Taking care of the basic health and grooming needs of your pet can be expensive if taken to a professional, but most of the things a professional does you can do yourself. For this example we’re using the same type of dog that I have, a German Shepherd Dog.
It’s important to remember that most unique breeds will have very different grooming and health requirements. Doing grooming yourself will cause much less stress to your dog, and in some cases they will even learn to enjoy it.
My German Shepherd looks forward to grooming (She knows that it is time for plenty of rub downs, playing, and treats.) You want to make sure you praise and reward your dog for being good while being groomed – you want to make it an experience that they look forward to.
It is true that GSDs have a “double coat”. This means they have that nice thick layer of outer fur that’s longer and more coarse and a softer fluffy, downy layer of fur beneath.
While German Shepherds shed year round, shedding becomes really noticeable twice a year when they “blow their coat”. This is where they basically shed most of the summer, (then later on winter) coat over the course of a week or so.
To keep this from being a complete mess, you can groom more frequently and make sure that when grooming you get deep into the undercoat as well. Getting into the undercoat with a standard brush proves very challenging, it’s better to get something that’s specifically designed to clear up the undercoat like an Undercoat Rake.
Grooming Like a Pro
When grooming, you should begin at the head of your GSD and brush back to the coat & tail with a slicker brush. You should then comb through the coat with a metal comb to remove any other loose hair. If you want you can go over the entire coat with a rubber curry brush. (This will help make the coat shinier and also give your dog a good rubdown)
If it’s shedding season, you will also want to use a shedding blade, (With this tool you groom from the rear to the front). It is very important to know the proper use of a shedding blade, and your groomer can help you with tips for proper use and safety. You should never use a shedding blade if you’re not 100% sure of the proper technique.
Grooming tips for your German Shepherds include many different steps, all of which are very important. And grooming is much more important than many people believe it to be. It’s true, German Shepherds are relatively maintenance free compared to many dog breeds but your GSD will need a little grooming TLC occasionally as well. Please do not neglect this area of German Shepherd ownership.
German Shepherds are really incredible dogs. But they’re not for everyone – and if you’re thinking of getting one I highly encourage you to do all the research you can about them ahead of time. One place you can learn about them is at: Total German Shepherd
And if you love to read, why not check out my book, “Your Total German Shepherd Dog” now too? Filled with over 200 pages of “German Shepherd goodness”.