==> The German Shepherd - King of Shedding?
No, not exactly. But this is THE topic that leads many new GSD owners into despair...
Non Shedding Dogs and German Shepherds? - Certainly Not!
German Shepherd Shedding
First, the weather.
The sky was cloudy today, wasn't it?
Or so we might think!
But no! It's just the bottom half of this pic:
This is the Top Shedder! - Or can yours beat that? Proof required!
The German Shepherd breed is probably not really the 'King of Shedding', but I like to call them that. Here you see why, ha!
Find out more: Click to save vet cost, training cost, and your nerves!
In this Periodical:
- 7 Top mistakes dog owners make in regards shedding
- Why do our dogs shed at all?
- When is your 'happy season'?
- How much shedding is good for your dog?
- Will you keep your dog's shedding in good memory?
- 4 best tools to use (and 3 best accessories) so that you have FUN with your dog's shedding (sort of)
- 7 Top Tips to keep shedding under control
7 Top mistakes dog owners make in regards shedding
Here's the list of the top mistakes in terms of shedding:
- Grooming far too rarely
- Trying to brush matts of hair
- Ruining the skin underneath
- Grooming inside the house and/or on dry ground
- Using ineffective grooming tools and ineffective accessories
- Starting with the line of hair growth
- Grooming with the dog lying down
Why do our dogs shed at all?
Genetically, there are two main reasons why dogs shed:
- They lose (shed off) the dead hair to make room for new healthy hair. This is the year-round shedding.
- And, they prepare for the different weather conditions in summer and winter. This is the seasonal shedding (or 'blowing the coat') in spring and autumn.
However, when you've had your dog for some years (or had several), you will know that there are significant fluctuations in the amount of shedding of German Shepherds:
There are weeks where our GSDs hardly seem to shed at all (comparatively), and other times they seem to be shedding in a race against the clock (months on end)!
Why these differences?
Because, in addition to the two hereditary reasons above, dogs - and particularly our GSDs - shed year-round to a differing degree due to:
- Amount to drink
- Stress level
- Exercise (level, and type of)
- Proportion of being indoor/outdoor
- Hormonal changes (if unaltered dog)
- Infections and infestations can also increse shedding (particularly ringworm)
- Skin Allergies (which in turn may actually be caused by a food allergy or drug allergy, see the linked Periodical)
Diet does have less an impact on the amount of shedding, more an impact on skin and coat quality. A balanced and nutrient-rich diet makes for healthy skin and a soft and shiny coat that's easy to brush or comb. Conversely, a poor diet and dry dog food increases matting and hair tangling, which makes grooming harder, even if done daily.
Dehydration immediately leads to dry skin (because that's the last body part that's supplied with fluid), and dry skin significantly increases hair loss (shedding). So, here's another reason why we always want to provide our dogs with ample amounts to drink!
Stress (say caused by Separation Anxiety) increases shedding as well. Not just because our dog will be nipping its fur all the time, but also because of the hormonal imbalance that goes with it.
The heavier the outdoor exercise, and the more varied, the less shedding.
Some people claim that indoor dogs shed more, but I find that the opposite is true: Given the same time of year, and in the absence of other differences (see above), daily outdoor exercise seems to reduce the shedding significantly.
I assume the reason is that heavy outdoor exercise loosens the hair and helps it to come off. Hence less hair is coming off indoors!
By the way, I am not aware of a reliable connection between shedding and cancer, but it is certainly clever to:
But how would you know? Wait a sec, I'll get to that in a moment.
When is your 'happy season'?
Have you tracked when your dog sheds how much? Not that this is important in itself (it isn't - we need to get done with the shedding anyway), but a 'shedding diary' can help to easily track your dog's shedding, can help to detect potential health issues(!), and can help to prevent excess shedding if you take action on it.
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Stay with us and your dog will stay with you, both of you healthy and well-behaved.
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Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.
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