German Shepherd coats are insulated and designed to protect the dog from the elements. While they may not require as much grooming as some long-haired breeds, their coat can take a beating if you don’t brush it.

Brushing tools won’t work if they aren’t designed for a German Shepherd’s unique coat type. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right one. Plus, we’ve answered some questions you may have about both tools and your German Shepherd’s coat. Let’s take a look.

5 Benefits of Brushing Your German Shepherd

Your German Shepherd benefits from regular brushing for a variety of reasons that go beyond the coat itself. Let’s take a look at why you need to add brushing to your grooming routine.

  1. Removes loose fur — German Shepherd coats may not always release loose fur because of how the fur grows in. Brushing helps reduce itchiness and irritation by regularly removing loose fur and allowing new fur to grow in uninhibited.
  1. Support healthy skin — Brushing stimulates blood flow to the skin’s surface and removes dead skin cells that can build up underneath the top and bottom coats. It helps improve the texture of the skin so that the coat can also be healthy.
  1. Helps you bond — Your dog loves the attention it gets from brushing, and it feels great, too. Animals often groom pack members in the wild, and your dog could benefit from grooming activities to promote this type of bonding.
  1. Helps uncover pests — Your Shepherd’s coat is thick, so you may not notice attached ticks, fleas, or other pests. Regular brushing helps make it easier to inspect the coat and skin for irregularities and problems.
  1. Keeps your home environment clean — Brushing regularly helps keep fur off your floors and furniture, especially during the shedding season. As your German Shepherd sheds, brushing and collecting the fur keeps your home environment clearer of all that hair.

Overall, brushing your German Shepherd is a beneficial activity that can improve your Shepherd’s overall coat health and appearance. Let’s take a look at what your Shepherd’s coat looks like and its composition to find the right brush.

All About German Shepherd Coats

German Shepherds have double coats. This medium-length hair is deceivingly thick, coming in longer on top to help create a barrier between moisture and other elements and the dog’s body. The short hair underneath is like a down layer, helping regulate body temperature and getting thicker or thinner based on seasonal changes.

Some German Shepherds may have longer hair than others, but the AKC standard is medium. A German Shepherd will shed its coat in thick clumps twice a year and shed small amounts year-round.

Unlike other dogs, the German Shepherd coat isn’t subject to overwhelming odors. There’s no need to bathe the dog regularly unless it gets into something, and brushing should be plenty to remove any dirt or debris trapped on the exterior of the coat.

You shouldn’t shave your German Shepherd, even in the summer, because the double coat helps the dog protect itself against sunburn and better regulate body temperature. Instead, brush regularly — two to three times a week — with a brush designed for effective removal of the undercoat.

There are quite a few types of brushes, but for double-coated breeds, not all are effective. Here are three brushes that can help.

  • Rakes — These have a single layer of tightly spaced tines designed to pull out the undercoat and get down to the skin. They’re easy to use and a must-have during the shedding season.
  • Bristle Brushes — These brushes have tightly spaced, thin tines that can quickly remove dirt, mats, and debris from the topcoat. They don’t get down as far into the undercoat, but they’re suitable for a quick brush after the outdoors.
  • Slicker Brushes — If your Shepherd has slightly longer hair, this could help get out mats from the tail area and in between the haunches.

Stay away from pin brushes because you won’t be able to get down to the undercoat and silicon brushes aren’t strong enough to penetrate the topcoat. These can be useful tools for bonding (because they feel good), but as a grooming tool, they aren’t worth it.

Your best bet is a brush design that can handle a double coat. The best kinds have stiff bristles for getting through the topcoat and gently but firmly agitating the undercoat loose.

Best Dog Brushes For German Shepherds

These are our favorite brushes to handle your German Shepherd’s grooming.

FURminator Medium DeShedding Tool

Key Benefits:

  • Gets to the undercoat
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Curved edge for comfort
  • Patented fur removing technology

The FURminator is a classic de-shedding tool designed to get down to the undercoat to remove loose hair more efficiently in fewer strokes. It provides the basis for a good grooming routine by efficiently getting at the shedding hair while remaining more comfortable for you to manipulate.

