German Shepherd Shedding Solutions (Ultimate Guide) - GSD Colony

German Shepherd Shedding Solution

If you want to learn how to reduce the dead hair of your German Shepherd in your house, yard, or clothes, then you’re in the right place! 

A shedding season can be stressful, especially when you have a German Shepherd as a dog. 

They’re one of the best dogs. They’re smart, loyal, and very protective, but when it’s shedding season, they can be a real pain in the ass…

You may think after a long day of cleaning the house “finally, it’s time to rest!”, but after just a few minutes, you will see a new dead dog hair on your floor, furniture, and clothes. Basically everywhere! 

If you’re a new German Shepherd owner and don’t know anything about shedding season, then this meme will explain everything to you in brief… 

German Shepherd Shedding meme - GSD Colony

Dead dog hairs are genuinely one of the biggest problems for every German Shepherd owner. Still, luckily, with the right tools, supplements, and time organization, you can reduce the dead dog hair in your environment to a minimum!

Do you wanna learn how to do that? Then stay with us, because in this blog post you’ll discover all our tips and tricks.

But before we discover our tips and tricks, let's see the answers to some questions that bother German Shepherd owners.

Why do German Shepherds shed?

Shedding is a natural process for German Shepherd dogs. For the majority of German Shepherds, shedding is crucial to the health of their skin and fur. German Shepherds shed their hair to get rid of it when it is worn out or otherwise damaged. Also, the body of German Shepherd dogs reacts to the change of seasons.

The body of a German Shepherd dog can recognize the season change. For example, when the winter season begins, the day will be shorter and the Sun will not stay long. Lack of sunlight will mean to the German Shepherd that winter is approaching, and that's time for coat change. The body will start to reject the shorter summer hair and replace it with thick and long winter hair.

Why do German Shepherds shed

During the summer, when temperatures begin to rise and the sun stays longer during the day, the body of a German Shepherd dog will start to reject the winter hair and replace it with the shorter summer hair.

This is one of the reasons why German Shepherds do shed, but unfortunately, there is another reason why German Shepherds can shed. 

Related blog post: Why is my German Shepherd losing hair?

German Shepherds can also shed when their health isn’t that good. Because of some allergies, hormonal changes, parasites, stress, poor diet, pain, fleas, or ticks, German Shepherds can shed more than usual.

If you notice that your German Shepherd is shedding more than usual, we highly recommend you talk to your vet and check your dog.

Always use protection from ticks and fleas, feed your GSD with high-quality food, never skip vet checks, and exercise with your dog enough!

When do German Shepherds shed?

German Shepherds shed throughout the year, but because of season change and shedding season, before winter and summer, you can expect a period of about 20 days when your German Shepherd will shed much more than usual. 

German Shepherd shedding period - GSD Colony

We can't tell you exactly in which month or days your German Shepherd will shed more than usual and how long it will take because this depends on your German Shepherd and your climate zone. Every dog has a different gens, and every country has its own climate zone.

How much do German Shepherds shed?

German Shepherds shed a lot. You will need to vacuum your house basically every day, and multiple times a day during shedding season for sure. Sometimes when you brush your German Shepherd, you can remove from them enough dead hairs to fulfill medium trash bags (8 gallons bag).

Proper grooming brushes and house cleaning tools are a must-have if you planning to get a German Shepherd dog. Having a fur friend as a German Shepherd isn't easy at all, but all this work and cleaning will pay off! No matter how bad a day you have, always try to keep your environment and your dog clean, for the benefit of your health and the health of your dog.

Now that we know some basic information about German Shepherd shedding, let’s see how we can actually reduce shedding in German Shepherd dogs.

How to reduce shedding in German Shepherd dogs?

You can reduce your German Shepherd's shedding in a number of ways, and you can do that by feeding your German Shepherd high-quality food, brushing him frequently and consistently, adding fish oil into his diet, using a de-shedding spray and shampoo, and using the best grooming tools.

All these steps will help you to reduce the dead hair on your German Shepherd and keep your environment cleaner.

  • Brush your German Shepherd dog regularly
  • Never trim a German Shepherd’s coat
  • Bathe your German Shepherd with a de-shedding moisturizing shampoo
  • Keep your German Shepherd in a hygienic environment
  • Give your German Shepherd a healthy diet
  • Use only the best grooming tools
  • Ensure they’re well-hydrated
  • Check and control fleas and ticks
  • Provide your German Shepherd a de-shedding spray
  • Give them a stress-reducing massage
  • Feed a shed-control nutritional supplement
  • Include fish oil into their daily diet

Brush your German Shepherd frequently

German Shepherds are double-coated dogs, and because of that, you need to brush them frequently. Brushing is so important since this dog breed shed throughout the year. It's important to brush your German Shepherd dog to make sure that it doesn't have any mats or tangles.

