7 Best Brushes for German Shepherds with 5 Simple Brushing Tips

Noble. Courageous. Intelligent. Handsome. That’s the German Shepherd. And, in case you didn’t notice, they have lots of hair that sheds. You need good brush if you have a German Shepherd Dog. In this article we can tell you about:

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  1. Different types of popular German Shepherd brushes.
  2. The best German Shepherd brushes.
  3. And, give you some simple tips for properly brushing a German Shepherd.
  4. Plus, we can answer some frequently asked questions about grooming a German Shepherd.

Ready? Let’s get started.

German Shepherds have been enormously popular ever since they were first developed, a little over 100 years ago. They make good family dogs, they can herd, protect, help the disabled, do search and rescue work, and they have become outstanding police and military dogs. They are smart and easy to train. Most German Shepherds are tan/black or red/black and they usually have a black mask with black body markings. They are medium/large dogs and they do require lots of regular exercise.

Most German Shepherds have a double coat which means they have a thick undercoat and a harsher outer coat that protects them from the elements. Most German Shepherds have a short/medium-length coat but a few have a longer coat. The short/medium length coat with undercoat is also called a “plush” coat. The gene for long hair is recessive so the longer coat is rare. In Germany and the UK, the dogs with long coats are registered but not allowed to compete. In the United States, the AKC allows dogs with long coats to compete but the long coat is considered to be a fault when the dogs are judged.

No matter if your German Shepherd’s coat is short/medium-length or long, he will shed. These dogs are known for shedding heavily year-round. The German Shepherd will “blow coat” or lose his undercoat about twice a year, especially in the spring/summer and changing from fall to winter. This is when your dog may look a little scraggly for a short time while his new coat grows in. You do need to have a good German Shepherd brush for shedding (or more than one) if you have this breed. Regular brushing can help control the shedding so your dog doesn’t leave dead hair all over your home. A shedding rake or undercoat rake for a German Shepherd can also be a good idea, especially when your dog is blowing coat or losing lots of undercoat.

According to some owners, German Shepherds with long coats shed less than German Shepherds with short/medium coats but this is probably because the shed hair gets caught in the thick outer fur. It ends up in the dog’s coat instead of all over your house. German Shepherds with long coats do need to be brushed and groomed more often than dogs with short/medium coats or they will develop tangles and mats.

Different Types of Popular German Shepherd Brushes

There are all kinds of grooming tools you can use on your German Shepherd, depending on his individual coat, the time of year, and other factors. If he’s nearly naked in the spring after blowing his coat, you might not use the same brush that you would use in the middle of winter when he has a big, thick coat. Some of the brushes and other tools you will come across include:

Dematting combs and rakes Good for removing mats and heavy lumps of fur. They usually have evenly spaced metal teeth that let you reach down to the base of the fur. You can loosen up tangles and knots. Some of these combs and rakes are very sharp and will cut so you need to use caution. These are specialized tools that you probably won’t need to use unless your dog has some mats or clumps to work out.

Undercoat and deshedding tools, rakes, and brushes These tools have finer teeth than dematting combs and rakes. They will remove hair from the top coat, too. Some deshedding tools will reduce shedding by up to 90 percent. These tools can reach the undercoat without cutting the top coat. Do use care because some of these tools are very sharp. You will probably use these tools often, especially with a dog like a German Shepherd that sheds a lot.

Slicker brushes, pin brushes, bristle brushes These tools are used on the dog’s top coat. They will remove loose hair and debris on the outer coat and make your dog look smooth and polished. These are also tools that you would use often with a German Shepherd.

Overall Best Brush for a German Shepherd

FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush

Our choice for the best overall dog brush for a German Shepherd is the FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush. It comes in small, medium, and large sizes; and for dogs with short or long hair. The long hair version is the best brush or deshedder for a long-haired German Shepherd. This deshedder has a stainless steel edge so it can reach through your dog’s topcoat to remove loose hair and undercoat without damaging the topcoat or cutting your dog’s skin. The handle is ergonomic so it’s comfortable to hold. When you use this deshedder it can reduce loose hair from shedding up to 90 percent with regular use. Easy to use, comfortable, and very popular, it’s a great choice for German Shepherds.

6 More Top-Rated German Shepherd Dog Brushes

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is one of our top choices for brushes for German Shepherds. We really like this self-cleaning brush because it’s so easy to use and remove the dead hair that you collect from your dog. It gently removes loose undercoat, mats, and tangled hair, knots, dander, and trapped dirt. The bent, fine bristles are effective and gentle, penetrating deep into the undercoat without scratching the skin. When you’re ready to clean the brush, just click the button and the bristles retract, letting the hair wipe off. Durable design features a comfort grip to prevent wrist strain, as well as an anti-slip grip.

Dakpets FURblaster Deshedding & Light Trimming Tool

Dakpets FURblaster Deshedding & Light Trimming Tool is another favorite for German Shepherds. This deshedding tool reduces shedding by up to 90 percent by removing your dog’s dead, loose undercoat and lightly trimming it, stimulating the fur’s natural oils to promote healthier skin and a shiny topcoat. It has a lightweight, ergonomic handle designed by professional pet care experts. The blade is stainless steel, sturdy, and rust-resistant. It has a convenient safety cover to protect the blade. It’s suitable for both long and short-haired dogs.

