How Much Do German Shepherds Shed?

Yack! Is that a strand of hair in your smoothie? Or is it just your German Shepherd’s coat shedding again?

Let’s face it; German Shepherds are beautiful dogs. But they’re also shedding machines. If you’re not ready to deal with all that shedding, you might want to reconsider adopting a German Shepherd.

German Shepherds don’t rain fur all the time. Plus, if you brush them regularly, you can help to control the shedding.

So how much do German Shepherds shed? It depends on the dog. Generally, though, German Shepherds shed a lot. 

Shedding also depends on the time of year. German Shepherds shed the most as summers and winters approach.

If you’re considering adopting a German Shepherd, be prepared to deal with some shedding. But with a bit of patience and effort, you can help to control the shedding. Let’s see how to do this and enjoy the companionship of our furry friends.

Colors of German Shepherd Coats

The German Shepherd is a versatile breed of dog that comes in several colors. The most common hues are black, sable, grey, red + black, black + tan, and black + silver. However, some German Shepherds are white or cream-colored.

The German Shepherd has a double coat that consists of a dense outer layer of fur and a softer inner layer of downy hair. This combination of fur and hair helps to protect the dog from the cold and heat. The double coat also helps to keep the dog’s skin healthy and free from irritation.

german sheperd with fluffy coat

Furthermore, the outer layer of the German Shepherd’s coat is usually straight or wavy, while the inner layer is typically soft and downy. The coat can be either short or long, but most German Shepherds have a medium-length coat. The coat is typically thick, which helps to protect the dog from the elements.

The German Shepherd is a working dog. As such, the coat must be able to withstand the rigors of work.

Do German Shepherds Shed a Lot?

German Shepherds are known for their thick, fluffy coats. But all that hair can mean lots of shedding. If you’re thinking of getting a German Shepherd, you may wonder just how much shedding you can expect.

The truth is, all dogs shed to some degree. But German Shepherds’ shedding is more than most of the other breeds.

The coats shed year-round but tend to have a dual peak season.

When Do German Shepherds Shed Their Coats?

German Shepherds often start shedding their coats once they hit four to six months old. However, some GSDs shed earlier, and some later. German Shepherd shedding seasons depend on significant shifts in lighting.

Just before the cold seasons, you’ll probably notice an increase in the amount of hair your German Shepherd is shedding. This increase is due to the reduction of sunlight during this season.

German Shepherds shed their coats at the end of cold seasons.

They shed their thick winter coats in the spring to prepare for the warmer weather. They shed their lighter summer coats in the fall to prepare for winter.

What Causes German Shepherds to Shed?

Are you wondering, “why is my German Shepherd shedding so much?” It may be stress, hormones, allergies, pests, food, or environmental changes. Let’s look at how each of these impacts German Shepherd shedding cycles.

  • Stress: Stressed canines are more likely to shed. When a dog gets stressed, its body goes into survival mode and produces more cortisol. This hormone can cause the dog to lose their hair.
  • Disrupt Balance at Home: Having a new baby or puppy in the house can disrupt the pack’s balance. This disarray can cause the dog to shed more. German Shepherds may feel they’re no longer valuable. German Shepherd chew toys, ample together-playtime, and adequate attention are key when introducing other members.
  • Changes in Hormones: Hormonal changes, like those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and lactation, can cause a dog to shed more. The hormones can cause the hair follicles to go into a resting phase, which leads to more shedding.
  • Allergies: Dogs allergic to something in their environment, such as pollen or dust, may shed more. German Shepherd allergies can cause scratching and skin licking, leading to hair loss.
  • Fleas and mites: These parasites can cause a dog to shed more because they can cause the dog to itch and scratch its skin. These responses result in hair loss and excessive shedding.
  • Nutrition: A poor diet can cause a dog to shed more because it can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Inadequate nutrients, especially elements like omega acids, can cause the dog’s hair to become brittle and fall out.

The Shedding: How Can You Stop It?