During shedding season, you can brush your German Shepherd almost every day, but be careful and gentle. During ordinary days, you can brush your dog 2-4 times a week.

German Shepherd lying on the grass during shedding season

You should pay close attention to these areas:

  • Around the scruff (neck)
  • Behind the ears
  • The longer hair on the back of the legs
  • Feathers on the tail
  • Long guard hairs on the underside

Unfortunately, some German Shepherds don't like brushing like other GSDs. You need to give your best to teach your German Shepherd to be calm during brushing if you want to avoid injuries and achieve the best possible results. 

Never punish your German Shepherd if he isn't calm during brushing. Instead, start with the small steps. 

You can brush your German Shepherd for 30 seconds, and if he was a good dog, reward that. A couple of hours later, brush your GSD for 1 minute, and reward him again with tasty treats if he was a good dog. Always try to increase the brushing time until you can brush him without a long pause.

By that time, your German Shepherd will learn that brushing isn't scary at all, and he will be calm and relaxed while you brush him.

PRO TIP: if your German Shepherd isn't that calm during brushing time, try to brush him after walking or any kind of activity (brush him when he is tired).

Never trim a German Shepherd's coat, especially during the shedding season

You should never trim or cut the coat of a German Shepherd dog unless it is for a health or medical reason. German Shepherd is a doubled-coated dog, and if you shave your dog, its topcoat will start growing faster than its undercoat. 

Most people decide to shave their German Shepherds during hot summer days, but what if we show you that actually, their coat is helping them to stay cool during the summer season?

Dog image with thermal camera

As you can see in the images, the dog coat actually helps dogs to stay cool on hot days. In fact, shaving your German Shepherd will take his protection from the cold and heat.

📝 Related blog post: What happens if you shave a double coated dog? 

Also, by shaving your German Shepherd, you will affect your dog’s natural protection from insect bites.

Dog image with thermal camera - GSD Colony

If you want to keep your German Shepherd cool during hot days, don’t shave him, instead do this: 

  • Get a cooling bed
  • Keep your German Shepherd at a healthy weight
  • Groom your German Shepherd more frequently
  • Spray them with a hose
  • Buy a dog pool for your German Shepherd
  • Give him cool snacks
  • Add some ice into their water bowl
  • Improve air circulation on your premises

If you want to learn more about this topic, we highly recommend you read our blog on this topic:

How to keep German Shepherd cool in summer

We understand that dead dog hair is a nightmare, but you’ll only cause problems for your German Shepherd if you shave its coat.

Instead of shaving them, you can buy your German Shepherd a shed defender suit. This suit will keep all dead hair inside this suit.

Bathe your German Shepherd with a de-shedding shampoo

De-shedding shampoo can help your German Shepherd during shedding season with the loss of dead hair. De-shedding shampoo for dogs contains ingredients that hydrate your German Shepherds' skin and coat, giving them healthier, stronger follicles. By using these shampoos, your dog's hair will become strong over time.

These shampoos will also help your German Shepherd dog with scratching. During shedding season, German Shepherds scratch more than often because they want to get rid of dead dog hair. This can cause skin irritation, but with the help of de-shedding shampoo, you can avoid that.

German Shepherd in the water during shedding season

But be careful. If it is the shedding season, this doesn't mean that you should bathe your German Shepherd every day or week. With de-shedding shampoo, you can bathe your German Shepherd only once a month.

Most vets recommend that you should bathe your German Shepherd only one time in two months, but during the shedding season, you can make an exception, and bathe your GSD once a month, just make sure that you use de-shedding shampoo.

PRO TIP: Before bathing, try to brush your German Shepherd, and remove as much as possible dead hairs. This will help you to easier clean your dog of dead hair more. Also, your bathroom will be much cleaner!

Keep your German Shepherd in a hygienic environment

It's critical to keep your German Shepherd's surroundings clean and sanitary. This will ensure that your dog is clear of fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Infected dogs may experience health issues and excessive shedding. Make sure the bedding for your dog is washed thoroughly. Also, don’t forget to clean the toys of your German Shepherd and his bowls.

