11 Best Brushes for German Shepherds (2020 Review)

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

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
“Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is designed to penetrate into the undercoat and remove tangles. It has an ergonomic handle so you can hold it without hurting your wrist and retractable wires making it easy to clean.”

Best Value for Money: Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo 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 side. You are getting two grooming tools in one at an affordable price.”

Most Eco-Friendly: BioSilk Eco-Friendly Bristle Brush
“BioSilk Eco-Friendly Bristle Brush has an unusual spiral design and an easy-to-use ergonomic handle that’s extremely flexible. It is also crafted from plant-based materials.”

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German Shepherds have a thick, double coat, so it’s important you keep on top of brushing them and use the right tools to keep them tangle-free and healthy! 

The best brush for German Shepherds should be able to handle their undercoat with ease and care, as well as brushing through small tangles in their guard coat. 


In fact, choosing the right brush for your German Shepherd is almost as important as choosing the right food. Both of them can make a huge difference to your big dog’s health and wellness!

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
Easy to clean thanks to the retractable wires
Combination product for even more value
Environmentally-friendly, made with plant-based materials
Feature 2
Ergonomic handle for comfort while using
Ergonomic handle for ease of use
Unique Spiral Flex technology makes it flexible
Premium Option
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
Easy to clean thanks to the retractable wires
Feature 2
Ergonomic handle for comfort while using
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
Combination product for even more value
Feature 2
Ergonomic handle for ease of use
Custom Button
Most Eco-Friendly
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 makes it flexible
Custom Button
Sources researched
15
Sources researched
Customer reviews
14,280
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
16
Hours spent testing
Products tested
11
Products tested

Best Brushes for German Shepherds in 2020

Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

Premium Option

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

PROS

  • Easy to clean thanks to the retractable wires 
  • Ergonomic handle for comfort while using 
  • 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 one of the best dog brushes we’ve come across. It’s super effective for removing loose hair in the undercoat, and the ergonomic handle means that it doesn’t feel too tough on the hand while you’re brushing.

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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. 

Your German Shepherd dog will never need another hairbrush! The Hertzko self-cleaning slicker brush reaches deep into their long coat to get rid of underlying knots, and fluffs the top coat at the same time.

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Detangling Dog Brush

Best Value for Money

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

PROS

  • Combination product for even more value 
  • Ergonomic handle for ease of use 
  • Nylon bristles distribute natural oils well 
  • Stainless steel pins with safety tips

CONS

  • Not the most effective for removing tangles in the undercoat

This product 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 has nylon bristles. 

It’s helpful for guard coat grooming, but also would be super if you have more than one dog and they have different types of coats.

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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. 

If you want to add this to your German Shepherd brush collection, be aware that you’ll still need an undercoat rake and/or de-shedding brush.

BioSilk for Dogs Eco-Friendly Boar Hair Bristle Brush

Most Eco-Friendly

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

PROS

  • Environmentally-friendly, made with plant-based materials 
  • Unique Spiral Flex technology makes it flexible 
  • Carefully designed ergonomic handle 
  • Natural boar bristles

CONS

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

If buying sustainable products is important to you, this well-designed and easy-to-use product could be your next grooming tool. 

It’s crafted from plant-based materials, and also uses less material than a regular German Shepherd brush. It won’t get rid of knots, but it will contribute to a sleek, beautiful dog coat.

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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. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to work through tangles with the soft boar bristles. But you will be able to give your German Shepherd a light massage, stimulate their blood flow, and give their coat a lovely shine.

Chris Christensen Big G Slicker

Best for Large Dogs

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

A German Shepherd isn’t a small dog! If you’ve been looking for a slicker brush that’s more effective, the Chris Christensen Big G may work well for you and your big dog. 

It has 40% more pins than the brand’s last one, and features long, densely-packed stainless steel wires for deep undercoat grooming.

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Big Enough for 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, and this one is our choice. 

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 dog.

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Double-Sided Pin and Hemp Bristle Dog Brush

Best Wooden Brush

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

PROS

  • Absorbs and distributes natural oils on your dog’s skin 
  • Comes in a variety of different types 
  • Made from bamboo and recycled materials 
  • Hemp bristles restore a 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

Wooden brushes are good for getting an 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. 

This one is also environmentally friendly, as a bonus!

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Eco-Friendly and Dog-Friendly 

These brushes come in a wide variety, so whatever grooming tool you’re missing from your collection, you should be able to find one here. 

They’re all 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.

Pet Neat 2-Sided Pet Grooming Tool

Best Deshedding Brush

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

PROS

  • Safe, rounded stainless steel teeth 
  • 2-in-1 dual head for best de-shedding versatility 
  • TPR non-slip grip on the handle 
  • Cuts through tough knots and tangles

CONS

  • This de-matting tool can be quite heavy

De-shedding tools are an essential part of a grooming kit. This one has a dual head which offers more than one way of de-shedding your German Shepherd’s dog fur. 

If you use these de-shedding tools correctly, you 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. 

The only complaints about this de-matting tool is that it can be a little heavy if your dog needs serious grooming, and it can be tough to clean. It’s worth it to get a smooth coat, though!

Glendan Dog Brush & Cat Brush

Best for Reaching Everywhere

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

PROS

  • Rotating head allows access to tight spots 
  • Available in various sizes 
  • Safety tipped steel pins 
  • Comfortable rubber grip for easy use

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. These slicker brushes make it easy to reach wherever you need to, with various sizes and a rotating head so you won’t struggle to get right into that dog fur.

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Reaches All German Shepherd Dog Fur 

A German Shepherd is a big 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. 

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

Paw Brothers Stainless Steel Extra Long Hard Pin Slicker Brush

Best for Long-Haired German Shepherds 

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 fur 
  • Comfortable rubber grip 
  • Easy to clean

CONS

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

If your dog is the long-furred version, then this slicker would be a good option. It does a good job of penetrating into even the heaviest of undercoats, and de-matting from the underneath upwards.

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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 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 dog should be okay with it!

Miracle Coat Slicker Dog Brush

Best for Medium-Haired German Shepherds

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 large dogs 
  • Cushioned grip for comfort 

CONS

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

Medium-haired GSDs will benefit from this slicker. It’s designed to be for large dogs, so the head is bigger than others 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 dog has sensitive skin, then you’ll need to find one with softer pins. You could still use this on the top coat, though.

Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush

Best Pin Brush

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

PROS

  • Extra long pins for maximum coverage 
  • Beech wood handle 
  • Air hole in pad for flexibility 
  • Polished pins for

CONS

  • Quite a bit more pricey than others

At first glance, the long pins on this handle make it look like a slicker! They’re 27mm long, which is great for all kinds of German Shepherd fur. 

It’s a good choice if you have more than one dog on the property and need to maintain all their coats.

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For A Glossy Coat 

This product may be more pricey than others, but it comes from a renowned name in the dog show business, so you can be sure it’s of the highest standard. 

The pins may be long, but they get into any coat and smooth it out really nicely. An air hole in the pad allows for flexibility during grooming.

ConairPRO Dog & Cat Pet-It Boar Bristle Brush

Best for Quick, Everyday Brushing

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

This little hand-held grooming tool 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 dog. 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!