The German Shepherd is the 2nd most popular dog in America. You can guarantee that as you read this guide there are thousands of German Shepherds being brushed this very second! But the question is, how many of those are being brushed with the right brush? Well, after reading our guide to the best brushes for the German Shepherd we can guarantee that you will never be brushing him with the wrong tools again.
The brush you choose for him will be dependent on his coat length. All German Shepherds have a double coat, so whatever his sweater you can expect moderate shedding all year round. You’ll also have much heavier shedding during the shedding season. He’s very likely to leave fur around your home, in just about every bedroom. This is why it’s important you keep up with grooming at a regular pace.
While there are many different brushes or de-shedders you can choose from, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites. Different grooming tools have different purposes. You’ll want to make sure you pick the right one for the heavy duty job of keeping your German Shepherd nicely groomed. Below you’ll see a couple of options “at a glance” followed by our favorite picks reviewed in more detail. Let’s jump in!
At a Glance: Top Brushes For German Shepherds
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- 1 Types of Brushes
- 2 Top Brushes for German Shepherds
- 3 German Shepherd’s Coat
- 4 Shedding Season
- 5 Grooming Tips
- 6 Final Thoughts
Types of Brushes
As you already know, the German Shepherd will need a selection of brushes dependent on his coat type. There are five different types of brushes that you’ll likely encounter. Each of them has a different purpose and/or use. Below are the brushes you’ll likely find on today’s grooming market.
Pin Brush: A pin brush is a general day-to-day brush that prevents matting from forming by keeping his coat neat and tidy. However, this brush will not be effective in deshedding or removing matting. This means you’ll need additional tools for proper grooming.
Undercoat Rake: Also commonly known as a deshedding tool, this tool is a must for all German Shepherds. This rake removes the dead hair, dander and dirt from his undercoat by reaching through his topcoat. The rake comprises of one or two rows of tightly spaced pins. It looks much like a rake or a razor.
Slicker Brush: This brush comprises of short fine wires that are placed close together on a flat-surfaced brush. This brush is a must for long-haired German Shepherds and many medium-haired dogs. It’s used to detangle and prevent matting. Many use slicker brushes instead of pin brushes.
Bristle Brush: Bristle brushes can do well for GSD’s if your pup has a medium coat or a short coat. It’s not recommended for longer coated pups, just due to the sheer amount of hair you’ll need to clean up after. Bristle brushes are harder to clean. They will need cleaning more frequently than Pins or undercoat rakes.
Rubber Brush: Great for short-coated pups, the rubber brush isn’t recommended for your GSD unless your pup has extremely short hair. Most German Shepherds don’t have short hair and usually fall somewhere in between long and medium coats. It’s likely that the Rubber brush will be a no go if your pup falls into that spectrum.
Top Brushes for German Shepherds
All of our recommendations below are high quality. This way you can be sure that they are safe and comfortable for both you and your dog. They are also highly rated by German Shepherd owners across the world and tried and tested to manage his shedding. By sticking with our recommendations, you can be sure that both you and your pup are in good hands.
Remember, you’ll inevitably end up spending a lot of time grooming your German Shepherd. This means it’s important that you find a brush that is also comfortable to hold. Ergonomic handles that are made with rubber material are known to be the most comfortable, so look for this or something similar.
Pet Portal Slicker Brush
- Self-cleaning feature.
- Can be used for dogs and cats.
- Comes in two different sizes.
- Gentle bristles keep skin safe.
- Good for long and short-haired pets.
- Ergonomic handle design.
- Pins are stored inside the brush.
This self-cleaning brush is easy to use and an absolute must for long haired German Shepherds. Its fine bristles allow you to remove knots, matting and tangles from your German Shepherd’s hair. This brush is also easy on your dog’s skin, preventing pain during grooming. The bent pins are designed to ensure that his skin is not irritated.
It is ergonomically designed to make it easy to handle and fuss-free when you have your hands full with your big German Shepherd. It’s fine teeth also act as a massager which in turn encourages blood circulation. This can help improve the condition of his skin and shiny coat.
We love that this has a one-button cleaning action. The bristles retract allowing you to wipe away the hair that has been collected. This is a great slicker brush that won’t break the bank, and it’s hard to go wrong when combining quality with cost.
- Our favorite deshedding tool.
- Designed specifically for dogs.
- Stainless steel edge.
- Designed to get underneath the topcoat.
- Ergonomic handle.
- Designed by a professional groomer.
- Reduces shedding by up to 90%.
The FURminator is one of the most popular and instantly recognizable brushes on the market, and for good reason. This tool does exactly what it says. It rids your German Shepherd of all that bothersome fur that they would otherwise shed all over your house. Its specialist design allows it to reach through the overcoat deep down to the undercoat. It removes all the dead hair and dander both easily and effectively.
Along with the manufacturer’s money-back guarantee, the FURminator is said to reduce shedding by up to 90%. That’s a lot less hair on your clothes and sofa, as well as a fantastically healthy coat for your pooch. It also comes equipped with a one-click button to expel the collected hair.
We love that this tool has a great safety feature in the form of skin guards that glide over his skin effortlessly and prevent the blades from digging into his skin. While slightly more expensive, the brand justifies the cost based on previous results and consumer sentiment.
Andi’s Large Pin Brush
- Budget-friendly pin brush.
- Classic design.
- Pinhead bristles are skin-friendly.
- Ergonomic handle for comfort.
- Reduces hand fatigue during grooming.
- Spreads natural oils through your pup’s coat.
- Great for weekly brushing.
