German Shepherd Shampoo: Best Dog Shampoos for German Shepherds

Not only is the German Shepherd one of the most popular dog breeds out there, but they are also one of the smartest. Frequently used for military and police work, this breed also makes a wonderful family companion due to their protective nature and love for children.

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The German Shepherd is a large breed with a medium-length double coat. They shed quite a bit throughout the year and shed their undercoat more heavily in the spring and fall. To keep your German Shepherd’s coat healthy and thick, regular grooming and bathing is recommended.

Keep reading to learn more about caring for your German Shepherd’s beautiful coat. You’ll also find helpful tips for choosing the best German Shepherd shampoo and our top 5 picks.

What to Look for in a Top-Rated German Shepherd Shampoo

Grooming your German Shepherd on a regular basis is the best way to control shedding while also keeping his skin and coat healthy. Not only does brushing remove some of the loose and dead hairs from his undercoat, but it helps distribute the natural oils produced in the skin which keeps your dog’s skin moisturized and his coat shiny. With a harsh outer coat and a softer undercoat, the German Shepherd can withstand cold temperatures as long as his coat is kept clean and healthy.

Generally speaking, the German Shepherd isn’t prone to many skin problems. The only major concern is the risk for food allergies which, in dogs, typically present with skin-related symptoms. If your dog experiences recurrent ear infections or develops dry, itchy skin with patches of hair loss or hot spots, it could be a sign of a food allergy. Switching your dog to a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet is the best way to treat food allergies, though using a medicated shampoo can help heal and rejuvenate the skin during the process.

When it comes to choosing a shampoo for German Shepherds, there are several things to think about. Here are some qualities to look for:

  • Natural Ingredients – If your German Shepherd has sensitive skin, a shampoo made with natural ingredients is a must. Avoid things like paraben, phosphates, and sulfates and other chemicals.
  • Deodorizing – Bathing your German Shepherd every 8 to 12 weeks means that he may develop a bit of a “dog” smell between baths. Choosing a shampoo that contains deodorizing agents will help keep him fresh in between.
  • Moisturizing – Keeping your German Shepherd’s skin and coat moisturized is very important, so choose a shampoo that contains natural moisturizing agents like oatmeal and aloe vera. This is particularly important if your dog is recovering from food allergies or skin infection.
  • pH Balanced – A dog’s skin has a different pH than human skin – it is around 6.5 to 7.5, so choose a shampoo that is pH-balanced for dogs.

Conditioner – Because you may not bathe your German Shepherd more than every couple of months, choosing a shampoo that also conditions his coat may be beneficial. You can also find stand-alone conditioners and leave-in conditioners for dogs.

Understanding your German Shepherd’s needs is the best way to make decision about the best shampoo for German Shepherd. Think about whether your dog needs a medicated shampoo to deal with skin infections, a moisturizing shampoo to soothe and heal the skin, or a general-purpose shampoo to give him a quick clean. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of dog shampoo.

Different Types of Shampoos for German Shepherds

Now that you know what to look for in a shampoo for German Shepherds, you may be wondering what kinds of shampoo are out there. There are many different types of dog shampoo, each with their own benefits, so you’ll need to understand your dog’s individual needs before you make your selection.

Here is an overview of some of the different kinds of dog shampoo:

  • General Purpose – This is your everyday shampoo that you can use to clean your German Shepherd’s skin and coat. Choose the shampoo based on the properties your dog’s needs most – moisturizing, deodorizing, etc.
  • Flea and Tick – If you don’t use monthly flea and tick preventives, or if you live in an area where fleas are very common, you may need to give your dog the occasional flea and tick bath using this kind of shampoo.
  • Puppy Shampoo – Made with extra-gentle ingredients and designed not to irritate your puppy’s nose and eyes, puppy shampoo is the best option to use until your German Shepherd is about a year old.
  • Medicated – This type of shampoo often offers antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial benefits to help with the treatment of skin infections.
  • Black Shampoo – This is a type of shampoo developed specifically for dogs with black coats to enhance their coloration. If you have an all-black or mostly black German Shepherd, you might consider it.

Throughout your German Shepherd’s life, you may need to use several different kinds of shampoos. You should have a general-purpose shampoo on hand for regular bathing and other options available as needed. Keep reading to see our top 6 picks for the best German Shepherd shampoo.

The 6 Best Dog Shampoos for German Shepherds

The best dog shampoo for German Shepherds is made from natural ingredients with gentle cleansing agents. It should also deodorize and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat to keep him feeling and smelling fresh between baths. Here are some of our top picks:

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo

Overall Best German Shepherd Dog Shampoo: If you’re looking for a general-purpose dog shampoo that also conditions to keep your German Shepherd’s skin and coat healthy between baths, try Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Shampoo. This 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is made with pure botanical extracts in an all-natural, soap-free recipe that creates a thick, luxurious lather for a deep clean. This shampoo will leave your dog’s skin feeling moisturized and his coat silky and shiny. It is alcohol-free and scented with lavender and mint to ensure a soothing bath time experience for both you and your pup.

