Are you looking for the best German shepherd haircuts? It means you have 2nd most popular dog breed in the U.S. as a pet in your home and want to make sure their coat remains healthy and shiny. You know what? You are in the right place.
German Shepherds are known for having a double coat, which means that they have two layers of hair. The undercoat, which is closest to their skin is typically thick and comprises of fairly short hairs that need lots of grooming attention using a brush.
The outer coat, on the other hand, is thick with straight hair that rests close to the body and can sometimes be coarse or curly. Just like their colors, German Shepherds have different types of coats, including long-haired (single coat) and short-haired (double coat). The latter (short-haired) is dominant in what is considered to be an ideal GSD that is recognized by the AKC.
Picture: A long-haired (left) and a short-haired (right) German shepherd
The GSDs coats protect them from cold during winter by keeping them warm, heat during summer, as well as injury and infections. So, is it necessary to give your German shepherd a haircut? In a nutshell, you SHOULD NOT shave your German shepherd’s hair! Find out more below.
When it is okay to give German shepherds a haircut
As mentioned above, German shepherd coats are useful in protecting the dog breed from cold, injuries, heat, and infections. Therefore, shaving them removes their undercoat exposing them to these risks. Even worse, the hair does not grow back as it should be after shaving it.
Here are two occasions when it is okay to give German shepherds a haircut:
- Pest infection – When German shepherds are severely infested by external parasites, some of their hair will have to be cut but only if recommended by a professional vet. In most cases, bathing your canine friend with topical medication or parasiticidal shampoo is enough.
- Surgical procedure – Sometimes a German shepherd might need some parts of their hair cut to create an incision for a surgical procedure. Surgery may include neutering & spaying procedures or alleviating hip & bone symptoms.
Hairstyles might have some benefits, particularly in the long-haired German shepherd types. However, this must be done by a professional groomer and with scissors not shears.
Maintaining the German Shepherd Coats
Each dog has specific grooming requirements that must be followed and making it a weekly routine works miracles. Unfortunately, many German shepherd owners use the incorrect methods of keeping their furry friends hygienic.
Did you know that the level of activeness and exercise determines your German shepherd’s hygiene routine? Yes, it does! Active GSDs that do plenty of exercises need daily grooming while the vice versa needs twice-weekly grooming.
Maintaining a German shepherd’s coat needs special attention due to heavy shedding and, as we know, it is a double coat. If groomed correctly, this reduces the level of shedding.
German Shepherd Summer Hair Care
Are you looking for the best and healthy techniques to prepare a German shepherd for summer? It is easy and as we discussed earlier, shaving a German shepherd is a big NO! So, here are the two techniques for German shepherd summer care:
- Bathe & Comb
This simple summer care method includes bathing, combing, and spraying. You should bathe your German shepherd with excellent dog shampoo which comes in handy for dogs with sensitive skins. After that, you can dry them thoroughly using a towel and spray them substantially with ShowSheen.
Hair conditioning is followed by brushing, work on small areas at a time, using a comb with wide teeth. If you want to remove all the shed undercoat, make sure you use a de-shedding comb. Do it weekly.
- Bathe & Blow
Unlike the previous one, this technique is more complex but suitable for German shepherds with thick coats. You should bathe your GSD with warm water and allow them to stay lathered for some minutes before you rinse them. The shampoo is needed here for sensitive skins as well.
Make sure you rinse your canine buddy thoroughly to get rid of shampoo traces and dry him using a high-velocity dryer. As you dry him, use an undercoat rake to help loosen his undercoat
TIP: Ensure that you groom your German shepherd from back to front and whisper to his ears how amazing he is.
German Shepherd Winter Hair Care
When winter kicks in, there is a mistaken belief that German shepherds do not need to be groomed. The truth is that during winter dogs develop a winter coat that protects them from the harsh weather and despite maintaining an inside routine, they still get dirty.
If you do not take care of this coat, you will end up having a German shepherd with long, damp, and tangled hair that makes him cold, wet, and prone to infections. You should know that the matted coat offers less or no warmth to your GSD. Instead, your German shepherd has hot spots and becomes uncomfortable.
Do the following to maintain healthy hair in your German shepherd during winter:
- Dry him thoroughly after bath to prevent itching & dryness. Also, do not lock him inside
- Brush him regularly to avoid matting which is very painful to your dog
In addition, keep his nails trimmed and teeth & ears clean.
Easy German Shepherd Hair Care Hints and Techniques
Picture: Grooming a German Shepherd (Courtesy of k9deb.com)
Since German Shepherds should not receive haircuts, something must be done to ensure that their hair remains in fine fettle. While it might involve a lot of work, think of it as a bonding moment between you and your canine buddy.
Here are some hair care hints and techniques:
- Routine bathing – Make sure you give your German shepherd routine bathing as they love exploring the world by moving around. This makes their hair dirty which makes daily washing, if possible, a necessary thing. You should also ensure that you dry them completely after a bath.
- Routine brushing – This should be done after a bath. A routine brushing prevents your German shepherd’s coat from matting which causes discomfort and pain. This is especially critical for long-haired German shepherds. As such, make it a quick daily routine or weekly at the very least.
- Regular conditioning – This is where most pet owners fail by using any type of conditioner. If you did not know, not all conditioners are crafted with a dog’s skin pH balance in mind. As such, look for high-quality conditioners, especially those made for dogs.
Always remember to be gentle on your German shepherd when brushing and grooming. Another important factor to consider is using the right tools for this work. Also, make sure that your GSD does not play with the tools because they are not toys.
Do German shepherds need their hair cut?
No. Generally, German shepherds do not need their hair cut, not even the long-haired type. From suppleness to cleanliness and visibility, their coats do not cause any problems. Furthermore, this coat provides the breed with protection from injury, heat, and cold.
Can you trim long-haired German shepherds?
Yes, you can trim long-haired German shepherds, but it should not be done occasionally. What makes this a bad idea is because dog breeds with a double coat do not fall into the trimming category.
Is it bad to shave a German shepherd?
Yes, it is bad to shave a German shepherd. Shaving should only be done because of a medical purpose, for instance, a hot spot that needs to be treated. While it comes in handy during humid weather German shepherd’s undercoat helps keep them cool.
The safest way to manage shedding in GSDs is by brushing.
While many dogs out there are fit for a haircut, it is not the case with a German Shepherd. Whether long-haired or short-haired, the German shepherd’s coat should NOT be styled or cut. It helps keep them warm, protect them from skin injury and infections, as well as regulating body heat.
The best way to take care of the German shepherd coat is through regular bathing, brushing, and conditioning. Be it winter or summer, never shave your German shepherd dog and always maintain high levels of hygiene. Remember, a hygienic dog is a happy dog.
All the best as you take care of your German shepherd!
Hi there! My name is Nathan Sambu, a pet parent to two Siberian Huskies and one of the co-founders of Our Pets HQ. I am a recognized pet breeder of thick-coat dog breeds suitable and I am one of the leading dog breed experts in the US and Canada. I write in several blogs providing insights on different dog breeds. I have owned several breeds including a Pitbull who recently died in the middle of Covid lockdown(2021). I also provide part-time consulting on pet breeds for parents undecided on which breed to go for. You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org.