How to Brush a German Shepherd Like a Boss

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Do you want to learn how to brush a German Shepherd so professionally that compliments rain down on your skills?

I’ll let you in on the easiest brushing tips and show you the simple tools I use to make your dog look like he’s show quality ready and picture-perfect.

All without breaking your bank or stressing you out.

Let’s get right into the only brushing how-to guide you’ll ever need.

How Often Should You Brush a German Shepherd?

how often to brush a german shepherd

Brush your dog at least 3 to 4 times a week for 10 minutes each session. During the coat blowing season in spring and fall, daily brushing of at least 10 to 15 minutes is preferred. At each brushing session make sure you pay special attention to areas prone to clumping, like under the belly, the back of the legs, length of the tail, and behind their ears.

A GSD is a double-coated breed that needs routine grooming. If your dog is very active and outdoors a lot, make sure you brush more regularly.

Follow these 3 German Shepherd brushing tips to decrease shedding and help your dog stay healthy.

  • brush regularly
  • brush for a set time
  • choose the right tools for brushing

German Shepherd Brushing Schedule for Adults and Puppies

german shepherd brushing schedule
Regular Schedule for an Adult or Puppy Blowing Coat Schedule — Spring, Fall (for about 2 weeks)
At least 3-4 times a week for 5-10 minutes each time.At least 10-15 minutes daily for the time your dog blows their coat.

Don’t neglect to brush or you wind up with a mess of dog fur and unhealthy skin! Keeping to a brushing schedule and routine helps you to stay on top of your German Shepherd’s health and to catch issues before they become big problems.

Does Brushing My German Shepherd Decrease Shedding?

Yes, brushing your German Shepherd can help decrease shedding because the brush catches dead hair before it reaches your carpets, clothes, or furniture. A proper brushing routine keeps shedding to a minimum when done regularly. In addition, use a grooming spray, along with a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and supplement for optimum results to decrease shedding.

How to Brush a German Shepherd Dog and Puppy

how to brush a german shepherd dog and puppy at home

It doesn’t take much time to get your GSD model ready.

Set out all of your supplies beforehand to make brushing easier on you and your dog. You don’t need fancy brushes, but you will need the basics.

Brushing an energetic German Shepherd puppy can become especially hard as they wiggle and squirm, so arm yourself with a bag of tasty treats to convince them to stay still while you brush them.

1. Start brushing with the undercoat rake from the back and hindquarters.

This helps anxious dogs to remain calm. Go over the body areas multiple times with longer, lighter strokes. Use the undercoat rake to go through the hair on the chest, sides, legs, and belly. You want to remove as much loose fur as possible with the undercoat rake brush.

2. Use the grooming spray to loosen clumps of fur if you’re having issues with a smooth brush out.

The brush should glide easily after a quick spray down with the grooming solution. This also helps give your dog more comfort as the spray makes hair smooth and soft, so it’s easier to brush.

3. Next, use the pin brush on thicker areas of hair.

Thick hair areas, such as around the neck, back of the legs, and belly areas, are where you need to pay close attention because the hair tends to get easily overlooked since it’s thicker. Use light pressure to avoid any scratching.

4. Go over the hair with the bristle brush.

The bristle brush distributes the natural oils while being gentle on the skin. It also has rounded tips to avoid any scratching on delicate fur on one side, and on the other has smooth bristles.

Use both sides of the brush. The pin side separates hair and any tangles, while the softer side smooths out the fur and gives the coat a glossy luster when used regularly.

5. Finally, take your comb and run the comb through all the hair.

A comb helps to ensure you have left no spots left unbrushed, and gives you a hand in smaller areas like the face. Finish with a spritz of grooming spray to help freshen up your German Shepherd and give a mirror shine.

You can step back and admire your show-stopping brushing work. Get ready to receive compliments as you walk your dog through your neighborhood and town.

Next, read about what tools work best for your German Shepherd.

