Owning a German Shepherd has its perks, from gaining a guard dog to a best friend for life! However, there are some issues when caring for them, particularly grooming. Sure, they aren’t as tough to groom compared to other furrier breeds, but keeping them cool in the hot weather can get difficult.
That’s why I used to wonder, “Should I shave my German Shepherd?” I decided to do my research and ask professionals about it, and I was a bit surprised by the answers!
So if you’re planning to shave your German Shepherd, read this first!
Should I Shave My German Shepherd?
The heat’s coming up and that means it’s time to start keeping your German Shepherd cool, especially with their thick layers of coats. Most owners consider completely shaving their dogs to keep them fur-free and cool. This also may seem beneficial to get rid of the fur, especially during the shedding season throughout summer.
Is it really a good idea, though?
Definitely not! Professionals advice against it and it actually worsens the situation rather than make it better. Here are the reasons why:
- German Shepherds have double coats, and when you shave them, you’ll be getting rid of both top and undercoat
- The topcoat is essential to repel things away, such as water and dirt. The undercoat gives you dog the insulation and warmth required
- When you get rid of the topcoat, you expose your dog to the harmful rays of the sun. This increases the risk of sunburn and also means that air can’t circulate underneath, cooling your dog
- When shaving a double coat dog, both coats won’t be able to grow back the same way again. The hard topcoat will grow in with the soft undercoat, blending rather than going over it. As a result, it can lead to materials and dirt sticking to your dog’s coat, as well as the inability to repel sun and water, and lessening insulation during extreme weather conditions
- Poorly grown coats due to complete shaving may also lead to various side effects like skin conditions or irritations from mats
- Completely shaving them can also take a toll on their health AND confidence, which has them feel weird after grooming or shaving
But do take note that this is just a guide based on my own research and interviews. This isn’t a substitute for medical or professional advice. Nonetheless, I still recommend you do not completely shave your German Shepherd!
What You Should Do Instead
You were probably wanting to shave your dog to prevent shedding or to keep them cool throughout the summer. I’ll address the solutions to both these reasons to keep your German Shepherd’s coat healthy while keeping him cool without over-shedding.
Minimize the Shedding
You can’t keep your dog from shedding, it’s inevitable! But what you can do is to reduce the hair and get rid of loose fur as much as you can.
- Wash your German Shepherd to get rid of loose hairs and soften it up for brushing
- Brush your dog regularly, using a de-matting comb and tools. This also removes loose hairs and prevents matting, which can be troublesome in keeping them cool
- Blow out their coat a few times a month. Though take note you may need to go to a professional groomer for blowing out all loose undercoat hairs
Keeping Them Cool
A double coat breed would naturally keep cool through their topcoat, which is why it’s not recommended to shave. To help keep them even cooler, here are some tips to follow:
- Keep the dog in cooler areas, may it be inside with a fan or air-conditioning. If they stay outside, keep them in shaded areas, preferably with shelter and near trees
- Make sure that your dog has a lot of cool, clean water for them to drink every day
- If the sun gets too hot or bright, limit their exposure to it. If they require training and exercise outside, take them our during the early morning or late night, once the sun is gone
- Other forms of exercises that keep your dog cool include swimming! Take them for weekly swims if you can in nearby bodies of water, or use a kiddie pool
To learn more about how to groom your German Shepherd without shaving them, here’s an informative video to follow:
Wrapping It Up
Shaving your German Shepherd is a huge no-no, even when you have good intentions. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your dog cool and/or to minimize the grooming problems. As long as you groom them properly and care for them well, they’ll feel comfortable without the need to keep them bald!
I hope this article answers your question, “Should I shave my German Shepherd?” Now that you know the answer, learn more about grooming your dog properly now.