Why Is My German Shepherd Shedding So Much? Tips To Reduce It

Is your German Shepherd losing a lot of hair? Are you finding their fur all over your house, clothes, and everything else? Excessive shedding can be worrying, and you may wonder, “Why is my German Shepherd shedding so much?

As a German Shepherd owner, you know that shedding is a natural process for dogs, but sometimes it can get out of hand. Whether it’s due to seasonal changes, health issues, or genetics, excessive shedding can be a real concern.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind your German Shepherd’s excessive shedding, and provide you with practical tips and advice on how to manage and reduce their shedding.

Read on to discover why your German Shepherd is shedding so much, and what you can do about it.

Normal Shedding Vs. Excessive Shedding

As a German Shepherd owner, you know they shed a lot of fur. But have you ever thought about what’s normal and what’s excessive shedding?

An infographic showing German Shepherd shedding patterns.

Let’s dive in and explore the difference!

1. Normal Shedding:

Your German Shepherd has two layers of fur: a soft undercoat and a rougher outer coat.

This double coat helps protect them from different weather conditions.

Shedding is a natural process that helps remove old or damaged fur, making way for new growth.

Your German Shepherd typically sheds their undercoat twice a year, in the spring and fall. This is called “blowing their coat.”

During this time, they shed a lot of fur to prepare for the changing seasons.

They also shed a little bit throughout the year, but regular brushing can help manage this.

2. Excessive Shedding:

Excessive shedding in your German Shepherd means they lose too much hair.

This breed normally sheds a lot, but excessive shedding is when it becomes extreme.

Their thick double coat starts to thin out or even become bald in some areas.

This can be a sign of an underlying issue.

German Shepherds are known for shedding, but it’s important to take notice and consult a veterinarian to rule out any potential health problems when it gets too much.

6 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Sheds So much

There are many reasons your German Shepherd sheds so much. Understanding these reasons can help you manage their shedding more effectively and keep your home cleaner.

Why is my German Shepherd shedding so much?

Here are the 6 most common reasons to consider:

1. Genetics:

Genetics plays a big role in how much your German Shepherd sheds.

Some dogs naturally shed more than others because of their genetic makeup.

If your dog’s parents were heavy shedders, your dog is likely to be the same.

2. Hormonal Imbalance:

Hormonal imbalances, especially those related to the thyroid gland, can cause excessive shedding.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to hair loss, a thinning coat, and other skin issues.

Female dogs that are not spayed may also experience hormonal changes that can affect their coat.

3. Skin Allergies or Infections:

Skin allergies or infections are common reasons for excessive shedding.

Food, environmental factors like pollen or dust, and flea bites can cause allergies.

These allergies cause your dog to scratch and lick their skin a lot, leading to hair loss and skin irritation.

Infections, whether bacterial, fungal, or parasitic, can also cause similar symptoms.

4. Poor Diet or Nutrition:

A poor diet lacking essential nutrients can greatly impact your German Shepherd’s coat health.

Dogs need a balanced diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals to maintain healthy skin and fur.

A lack of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, in particular, can lead to dry, brittle hair and excessive shedding.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin and coat, and a deficiency can lead to dry, brittle hair and excessive shedding.”

Source: PetMD

5. Climate and Humidity:

The climate and humidity levels where you live can also impact your dog’s shedding.

Dogs in warmer, more humid climates may shed more to keep cool, while those in colder climates may have thicker coats and shed less frequently.

6. Age and Life Stage:

Age and life stage can influence shedding patterns.

Puppies typically shed their baby fur as they grow, transitioning to their adult coat.

Older dogs might shed more due to changes in their health and metabolism.

Being aware of these life stages can help you adjust your care and grooming practices to suit your dog’s needs.

Signs Of Excessive Shedding In Your German Shepherd

Why do German Shepherds shed so much?

Look out for the following indicators that show your German Shepherd might be shedding more than usual:

1. Visible Hair Loss:

If you see bald spots or areas where your dog’s fur is much thinner, it could mean they are shedding too much.

Check your dog’s coat regularly for any unusual hair loss.

2. Thinning Coat:

A thinning coat is a sign of excessive shedding.

If your dog’s fur seems less thick and you can see their skin easily, they might be shedding more than normal.

A healthy German Shepherd should have a thick, full coat.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“If your dog’s fur seems less thick and you can see their skin easily, they might be shedding more than normal.”

Source: PetCareRx.Com

3. Dull or Brittle Fur:

Your dog’s fur should be shiny and soft.

If it looks dull, feels brittle, or breaks easily, it could mean your dog isn’t getting the right nutrition or has health problems.

A healthy coat should feel smooth and strong.

4. Skin Irritation or Redness:

If your dog’s skin looks irritated or red, and they are scratching, licking, or biting a lot, it can cause more hair loss and discomfort.

Look for signs of inflammation, redness, or sores, which might be due to allergies, infections, or other skin issues.

How Do You Stop Your German Shepherd From Shedding So Much?

Once you’ve identified excessive shedding in your German Shepherd, there are several steps you can take to manage and reduce it effectively.

A German Shepherd dog shedding so much fur.

Here’s a guide to help you keep your German Shepherd’s shedding under control:

1. Provide Regular Grooming:

Regular grooming is a great source of reducing the shedding of your German Shepherd.

Brushing your dog’s coat 3-4 times a week, and even daily during peak shedding seasons, helps remove loose fur and prevents it from accumulating around your home.

Use a high-quality brush specifically designed for double-coated breeds like the German Shepherd.

Popular options are slicker brushes, pin brushes, and bristle brushes.

Also, trim their coat regularly to remove loose hair and prevent matting, which will help reduce your dog’s shedding and keep their coat healthy and neat.

