German Shepherd Shedding Season: When, Why, & How To Manage

Bringing home a German Shepherd is an exciting and enjoyable experience! However, along with the joy, there’s a unique challenge that every German Shepherd owner faces: shedding season.

So, you might wonder: How do you handle your German Shepherd shedding season? It’s a valid concern!

German Shepherds have thick double coats, so they shed a lot, especially during shedding season. Managing this shedding is important to keep your home clean and your dog comfortable. Understanding when and why your German Shepherd sheds, and how to manage it, can make a significant difference.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the German Shepherd shedding season step by step.

We’ll discuss their shedding schedule, when and why they shed, and tips to minimize the impact on your home and your pup’s well-being.

So, let’s dive into managing your German Shepherd’s shedding season!

German Shepherd Shedding Schedule 

German Shepherds are known for their beautiful double coats, but with that comes a problem of shedding. Understanding their shedding schedule can help you manage it more effectively.

An infographic showing German Shepherd shedding schedule.

1. Year-Round Shedding:

As a German Shepherd owner, you will notice that your dog sheds hair all year long.

This year-round shedding is due to the natural cycle of hair growth and replacement, with old hairs falling out to make way for new ones.

As a result, you will find loose hair on your furniture, floors, and clothing regularly.

While it may seem like a never-ending battle, you can manage it with regular grooming and brushing 3-4 times every week.

2. Seasonal Shedding:

In addition to the year-round shedding, German Shepherds go through periods of heavy shedding, known as “blowing coat.”

During this time, your German Shepherd sheds his undercoat to prepare for the upcoming weather conditions.

This process can be challenging for owners who aren’t prepared.

This is because you need to stay on top of grooming to survive this shedding season with a daily brushing routine.

When Is German Shepherd Shedding Season?

German Shepherd shedding season typically occurs twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall.

This natural process allows your GSD to adapt to the changing temperatures and humidity levels,

When is German Shepherd shedding season?

1. Spring Shedding Season:

In late March or early April, German Shepherds start shedding their thick winter coats to make way for a lighter, cooler coat for the warmer months.

This shedding process can last from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on your dog’s characteristics and your local climate.

During this time, you’ll notice a lot more loose hair around your home, on furniture, and on clothes.

It might seem like hair is everywhere, but don’t worry—it’s a natural process.

2. Fall Shedding Season:

In the fall, around late September or early October, German Shepherds start shedding again, this time to get rid of their summer coats and prepare for the colder months ahead.

This shedding season is usually less intense than the spring one and can continue for 2-4 weeks.

Although this shedding season is less severe, you still require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

At What Age Do German Shepherds Start Shedding?

At what age do German Shepherds start shedding?

Your German shepherd starts shedding as soon as they are a puppy, first, they shed their soft puppy fur around 4-6 months old.

This process starts with the loss of the soft, fuzzy coat on their belly, chest, and base of the tail, followed by the shedding of their puppy fur on their back, sides, and head.

Between 5-7 months, they start to grow their adult double coat, which consists of the undercoat and topcoat.

The undercoat starts to develop first, followed by the topcoat, which replaces the puppy fur.

By around 8-10 months, the shedding of their puppy fur is usually complete, and their adult coat is fully developed.

However, some German Shepherds may continue to shed their puppy fur until they are about 12-18 months old.

Why Do German Shepherds Shed So Much?

An illustration explaining why do German Shepherds shed so much.

There are several reasons for excessive shedding in your German Shepherd, but the main reason is their double coat, which helps them adapt to different temperatures and environments.

You might notice that your German Shepherd has two types of fur: the undercoat and the topcoat.

The undercoat is made of soft, thick hair that sheds heavily during the spring and fall.

This shedding is important because it helps regulate your dog’s body temperature as the seasons change.

On the other hand, the topcoat consists of longer, coarser hair that sheds moderately throughout the year.

This layer serves to protect your dog’s skin and the undercoat from external factors like dirt, moisture, and UV rays.

By shedding, your German Shepherd can maintain a healthy and functional coat.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“For most German Shepherd dogs, their double coat is the main reason they shed. They shed year-round and even more during spring and fall.”


The heavy shedding, especially during seasonal transitions, is a natural process that ensures your dog stays comfortable and well-protected.

So, while it may seem excessive at times, this shedding is essential for your German Shepherd’s wellness.

German Shepherd Summer Coat Vs Winter Coat

As a German Shepherd owner, you’ve probably noticed a significant change in your dog’s coat between winter and summer.

That’s because your German Shepherd’s double coat tries to adapt to the changing seasons.

German Shepherd summer coat vs winter coat.

1. German Shepherd Winter Coat:

During colder months, your German Shepherd’s winter coat keeps them warm by trapping air close to their skin.

The soft undercoat is thick and plush, which provides excellent insulation.

It sheds a lot in spring to prepare for warmer weather. The longer, rougher topcoat protects against moisture, dirt, and chilly winds.

Together, these layers help your dog stay warm even in freezing weather.

2. German Shepherd Summer Coat:

As it gets warmer, your German Shepherd sheds his thick winter coat for a lighter summer one.

The thick undercoat gets thinner, allowing air to reach your dog’s skin and keep them cool.