Best German Shepherd Brush Guide

Tool Best For Helpful Tip
Undercoat rake brushEveryday groomingGreat all-season tool
Dual-sided pin and bristle brushThicker coats and adding shineUse the softer bristle side for extended brushing since it’s soft and gentle
Zoom GroomDistributes shampoo and remove loose hairWorks great to remove hair off furniture and can use the brush both wet and dry
Metal combFor detailed work around the face and pawsBuy a comb with rounded end tips for sensitive skin GSDs
Grooming sprayDaily use to increase shine, makes brushing easierApply to hard to brush areas to add slip to your grooming tool and shine to their coats

The Shepherd’s fur naturally doesn’t mat and tangle. The hair can clump, but combs out easily and doesn’t need harsh tools to maintain a healthy coat.

While they’re known as a high shedding breed, their coats are low odor and easily maintained through a brushing routine.

The Undercoat Rake Brush: Your New Favorite Tool!

undercoat rake brush
Number 1 Priority Tool

If you can only afford one grooming tool in your kit, then the undercoat rake brush is it!

The undercoat rake is my go-to everyday brush.

It’s built with safety and health in mind. The wide pins ease their way through knots and soften coats by removing the dead hair.

Undercoat rake tools are so safe and gentle you will use them daily. My GSD prefers the rake tool to all the other grooming tools.

This is the first tool you need to start your grooming. And it’s a great idea to have more than one in your home.

Use the FURminator brand undercoat rake. It’s the only model I know of that has pins that rotate to decrease skin irritation and remove mats of fur.

I’m amazed at how much hair this rake brush pulls out! Within 5-minutes there’s a bag full of fur!

You can’t go wrong using this rake since your GSD has a thick undercoat that needs proper maintenance to stay healthy.

The Zoom Groom: A Multipurpose Wet/Dry Tool

zoom groom
Great for both dry and wet use!

The bathing brush works great for getting shampoo and conditioner onto the skin of Shepherds.

They make this tool for sensitive skin. Which we know describes most Shepherd owners.

Massaging bristles work through deep undercoats to work products into the coat and hair without discomfort.

With gentle rubber tips, this tool is great for brushing German Shepherd puppies, especially!

If your puppy or dog doesn’t tolerate any of the regular brushes, then use the gentle and soft rubber Zoom Groom to introduce them to a brushing routine and decrease their anxiety.

You’ll be surprised how well your German Shepherd puppy tolerates and even enjoys brushing with the Zoom groom!

This tool is the gentlest you can use on your GSD’s skin and fur.

The Dual-Sided Pin Brush: For Thick Fur and Longer Brushing Sessions

dual sided pin and bristle brush
The double-side pin brush is great for puppies and adults.

The dual-sided pin brush allows you to both comb through thick areas of fur and offers your dog gentle brushing for longer grooming sessions.

First, remember to brush through the coat with the pin side to loosen and remove dead hair. The pin brush works best after using the undercoat rake since the undercoat rake removes so much fur first.

Once you’ve made sure the longer layers of hair, such as around the neck, behind the ears, on the belly, and behind the back legs is clump-free from using the pin brush, flip the brush over for the nylon bristle side.

You’ll want a dual-sided pin brush to save yourself money. This is the pin and bristle brush that the professional groomer’s use.

The metal pin side has safety tips to decrease the chance of irritation on your dog’s skin. Gentle brushes are paramount when learning how to brush your German Shepherd because they help you not injure your dog’s skin.

A Simple Metal Comb: The Finishing Touches

metal brushing comb
This metal comb ensures a perfect, professional finish.

The metal comb is great for clumped hair and providing the final touch.

Use this inexpensive Andis metal comb because it glides effortlessly through the fur without harming the skin.

Start at the tip of the fur and work upward to the base of the hair through areas that are more delicate, such as behind the ears, on the legs and paws, and the inside of the legs and belly.

Don’t take the comb and start pulling at the base of the fur near the skin because this is painful to your dog if they have a clump of hair.

Use the metal comb to make a once-over of your dog to ensure you’ve gotten all the clumped hair out.

A comb doesn’t lie.

What do I mean?

If you’ve left any clumps behind, the comb won’t make it through the fur.

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.

How Do I Get a Mirror Shine on My Dog’s Coat?

Here’s a trick if you want to learn how to add extra shine to your German Shepherd’s coat.

Use a grooming spray that leaves a glossy shine and conditions dry skin for a professional shine on your GSD.

When you use the spray on your dog, you’ll get told what great care you give your dog because their coat looks so shiny and healthy!

Benefits of Brushing

german shepherd brushing benefits

Some GSD owners overlook routine care for their dogs.

