Taking care of a German Shepherd involves a lot of things such as taking care of their diet, exercise, grooming, and bathing needs.
Do people have so many questions regarding bathing such as how often should a German Shepherd bath?
So, How to bathe a German Shepherd in 7 simple steps?
There are 7 essential steps to bathe your German Shepherd. These steps involve brushing your dog’s hair, placing them in a bathtub, shampooing your dog, rinsing with water, allow your dog to shake, drying them with towels or blowdryer, and rewarding your German Shepherd.
Nature of a German Shepherd’s coat
German Shepherds have double coats; they have an outercoat and undercoat.
The top layer has guard hair which is wiry and a harsh coat.
Underneath the outercoat, you will find a softer and light-colored layer that is called the undercoat.
These layers combined will regulate body temperature, protect from harmful sun rays, repel water, and protect the skin.
How often should you bathe a German Shepherd?
You don’t have to bathe your German Shepherd every day. The recommended amount for bathing your German Shepherd is once a month so you don’t strip your dog from their natural oil that is in their coat.
There are other factors that affect a German Shepherd bathing such as if your dog goes outside and gets really dirty.
So, you need to actually take into consideration how much your German Shepherd plays outside and gets dirty.
If your German Shepherd gets really dirty, you definitely have to bathe them so they are clean and your house isn’t a mess from all the dirt.
Another factor to look out for is their smell. If they are smelling bad, you definitely have to give them a bath.
The third factor depends on how often you brush your German Shepherd. If you brush your German Shepherd a couple of times throughout the week, there will be less dirt and bugs trapped in your dog’s coat.
Thus, your German Shepherd’s coat will look shiny and clean.
How to bathe a German Shepherd?
To effectively bathe a German Shepherd, you will need supplies with you and to follow specific steps when bathing your German Shepherd.
Supplies you will need
- Several towels (at least 3)
- A sponge ( which is optional)
- Dog shampoo ( not human shampoo)
- A non-slip mat so your dog doesn’t slip
- Blow dryer
Step one: Brush your German Shepherd’s coat
First, brush your German Shepherd’s coat to remove all the tangles and mats from your dog’s coat.
It’s important so no tangles and mats get stuck into your dog’s coat while you bath them making the process easier.
Step two: Place your German Shepherd in the bathtub
Start by placing your German Shepherd in the bathtub so you could give them a bath.
The bathtub is the ideal place so your German Shepherd dog gets wet inside the tub and it will contain all the water dripping.
Also, place the non-slip mate into the bathtub so your German Shepherd is kept balanced and doesn’t slip.
Step three: Apply shampoo on your German Shepherd coat
You have to apply shampoo on your German Shepherd’s coat to clean them easily. Start from the neck and go all the way down.
Use your fingers or a sponge to rub the shampoo in them and clean them effectively.
This is a really important step so you can get through all of your dog’s coat.
Then, rub the shampoo on your dog’s head. Keep the shampoo away from your dog’s eyes and ears so they don’t get hurt.
To prevent shampoo from getting into your dog’s ears, you can use cotton balls in your dog’s ears to stop the shampoo and water from entering your dog’s ears.
Step four: Rinse with water
Rinse your German Shepherd’s coat with water so all the shampoo is washed away.
With the hose pressed on their coat, let the water pass throughout their coat. As the water gets under their skin, it will wash away all of the dirt away.
You have to repeat this step two to three times to make sure all of the soap is washed away effectively.
Step five: Allow your German Shepherd to shake
Release your German Shepherd so they can shake their coat as a way to remove water from their coat.
This is a very important step for your German Shepherd do it.
Step six: Dry your German Shepherd
Using towels, dry your German Shepherd’s coat so they don’t get cold. In the summer, it’s best to use towels to dry your German Shepherd to remove all of the excess water; however, in the winter, it’s best to use a hairdryer to dry their coat out.
It’s important to do so in the winter so your German Shepherd doesn’t get sick or cold from the cold weather.
Make sure that you dry every part of your German Shepherd’s coat.
Don’t forget to brush their hair after you finish drying them so loose hair will fall away and your dog will be shed free for a week.
