5 Simple Steps To Grooming Your German Shepherd’s Thick Coat

Last Updated: 6 months ago

Every dog has particular grooming requirements that need to be met. A happy dog is one that is groomed on a weekly basis.

Many German Shepherd owners adopt the wrong techniques to keep their dogs clean.

To get a clearer picture, keep on reading.

Why Is grooming important For A GSD

A GSD is a double-coated (usually) dog breed that needs to be groomed using a brush, or else it might get dirty. If your GSD is very active and exercises a lot, make sure you groom it on a daily basis. However, if your GSD doesn’t go out a lot or doesn’t play too much, you just need to groom it twice every week.

Many GSD owners overlook routine care for their dogs and then get upset when their dogs fall ill.

A GSD’s health greatly depends on its grooming.

If you do not take care of your dog’s hair, coat, teeth, ears, etc., your dog is more likely to fall ill. A GSD that appears healthy is one that is groomed frequently. If you want to keep your GSD perfectly healthy, active, and good-looking, you need to start grooming it.

Grooming Tips for Amateurs

  • Place your GSD on a flat table or surface.
  • Choose a quiet and traffic-free place for grooming your GSD, as your dog will not be comfortable around people.
  • Gently touch your puppy to make it feel comfortable.
  • If your GSD struggles while you are trying to groom it, train it to stay calm and offer treats to keep it still.
  • Look closely into your dog’s ears, mouth, and paws.
  • Do not get angry at your GS while grooming it.
  • Use a soft brush and gently brush your dog’s hair.
  • Keep talking to your dog, as it will keep it calm.
  • Gradually move the brush from your dog’s back to the neck and other areas of its body.
  • Do not let your dog play with the grooming tools. You don’t want your dog to assume that the tools are toys.
  • Start grooming your GS at an early age, as it will help keep it calm when it has grown into a huge dog.
  • Use a slicker brush to remove loose hair from your GSD.
  • Make the grooming experience enjoyable for your dog.

Grooming Requirements Of A German Shepherd

Grooming is not always about bathing your GSD. German Shepherds do not need frequent baths to stay clean and tidy. However, they require frequent grooming that makes them shine. Your GSD’s coat needs special attention as it is double-coated and sheds throughout the year, and if groomed well, your dog will not shed a lot of fur.

There are certain grooming requirements for this breed of dog.


A GSD has two coats and heavy fur on its body. Its hair and coat need a lot of grooming.

A GSD should usually be brushed 3–4 times every week. This will keep its fur shiny and its loose hair free. Brushing is a must for your GSD, as it sheds hair throughout the year and its undercoat is blown twice a year. GSD hair is a common problem for owners, as they do tend to find fur balls stuck in their vacuum cleaners.

German shepherds have a similar coat to golden retrievers. So basically, you can use any brush that is recommended for a retriever on your GSD’s coat.

Our friends at DigDoggy did a great job researching the best brush for a retriever.

Learn how to choose the best brush for a golden retriever.

If you have the right grooming tools, you can start brushing your GSD today and keep your house fur-free and your dog shining.


Excessive bathing is not for GSDs. If you bathe your GSD too often, it will make its skin dry, flaky, and irritated. You can bathe your GSD after long exercise sessions or once a month.

If your GSD has developed fleas, you can bathe it more often using an anti-flea shampoo or spray. Don’t use harsh shampoos on your dog’s skin, as it might be harmful to his health.


Your dog’s teeth need to be checked frequently, as they develop tartar and plaque due to the food they eat. Your GSD’s teeth need to be cleaned regularly with the help of a brush.

Use dog-friendly toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth and gums. Another way to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean is to feed your dog hard cookies or kibbles. Do not brush your GSD’s teeth harshly, as it will harm its gums and teeth.


Trimming toenails is an essential part of your GSD’s grooming.

Toenails that are left to grow too long can cause injuries to you and your dog. Check your dog’s toenails once every week. Trim its toenails if they have grown too long. If you are having trouble trimming your dog’s nails on your own, take help from a vet or a dog groomer.

Use a commercial dog nail trimmer that is easily available in the market or a pet shop. Be very careful while trimming your dog’s toenails. If you cut too deep, your dog might get injured and bleed. Apply styptic powder to the bleeding area. ​


Check your GSD’s ears regularly and clean them once every week. A dog’s ears will develop excess wax and debris, which is a sign of poor grooming. You can clean your dog’s ears using eardrops. After pouring a little solution into each ear, massage the base of the ear gently. Take a soft cloth or a cotton pad to clean off the debris and wax.

Do not use water to clean your dog’s ears, as it will deposit in its ear canal and cause infection. Be very careful while cleaning your GSD’s ears, and make sure you are in a quiet and crowd-free area. ​

Grooming Tools For A German Shepherd Dog

There are certain tools that you will need to properly groom your dog. These tools are readily available at pet stores and supermarkets.

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