There’s no way to stop a German Shepherd from shedding. However, there are some things you can do to minimize the amount of hair that your dog sheds.

brushing german sheperd hair

Regular brushing is a must – at least once a day, preferably more. Brushing helps to remove loose hair before it has a chance to fall out on your furniture or floor. A good quality vacuum cleaner is also a must-have for any German Shepherd owner.

Notably, special shampoos and conditioners are available that can help reduce shedding. These products are available in most pet stores. Finally, ensure that your dog is getting a balanced diet. A healthy diet helps to keep your dog’s coat healthy and minimize shedding.

How to Reduce GS Shedding

There are a few things that you can do to reduce the amount of GS shedding. Brush your dog’s coat and bathe them more often, try de-shedding products, and give them adequate nutrients.

#1. Proper Grooming

Grooming is among the simplest ways to reduce dog hair all over your stuff.

Use de-shedding products: Various products on the market can help reduce shedding. Look for a product that contains ingredients like fatty acids and Vitamin E, which can help nourish the coat and skin.

Brush regularly: Brushing your German Shepherd regularly with a quality brush helps remove loose hair and reduce shedding. German Shepherds need brushing twice weekly at the least.

Daily brushing immensely enhances shedding reduction. Plus, you only need five minutes per session. Be sure to brush in the direction of hair growth to avoid irritating the skin.

Bathe properly: Bathing your German Shepherd too often can strip the coat of natural oils and lead to more shedding. When you do bathe your dog, use a mild shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

Unlike other dogs, GSs don’t need frequent showers and can get by with one every three months. However, there’s no harm in giving them at most a shower per week.

#2. Proper Diet

To reduce your German Shepherd’s shedding, you must start with their diet. Ensure they’re getting enough fatty acids. 

Fatty acids help keep the skin and coat healthy and reduce shedding. You can find fatty acids in fish oils, flaxseed oil, and other supplements. 

You should also ensure your German Shepherd gets enough protein in their diet. Protein helps to build and maintain muscle, and it can also help to reduce shedding.

#3. Supplements

Supplements can help to add nutrients to the dog’s diet that may be lacking and can also help to reduce shedding. There are a few supplements that help reduce shedding. Top products include omega-3, biotin, and vitamin E supplements.

dog supplements round and heart-shaped

Omega-3 supplements are a great way to reduce shedding, as they help to add essential fatty acids to the diet. These fatty acids are great for the skin and coat and can help to reduce shedding. Omega-3 supplements are available in fish oil and are also available in capsule form.

Additionally, biotin supplements are also a great way to reduce shedding. The water-soluble vitamin is excellent for the skin and coat. Biotin supplements can help improve the coat’s quality and strength fur, minimizing shedding. 

Lastly, vitamin E supplements are also a great option. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, vital for skin and coat health.

What are the Best German Shepherd Grooming Tools?

To keep your home clean and your Shepherd looking their best, you’ll need to invest in good grooming tools.

A de-shedding brush is one of the best tools for grooming a German Shepherd. This type of brush removes loose hair from the dog’s coat. It can also help to reduce shedding overall.

Another great grooming tool for German Shepherds is a slicker brush. This brush can help to remove tangles and mats from the dog’s fur. It’s also great for removing any dirt or debris trapped in the fur.

Now, you’ll get hair all over your stuff. Are you wondering how to get dog hair out of cars, sofas, and other places precisely? Click the link to know more.

Get a quality vacuum cleaner. Pick one with a powerful suction that removes pet hair from the thickest upholstery and carpets. Consider a vacuum with a crevice tool that can help to reach tight spaces.

Is It Possible to Shave Your German Shepherd?

Because of their double coat, German Shepherds aren’t ideal candidates for shaving. If you shave a German Shepherd, the outer coat may not grow back correctly, leaving the inner coat unprotected. That can lead to the dog becoming cold and uncomfortable.

