German Shepherds are known to have very thick and fluffy coats. Their coats are considered double coats, meaning they have a top guard coat and an undercoat. This comes in handy for keeping their temperature regulated for all types of weather.
Their coat often sheds and changes so they can adapt to their environment, which is called blowing their coat. You may be wondering, when do German Shepherds blow their coats?
When Do German Shepherds Blow Their Coats?
German Shepherds will blow their coats twice a year, once after summer to shed their summer coat, and then once after winter to shed their winter coat. The coat that is shedding off is their undercoat, while the top coat stays intact.
Their coat won’t just disappear all at once, even though it may seem like it to you. It will gradually come out in a period that can range from a few days to a few weeks, but typically won’t last much longer than that. The coat blowing period will result in a lot of hair, everywhere, all the time.
It can be more excessive for female German Shepherds if their shedding season lines up with their heat cycle. Sometimes the imbalance of hormones will cause extra shedding on top of them already shedding a lot.
What Does Blowing Their Coat Look Like?
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to tell if they’re starting to blow their coat, then you likely haven’t experienced it yet. The starting sign is small clumps of hair falling out at a time, and then the clumps gradually start becoming bigger.
Soon, you won’t be able to tell where their hair ends and your carpet begins! German Shepherds are notorious for shedding on a regular basis, and it becomes much more intense when they start to blow their coat.
Some owners have said that they have filled trash bags worth of their German Shepherd’s hair on a daily basis during this period. It truly seems like their hair is never ending, but remember, it’ll only last a few weeks then back to their normal shedding schedule!
You may be able to keep pulling clumps of hair out at a time when you’re petting them. There have been some posts on the Internet of owners making their dogs a fake dog-sized friend out of their own fur that sheds off.
What to Do When They Blow Their Coat?
The best thing you can do for your German Shepherd during this time is to brush them. You’ll want to brush them more often than you normally do, so about 4-5 times a day, at least.
Brushing will prevent all the extra fur from getting matted and twisted with their healthy fur. It will make your dog feel lighter and help keep fleas or ticks from being able to make a nest in their fur. Be careful though, you don’t want to overbrush your German Shepherd and potentially scratch their skin.
You can always use a blow dryer to blow away the dead hair. But no matter what, do not shave your dog while they are shedding. Their coat protects their skin and shaving could potentially cause even more shed in the end.
Another thing you’ll want to do is clean your house, and then clean some more. Invest in a heavy duty vacuum and also a broom and dustpan to keep your floors free of all the hair that’s going to be flying around.
Is Blowing a Coat Messier Than Normal Shedding?
Yes, it is much messier than normal shedding. Blowing a coat means they are shedding all of the fur on their body all at once in a short period of time, making for a bigger mess than usual. As mentioned, German Shepherds are messy shedders on a normal basis.
If you’re worried about them making a mess with their fur, you’re never going to be able to avoid it and will probably have to sweep or vacuum once every day to maintain a clean home. The main difference between a coat blow and regular shedding is the amount at one time.
During a coat blow, the fur is coming out in clumps and fistfuls, while regular shedding is usually just a few strands at a time.
Blowing a coat happens in all dogs that have a double coat, so if you’re looking to get a dog but don’t want to have to deal with all the excess shedding, make sure to reach dogs with single coats.
Will I Need a Groomer?
You can do the grooming by yourself, but you may not have the time or energy to keep up with the demands that a German Shepherd with a blowing coat requires.
Some owners recommend taking your German Shepherd to a groomer once a month to make their shedding season less intense, but others say that it’s the same intensity no matter what because of the amount of fur that they have.
You are able to take them to the groomer when their coat starts blowing. Groomers typically have stronger grade tools that will ease your dog into the process and help them de-shed a little faster. They have actual de-shedders and can properly use them, as well as blow dryers and high quality brushes.
If it’s your first time experiencing your German Shepherd blowing coat and you’re overwhelmed by the amount of hair, go ahead and take them to a groomer. They’ll be able to help you out and maybe even teach you how to handle it the next time it comes around.
German Shepherds are a great pet to have. They are equal parts loving and hairy, especially when they start to blow their coats. You may be walking behind them with a garbage bag to collect all of the hair a few weeks out of the year.
Along with picking up all the fur, you’ll also have to brush them, and then brush them one more time. If you get overwhelmed, this is normal and a groomer can always come to your aid during this time.