The Best Brush for German Shepherd Grooming (Top 10 in 2021)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Brush Overall: Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
“This brush is designed to penetrate into the undercoat and remove tangles effectively. The bristles are soft and gentle on your dog’s skin, allowing increased blood circulation for a healthier skin & coat.”

Best Value for Money: Hartz Groomer’s Detangling Dog Brush
“Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Detangling Dog Brush has a pin brush with stainless steel pins on one side and nylon bristles on the other. It’s an efficient brush that gives you two grooming tools in one at an affordable price.”

Most Eco-Friendly Brush: BioSilk Eco-Friendly Bristle Brush
“The BioSilk bristle brush has an unusual spiral design and a flexible, easy-to-use ergonomic handle. It is made from sustainable materials allowing you to keep your dog clean without feeling guilty for the environment.”

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German Shepherds have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming. It’s one of the things that potential dog owners need to consider before picking this particular breed for a pet. But even if you’re not a big fan of personally grooming your pooch, this task can be made a lot easier when you have the right tools at hand.

Product Name
Most Eco-Friendly Brush
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush – Gently Removes Loose Undercoat, Mats and Tangled Hair – Your Dog or Cat Will Love Being Brushed with The Grooming Brush
Hartz Groomer's Best Combo Detangling Dog Brush
BioSilk for Dogs Eco-Friendly Boar Hair Bristle Brush in Mint Green | Easy to Hold Ergonomic Handle Dog Brush for Shedding | Best Pet Brush for Dog Grooming
Our Grade
Our Rating 96/100
Our Rating 94/100
Our Rating 93/100
Feature 1
Designed to penetrate into the undercoat and remove tangles
Efficient dual-purpose brush for your German shepherd that's available at the price of one
Environmentally-friendly, made with plant-based materials
Feature 2
Highly durable, as the wires get stored away when not in use
Nylon bristles distribute natural oils well
Unique Spiral Flex technology allows it to reach difficult contours of your dog's body
Best Brush Overall
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush – Gently Removes Loose Undercoat, Mats and Tangled Hair – Your Dog or Cat Will Love Being Brushed with The Grooming Brush
Our Grade
Our Rating 96/100
Feature 1
Designed to penetrate into the undercoat and remove tangles
Feature 2
Highly durable, as the wires get stored away when not in use
Custom Button
Best Value for Money
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Hartz Groomer's Best Combo Detangling Dog Brush
Our Grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Efficient dual-purpose brush for your German shepherd that's available at the price of one
Feature 2
Nylon bristles distribute natural oils well
Custom Button
Most Eco-Friendly Brush
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
BioSilk for Dogs Eco-Friendly Boar Hair Bristle Brush in Mint Green | Easy to Hold Ergonomic Handle Dog Brush for Shedding | Best Pet Brush for Dog Grooming
Our Grade
Our Rating 93/100
Feature 1
Environmentally-friendly, made with plant-based materials
Feature 2
Unique Spiral Flex technology allows it to reach difficult contours of your dog's body
Custom Button
Sources researched
15
Sources researched
Customer reviews
14,280
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
16
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Brush for German Shepherd Grooming

Here are our top recommendations for the best brush for German Shepherds:

  1. Best Brush Overall: Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
  2. Best Value for Money: Hartz Groomer’s Detangling Dog Brush
  3. Most Eco-Friendly: BioSilk Eco-Friendly Bristle Brush
  4. Most Ergonomic Brush: Chris Christensen Big G Slicker
  5. Best Dual-Action Brush: Burt’s Bees Pin and Hemp Bristle Dog Brush
  6. Best Deshedding Brush: Pet Neat 2-Sided Pet Grooming Tool
  7. Best Massage Brush: Glendan Slicker Pet Grooming Brush
  8. Best Professional-Grade Brush: Paw Brothers Pin Slicker Brush
  9. Best for Large Dogs: Miracle Coat Slicker Dog Brush
  10. Most Convenient Brush: ConairPRO Boar Bristle Brush

1. Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

Best Brush Overall: Gentle, effective brush that removes your german shepherd’s loose undercoat and eliminates tangled hair

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Easy to clean thanks to the retractable wires 
  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable brushing 
  • Designed to penetrate into the undercoat and remove tangles 
  • Highly durable, as the wires get stored away when not in use

CONS

  • If you use it regularly and aren’t careful, the button to retract the wires may stop working 
  • May not be suitable for dogs with a short coat (if you have other dogs)

The Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is super effective for removing loose hair in the undercoat. It has an ergonomic handle that allows you to brush your pooch for hours without straining your wrist.

It reaches deep into German Shpeherds’ long coat to get rid of underlying knots while fluffing the top coat at the same time.

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Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush 

We love that this is a self cleaning slicker brush. It’s incredibly easy to clean. Simply press the button to retract the stainless steel wires, and sweep away any loose hair that’s left on the brush. 

2. Hartz Groomer’s Detangling Dog Brush

Best Value for Money: Efficient dual-purpose brush for your German shepherd that’s available at the price of one

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Dual-action brush for the price of one
  • Ergonomic handle for ease of use 
  • Nylon bristles distribute natural oils evenly for a healthier skin 
  • Stainless steel pins with safety tips that gently massages your German shepherd’s skin

CONS

  • Not the most effective for removing tangles in the undercoat

Hartz Groomer's Brush gives you two grooming tools in one. One side features a pin brush with stainless steel pins, and they’re capped with flat tips to protect your German Shepherd from being scratched while you’re brushing. The other side has soft nylon bristles that softens the top coat for a better shine. 

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Great for Top Coat 

This combination grooming tool is a good one to have for German Shepherds with a short-haired coat. It would still help a dog with a long coat, but won’t work through tangles in the undercoat. 

It would be an excellent addition to your German Shepherd grooming kit along with an undercoat rake and/or de-shedding brush.

3. BioSilk Eco-Friendly Bristle Brush

Most Eco-Friendly Brush: Innovative brush made from sustainable materials that good for your dog as well as the environment

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Environmentally-friendly brush, made with plant-based materials 
  • Unique Spiral Flex technology allows it to reach difficult contours of your dog’s body
  • Carefully designed ergonomic handle to prevent wrist strain while brushing 

CONS

  • For dogs with extremely thick fur, this may be too flexible

If buying sustainable products is important to you, then the BioSilk for Dogs Brush is perfect for you and your pooch.

It’s crafted from plant-based materials that effectively removes your German shepherd’s loose hair. The boar hair bristles follows the contours of your dog’s body for a more effective deshedding experience.

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Flexible Design 

The unusual spiral design and easy-to-use ergonomic handle are extremely flexible. This means you can reach almost anywhere on your German Shepherd’s coat without trouble. 

This brush takes care of your tangles and knots while also giving your German Shepherd a light massage, stimulate their blood flow, and give their coat a lovely shine.

4. Chris Christensen Big G Slicker

Most Ergonomic Brush: Has unique groomgrip feature that allows comfortable brushing

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Big enough for a large breed dog 
  • Long, bent pins for best effectiveness 
  • Long, ergonomic grip 
  • Works undercoat and fluffs guard coat

CONS

  • May not be suitable for German Shepherds with a short coat

The Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush features long, densely-packed stainless steel wires for deep undercoat grooming.

It has a unique feature that allows you to hold the brush firmly as you clean your dog, removing the tangled knots and loose hair effectively without straining your wrist.

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Big Enough for German Shepherds and other Large Breed Dog 

Pet grooming can be tough when you have a big dog and a small brush! A dog the size of a German Shepherd needs something bigger to be groomed effectively and quickly.

The stainless steel pins are long enough to reach deep, and are 40% more dense than others. A bigger surface area means pressure is distributed more evenly, reducing discomfort for both you and your German shepherd.

