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German Shepherds are strong, intelligent, and agile working dogs, wary of strangers but loyal and protective of their families. They’re “dogkind’s finest all-purpose worker,” according to the AKC. And as every pet parent to a German Shepherd knows, they’re also powerhouse shedders—making finding the right grooming brush for your German Shepherd a must.
Both long- and short-hair German Shepherds have a double coat. A soft, downy undercoat acts as insulation to keep your dog warm in winter and cool in summer, while an outer coat gives their fur its distinctive color and acts as a protective external layer. They shed these impressive coats year-round (earning them the nickname “German Shedders”).
To manage all that hair, it’s important to groom your German Shepherd regularly, especially during seasonal transitions when they tend to lose even more fur than usual. But with those outer “guard hairs” in place, it can be challenging to do a thorough job without the right tools.
We’ve rounded up some of the best brushes for German Shepherds to help you keep your dog’s coat in great shape—and maybe keep your house a bit cleaner too.
Best Brushes for German Shepherd Undercoats
Designed by groomers, the FURminator is one of the top names in dog brushes. It features a stainless-steel edge that promises to reach through the top coat to catch the undercoat beneath, pulling out loose hairs.
The brush won’t damage the dog’s top coat or their skin, and its curved handle promises human comfort too. It’s a popular choice for German Shepherds, and pet parents swear the tool gets at hair they didn’t even know their dog had. The brush comes in three sizes; a large is typically the best option for a full-sized German Shepherd.
For a German Shepherd whose hair is less than two inches in length, the short-hair deshedding tool may be the better choice. It has all the same features as the long hair version, but it’s specially designed to manage closer coats. If you’re unsure which one is best for your dog, we recommend that you measure their coat to ensure that you select the best tool.
A rake is another deshedding tool that every German Shepherd owner should consider. The two rows of hardened steel “teeth” in this undercoat rake make it especially useful for working through German Shepherds’ dense fur. The teeth are varied in size, allowing them to smoothly move through the fur, grabbing the undercoat and loose hairs.
An angled, rubber handle promises to help you to keep a good grip on the tool and reduce hand fatigue as you work your way through every inch of your pup’s thick coat.
With a wooden handle and simple metal frame, this rake may seem like the most rudimentary of the options, but don’t let that stop you from trying it: one German Shepherd owner reported an estimated 85% reduction in their German Shedder’s hair problem after regular use.
With curved metal plates in place of teeth, the rake promises not to irritate your dog’s skin. It also comes in a variety of sizes, so check the chart to make sure you select the right one: for German Shepherds, we recommend the 9+19 or 20 versions of the rake.
Best Smoothing and Untangling Brushes for German Shepherds
The longer the hair, the more likely it is to get tangled and matted—and mats are the worst. That’s why this style of rake is a helpful addition to your toolbox.
Instead of removing hair, this grooming rake glides through the fur to work out any knots and smooth the coat. The single row of stainless-steel pins rotates to prevent tugging and irritation. Each point is rounded, ensuring that the pins slide gently over your dog’s skin.
The Kong Zoom Groom is a popular choice among German Shepherd owners, especially when it’s used in conjunction with a deshedding tool.
One side of the handle-free (and adorable) brush has soft tips to comb your pup’s fur, while the material, which acts like a magnet for loose hair, helps to capture any remnants of your deshedding efforts. The nubs double as a massager, helping to stimulate oil production for a healthy coat and skin.
The brush comes in two colors and sizes, but this large version is perfect for your big German Shepherd.
Slicker brushes are a great way to finish off your German Shepherd’s grooming routine, as they also help to remove mats and smooth the top coat.
With more than 60,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating, this particular brush is popular with many dog owners (and even some cat people too). Retractable bristles are one of its best features. This not only protects them in storage but also makes for easy cleaning: simply pull the bristles in and wipe the hair away.