German Shepherd Dogs-Don't You Just Love Them!

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Grooming
Your
German Shepherd Dog


Grooming a German Shepherd Dog is not only for cosmetic reasons, but to ensure that your dogs coat remains in 'tip top' condition. If you have a 'long haired' German Shepherd, or you intend to 'show' your dog at Dog Shows - then you will need to be prepared to spend a lot more time grooming your German Shepherd Dog.

Your German Shepherd's coat will change twice a year - this is called 'moulting' and occurs in Spring and the Fall, and lasts about 4-6 weeks. Moulting is a loss of hair and changes to your dogs coat, the new coat takes about 3 months to grow. Whilst this is happening - you need to groom him daily by regular brushing.

Many people don't realize that your German Shepherd Dog has in fact, an outer coat and as the name implies - an inner coat as well - the inner coat as I have said, changes twice a year and your German Shepherd will need grooming at these seasonal times in order for the new coat to come through.

Some people ask "my German Shepherd Dog seems to moult all the year round - Is this normal"? The outer coat does seem to moult all year around, and does require regular dog grooming to keep it looking good and to allow the new inner coat to come through. If you groom your Shepherd on a weekly basis, this does not become an arduous task. But if you neglect it, then it does become a 'major' task and will take longer.

Grooming  a German Shepherd Dog is by brushing from the head to the tail following the hairline, and using a wide-toothed comb to break up the matted hair, then what is commonly known as 'back combing' and removing all the dead hairs which are being, or have been, replaced by the new growing coat. Comb under your dogs chin and tail, and also gently behind the ears.

I find that a dog brush of the wire variety to be best to remove most of the body hair,
- but you must use it gently, and a soft brush for under his chin and behind his ears.
Don't try to do it all in one go, rather like removing layers is better.Your dog will soon tell you if you are pressing the wire brush too hard! Remember, do it gently in a short sweeping fashion, and talk to him to reassure him that everything is OK.

You will be amazed at how much dead hair comes off your dog, and when he's seriously moulting, it can come out in chunks. But the dead hair must be removed so that the new growing coat can come through.


If you have a long haired German Shepherd Dog, it can be like shearing a sheep -
so much dead hair comes out.

Grooming your German Shepherd Dog should be done on a regular basis, at least once a week in order to keep your dogs coat in a good, healthy condition, and allow for the new coat to grow through - and as a proud owner of a German Shepherd - you want him to look at his best -don't you?

Remember as you are brushing your German Shepherd, run your hands through the fur on his back and sides (down to the skin) to check for any plant or flowers debris that needs to be removed and check also to make certain that there are no indications of flea droppings. When you are at his rear end, lift his tail up and make sure there are no rice-like looking debris around his anus - if there were this would indicate a tapeworm problem that would need to be dealt with by your veterinarian straight away.

Use a 'slicker brush' to remove any hair tangles and to prevent your dog's coat matting, and a 'bristle brush'  which is a 'corser brush' to remove debris and anything else. Then comb your dog to remove any other straggly bits, especially the tail.

If you see any sign of skin flaking, rashes or scabs on your dog's skin - then this could be a due to a skin allergy, or a fungal infection which will lead to your dog scratching and itching which will make him very uncomfortable see German Shepherd Dog Health for more information.

Regular brushing, keeping your German Shepherd fit and in good health should always be your main concern.

Clipping your dogs Nails

Your German Shepherd Dog's feet should be checked to make sure that his nails are not too long, they do grow very quickly and if your Shepherd is housebound, then they will need to be trimmed regularly (approx 8-10 weeks). If this is not done it will cause discomfort to your dog and will hinder his movements.

If your dog goes outside for regular walks on soft and hard ground, then this
will not be a problem because they will be worn down naturally (especially if he likes digging!) and when he is out running. His nails can then be checked by your vet on his annual check-up and clipped back if necessary.

I always prefer to let the vet clip his nails as I feel more harm and distress can be caused to your dog by not having the right nail clippers, and not having sufficient knowledge and experience to carry this out properly.

You should check your dogs teeth and gums regularly, especially if he has bad breath - this is when food gets trapped between his teeth and if left unchecked could lead to plaque and teeth problems such as decay.
The best way of dealing with this is to buy dental chews that clean your dogs teeth as he chews.
A much cheaper option than leaving it to get worse which may result in expensive dental treatment at the vets. and your dog will enjoy  chewing them!

A few times a year, (or more frequently if your dog is prone to jump into really muddy or contaminated water), it will be necessary to bathe your dog. But don't bathe him too often otherwise he will lose his natural oils that keep his coat healthy and in good condition.

Make sure you use proper dog shampoo
(not ordinary human shampoo) which is specially formulated for dog hair - don't get shampoo into your dogs face, especially into his eyes or his mouth, use a sponge to clean underneath him - under his tail (as this is where bacteria and fungi is often likely to be and could spread if left unchecked) and check his ears and use a moist cotton wool ball to clean inside if necessary.
 It's best to wear old clothes and do it outside preferably -
believe me you will get wet!

Somehow,
German Shepherd Dogs think it's a great game, and when you've got the hosepipe going - they tend to look very bedraggled - and then they shake the water off and if you happen to be nearby - watch out!

If you have young children watching this procedure - it can be great fun with your kids shrieking and squealing when they get wet too! Naturally, your German Shepherd
thinks this is very amusing as well, and runs around to make sure everyone joins in the fun!


By the way - make sure all the doors to the house are kept shut whilst all this is going on
- you don't want a very wet German Shepherd Dog charging back into the house before you've dried him off do you?


Of course - there will be those that would rather take all this seriously, and use the bathroom and the shower hose to bathe their dog - much more civilized - but not so much fun!

Mind you, this is a good idea if your German Shepherd needs a good wash and may be the weather is too cold outside, but remember to dry him off as soon as you can.

Remember, grooming your German Shepherd Dog should be a regular weekly job and giving him a weekly health check is important  to keep him in good condition.

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