5. Burt’s Bees Pin and Hemp Bristle Dog Brush

Best Dual-Action Brush: Double-sided brush that effectively removes debris and restore softness to your dog’s coat

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Absorbs and distributes natural oils on your dog’s skin 
  • Made from bamboo and recycled materials that’s safe for the environment
  • Hemp bristles restore softness and add shine to your dog’s coat

CONS

  • Whichever brush you choose, you most likely won’t be able to remove tangles and groom the guard coat

The Burt's Bees Brush is an environment-friendly brush. Its wooden design is great for adding extra shine on your dog’s coat. The wood absorbs natural oils in their coat and spreads them across the fur, making it look sleek, glossy, and luxurious. 

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Eco-Friendly and Dog-Friendly 

This brush is made from bamboo and recycled materials, and feature stainless steel pins or hemp bristles. You can groom your German Shepherd guilt-free, knowing that it’s easy on his coat and skin and the environment too.

6. Pet Neat 2-Sided Pet Grooming Tool

Best Deshedding Brush: Designed for taking care of stubborn mats and tangles, reducing shedding by 95%

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Safe, rounded stainless steel teeth that’s gentle on your German shepherd’s skin 
  • 2-in-1 dual head for best de-shedding versatility 
  • TPR non-slip handle for a better grip when cleaning
  • Cuts through tough knots and tangles

CONS

  • This de-matting tool for german shepherds can be quite heavy

De-shedding tools are an essential part of a grooming kit. The Pet Neat 2-Sided Pet Grooming Tool has a dual head which offers more than one way of de-shedding your German Shepherd’s dog fur. When used correctly, it can reduce shedding by up to 95%!

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Deshedding Tool for German Shepherd Fur 

Use the larger blades for tackling serious mats. There are 22 teeth on this comb, and they’re rounded on the end to protect your dog’s skin. 

Once the tangles are out, use the smaller de-matting comb for thinning out the fur and removing loose hairs. 

7. Glendan Slicker Pet Grooming Brush

Best Massage Brush: Gentle, rotatable brush that massages your dog’s skin as it removes tangles and mats

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Rotating head allows access to tight spots 
  • Safety tipped steel pins for a gentle brushing experience
  • Comfortable rubber grip for easy use when brushing

CONS

  • Some dogs may find the pins to be too uncomfortable on their skin

Sometimes it can be hard to reach spots like the armpits and groin, where mats really tend to build up. This brush is available in various sizes and comes with a rotating head so you won’t struggle to get right into that dog fur.

It has a comfy, anti-slip handle so your hand won’t get fatigued while brushing either.

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Reaches All German Shepherd Dog Fur 

A German Shepherd is a large dog, and hard to move around as you’re grooming them. This useful little rotating tool eliminates the stress of having to make your dog uncomfortable by moving him or her so you can reach everywhere. 

8. Paw Brothers Pin Slicker Brush

Best Professional-Grade Brush: Extra long pins that reach deep into the undercoat for a neat, professional quality grooming

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Extra long pins to reach deep into the undercoat 
  • Rounded pins to prevent catching the German shepherd’s fur 
  • Comfortable rubber grip that prevents strains on the wrist

CONS

  • The pins aren’t rounded, which could hurt some dogs if they’re brushed hard

The Paw Brothers Stainless Steel Brush does a great job of penetrating into even the heaviest of undercoats, de-matting from underneath your dog’s coat.

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Best Dog Brush for Long Coat 

It can be easy to miss knots and tangles in a long, flowing coat. But this slicker brush reaches as deep down as it can go, with extra long pins for reaching things you can’t even see. 

The ends of the pins aren’t rounded, so there’s a slight chance of poking your dog’s skin if you’re not gentle. Just be careful and your German shepherd should be okay with it!

