German Shepherd - Breed and Grooming Tips

The German Shepherd Dog is hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, however, this dependable breed is more than its 9-to-5 job. Consistently one of the United States’ most popular breeds according to AKC®, the German Shepherd Dog is also a loving family companion, herder and show competitor. The breed is approachable, direct and fearless, with a strong, muscular body. The GSD may be most colors, but most commonly is black and tan.


 


A Look Back


The German Shepherd Dog originated in 1899 at Karlsruhe, Germany due to the efforts of Captain Max von Stephanitz and others. Derived from the old breeds of herding and farm dogs, the first German Shepherd Dog exhibited in America was in 1907. The fame associated with Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart, two members of the breed whose movies played on variations of the boy and his dog theme, shot the popularity of the breed sky-high.


 


Right Breed for Your Lifestyle


Energetic and fun-loving, the breed is very fond of children once a relationship is established. He is a loyal family pet and a good guard dog, the ideal choice for many families. He requires regular exercise and grooming.


 


Source:  American Kennel Club - www.akc.org


 

Grooming

General: The German Shepherd Dog or “GSD” is a herding dog. Herding dogs have a high energy level and are very intelligent so they need a job so they do not get bored. The GSD has a medium dense double coat and needs to be groomed every 4 – 8 weeks, with more frequent grooming during the shedding seasons of spring and fall when they change coats. As long as the undercoat is removed the outer guard coat will provide shade for your dog.


Eyes: Optisoothe Eye Wash is a must. Flush the eyes of any foreign matter and keep the eye moist.


Ears: use Ear Care to clean the ears and help dry out any moisture deep within the ear, this will help with the odor and prevent infection. Only clean as far as you can see.


Paws: Because they herd out in the field, they need Paw Balm to keep their pads soft and pliable to keep them from drying and cracking.


Bathing: The first bath is for general cleaning to take off the dirt and grime. Follow up with the second bath and target the need of the dog. If your dog has allergies or skin irritations use Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo followed by a medicated shampoo. Shepherd’s with normal skin and coat can be bathed with any of our wonderful scent renewal products for long lasting fragrance. Be sure to end the bath with conditioner. This will help keep the coat hydrated to protect against harsh weather conditions. Simple Shed Shampoo and Simple Shed Treatment during the spring and fall shedding season will help release undercoat so the seasonal coat can come in properly.


Coat Care:  : Because of the double coat of the breed, brushing is essential. Simple Shed and Static Spray as you brush during shedding season, or Aloe Hydrating Spray in between shedding cycles is recommended to help protect the coat.


Show Dog Tips: High Sheen Finishing Spray will add that extra bit of shine before entering the ring while not leaving an oily residue. Aloe Hydrating Spray between shows will keep away dander and keep the coat hydrated and looking its best. Quick Finish Styling Spray helps the coat to dry faster and helps prevent tangles if used regularly. Freeze! Styling Gel while fluffing the coat will add volume where needed in the ring without leaving a sticky residue.


Common Problems: Double coated breeds are prone to hot spots due to their thick dense coats. Shave the area around the hot spot and apply Hot Spot Foam to dry the area out and keep them from licking the wound. 3 in 1 Healing Cream can also be used.


Tools: An Undercoat Rake during shedding season pulls out undercoat while leaving the guard coat. Between shedding cycles brush and comb daily to weekly to keep the coat on good condition.

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