How to Brush a German Shepherd

by Chris Miksen, Demand Media
    The thick fur of your shepherd won't stay on his body long.

    The thick fur of your shepherd won't stay on his body long.

    If not brushed regularly, your German shepherd will do his best to make your carpet look as if a wooly mammoth walked in your house, dumped all his fur and left. Your big-eared pup might require an arsenal of brushes, but each brushing only takes a few minutes.

    Items you will need

    • Slicker brush
    • Metal dog grooming comb
    • Shedding rake
    • Treats

    Step 1

    Ask your shepherd to lay, and remove his collar. Give him a nice scratching on his neck to make him relaxed and happy. While a brushing won't take that long -- usually five to 10 minutes -- it's always easier if your pup is cooperative.

    Step 2

    Place a slicker brush at the top of your shepherd's neck and begin brushing the length of his entire back gently, all the way to his tail, going with the grain of his coat. Repeat this across his entire backside, except his haunches and the tail itself, until the brush is removing little to no hair.

    Step 3

    Brush your pup's hips with the slicker brush, going with the grain. While they don't look like they hold a lot of hair, your shepherd's hips are fur central when it comes to the back end of his body. After you're finished with the hips, move the operation to the tail, again going with the grain of the hair. If your shepherd has a long tail, you may find it easier to hold the tail in one hand and brush the top and bottom of the tail with your other hand. After the tail's all finished, lift it and brush his hind end gently, taking care not to get touch his anus with the brush.

    Step 4

    Coax your dog to roll over on his side. This can be tricky, especially if your dog is not a fan of brushings, but a little belly petting often will have him squirming on his side in pleasure. Brush his belly gently with the slicker brush, going with the grain and only pulling it down his bellylightly , starting from the underside of his neck. His belly is sensitive and putting too much pressure on the brush will cause him pain, which can be an unforgivable offense when it comes to grooming.

    Step 5

    Tidy up those front and back legs with the slicker brush if you have a long-haired shepherd. Short-haired shepherds don't need their legs brushed, but long-haired ones can develop tangles and knots if their legs aren't tended to once in a while.

    Step 6

    Run a metal comb across the grain of his hair to pick up hair your slicker brush left behind. Don't use the metal comb on his stomach.

    Step 7

    Begin the last leg of your brushing journey by brushing your little guy along his back, hips and tail with the shedding rake. This time, go against the grain of his hair, and do not use the rake on his stomach or legs. The shedding rake gets down deep into the undercoat, lifting it up and putting the excess fur out of commission before it has a chance to litter your carpet.

    Step 8

    Run a soft bristle brush along the grain of your shepherd's hair, on the same areas you used the shedding rake. This will flatten your pup's hair, give him a nice massage and pick up any leftover undercoat fur that was trapped by the outer coat.

    Tips

    • Always talk to your pup as you're brushing him, giving him lots of praise and love. Feed him a treat after you're done to show him good things happen after brushing sessions.
    • You may need to introduce your shepherd to the brush slowly over the course of several days, by first letting him smell it, feel it and so on. Feed him treats each time he reacts positively to the brush.
    • Brush your pup every other day with the slicker brush. Only use the shedding rake once every two weeks. During months where he sheds profusely, you may use it once a week.
    • After you bathe your pup, brush him while his coat is slightly damp. You'll have an easier time removing excess hair.
    • You may vacuum the hair you remove or just gather it up and push it deep into your garbage.

    Warnings

    • If your dog has skin problems, do not use the shedding rake. Talk to your veterinarian first.
    • Never use the shedding rake or metal comb on your shepherd's stomach.

    About the Author

    Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.

    Photo Credits

    • German Shepherd image by Terraina Lambert from Fotolia.com