9. Miracle Coat Slicker Dog Brush

Best for Large Dogs: Larger head design that’s suitable for grooming German shepherds and other large breed dogs

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Flexible pins for easy brushing 
  • Soft pad to reduce pressure 
  • Designed for German shepherds and other large dog breeds 
  • Cushioned grip for comfortable use

CONS

  • If your dog has sensitive skin, they may find this harsh

Medium-haired German shepherds will benefit from the Miracle Coat Slicker Dog Brush. It has a large head design that’s bigger than other brushes and disperses pressure easily over your dog’s body, so there’s less poking and pulling.

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Medium-Sized Pins 

The soft pad and mid-sized pins will remove stubborn mats in medium coats. It will also give the coat a nice shine as you run it through the guard coat. 

If your German shepherd has sensitive skin, then you’ll need to find one with softer pins. You could still use this on the top coat, though.

10. ConairPRO Boar Bristle Brush

Most Convenient Brush: Easy to clean, professional quality grooming brush 

Overall Score85%
Criteria 185%
Criteria 280%
Criteria 380%
Criteria 470%
Criteria 570%

PROS

  • Boar bristles for smooth brushing 
  • Fits into the palm of your hand 
  • Easy to use and clean 
  • Creates a glossy shine

CONS

  • Won’t get rid of tangles

The ConairPRO Boar Bristle Brush is fantastic for German Shepherds who don’t like being groomed, or may be afraid of grooming tools due to past experience. It fits right into your hand, so grooming becomes just like petting.

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Bonding With Your Dog 

The shape of this tool makes it easy to grab and use any time, anywhere. Fluff your dog’s coat while you’re sitting watching TV, or when your pup is cuddling you on your lap. 

It’s also a great way of bonding with your German shepherd. If done right, it’s like giving them a massage that stimulates their circulation and gets the blood flowing to their skin, which nourishes the fur and makes it look healthy.


What to Consider When Choosing the Best Brush for German Shepherd Dogs 


Durability 

No pet parent wants to buy a dog brush only to have it break a week or two down the line. Durability is an important factor, as you want something that won’t just last a long time, but also won’t break and pose a risk to either you or your dog. 

When looking for the best brushes for German Shepherds, consider the materials being used. Is it crafted from hard, durable wood? Or is it made from cheap, breakable plastic? Reading reviews is a great way to figure this out if you’re unable to see the product in person. 

It also needs to be well put together. It can be made from the best materials, but if the craftsmanship is shoddy, the product may fall apart far too easily. 

Remember – if your German Shepherd gets his teeth on the dog brush, then breaking is inevitable! Keep it safe out of the way when you’re not busy with it and it should last longer. 

Type of Hair 

Different types of German Shepherd hair can get confusing. Most German Shepherds’ fur is thick and fairly coarse, without a hint of a curl or a wave, and lies over a softer, fluffier undercoat. Some have a slightly more wavy outer coat. 

German Shepherds’ coats can come in four different varieties. One, a short guard coat with an undercoat. Two, a medium-length guard coat with an undercoat. Three, a long guard coat with an undercoat. Four, a long coat without an undercoat. 

The lack of an undercoat is not common. It should be fairly easy to tell which category your German Shepherd falls into simply by looking! 

The short-haired GSD is easy to see, by the length of his top coat. The medium-length and long-haired can be harder to tell apart. The easiest way is to have a look if your German Shepherd grows long tufts of fur on the back of his legs, tail, and ears. If so, he’s long-haired. If not, he’s likely a medium-haired. 

German Shepherds with an undercoat need grooming tools to cater for both coats. Long-haired dogs need something that will reach deep into their coat to remove loose hair. Short coat German Shepherds could do with a less specific tool, but one that still gets into the undercoat. Both need a pin or bristle brush for the top coat. 

Convenience & Comfort 

Nobody wants something that’s hard to use and uncomfortable in your hand. Convenience and comfort are important factors, both for you and your dog. 