German Shepherd dog in clean environment during shedding season

Give your German Shepherd a healthy diet

Nutrition has a significant role in reducing the amount of hair your German Shepherd sheds. A balanced diet will maintain the health of your dog's coat. You may ask your vet for advice on the best dog food to feed your German Shepherd as well as other possible supplements. Keep in mind that a healthy dog will be simpler to groom and less likely to shed excessively.

Your dog's immune system will be improved by a balanced diet, and an effective immune system is better prepared to fight off illnesses and preserve skin health.

According to the VCA

"If food does not have adequate protein or fat, the dog may develop areas of hair loss or the hair may lose color. The haircoat may become dry, dull, and brittle. For adult dogs, the protein level should be 25–30% on a dry matter (DM) basis, and fat should be 10–15% DM."

German Shepherd eat healthy diet during shedding season

For pups, the ideal protein ratio is 30–35% DM, and the ideal fat ratio is 15–30% DM. Digestibility should be more than 80% overall.

Use only the best grooming tools for your German Shepherd dog

Without any doubt, good grooming tools will change your life, and the life of your German Shepherd, not only during the shedding season but even during ordinary days.  Professional grooming brushes, vacuum cleaners, dryers, and de-shedding shampoos will be your best friends during shedding season.

Cleaning your German Shepherd from dead dog hair isn't that easy, we understand you. If you can't clean your GSD alone, we highly recommend you invest some money into a professional dog groomer.

These people know their job! But before you take your dog to the dog groomer, ask your friend for suggestions or read some reviews. You don't want to take your dog to the bad dog groomer!

Also, having the right tools always with you is essential.

Ensure that your German Shepherd is well-hydrated

For the healthy, shiny hair of your German Shepherd dog, hydration is essential. Many case studies show that dehydration is the main cause of hair loss in dogs. Make sure that your German Shepherd has and drinks enough clean water during the day. 

Now you may wonder “What is the recommended water amount per day for German Shepherds?”

Recommend water amount per day for German Shepherd dog (oz)

Dog weight (lb)  Recommended water amount (oz)
16 16
33 33
50 50
67 67
85 85
128 128

Recommended water amount per day for German Shepherd dog (liters)

Dog weight (kg)  Recommended water amount (liters)
7 0.5
14 1
22 1.5
30 2
38 2.5
58 3.7


Your German Shepherd must always have access to clean drinking water. He may occasionally drink less or more depending on the activity, such as after exercising or running.

German Shepherd drink water during shedding season - GSD Colony

Although there isn't a single, unbreakable guideline for how much water your German shepherd should consume each day, try to abide by this one: 1 ounce per 1 pound ( 30 ml per 450 grams).

You shouldn't neglect this sign if you realize that your German Shepherd has been drinking excessive amounts of water for a few days without participating in any previous activities.

Increased water consumption in your German shepherd might indicate any of the following health conditions:

  • Fever
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cushing’s syndrome

Check and control fleas and ticks

Parasites such as ticks, mites, fleas, lice, ticks, and worms can all cause dog hair loss. All of these make your German Shepherd uncomfortable and, if left untreated, may result in hair loss. German Shepherds may just scratch themselves until they are completely hairless, removing hair as they go.

German Shepherd flea bite - GSD Colony

Repetitive scratching can create skin abrasion and skin abrasion can result in bacterial and fungal infection, which can further hair loss. If you notice that your German Shepherd is scratching more than usual, please don't ignore this and visit your local vet.

Provide your German Shepherd a de-shedding spray

When the shedding season starts, a de-shedding spray can be a life changer! Always have a portable de-shedding spray on hand to replenish moisture and avoid drying out the skin. The hair conditioners in the spray cover the hair to stop unneeded hair loss. Hair that has been moisturized is more difficult to untangle.

The other benefit of de-shedding spray is that the de-shedding spray's wetness prevents your dog from clawing at dry skin, which helps reduce hair loss.

When you’re applying a de-shedding spray, stay away from the face of your German Shepherd, and employ it together with the rake brush to get your dog's undercoat by removing any dead fur.

De-shedding spray for German Shepherd dog

Using the de-shedding spray and rake brush together is a quick and effective approach to stop German Shepherds from losing their hair. To maintain the health of your German Shepherd skin, look for sprays that contain jojoba, safflower, sunflower, or coconut oils.

Give them a stress-reducing massage

We surely know that high-stress levels can cause hair loss in any animal (stress will cause hair loss even in humans), and besides hair loss, stress negatively affects our overall health. That's why is important to keep the stress level low as much as possible.

