coat cycle.

I discontinued using a Furminator a decade ago.... the rake hasn’t let me down, on 4 different shepherd coat types.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks guys for all the advice I really appreciate it. I had a feeling that how I used the furminator was the issue. This was the first dog I've ever used a furminator on. I should've done more research on how to use it properly. Hopefully with taking all your advice I can get his coat to how it should be.
 
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