The stainless steel teeth are curved on the ends to help reduce the chances of injury from over-brushing. The convenient button helps quickly clean the brush of hair so you can keep brushing.

The patented technology was created by a groomer looking for a better way to handle excess hair for double-coated dogs. You won’t damage the coat in any way, but it will really cut down on the shedding.

Pros:

  • Efficient undercoat removal
  • Super sturdy materials
  • Ergonomic and safe design

Cons:

  • May still scratch the skin
  • Bigger investment

Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

Key Benefits:

  • General-purpose brushing
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Automatic cleaning
  • Removes knots

The Hertzko slicker brush is a great all-purpose option for removing loose hair in both the undercoat and the topcoat. The comfortable and no-slip handle provides an excellent grip for handling your Shepherd’s grooming.

The bristles are able to get down to the undercoat to remove loose hair and keep your dog’s fur looking great. The brush gently massages your dog’s skin to encourage better blood flow and healthier skin overall.

Slicker brushes help massage the skin and stimulate the coat to provide a better, shinier coat overall. You can clean the brush quickly by pressing a button to lift the base of the brush, freeing the hair easily and in one swipe.

Pros:

  • Hair release button for quick cleaning
  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Helps remove debris from the top and undercoat

Cons:

  • May not be able to keep up with serious shedding.
  • The bristles may be uncomfortable during summer when the coat is thinner.

Dakpets FURblaster DeShedding Tool

Key Benefits:

  • Serious deshedding
  • Excellent ergonomic handle
  • Less time grooming
  • Blade is rust-resistant

The Dakpets brush helps get right down to the undercoat. The tines are stainless steel and rust-resistant for tough and durable performance. The deshedding function is efficient and helps you spend less time brushing and more time doing other fun things.

The ergonomic handle provides a good grip for when you need to get down into the undercoat during shedding season. The quick-release button helps get rid of trapped hair quickly while the teeth get right down to the surface of the skin.

It really reduces shedding and helps ensure that you don’t have to spend hours brushing out your double-coated Shepherd. It can lightly trim stuck hair. The safety cover helps protect you when you aren’t brushing.

Pros:

  • Reduced grooming time
  • Steel tines won’t corrode.
  • Stimulates the oil production of your Shepherd’s skin

Cons:

  • The cutting function isn’t so efficient
  • May take some maneuvering during heavy shedding

Conair Slicker Soft Brush

Key Benefits:

  • Good massage brush
  • Reduced hand fatigue
  • Soft, flexible bristles
  • Helps you smooth your coat

This slicker brush provides an excellent massage for your German Shepherd. The soft bristles provide stimulation for your Shepherd’s skin, and the bristles won’t be too hard on your dog’s fur. It’s a simple solution for bonding.

The brush helps remove tangles, dirt, or debris from the top of the coat and gently loosen fur from the undercoat. With a soft grip and ergonomic handle, you won’t get as tired while brushing.

Reinforced coated tips help protect your Shepherd’s skin as you brush, helping encourage your dog’s coat to create the oils it needs for a healthy appearance. It can also be used to fluff your Shepherd’s coat a little as you’re examining it for pests or changes.

Pros:

  • Helps you massage your German Shepherd’s skin
  • Protected bristles that won’t damage the skin
  • Removes tangles, dirt, and other imperfections

Cons:

  • Won’t get to the undercoat as efficiently
  • Comfortable handle

5 More German Shepherd Brushes

These brushes will also be good choices for your sweet German Shepherd for different scenarios.

Mr. Peanut’s Hand Gloves

The hand glove option isn’t the most efficient at removing loose undercoat, but it does provide an excellent bonding experience for your dog. These gloves use silicon tips to provide gentle stimulation for the coat and the skin while helping loosen the undercoat.

It works by gently petting your dog. They’re suitable for all coat types and wet or dry use. The gloves are simple enough to use and help promote a bonding feeling as you spend time with your pet.

Fasten and adjust them for a good fit, and the package comes with a glove for each hand. They help remove some dirt and debris. They’re easy to clean off and fit most hand sizes. Plus, they’re suitable for multiple types of dogs.

Four Paws Magic Coat Slicker Brush

This slicker brush is a simple solution for basic brushes. It helps encourage oil production and stimulate blood flow for a healthier, shinier coat. The basic construction is straightforward, but it will be able to manage many types of coats.

