How Often do German Shepherds Shed?

German Shepherd Dogs are a double coated breed with a top coat and an undercoat. They shed 365 days a year, however, twice a year they shed their undercoat which produces a tremendous amount of hair. This usually occurs in the spring and again in the fall.

The top coat

The top coat has long, coarse hair, also called guard hair. All German Shepherds have a top coat. Coats can, however, come in plush, long and “double coat”. This is the long, black and tan or black and red hair that is all over your couch, on your clothes and in your car all year long. I like to tell people it is my dog’s way of marking her territory or telling me that as a German Shedder, she loves me.

When brushing, you don’t want to damage the guard hairs of the top coat as these keep the under coat safe and dry.

The Under Coat

Providing insulation and thermoregulation is the under coat. Lots of dogs have under coats such as Akita, Husky, Chow Chow, Belgian Malinois and many other various herding dogs.

This undercoat is shed in both the spring and fall. A pile of hair about the size of the dog will be shed in a period of 10 days or so. You’ll know when they “blow their coat” as their will suddenly be large chunks of hair falling off of the dog.

Most German Shepherds have an undercoat, the exception is the long haired German Shepherd with no undercoat. There are two types of long haired shepherds – long haired shepherds with an undercoat, and long haired with no undercoat. If someone tells you that long haired topcoat shepherds have no undercoat, they are mistaken; plenty of long haired shepherds have an undercoat.

8 Comments
  1. Thank you this. I was very worried when I combed Kalo (our GS girl) and there was suddenly LOADS of fluffy hair. It is the fall now, and this is what is happening – she is blowing her coat!

  2. Hi, I have a German Shepard mix 5yr old female. You are right she does shed like crazy. Recently, I found a wonderful tool from The Grommet.com website and bought it. “Sleek EZ” grooming tool is the name. I am loving the result of brushing her with this tool. All kinds of loose hair comes off from brushing her. My Question is…. Am I hurting her coat by taking off so much loose and dull hair? She is shiny, loves the bond between us as well as the brushing. The house is cleaner and I don’t have dust bunny hair balls. Thank you for advice. Lauri and Stuart

  3. In your April 15, 2018, video “How Often Do German Shepherds Need To Be Brushed?” you mentioned a vacuum cleaner that is great for getting up GSD fur. There wasn’t a link as suggested, but I would love to know! We have a flat carpet that seems to grab every single loose hair as if for keeps! We bought a stick vacuum that doesn’t ever cut the mustard and the place just looks tacky (even when I sweep it). Please advise! Thanks.

  4. ALSO… Does the blade with the two teeth actually cut the fur as it’s being removed or does it grab the clumps? It looks like it’s cutting it to me. I just want to be sure that I don’t cut my girl’s fur too low if it does.

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