The outer coat also gets shorter and finer, shielding against harmful UV rays and preventing too much heat.

This change helps your dog feel comfy and regulate his body temperature in hot, humid weather.

Here are the main differences between your German Shepherd’s summer coat and winter coat:

CharacteristicsSummer CoatWinter Coat
LengthShort (1-2 inches)Long (2-4 inches)
ThicknessLightweightThick and dense
ColorMay appear lighterMay appear darker
TextureSmooth and glossyThick and fluffy
PurposeCooling and sun protectionInsulation and warmth

Factors That Influence Your German Shepherd Shedding Season

While spring and fall are the typical shedding seasons for your German Shepherd, several factors can influence the timing and intensity of shedding.

German Shepherd shedding season.

1. Climate:

The weather changes in your area can affect when your German Shepherd starts shedding.

Warmer weather usually triggers the shedding of the winter coat, while cooler weather prompts the shedding of the summer coat.

For example, If you live in a region like Atlanta, Georgia, where winters are mild and summers are hot and humid, your German Shepherd may start shedding their winter coat in early February as temperatures rise.

2. Location:

The location also matters. In regions with high humidity or extreme temperatures, dogs tend to shed more.

If you live in a humid area, your German Shepherd might shed more because the moisture in the air can cause skin irritations and allergies.

For example, if you live in a coastal city like San Francisco, California, your German Shepherd might shed more due to the foggy and humid weather.

3. Age:

Age affects shedding patterns. Puppies usually shed more than adult dogs, especially in their first year.

This is because they are growing and their coats are adjusting to changes in their body.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“Young dogs tend to shed more than older dogs, as their coat is still developing and adjusting to their adult size and shape.”

Source: The Spruce Pets

4. Hormones:

Changes in hormones, especially in female dogs, can affect shedding times.

Pregnant or nursing dogs may shed more due to hormonal changes and the need to regulate their body temperature.

5. Indoor Living:

If your German Shepherd spends more time indoors, he may shed at different times because they are not exposed to natural light and temperature changes.

Indoor lighting and controlled temperatures can change your German Shepherd shedding cycle.

Tips For Surviving Your German Shepherd Shedding Season

While shedding can be frustrating, there are ways to survive your beloved German Shepherd’s shedding season with your sanity intact.

Shedding season for German Shepherds.

Here are some tips to help you survive your German Shepherd shedding season:

1. Invest in a Good Vacuum Cleaner:

A high-quality vacuum cleaner designed for pet hair can make a huge difference during shedding season.

Look for one with strong suction power and specialized attachments to effectively remove dog hair from carpets, furniture, and hard floors.

2. Use a HEPA Air Purifier:

Dog hair and dander can aggravate allergies and asthma.

Investing in a HEPA air purifier can help remove dog hair and dander from the air, keeping your home cleaner and reducing allergy symptoms.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“Using a HEPA air purifier can significantly reduce dog dander and hair in the air, making it a valuable tool for pet owners with allergies.”

Source: PetMD

3. Use a Humidifier:

Dry air can dry out your German Shepherd’s skin and coat.

Therefore, use a humidifier to maintain a healthy humidity level (between 30%-50%) in the air, which can prevent dry, itchy skin and reduce shedding.

4. Use the Right Grooming Tools:

Invest in a good quality de-shedding tool, such as a Furminator or a shedding rake, to help remove loose hair and reduce shedding.

5. Consider a De-shedding Supplement:

De-shedding supplements can help reduce shedding by promoting healthy skin and coats. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are particularly beneficial.

Consult your veterinarian to determine the best supplement for your dog’s specific needs.

Here’s a video guide of what you can do during your German Shepherd shedding season:

Source: German Shepherd Man Official Channel


German Shepherd shedding season typically occurs twice a year, in spring (March to May) and fall (September to November).

During this time, they shed heavily, especially around their belly, the base of the tail, and behind their ears.

Regular brushing, using de-shedding tools, and following the tips in this guide can help reduce shedding and prevent matting

With proper care and attention, your German Shepherd will come out of shedding season with a shiny new coat.

Remember, shedding is a natural process, and with patience and care, you can help your dog look and feel its best.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do German Shepherds shed when in heat?

No, German Shepherds do not typically shed more when in heat. Hormonal changes during heat do not significantly affect their shedding patterns.

Why is my German Shepherd losing clumps of hair?

Your German Shepherd may be losing clumps of hair due to seasonal shedding, stress, poor diet, allergies, parasites, or underlying health issues. Consult your vet to determine the cause.

Do German Shepherds ever stop shedding?

No, German Shepherds never completely stop shedding. They shed year-round with heavier shedding periods in the spring and fall. Regular grooming helps manage the shedding.

What months do German Shepherds shed the most?

German Shepherds shed the most in the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) as they transition between their winter and summer coats.

Do German Shepherds shed more when stressed?

Yes, German Shepherds can shed more when stressed due to increased cortisol levels, which can lead to excessive shedding and hair loss. Stress-induced shedding is a common phenomenon in dogs.

How often do GSDs drop their coat?

German Shepherds (GSDs) typically shed their coats twice a year, in spring and fall, with moderate shedding throughout the year.

Resources Used For Research:

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