But a GSD’s health depends in part on its brushing. Regular brushing prevents excessive hair-drop onto your floors, furniture, and clothes.

Brushing keeps your dog’s skin and coat in good condition.

Grooming acts as a light massage. Massage is a natural way to release stress for your pet. And less stress helps your dog feel relaxed and happy.

A brush also helps distribute natural oils produced by the skin. This leaves your dog’s coat looking shiny and glossy.

With regular brushing, you remove the shedding undercoat. This ensures ideal airflow through your dog’s coat and avoids matting.

Brushing is a time for bonding! Use your time while brushing your German Shepherd to talk to your pet and increase your bond.

Take your time and don’t rush.


Keeps skin and coat in condition

Brushing has the benefit of keeping dead fur off the skin. This allows the skin to breathe.


Provides a relaxing massage

Brushing is a light massage for your dog. It helps relax your dog. A relaxed dog is a happy dog.


Helps with bonding time

Brushing gives you and your dog time to bond. Talk to your dog in a soothing tone.

German Shepherd Brushing Tips

german shepherd brushing tips

After years of owning GSDs I’ve come up with simple tips to make brushing a breeze.

Here are the brushing tips that will help you the most:

  • Use the grooming spray to help tease out clumps. A light spray before brushing also gives the fur more slip, so that your tools glide easier.
  • Use long, smooth strokes. Don’t apply downward pressure as you brush. Pressing too hard can dig the tool into your dog’s skin. This is uncomfortable for your pet and damages their skin.
  • A metal comb is the best tool for detailed areas. Like the face, ears, and paws. Use small strokes to pull out the dead hair and make sure the hair is smooth.
  • As you’re grooming, check the skin and coat. Look for signs of fleas and ticks or bite marks. Feel for lumps and bumps. Check with your vet and seek help when you find these items.
  • Develop a routine for properly brushing your German Shepherd. You’ll enjoy how much better your dog’s coat looks and feels!
  • Include a supplement to decrease shedding that also improves coat and skin health.

If you’re thinking of brushing your German Shepherd with a Furminator, then the following information will produce the best results.

Does the FURminator work on German Shepherds?

does the furminator work on german shepherds

Yes! A FURminator works on German Shepherds. Purchase the large FURmintor to ensure you get the most hair removal for your GSD.

The FURminator is a tool that removes dead hair in large amounts and is popular and widely available. But, there are some disadvantages of using the FURminator.

FURminator Cons

  • FURminators pull at the fur, which can aggravate a Shepherd’s sensitive skin.
  • Repeated use can cause hot spots.
  • Depending on your GSDs coat length, a FURminator may not be the right tool.
  • This tool isn’t recommended by groomers for daily use.
  • Improper use of the FURminator results in a coat that tears the top layer and scratches the skin.

FURminator Pros

  • The FURminator pulls out the dead undercoat, leaving a shiny topcoat.
  • Only need to use the tool once every 30 days (or less) to remove the dead hair.
  • It allows the skin to breathe and air out by removing so much of the dense under layer.
  • An ejector button allows for quick release to clean the tool.

FURminator Tips

Learn the proper way to use this tool to avoid damage to your GSDs beautiful coat.

Use these tips for better grooming with the FURminator:

  • Work the tool in the natural direction of the coat growth.
  • Take care not to sink the comb too far into a dense coat.
  • Use light pressure. Repeated digging could injure the skin.
  • Tugging on a thick or tangled coat is uncomfortable for the dog. So, don’t jerk or tug the hair.
  • Take your time. You could rip the fur or damage the coat in a rush.

I’ve got a helpful article if you want to know how you can help decrease shedding in your German Shepherd even more so than brushing alone.

How to Properly Brush a German Shepherd at Home

Set aside a few days a week to learn how to brush your German Shepherd properly.

Stick to a regular brushing routine and use tools that work for your German Shepherd’s coat. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on professional grooming when you can give your dog a similar experience at home. Your German Shepherd’s coat will stay healthy and shiny with minimal effort once you stick to a routine and use the correct tools.

With the right tools for the job, your work will be quicker and your Shepherd happier!

Learning how to brush a German Shepherd puppy or dog is easy when you know the right way and have the right tools.

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