Step seven: Reward your German Shepherd
Finally, reward your German Shepherd with lots of praise and treats so they feel happy and associate baths as a positive experience.
Any other play activities that your dog love can also be a reward such as tug of war, fetch, and many others.
How to maintain your German Shepherd’s coat?
Because German Shepherds are heavy shedders, you must take care of their coat so they don’t get mats, tangles, dirty, or cause your dog a medical condition.
There are several ways to do so:
1.) Feed your dog a high-quality diet
Feed your German Shepherd a high protein diet that is full of chicken, lamb, and beef kibble will help let your dog maintain a healthy coat.
It will also help your German Shepherd with any of the digestive problems that they have.
2.) Brush your German Shepherd with a rake brush
Brush your German Shepherd daily or at least several times a week.
If your German Shepherd is thick-coated, you may want to choose a metal comb.
It’s an important aspect that you invest in high-quality grooming tools as they will last longer and are durable.
Since your German Shepherd is a heavy shedder, you will have to brush daily to remove any loose fur or coat and minimize shedding.
3.) Use scented clean wipes
Use scented clean wipes to clean your German Shepherd. You can buy them and find them in stores.
These will actually clean up your dog’s coat.
What to do if your German Shepherd hates baths?
1.) Start out with some counterconditioning
If your German Shepherd only time that they get into the bathroom is for a bathe and they are scared, then start by breaking this association.
First, put your dog on a leash and then lead them to the bathroom door. If they don’t freak out, then praise them a lot and offer a treat.
If they are too afraid to even enter, then start by practicing walking your dog passed the door to get them used to see the bathroom.
Again, offer them treats and praise when they finally walked passed the door calmly.
The next step is moving to get your German Shepherd to sit in the bathroom while offering them treats and praise when doing a good job.
You can practice this about 3 times a day each for 5 minutes so your German Shepherd isn’t afraid of the bathroom anymore.
To make the experience more positive, end up with any type of games that your dog likes such as tug of war and fetch.
2.) Acquaint them with the bathtub
Once your German Shepherd is happy to be in the bathroom, you can condition them to sit in the bathtub too.
You can start doing so by dropping treats and toys into the bathtub so your dog will become motivated to get in. When they do sit in the bathtub, praise them a lot.
If by any chance, your German Shepherd doesn’t respond positively to the experience, don’t scold them rather take some steps back and start again.
3.) Pour a little water into the tub
In this step, pour some water into the tub but don’t give your dog a bath. Just let them splash a bit on the bathtub so they get used to the water.
Never force them while they are still experiencing the water so they don’t get scared. Let it take its time.
Depending on their opposition, they will need time before you can bath them; it may take a couple of months before they get used to the water.
Gradually, begin to bathe them as they get more used to the water.
If they still can’t stand the water, there are many other options that you can use for your German Shepherd.
How to clean your German Shepherd without giving them a bath?
There are two ways to clean your German Shepherd without giving them a bath.
These ways don’t involve the use of water to thoroughly clean them up.
The multiple ways method
1.) Use dry shampoo
Purchase dry shampoo or you can make it at home. If you are planning to make it at home, use baking soda and cornstarch to get the odors out of your dog’s fur.
2.) Use waterless shampoo
Then, use a waterless shampoo is one that you can purchase in the form of foam or spray. Use it by simply applying it in your dog’s coat, rub it on, and let it dry without rinsing.
3.) Use wet wipes
You can use wet wipes to clean dirty spots on your dog. This is easily done by finding the dirty spots and cleaning them.
4.) Brush and spray
Fill spray water with lemon and vinegar. Spray it throughout your German Shepherd’s coat and then brush it throughout their coat.
5.) Sprinkle baking soda
Spread baking soda along with your dog’s coat and use a towel to rub it in. This will soak up any bad smell and give your dog a fresh smell.
The Oatmeal clean method
1.) Cook up oatmeal
Get the plain oatmeal and cook it up so you can use it on your dog’s coat.
2.) Spread the oatmeal
Spread it throughout your German Shepherd’s coat and in areas that are stinky and smelly.