The easy to hold handle offers a stable grip, but it’s a little on the small side. However, it’s a wonderful tool for multiple types of dogs and ensures a cleaner coat. It captures hair and helps reduce the amount of hair you have around your home.

The overall construction is comfortable, and it’s a great tool if you have a puppy. It’s smaller and gentler, perfect for helping remove excess hair from your Shepherd. As it grows up, the brush can continue to be useful throughout its life.

JW Pet Gripsoft Undercoat Rake

The simple design of this undercoat rake ensures you’re able to pull the undercoat loose if necessary. It’s efficient and helps reduce the time you have to spend grooming your Shepherd. The design is perfect for medium to large dogs.

It has a nonslip grip, and the ergonomic design makes combing your dog’s fur comfortable and simple. It uses the design to ensure that the hair is captured, allowing you to loosen any mats and ensure that debris doesn’t continue to stick.

The teeth are round at the tips to help prevent scratches and discomfort. They reveal a softer coat, although the rake has no quick release for captured hair. The basic design, however, does work well for multiple coat types.

The Chi Wet Dry Grooming Glove

This option uses a rubber and polyester glove to help loosen hair and remove it. Tighten the adjustable strap to give you a customized fit, and it’s safe to use with both wet and dry coats, making it a wonderful and flexible tool.

It also doubles as a washcloth for when you need to bathe your German Shepherd. It massages the soap into your dog’s coat to help remove dirt and debris, and the flip side gently combs through.

When dry, it’s a great bonding and grooming tool, although it may not get down to the dense double coat as well as some of the rake options on our list. It’s durable and easy to clean, but there’s no quick release for trapped hair.

Four Paws Magic Coat Slicker Brush — Puppy

This slicker brush is a smaller gentler slicker designed specifically for brushing puppies. It will help you control your German Shepherd’s coat designed to ease up for use with younger dogs. It draws out loose hair and helps cut down on shedding overall.

It’s comfortable with an ergonomic, nonslip handle. The bristles promote a healthier coat and skin by stimulating blood flow and redistributing oils to soften the coat. It’s also suitable for dogs with sensitive skin and coat issues.

The professional-grade handle won’t fall apart, and it’s also suitable for multiple types and ages of dogs. If you need a tool during serious shedding seasons, this one may not grab as much hair, but you’ll never worry that you’ll accidentally hurt your puppy during brushing.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have burning questions, these answers may help.

How often should I brush my German Shepherd?

It’s best to stick to two to three times a week unless the shedding is particularly bad. Remember to be gentle and avoid concentrating all your brushing in one area.

Should I shave my German Shepherd?

Shaving the coat can damage growth and leave the skin vulnerable to infections as well as outside elements. While shedding is a pain, it’s best to leave grooming to small cuts around the toes or face and stick to brushing for the rest.

What are good foods for my German Shepherd’s coat?

A diet rich in single-source proteins along with vitamins and omega fatty acids will help support your German Shepherd’s coat. Check with your vet if you think food allergies are causing skin and coat issues for comprehensive solutions.

What kind of coats do German Shepherds have?

Shepherds have double coats, a soft undercoat that provides a bit of insulation and an outer coat that resists water, dirt, or debris. It requires a special type of brush to get to the undercoat efficiently.

Will my German Shepherd always shed?

Shepherds are affectionately shown as “German Shedders,” so there’s not much you can do to stop it. Regular grooming activities such as brushing can help you keep things under control.

How often should I bathe my German Shepherd?

Shepherds don’t need frequent baths. Once every four to five months should be plenty to remove built-up dirt or debris while helping ensure you don’t interfere with the skin’s natural oil production. Overbathing could be detrimental.

Conclusion

All the brushes on our list will help you with your grooming needs and provide a way to manage your German Shepherd’s shedding. While you can’t eliminate shedding completely, the right brush with regular grooming can help you keep things under control.

These brushes are suitable for the health of your dog’s coat and provide a simple solution for grooming at home. Each one is a good choice, and some will help you if you have other dogs that aren’t Shepherds or different ages of dogs. Now, get back to your life a little less hair-free.

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