Numerous factors, such as fireworks and loud noises in general, as well as unfamiliar environments, might make your German Shepherds dog feel stressed. A change in routine may also be a cause of stress. Your dog experiencing occasional stress is natural. However, prolonged stress might cause issues with your dog's behavior, such as nervousness.

One of the most common German Shepherd signals for stress are:

  • Whining or whimpering
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Trembling
  • Pacing
  • Trying to hide or escape
  • Excessive licking
  • Dilated pupils
  • Avoiding interactions
  • Panting
  • Tucking the tail
  • Urinating or defecating
  • Expressing anal glands
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Displacement behaviors
Give your German Shepherd stress reducing massage during shedding season

All these signals will show you that your German Shepherd is stressed. Do not ignore these signals, and try to help your dog as much as you can to reduce his stress level.

One of the best ways to reduce the stress of your German Shepherd dog, besides a massage, are:

  • Exercise with your German Shepherd
  • Physical contact
  • Music therapy
  • Time-out
  • Calming coats/t-shirts
  • Alternative therapies

On the long path, stress will cause much bigger problems than hair loss. Make sure that the stress level of your German Shepherd is low, and if you don’t know how to deal with the stressed dog, ask for professional help.

Feed your German Shepherd with a shed-control nutrition supplement

Shedding nutrition supplements can drastically reduce the dead hair of your German Shepherd. Without any doubt, currently, the best nutrition supplement for dogs is Shed-X by SynergyLabs.

Synergylabs describes its product with the next words: 

“It’s a natural process for dogs to lose old or damaged hair, which we call shedding. A healthy pet will naturally shed its coat (also called “blowing its coat” – which usually happens seasonally), but when the shedding turns excessive – there may be an underlying issue causing this to happen. Certain breeds also shed more than others, and you may notice that around springtime and sometimes during the fall, your thick-haired dog may blow its coat. Most of the time the undercoat is what sheds the most, and some of its normal coat, too. To cosmetically help reduce excessive shedding, pet parents should groom their pets often with quality grooming tools. However, daily brushing is only a cosmetic quick-fix, the underlying problem needs to be uncovered and treated.

Shed-x nutrition supplement for German Shepherds and shedding season

If you feel your pet has an excessive shedding issue, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to determine the cause. If your pet is displaying signs of skin irritations, dry & brittle hair, open sores, bald spots or thinning of the coat, or excessive hair pulling out, then it’s time to see the vet. These issues could be the result of poor nutrition from its diet, stress and anxiety, or an undiscovered medical issue that requires attention. Many commercial pet foods can cause allergies or sensitivities for your pet, so you may need to experiment with several brands to find the best one for your dog or cat. Excessive shedding may also result from the following issues:

  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Excessive Licking Causing Hot Spots and/or Inflamed Lesions
  • Medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Sunburn
  • Flea, Tick or Parasite Bites (Mange Mites, Dermatitis, Ring Worm, etc.)
  • Immune Issues or Kidney, Liver, Adrenal, or Thyroid Disease
  • Food or Environmental Allergies
  • Fungal and/or Bacterial Infection
  • Other Environmental Irritants Your Pet Contacted with: Shampoo, Soap, Household Chemicals or Even Their New Dog Bed.”

  • Some of the minerals and vitamins that Shed-X includes are

    • Vitamin E
    • Vitaimn A
    • Vitamin D
    • Inositol
    • Biotin
    • Vitamin B6
    • Omega 3&6
    • Omega-3’s Linolenic Acid
    • Omega-6’s Linolenic Acid
    • Antioxidant-Rich

    Include fish oil into their daily diet

    Fish oil is a fantastic way to stop excessive hair loss or shedding of your German Shepherd dog. These should be able to stop things like bald patches on your dog's body. These nutrients also support a glossy, healthy coat.

    Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids found in fish oil massively reduce hair loss. Additionally, fish oil provides long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA that support the health of the skin and coat.

    Fish oil for German Shepherd during shedding season

    Fish oils taken regularly can assist with excessive shedding. In addition to flaxseed oil, look for a natural supplement that also includes other known skin-healthy oils.

    Health issues that can affect shedding in German Shepherds

    When it comes to our beloved German Shepherds, excessive shedding can sometimes be more than just a natural part of their grooming cycle. While it's well-known that German Shepherds are prone to shedding, sudden or abnormal hair loss can often be a sign of underlying health issues.

    German Shepherd allergy shedding

    In this segment, we delve into the various health concerns that can lead to increased shedding in these majestic dogs. From hormonal imbalances to skin conditions, we'll explore the symptoms to watch out for, the importance of timely veterinary care, and preventative measures to ensure the health and well-being of your German Shepherd.