3.) Let it dry
Let the mixture dry out throughout your German Shepherd’s coat.
4.) Brush it out
Once the oatmeal is dry, brush it off your dog’s fur. In this step, there will be a mess, so it’s best to do this step in an area that you could easily clean such as the bathroom.
By brushing the oatmeal, you ensure that the dirt is taken away from your dog’s coat.
5.) Use powder
After the oatmeal has been washed, sprinkle baby powder or baking soda all over your dog’s coat.
You also have to be careful that either the baking soda or baby powder doesn’t get inside your German Shepherd’s eyes or breathing passages or eyes.
6.) Brush again
Using a brush, spread the powder or baking soda in your dog’s coat by brushing gently.
It will pull away any oils of your dog’s coat and leave them with a fresh scent.
Should you bathe your German Shepherd if they have fleas?
You have to bathe your German Shepherd if they have fleas. Even though there are a number of ways to get rid of fleas in a German Shepherd, one of the best ways is through giving your German Shepherd a bath.
In the bath, you administer a dog shampoo that is specifically for killing and getting rid of fleas.
Scrub the areas using a loofa or a sponge so you can get to all of your dog’s coat.
Then, rinse all of their coat using a hose to get rid of all of the shampoo on your dog’s coat.
Dry your German Shepherd using towels and a blowdryer so they aren’t wet anymore.
If your vet has prescribed a topical treatment, apply it on your dog’s back two days following the bath. Continue to apply the treatment every three to four weeks to repel fleas and kill their offspring.
Tips on giving your German Shepherd a bath
1.) Take a nice walk first
Let your dog exercise so they release all the energy that they have and feel hot. They will be more likely to want to take a bath from exhaustion after exercising and won’t resist taking a bath.
2.) Don’t rush your dog
If you are rushing your dog, they will not feel relaxed in taking a bath so it’s important to start out slowly and remain calm throughout bathing time.
Take care of how you project yourself because dogs catch up with your energy very easily. So, you have to remain calm for your dog to be calm too.
3.) Make it a fun experience
You can make bathing a fun experience for your dog by bringing out toys as playtime.
By making it a fun experience, your dog will learn to associate it as a positive experience and won’t be afraid.
4.) Get canine assistance
You can get your German Shepherd used to taking baths through the help of another dog. The other dog will help your dog learn how to take a bath. Mainly, by taking a bath with them where your German Shepherd won’t be afraid.
Before taking a bath with another dog, you have to make sure that your German Shepherd knows and is friendly with this dog.
5.) Make the water comfortable
Make sure the water is neither too hot or too cold for your German Shepherd.
If the water is very warm can actually cause shock to your dog.
6.) Begin young
Start young where your German Shepherd is so young. Help your puppy learn while they are young so they get used to it.
7.) Start small
Let your dog get comfortable with the sound of the running water by just first letting their feet and legs become wet.
Keep the steps gradual as your dog gets used to the running water. Don’t give them a bath suddenly.
8.) Get the right shampoo
Consult your vet about the best type of shampoo. Never use human shampoo on your dog; instead, use a dog shampoo.
Depending on your dog’s skin and coat type, your vet will recommend a specific shampoo suitable for them.
9.) Stop water from entering your dog’s ears and eyes
Ask your vet about a specific eye ointment for their eyes so water doesn’t enter in their eyes. Also, get cotton balls to put it on your dog’s ears so again water doesn’t enter their ears.
Just make sure you take these things off after your dog’s bath.
10.) Block the drain
Block the drain to prevent dog hair from plugging the drain. Your dog will shed a lot of hair, especially as a German Shepherd, so you got to make sure that they don’t get the drain blocked.
It’s important to give your German Shepherd a bath so they stay clean. However, Don’t over bathe your German Shepherd so they don’t get dry and itchy skin.
Using these simple 7 steps, you can easily bathe your German Shepherd so they can become clean at times that they require to get a bath.
To know more about the best ways to stop German Shepherd biting, check Top 10 Ways to Stop German Shepherd Puppy Biting.