Focus on trimming the areas where shedding is most prominent, such as the undercoat, belly, and base of the tail.

2. Use a Deshedding Tool:

Deshedding tools like a Furminator or shedding rake are really helpful during your German Shepherd shedding seasons.

They remove loose hair, reduce shedding, and prevent knots and tangles.

Before using the de-shedding tool, brush your dog’s coat with a slicker brush.

Then start using the tool gently, as aggressive use can irritate your dog’s skin.

Hold the tool at an angle and gently pull it through your dog’s coat to remove loose hair.

Remove loose hair in the direction of growth, and avoid using the tool on sensitive areas such as near the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, genital area, and tail base.

3. Provide a Healthy Diet:

Provide your German Shepherd with high-quality food, containing sufficient levels of protein, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.

These nutrients are vital for healthy skin and fur.

Foods rich in omega-3s, such as fish oil, can improve coat texture and reduce inflammation that may contribute to shedding.

Always consult with your veterinarian before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet or adding supplements.

Here’s a table outlining a proper diet for your German Shepherd to help reduce shedding:

Nutrient/ComponentRecommended FoodsBenefits
ProteinHigh-quality animal proteins (chicken, beef, fish)Supports healthy skin and coat
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsFish oil, flaxseed, salmonReduces inflammation and promotes a shiny coat
Omega-6 Fatty AcidsChicken fat, sunflower oilMaintains skin health and coat softness
VitaminsLeafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoesAntioxidants for skin health (Vitamin E, Vitamin A)
BiotinEggs, liver, nutsEnhances skin and coat health
ZincBeef, lamb, pumpkin seedsHelps in skin healing and prevents dermatitis
WaterFresh, clean waterEssential for overall hydration and skin health
FiberBrown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoesAids in digestion and nutrient absorption

4. Ensure Proper Hydration:

Ensure your German Shepherd always has access to fresh, clean water to stay hydrated.

Encourage drinking by adding a water fountain or flavored water.

Proper hydration helps maintain healthy skin and coat, reducing shedding.

Monitor your dog’s water intake, especially in hot weather or during exercise, to prevent dehydration.

5. Control the Environment:

An illustration explaining how to control the environment to reduce shedding in your German Shepherd.

Regularly cleaning your home helps reduce shedding and prevents loose hair from gathering.

Vacuum frequently, especially in areas where your dog spends most of their time.

Use a HEPA air purifier to remove dog dander and hair from the air, keeping your home clean and hair-free.

Consider using a humidifier to maintain a healthy humidity level (30-50%), which can help reduce shedding and prevent dry skin.

Wash your dog’s bedding and toys regularly, and consider using a lint roller to remove hair from furniture and clothing.

Here’s a video guide to help you solve your German Shepherd’s shedding issue.

Source: That Enzo and Lotus YT Channel

Are Baths Good For Your Shedding German Shepherd?

Are baths good for shedding German Shepherd?

Bathing your German Shepherd can help reduce shedding by washing away loose hair and dead skin, making less hair fall off in your home.

Use a gentle dog shampoo to protect their skin and coat.

It’s a good idea to brush your German Shepherd both before and after the bath to maximize the removal of loose fur.

Aim to bathe your German Shepherd every 6-8 weeks and avoid overbathing.

Bathing too frequently can strip the natural oils from their coat, leading to dryness and irritation.

Does Shaving Your German Shepherd Help With Shedding?

Does Shaving Your German Shepherd Help With Shedding?

Shaving your German Shepherd does not help with shedding and can actually be harmful.

The double coat of your German Shepherd has a dense undercoat and a weather-resistant topcoat.

This double coat is essential for regulating their body temperature and providing protection against both hot and cold weather.

When you shave your German Shepherd, you remove this natural insulation and protection. This can lead to several problems including:

  • Shaving exposes their skin to harmful UV rays
  • Exposed skin prone to insect bites and stings
  • Higher risk of heat stroke and dehydration
  • Potential for ingrown hairs and skin irritation

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“Shaving can cause ingrown hairs, skin irritation, and redness, especially in dogs with sensitive skin.”

Source: American Kennel Club (AKC)


Understanding why your German Shepherd is shedding so much is the first step in managing this natural process.

By recognizing the factors that contribute to excessive shedding and implementing proper grooming, diet, and healthcare practices, you can keep your German Shepherd’s coat healthy and your home fur-free.

Regular veterinary checkups, a balanced diet, and a clean living environment all play crucial roles in managing shedding and ensuring the well-being of your beloved pet.

With these tips, you can enjoy the companionship of your German Shepherd without being overwhelmed by shedding.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is my German Shepherd shedding so much in the summer?

Your German Shepherd sheds more in summer to regulate body temperature. Shedding their undercoat helps them stay cool by reducing insulation, allowing heat to dissipate more effectively through their coat.

Why is my German Shepherd shedding so much in the fall?

Your German Shepherd sheds heavily in the fall to prepare for winter. They lose their summer coat to make way for a thicker, insulating coat to keep warm in colder months.

Why is my German Shepherd shedding so much in the winter?

Your German Shepherd sheds in winter to adjust their coats for temperature changes. They lose their undercoat to regulate body heat and prepare for seasonal weather variations.

Why is my German Shepherd shedding so much in January?

In January, German Shepherds shed a lot because it’s their natural shedding season. They’re getting rid of their undercoat to adjust to temperature changes for the coming seasons. Indoor heating can also dry out their coat, making them shed more than usual.

Will coconut oil stop my German Shepherd from shedding?

Coconut oil can help improve your German Shepherd’s coat health, but it won’t stop shedding completely. Regular grooming and a balanced diet are more effective for managing shedding.

Resources Used For Research:

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