    Here's an in-depth look at the 10 most common health issues that can affect shedding in German Shepherds:


    German Shepherds can suffer from various allergies, including food allergies, environmental allergies (like pollen or dust), and flea allergies. These allergies can cause skin irritation, leading to increased scratching and shedding.

    📝 Related blog post: Best dog food for German Shepherds with skin allergies 

    Symptoms include redness of the skin, hot spots, and constant licking or biting at irritated areas.

    Parasitic Infections

    Parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites can cause excessive itching and scratching, resulting in more shedding. Watch for signs like visible fleas or ticks on the skin, flea dirt, or excessive scratching and biting at the skin.

    Fungal Infections

    Conditions like ringworm can lead to hair loss in patches and increased shedding. These infections are characterized by circular, crusty patches on the skin.

    Hormonal Imbalances

    Thyroid issues, particularly hypothyroidism, are common in German Shepherds. Symptoms include lethargy, weight gain, and changes in coat quality and shedding. A blood test can diagnose this condition.

    Poor Nutrition

    A diet lacking in essential nutrients, fatty acids, and proteins can lead to poor coat health and increased shedding. Ensure your German Shepherd is eating a balanced diet appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.

    Stress and Anxiety

    Stress can lead to a condition called psychogenic alopecia, where dogs excessively lick and chew their fur due to anxiety, causing hair loss and increased shedding. Identifying and addressing the source of stress is crucial.

    Skin Diseases

    Dermatitis and other skin conditions can lead to flaky, irritated skin and increased shedding. Look for signs of skin irritation, redness, and dandruff.

    Autoimmune Diseases

    Certain autoimmune disorders can affect the skin and coat health, leading to hair loss. These conditions often require veterinary diagnosis and management.

    Cancer and Tumors

    While less common, some forms of cancer can affect the skin and coat, leading to hair loss. Any unexplained bald spots or rapidly changing skin lesions should be evaluated by a vet.

    Old Age

    As German Shepherds age, their skin becomes thinner and their coat may become more sparse. This is a natural process, but sudden or severe changes in an older dog's coat should still be evaluated.

    📝 Related blog post: How to take care of a senior German Shepherd 

    For each of these conditions, timely veterinary consultation is crucial. Your vet can provide specific advice and treatment options, including dietary changes, medications, or topical treatments to help manage the underlying condition and improve coat health.

    Regular grooming and good overall care can also help maintain a healthy coat and minimize shedding, regardless of the underlying cause.

    Clean your German Shepherd like a pro

    If you want to learn how you can clean your German Shepherd from dirt and dead hair, you can watch this video by Rover's Makeover dog grooming.

    Final words

    In most cases, German Shepherd shedding is a natural process of coat change. German Shepherds are dogs with a double coat, and shedding season is really hard for their owners. 

    Make sure that you regularly brush your German Shepherd, bathe him with de-shedding shampoo, and use only the best dog supplements and the best dog food.

    The best way to deal with the shedding season is with a routine. Make your routine and stick with it.

    You can brush your dog each morning before you go to work, or before you go to sleep.

    Make sure that at least one meal contains vitamins such as Omega 3&6. 

    Bath your German Shepherd as soon as you notice that shedding season is starting (don't bathe him more than once a month).

    Put the stress of your German Shepherd to the minimum, and always keep him hydrated.

    With a routine, shedding season will be much easier for you and your German Shepherd! 

    We hope that you find our blog useful, and remember, German Shepherd dogs only shed twice a year... it lasts 6 months each time...

    Frequently asked questions

    Do you still have questions? Check our FAQ section, and you can find your answer here!

    Why German Shepherds shed so much in the summer?

    When the winter is over, and the summer season is becoming closer, the body of a German Shepherd dog will start to reject the winter coat. During the summer, days are much longer and there is more sunlight, and because of that, German Shepherds will replace their winter coats with new shiny summer coats.

    Why German Shepherds shed so much in the winter?

    When the winter season is coming closer, the body of German Shepherds will start to replace their summer coat with a new winter coat because of the less sunlight and cooler temperatures. The winter coat of the German Shepherd will have a little longer and thicker hair.

    Is shedding painful for German Shepherd dogs?

    Dog shedding could make things uncomfortable. Dog skin irritations may result from dogs scratching their skin frequently, but if your dog loses hair naturally, because of season change, the shedding isn't painful for German Shepherds at all.

    If you want to avoid skin irritation in your German Shepherd dog, make sure you take all the necessary steps to keep dead hair to a minimum.

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