Additionally, shaving a German Shepherd may not help them stay cool in the summer. The fur insulates against both heat and cold.

If you’re looking for a way to help your German Shepherd stay cool in the summer, consider investing in a cooling vest or coat. These coats use unique fabric to wick away moisture and regulate the dog’s body temperature.

In short, only shave your German Shepherd if your vet requests it for medical reasons.

Shaving a German Shepherd Aids in Shedding?

It’s a common misconception that shaving a German Shepherd helps with shedding. In actuality, shaving a German Shepherd won’t aid shedding. It may even increase the amount of hair shed. How?

german sheperd dog lying on the gras

The outer guard hairs are the longer, coarser hairs responsible for most shedding. The inner down hairs are shorter, softer hairs that don’t shed as readily. 

When you shave the German Shepherd, you remove the guard hairs, leaving the down hairs behind. That causes the less-tough down hairs to become more prominent and to shed more readily. 

Besides, the shorter, blunter hairs left after shaving are more likely to attach to clothing and furniture. They also stick harder to materials, making them an enormous pain to remove.

Will They Shed More in the Spring and Fall?

When it comes to German Shepherds, they typically shed more during the spring and fall.  German Shepherds shed their winter coats in the spring and their summer coats in the fall. This “coat blowing” allows them to adjust to the changing seasons.

The amount of daylight also plays a role in how much they shed. German Shepherds are more prone to shedding during the spring and fall because days are getting longer or shorter.

Are There Any German Shepherd Mixes That Don’t Shed?

You won’t get a German Shepherd mix that doesn’t shed. However, depending on which combination, the shedding may be just as frequent or less. 

If you want to reduce the amount of vacuuming around the house, it’s best to avoid options like a Samoyed and German Shepherd mix. Both breeds are heavy shedders, so there’s little change you’ll notice in terms of shedding reduction.

A Rottweiler mixed with a German Shepherd provides a considerable alternative since Rottweilers are moderate shedders.

One of the best German Shepherd mixes for minimizing shedding is a Poodle mix. Since we’re dealing with a GSD here, a Shepadoodle is an excellent pick.

German Shepherd Shedding FAQs

Are German Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

German Shepherds aren’t hypoallergenic. They shed excessively. So, if you’re allergic to dog hair, you may not want to get one. 

That said, dog hair isn’t the biggest allergy trigger. Instead, the skin cells and body fluids are. Since these tend to stick to dog hair and become airborne, excessive GSD shedding is a significant predisposition.

Do Men or Women German Shepherds Shed More?

Women German Shepherds shed more than men due to more hormonal changes during pregnancy. Other than that, shedding frequencies match irrespective of gender.

irl playing fetch with german sheperd

What are Some Breeds with Low Shedding?

Some breeds with low shedding are the Bichon Frise, the Basenji, the Maltese, the Poodle, and the Shih Tzu. Others include:

  • Barbet
  • Schnauzer
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Xoloitzcuintli
  • Afghan Hound
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Chinese Crested
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Lagotto Romagnolo
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

These breeds have hair instead of fur and don’t shed much.


German Shepherds have dual coats, a topcoat, and an undercoat. The topcoat includes guard hairs which are the longest and coarsest hairs. On the other hand, the undercoat has softer, shorter hairs.

German Shepherds shed year-round, but they shed the most during the spring and fall when they’re “blowing out” their coats. That’s when they shed their old coat in preparation for a new one.

While German Shepherds shed a lot, there are ways to reduce the amount of hair in your home. Brushing your dog regularly with a de-shedding tool helps to remove loose hair. You can also try giving your dog a fish oil supplement, which can help to reduce shedding.

So, if you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed much, a German Shepherd is probably not the right breed for you. However, a German Shepherd could be your perfect companion if you don’t mind a little extra hair around the house.

Does your German Shepherd have the diet it needs to reduce shedding? Great! Let’s use the time we’ve saved grooming hair and check out how to train a German Shepherd to attack.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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