If it’s hard to use, you’re going to become despondent and dread grooming time more than your dog does. If it hurts your hand, you’ll be even less inclined to groom your dog properly. 

It also needs to allow your dog a certain level of comfort. If the product you choose is hard on your dog’s skin or scratches, they’re not going to enjoy grooming at all. 

Choose something that’s easy on your hand and on their skin. This will depend on both you and your dog! 

Safety 

Would you want to use a product that could possibly injure you or your dog? Of course not! Safety is of paramount importance, for both of you. 

Select a dog brush that isn’t going to break easily. Also, make sure any tips or blades are covered by safety caps, or rounded to prevent  accidents. 


5 Grooming Tips for German Shepherds 


1) Get Him/Her Comfy 

German Shepherds are big dogs! You don’t want to be fighting with yours when you’re trying to brush your dog. 

If he or she is well-trained, ask them to sit or lie down. It’s a good idea to have a specific spot for pet grooming, so your German Shepherd will know exactly what to expect when you get them there. 

Positive reinforcement is always recommended, so make sure to give your German Shepherd plenty of love and have a stash of treats ready (don’t overfeed them, though!). If he or she knows they’ll get a treat at the end of this experience, it’s likely they’ll be a little more patient. 

2) Remove Mats In The Undercoat 

Once your German Shepherd is settled and ready, begin by using an undercoat rake or deshedding tool and getting rid of any tangles in their undercoat. 

If you brush your dog  regularly, there may be very few knots to get rid of. If you have one of those German Shepherds who likes to roll in stuff, you may have your work cut out for you! 

Remember to be gentle when working with an undercoat rake or de-shedding brush. Undercoat grooming tools can pull at your German Shepherd’s long hair if you’re too rough. 

3) Go Over The Top Coat 

Using a slicker brush helps to smooth out the top coat and the undercoat at the same time. If you’d prefer to use a bristle or pin brush, they’ll do a good job of smoothing the guard coat, stimulating good circulation, and distributing the natural oils of your dog’s coat. 

Pay attention to the way your dog’s fur lies, and be careful not to brush against the grain of his fur! This can be uncomfortable and even painful, as it pulls the hair the wrong way and can actually cause worse mats. 

4) Don’t Forget The Ears 

German Shepherds have big ears! Those ears are deep, too, and it’s a very good idea to give them a clean every time you brush your German Shepherd. 

It’s important to ot use water to clean your dog’s ears. This can lead to an ear infection! Rather, use ear drops that are designed for dogs’ ears. Make sure there’s no build-up of wax or debris. 

5) Be Aware Of Extreme Shedding 

Twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, your German Shepherd sheds like crazy. This is known as “blowing their coat”. 

It’s super important to be aware of this and anticipate it, because you’ll need to step up your German Shepherd grooming game during these times. 

Your German Shepherd will shed extensively for a week or two during this period. It’s a good idea to invest in a vacuum cleaner as well as high quality grooming tools! 

Daily brushing is essential at this time. There’ll be plenty of loose hair, and it will get everywhere. It’s a good idea to keep it contained as much as possible by removing it every day with your grooming tools. 


Types of German Shepherd Brushes 


Slicker Brushes 

A slicker brush is our pick for the most effective brush for German Shepherd grooming. The slicker brush consists of a wide head covered with densely-packed, fine wires. 

The reason we’d choose a slicker brush is that the wires reach into the undercoat, removing loose hair and knots easily and without hurting your dog (although you still need to be gentle). 

At the same time, the wires give the top coat a good, thorough brush, leaving your German Shepherd looking smooth and sleek. 

Pin Brushes 

Don’t get your dog’s brush confused with your own, because pin brushes look very much like normal human hair brushes. They feature thick, short wires that usually have a safety tip on them for your dog’s protection. 

