The German Shepherd Dog needs proper and regular hair care. The structure of the coat can say a lot about the physical condition of the dog. Of course, a well-groomed dog looks untidy, but if the coat begins to fade and fall out, then the German shepherd has big health problems.
It is necessary to teach a German shepherd puppy from an early age to hygienic procedures, namely standing in one place while combing hair. It is best to combine this with training the dog to stand.
The functions of the dog’s coat are enormous: it not only protects the animal from weather conditions but also protects against fleas, ticks, and various infections.
It is necessary to tidy up the shepherd’s coat as often as possible. So you can not only maintain a neat appearance but also remove dead fibers. Systematic combing will relieve the German shepherd from stalling, help free itself from parasites and dirt. While combing the dog, you simultaneously massage the skin, which allows you to stimulate blood circulation. Thanks to this procedure, the coat becomes shinier and thicker.
Care during molting
Twice a year, in autumn and spring, the German shepherd begins shedding – a change of coat, which lasts about two weeks. Despite this common occurrence, the dog owner will have to work hard, otherwise, he runs the risk of ruining the dog’s coat and polluting the room.
In addition to seasonal molting, there is also an age molting when puppy soft hair changes to an adult, more rigid one.
In bitches, molting is observed after childbirth or at the end of lactation.
These days you will have to comb the dog twice a day. Well, if you live in a private house, there will be no particular problems. If you live in an apartment, then it is worthwhile to carry out these procedures on the street, during a walk, so that you do not have to clean the room again.
Shedding of shepherd dogs begins at six months, you will have enough time to prepare: to train the dog to stand still while you look after her and pick up the necessary devices for combing. A finisher or a comb-hairbrush is the best suited for this purpose. She copes well with the collection and removal of fallen wool.
Next, consider what other items to care for the dog’s hair exist.
Proper care of the coat depends on the structure of the German Shepherd coat. The dog’s coat consists of soft and thick undercoat, core hairs, and hard fibers.
There are two types of hairline:
A German shepherd with this type of coat needs to be combed out twice a week. You will need a massage comb with medium teeth. After the main combing, you need to go through the comb, which will perfectly cope with the comb.
This type of wool should be combed three times a week with a comb with long, frequent teeth from metal. But cleaning alone will not be enough, since the brush will only fluff the ends of the villi, and the undercoat will remain untouched. To comb out the tow, you need a slicker brush or an elastic wire brush.
It is worth combing very carefully so as not to cause inconvenience or pain to the shepherd.
Do not forget that in addition to combs you will need special shampoos and balms for bathing dogs.
Water procedures using soap accessories are carried out three times a year, preferably after molting or a few days before the preventive action of parasites.
If after a walk the dog becomes dirty, you can wipe the coat with a damp towel or take a quick shower without shampoo.
After water procedures, the dog will have to be combed well until the coat is completely dry.
If your dog begins to lose hair, the villi lose their luster and elasticity, which means that she has health problems. Due to the fact that the growth of the villi is too slow, any changes due to the disease can be noticeable after a month.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to carefully consider not only the appearance of the German shepherd but also its behavior. The dog may lose all interest in food, become too nervous or, conversely, lethargic.
There are two factors for hair loss in German Shepherds:
In this case, asymmetrical hair loss occurs in the dog, starting from the neck, chest, and then goes to the back, sides, and limbs. Such a nuisance can occur if there is a violation of the thyroid gland. Because of this, the shepherd’s immune system decreases, as a result of which it becomes lethargic, the villi begin to break. The animal has a sharp increase in weight and a tendency to infectious diseases.
If the bitch has undergone sterilization, then she may have a lack of estrogen – the sex hormone. There is a decrease in the growth rate of the coat, the skin becomes softer.
An excess of sex hormones also leads to symmetrical hair loss immediately on both sides of the body.
Excess hormone cortisol, which is responsible for the carbohydrate metabolism in the dog’s body, leads to symptoms such as weight gain, constant thirst, and, consequently, frequent urination. All this greatly affects the quality and quantity of wool.
Due to the malfunctioning of growth hormone, the hair of a German shepherd also starts to drop out symmetrically. Such a malfunction in the body happens in males during puberty.
If the activity of the sebaceous glands is incorrect, then this will lead to violations of the skin and the appearance of bald patches on the body of the dog.
Dog hair loss can cause stress due to relocation, surgery, pregnancy, etc.
Frequent bathing with inappropriate shampoos and conditioners violates the chemical composition of the skin, which leads to the fragility of the pile and peeling of the skin.
An improperly designed diet is detrimental to the coat. Hair follicles can be destroyed if the dog lacks B vitamins, mineral salts, vitamin A, and copper. A bad effect on the condition of the coat is the lack of food of fatty acids contained in vegetable oils.
A variety of mites that cause a disease such as scabies can affect hair loss. Infection begins to progress first on the head, around the eyes, auricles and oral cavity then passes to the rest of the body.
Fungal infections can cause ringworm. Round sections with a red ring appear on the body of the shepherd, from which the wool falls out.
If the dog began to fall out villi near the nose, it means she could get dermatitis.
If the German shepherd likes to rest on hard patches of land, then at the place of contact of the skin and the surface there is a corn that erases the wool.
A German shepherd may not be suitable for any product or dry food, as a result of which an allergy can occur that provokes hair loss. There is also a seasonal allergy, to which the dog’s body reacts very sharply.
Due to dandruff or seborrhea – increased oily skin due to stress, bald spots appear on the dog’s body.
Treatment and prevention
If your dog starts to fall out of the coat outside of a seasonal molt, then its health is at risk. Urgently need to contact a veterinarian who will conduct a laboratory study using a scraping of the damaged area of the animal’s body, and then prescribe the necessary treatment.
To avoid problems with the dog’s coat, take preventative measures:
- make the right diet ;
- if your dog has had a serious illness, take a course of immunostimulants;
- periodically treat the animal with parasite preparations.
And how do you care for the hair of your shepherd to avoid hair loss? Does your dog like to comb his hair?