  • Pros: Natural soap-free recipe, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, rich lather, leaves coat silky and shiny, pure botanical extracts, natural conditioners, natural deodorizer
  • Cons: Scent doesn’t last after the bath

Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo

Best Shampoo for German Shepherd Puppies: For an all-natural puppy shampoo that will be gentle on your German Shepherd puppy’s sensitive skin, try this Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Shampoo. This shampoo features a tearless, soap-free formula that is also pH-balanced for puppies. It is gentle on sensitive skin and contains soothing aloe vera to relieve itching and dryness. This shampoo is 100% biodegradable as well as paraben- and phosphate-free, plus it leaves behind a fresh cherry scent. It is also safe to use with topical flea and tick treatments, so you don’t have to worry about washing them off.

  • Pros: Ultra-mild for sensitive puppy skin, soap-free cleaners, pH-balanced, soothing aloe vera, 100% biodegradable, free from paraben and phosphates, wild cherry scent
  • Cons: Some dogs dislike the scent, scent may fade quickly after the bath

Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner

Best Shampoo for Sensitive Skin: If your German Shepherd has sensitive skin, this Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner is the perfect choice. Not only is it hypoallergenic to reduce the risk of skin reactions, but it is an ultra-moisturizing formula made with natural ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, and almond oil. This recipe is soap-free and designed to cleanse and condition your dog’s skin and coat, helping to keep it softer and shinier for weeks on end. This shampoo is also designed to relieve dry, itchy skin and it contains no artificial colors, fragrances, or chemical ingredients.

  • Pros: Hypoallergenic formula, soap-free and detergent-free, natural moisturizing ingredients, made in the USA, cleanses and conditions
  • Cons: May not resolve skin infections, may be somewhat thin and difficult to lather

More Top-Rated Dog Shampoos for German Shepherds

FURminator Deshedding Ultra-Premium Shampoo

Designed specifically to control shedding, this Ultra-Premium Shampoo is a great option for your German Shepherd. In addition to improving skin and coat health to naturally reduce shedding, it also cleans and conditions. This shampoo features a natural blend of ingredients and is enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as natural plant extracts. Plus, it is paraben-free and made in the USA.


Jax N Daisy Antifungal & Antibacterial Dog Shampoo

German Shepherds are prone to food allergies and other skin problems which may require special shampoo. This Jax N Daisy Antifungal & Antibacterial Dog Shampoo is made with moisturizing ingredients in a gentle, natural formula that offers antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic benefits. This shampoo features lemon oil, witch hazel, and other botanical oils to condition your dog’s skin and to leave him smelling fresh. It is made in the USA with all-natural ingredients and enriched with skin- and coat-supporting vitamins A, D, and E.

5 Tips for Bathing a German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is an active breed that excels in many dog sports. This being the case, these dogs have the potential to get themselves pretty dirty. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need frequent baths to keep him clean. When it comes to maintaining the health and quality of your German Shepherd’s skin and coat, however, he should only need a bath every 8 to 12 weeks.

Here are some general tips for bathing your German Shepherd:

  1. Always brush your dog thoroughly before a bath to remove dead and loose hairs – this is especially important in the spring and fall when your dog is blowing his undercoat.
  2. Avoid bathing your German Shepherd too often because it could make his skin dry and flaky – the only times you need to bathe more than every 8 to 12 weeks is if he gets dirty or gets fleas.
  3. Be very careful not to get your German Shepherd’s ears wet during a bath – this breed has very deep ears which means that moisture can get trapped, increasing the risk for an ear infection.
  4. Take your time when lathering up the shampoo and working it into your dog’s coat – German Shepherds have very thick, coarse hair so it could take extra time to work the shampoo in and to rinse it out.
  5. Use a handheld sprayer to rinse your dog’s coat because the pressure will help remove the soap more quickly – when you think you’ve gotten it all, run your hand along the dog’s coat to check for residue.

Bathing a German Shepherd is not necessarily a difficult task, but it will take some time for you to learn how to do it properly and for your dog to get used to the treatment. Start early with your puppy so he becomes comfortable in the bathtub and don’t be afraid to use a few (small) treats for encouragement.


How often should a German Shepherd be bathed? – Recommendations vary greatly in regard to how often a German Shepherd should be bathed. Some dog owners bathe their dogs every 4 to 6 weeks regardless of breed but many German Shepherd breeder recommend waiting several months between baths, as long as your dog doesn’t get too dirty in the meantime. The German Shepherd has a thick double coat which protects his skin and bathing too often could strip the natural oils that moisturize the skin. Bathe your German Shepherd as often as you need to in order to keep his skin and coat healthy.

How can I make my German Shepherd smell better? – Because you want to avoid bathing your German Shepherd too often, you may need to take action between baths to keep him smelling fresh. One option is dry shampoo for dogs – you can apply it before or after brushing your dog to give him a fresh scent. You may also want to clean his ears on a regular basis because bacteria can cause ear infections that produce odor. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and washing his bedding will also help with the smell.

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