How do I live with all this hair??
German Shepherds shed only once a year — for 365 days. In other words, they shed constantly. You’ll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, carpeting, under your furniture, on your countertops — even in your food. Frequent vacuuming will become a way of life. Actually, the GSD is a double coated dog with and undercoat that sheds twice yearly (we refer to this as “blowing their coat”) and guard hairs that shed all year.
Here are some tips for grooming:
Regular brushing and combing twice a week will help remove the wooly shedding hair of the dense undercoat. This is essential in order to managed the double coat of the German Shepherd.
Seasonal shedding or “blowing coat” is normal. To reduce shedding woes during this time, I usually recommend bathing the dog to assist in ridding yourself and house of all of the unwanted hair. I will bathe my Shepherds (before brushing) rinse and re-lather. (The first time that you wet down a shepherd, it seems that all of the water just runs off without even wetting the coat.) I, then, will suds him up! The more lather, the better! While he is still sudsy, take a metal hair rake and rake the excess undercoat out. This technique will keep the hair off your nose and out of your mouth. It works extremely well. Follow up the hair stripping with a conditioning shampoo and dry with a power dryer. I use a professional dryer to force all the remaining shedding hair out. Then keep up with it by brushing and combing a few times a week. It should take less time than vacuuming the house.
If you don’t have access to a professional blower, you might want to consider having your local groomer (or veterinarian) strip out your canine friend during his “blowing coat” periods.
Shedding blades can be very helpful during the German Shepherd shedding season. Make sure you know how to use them properly though. Metal rakes are also useful to remove matted undercoat usually in the neck, chest and thigh areas.
Using modern high velocity dryers to blow off excess water after the bath saves a tremendous amount of drying time. Slicker brushes are ideal on this breed for the hand fluff dry process, and you should brush in the direction of the hair growth. You can expect even more loose hair to be remove after the bath, and finish with a final comb out.
Shedding blades should be used gently. They should be placed on the dog and lightly pulled back with only the slightest pressure.
Its a good idea to brush after the bath too to get the remaining hair.
Other important tips:
Buy a good vacuum — use it regularly
Wear a lot of satin (hair doesn’t stick to it as well).