Groomm Bamboo Double Sided Dog Grooming Brush

If you like to use a more traditional brush or a pin brush to groom your German Shepherd, we can recommend this double-sided grooming brush from Groomm. It’s made from eco-friendly, durable bamboo. One side of the brush has stainless steel pins for the pin brush. The other side feature boar bristles to naturally spread your dog’s skin oils through his coat. Natural wooden brushes are considered to be the best for grooming dogs since they absorb your dog’s skin oils over time. The ergonomic handle is designed for comfort and control.

GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake

The GoPets Dematting Comb with 2-sided Professional Grooming Rake can be used as a rake on both sides. It has a different number of teeth on each side. You can use the side with fewer teeth as a dematting rake for mats and tangles. Or, use the side with more teeth as a detangler, deshedding tool, or undercoat rake. The rounded ends on the teeth help it to be safer so it won’t cut or scratch your dog’s skin. The non-slip silicone gel-filled handle conforms to your hand.

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

The Safari De-Matting Dog Comb is made to gently remove loose hair and eliminate tangles, knots, and dander on dogs with medium to long coat. It has high quality, rust-resistant, stainless steel serrated blades that are sharp enough to cut through mats without pulling on your dog’s hair. The blades have rounded ends to keep your dog’s skin safe. You can groom and massage your dog’s coat with each stroke by increasing blood circulation. The de-matting comb has a comfort-grip, anti-slip rubberized handle that fits easily in your hand. It helps prevent hand and wrist strain.

Andis Premium Deshedding Pet Tool

Andis Premium Deshedding Pet Tool reduces shedding by up to 90 percent with regular use. It won’t damage your dog’s top coat and it removes loose fur easily. This tool is specially made with curved teeth so it won’t scratch or irritate your dog’s skin. It’s lightweight with an ergonomic, soft-grip, anti-slip handle so there’s less hand fatigue for you and you’re less likely to accidentally injure your pet. Andis is a well-known brand that is respected for its quality. Family-owned and operated for over 90 years.

There are other good tools. Most of these companies make their own lines of rakes, deshedders, dematters, and brushes. You might find that you have an affinity for one company and their products. If you have friends with grooming tools, try out some of their things to see what you like.

5 Simple Tips to Properly Brushing a German Shepherd

  1. It’s easiest to brush your German Shepherd when he is standing still. If possible, we suggest you use a grooming table. This is especially helpful if you are trimming nails, cleaning ears, or doing anything else that your dog might find objectionable. Grooming tables have ways to hold dogs in places without hurting them. This lets you groom and work on your dog without accidentally jabbing him or nicking a toenail.
  2. If you don’t have a grooming table, you can use a table top, the top of a crate or kennel, or something similar. It helps if you have a friend who can hold your dog still while you are grooming. It’s always a good idea to have a pocket full of treats so you can reward your dog for cooperating with you. Be generous with the treats and things will go smoother. Lots of praise and soothing words are also recommended.
  3. When you start to brush your German Shepherd, get rid of any mats or knots in the fur first with a dematting rake. You won’t be able to properly brush your dog until the mats are removed. Do use these rakes carefully since they are usually sharp.
  4. Remove the loose hair from the undercoat and top coat with a deshedding tool. Try to do this without damaging the top coat. Most deshedding tools will glide over the top coat without doing any damage but you still need to pay attention to what you’re doing.
  5. Remove the loose fur from the top coat by using a bristle brush, pin brush, or slicker brush. These tools will give the coat a smooth, finished look.

Remember that if you brush your German Shepherd regularly, it will help cut down on the amount of fur that he sheds in the house.

FAQ regarding German Shepherd Brushing/Grooming

How can I get my German Shepherd to shed less? – Your German Shepherd is going to shed no matter what you do. That’s part of their genetics. However, you can reduce the amount of hair that falls around your house if you will brush your dog regularly and use a good deshedding tool such as one of the tools we have described here. A deshedding tool removes the dead, loose hair from your dog’s coat before it has a chance to fall out. They usually have fine teeth like a comb and you use them like a rake or brush.

Many German Shepherd owners also like to use a high velocity dryer after they give their dog a bath. This is a good way to really blow out the coat and get rid of any loose hair. Plus, it dries the coat quickly.

Can German Shepherds be shaved? – You could shave a German Shepherd but then he wouldn’t look anything like he’s supposed to look. And he would probably be pretty miserable. Plus, it would take years for his coat to grow back the way it’s supposed to. It would also make him susceptible to various skin problems such as skin cancer and alopecia, as well as heat stroke. So, that would be a no on shaving your German Shepherd.

Are German Shepherds double coated? – Yes, most of them are. Technically you can find German Shepherds that are longhaired without an undercoat but they are very rare. All of the others – shorthaired, short/medium-haired, and longhairs – have an undercoat, so that makes them double coated.

How often should I brush my German Shepherd? – At least once a week. More often if possible. The more often you brush your German Shepherd, the less trouble you will have with shedding.


German Shepherds are beautiful dogs but they do have a well-earned reputation for shedding. There’s not much you can do to prevent your dog from shedding but you can brush him regularly and use good deshedding tools to help remove the hair before it lands all over your furniture and clothes.

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