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.

12 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.

  5. My AKC German Shepherd is one of the 3rd generation I have kept since first having Grandmother Sheba, then her daughter, Bellah & now the granddaughter Blaze. All females.I used to just raise all males. I definitely have found the girls make better guard dogs & much more alert. Blaze is now my service dog & I personally think females are much smarter for sure. Blaze just turned6 yrs old this June & I am looking for a German Shepherd male rescue dog to give her the buddy she needs to run & romp with since I am disabled & long walks are seldom & running with her isn’t possible. She kinda runs the place & is very spoiled but loves going in car & in& out of stores with me. There are a lot of responsibilities caring, training & raising these beautiful breed.Her Mom & grandmother were black & tan saddles which I loved those coat colors but wanted to need Bellah with a AKC solid black & the litter was an unusually large on of 10 healthy pups.Owners need to do their homework when buying these dogs. Blaze is little over 79 lbs & has to have her special vitamins twice a day which she takes the pill happily. Also grooming is a mustard in brushing their coats. This time of year is major shedding time & I bought those loves with little raised soft spikes on them & use the gloves also for bathing & massages. Great with family & children especially if raised from pup with them. I did not & will not be breeding Blaze since I am getting up in age myself & I am disabled but I would love to find a male neutered of course for her to romp & play with. I live on 5 acres & fenced off about 1 1/2 of it around home & she guards excellently.However she is an indoor dog especially during hot summer months I love my girl more than any human I know. So be certain you can care well for your dogs & read & learn all you can before you buy one. Watch out for puppy mills don’t buy from them. Pick a vet you trust to treat your dog the best. Good luck folks my girls & guys before have kept me laughing & busy & now if they stick me in hospital gain she does with me. Oh be able to afford the time & $ it takes to care for your dog. Just love them like they love you & don’t over do it o to many treats. When I eat my baby girl eats. She loves Graham crackers with me before bed♥️💞🤗

  6. So, let me see if I get this right. Some of you have German Shepherds and don’t know how to live with shedding hair? I have the perfect answer for you: deal with it! DSH are active dogs, they guard, they observe, and they lose lots of hair. If your dog is messing up the house, maybe it is because inside a house or an apartment is not really where German Shepherds would prefer to live. Keep that in mind if you want to get a DSH, but if you already have one, then you must accept the occasional hair in your soup. I also have a German Shorthair Pointer. She is a spoiled bed-loving eat everything little cutie, and she doesn’t lose any hair at all. But… she freezes in the wintertime. You can’t have it all in one breed folks.

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