Pin brushes are great for brushing the top coat. They don’t quite get knots out of an undercoat, so if you choose to use one of these, you’ll need to invest in another grooming tool for your German Shepherd’s undercoat. 

Bristle Brushes 

Bristle brushes have bristles instead of wires, and they’re usually packed together quite densely. This kind of brush is fantastic to groom your German Shepherd top coat. However, it won’t make a dent in the undercoat. 

We recommend adding a bristle brush to your arsenal of grooming tools. But you’ll still need an undercoat rake or de-shedding brush to work through tangles and remove loose hair in the coat below the surface. 

Undercoat Rake 

An undercoat rake is a simple looking pet grooming tool. It consists of just a line or two of wires, just like a small rake. 

The purpose of an undercoat rake is to gather up loose fur from the undercoat and remove it before it can clump together and form mats. 

Dematting/Deshedding Tool 

German Shepherds shed! That’s just how it is. A de-matting tool has a row or two of long pins that are designed to reach through a German Shepherd’s long hair and into the undercoat and work through tangles. 

A de-shedding tool has blades instead of pins. These are great for removing mats and loose fur that’s stuck in the undercoat. The blades are rounded to prevent hurting your German Shepherd, but effective at cutting through the long coat to get rid of knotted fur.


Questions & Answers

Are German Shepherds Double-Coated?

Most German Shepherds do have a double coat. On occasion, you’ll come across a German Shepherd that doesn’t, and simply has a long, single-layer coat. 

These types of German Shepherds are less common, though. In general, regardless of whether your German Shepherd’s fur is long, medium, or short, they’ll have a top coat and an undercoat.

How Can I Minimize My German Shepherd’s Shedding?

Grooming your German Shepherd regularly is the first step to minimizing shedding. But there are other steps you can take to help: 

  • Change your German Shepherd’s food to one specifically for shedding
  • Encourage your dog to drink more water during the day. 
  • Bathe your dog every 3 or 4 months. 
  • Choose a moisturizing shampoo. 
  • If nothing helps, a vet’s visit may be in order.

Can I Shave My German Shepherd?

Yes, but please don’t! We get it – it might seem like shaving your German Shepherd is doing them a favor in the heat, but in reality, it’s the opposite. 

Shaving your German Shepherd can cause damage to their skin. They’re used to having two thick coats on top of their skin, and if you shave them off, that skin is exposed to sun and wind. 

Both of these elements can do some damage. Your poor German Shepherd may suffer from windburn, sunburn, or extreme cold at night. 

Instead of shaving your dog, take the time to brush them at least a few times a week.

How Often Should I Brush My German Shepherd?

If you’re able to, a daily brush would be the best thing for your German Shepherd. If you can’t manage every day, make an effort to groom them at least three or four times a week. 

It’s essential to be consistent with brushing. Your German Shepherd sheds his top cat constantly, and twice a year he goes through a more serious shedding of the undercoat. 

If you really don’t have much time, you’ll need to brush your German Shepherd weekly at the minimum.

What Kind Of Brush Should I Use On My German Shepherd?

Because your German Shepherd has two coats, you’ll need a brush that’s suitable for both the guard coat and the undercoat. 

Generally, you won’t find a brush that can deal with both coats. You’ll need to invest in something like a pin brush or bristle brush for the guard coat, and an undercoat rake for removing mats and tangles below the surface. 

A slicker brush is the closest thing to the best of both worlds. It reaches into the undercoat while still smoothing out the guard coat.


Conclusion 

Choosing the best brush for German Shepherds can make your dog’s life (and yours) much easier and more comfortable. 

You might be surprised at how the right dog brushes can remove loose fur, reduce shedding, and keep your German Shepherd looking sleek and beautiful! 

Brushes for German Shepherds aren’t hard to find. Just make sure you’re equipped to deal with both coats, and you brush your German Shepherd a few times a week. 

Keep your GSD healthy on the inside and the outside for a happy dog and happy pet parent!

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.