This pin brush is a must for short-haired German Shepherds whose grooming routine is less involved than the other coat types. Simply run it through his coat from head to paw to keep him looking neat and tidy, as well as shiny and healthy. It stimulates the hair follicles and growth, which is great for the regeneration of a healthy coat.
Not only does it have a rubber handle that provides a comfortable grip for you, but the pins also have a rounded tip to ensure his comfort. If budget is a factor, then this Pin Brush is a great pick as it won’t break the bank. It’s a good all-around solution for German Shepherds with shorter to medium-length coats.
We love that this pin brush is super easy to use for everyday grooming. It also helps to spread his natural skin oils across his coat. It’s budget-friendly, making it a no brainer if you have multiple dogs in your house and need a grooming tool for the whole pet family.
- Professional-grade grooming tool.
- Ergonomic design.
- Four-inch stainless steel comb.
- Equipped with a protective cover.
- Can be used for multiple pets.
- Reduces shedding by up to 95%.
The Thunderpaws professional grooming tool is big enough to be used on German Shepherds. It’s also small enough that it could be used on a cat if you live in a multi-pet household. This makes it an economical pick if you intend to use your brush on more than one animal, especially because it’s budget-friendly.
Using this tool will help reduce shedding around your house significantly. This is especially important if you have a white coated GSD and the fur is easy to see all around the house. The ergonomic design makes it easy to spend some time brushing your dog to ensure you reduce shedding. The blade is made from a 4-inch stainless steel comb that’s gentle on the skin as well as firm enough to stop shedding.
We love that this de-shedding tool is budget-friendly. It also carries a 90 day no questions asked refund policy. Because of the size, it’s perfect for multi-pet households which is economical if you have several pets.
DakPets Deshedding Brush
- Budget-friendly grooming tool.
- Gentle on your dog’s skin.
- Stimulates your dog’s natural fur oils.
- Lightweight, ergonomic design.
- Great for longer grooming sessions.
- Rust-resistant stainless steel comb.
- Reduces shedding by up to 90%.
The DakPets de-shedding brush is one of our favorite de-shedders. This de-shedding tool is perfect for pups with short to medium hair, but probably shouldn’t be your first pick if you own a Long Coated German Shepherd. If your pup has long hair, we’d recommend considering the Furminator first. You can then couple it with a pin brush to keep your dog’s coat shiny and flowing.
The DakPets grooming tool is perfect for short to medium coated GSD’s however and has a very friendly price point so you won’t break the bank. This tool is recommended by many pet groomers for ease of use and will help drastically cut down on the amount of hair in your home.
We love the budget-friendly price and the no-nonsense design of this de-shedding tool. Because it’s reasonably priced, it makes a perfect solution when being paired with a pin style brush to help keep your dog’s coat healthy and shed free.
Safari Self Cleaning Slicker
The Safari Self Cleaning slicker brush is a budget-friendly slicker brush. Its retractable pins make cleaning this brush extremely easy. The pins are made of durable stainless steel but are gentle enough to not irritate your dog’s skin during grooming sessions. The handle has an ergonomically comfortable grip, which will help you withstand longer grooming sessions with ease.
This brush comes in three different sizes, and for the German Shepherd, we recommend you stick with a large. This is a perfect option for dogs with all coat lengths. It does not have rubber tips at the end of the pins, which is to be expected with most slickers.
We’d recommend this slicker be doubled up with a pin brush for maximum effectiveness in keeping dog fur under control. With a lower price point, adding a pin brush will be more affordable than with other slicker brushes on this list.
We love the budget-friendly price point of the Safari. We also really like the straightforward ergonomic design. It’s also a great companion to the next brush on our list, for a well-rounded set of grooming tools.
Hartz Groomer's Combo
- Lowest cost brush on our list.
- Great for weekly and daily grooming.
- Two different sides.
- Pin brushes for weekly use.
- Bristles for daily use.
- Stainless steel and Nylon pints.
- Ergonomic handle for extended grooming.
The Hartz Groomer’s best combo dog brush is the lowest cost grooming tool on our list. This is a great “everyday” grooming tool. It’s two-sided with nylon bristles on one side, and stainless steel pins on the other. The stainless steel pins are gently rounded at the end, so it won’t irritate your dog’s skin. The nylon bristles on the other side make for an excellent daily grooming tool in order to keep dog fur off your clothes and furniture.
The ergonomic handle will ensure you can use this brush for longer grooming sessions. The nylon bristles will help keep your dog’s coat looking shiny and soft. The bristles will also work to redistribute your dog’s natural oils throughout their coat, which other types of brushes just won’t do.
We love the budget-friendliness factor. You get two brushes in one, at an extremely low price point. This is an excellent brush to match with a slicker brush or more aggressive undercoat rake.
German Shepherd’s Coat
The German Shepherd has a thick double coat that kept him warm whilst he herded his flock on the German farms. Whilst his occupation from herder to protector might have changed, his coat remains the same. GSD’s typically come with 3 different types of coat, with the long coat being considered a fault. His coat comes in three varieties, and this will determine what grooming tools he will need.
A German Shepherd with a short coat will need brushing once or twice a week to keep his coat looking tidy. He will need a general day-to-day pin brush to sweep his loose hair away, and an undercoat rake for a thorough weekly grooming session to keep his dense undercoat in check. During shedding season this undercoat rake will need to be used several times a week.
Similar to the short-haired German Shepherd, the medium-haired pooch will need a general day-to-day brush and an undercoat rake. Dependent on how much longer his hair is, you might also do well to invest in a slicker brush rather than a pin brush as this is designed for pooches with longer or curly hair to avoid matting.
The long-haired German Shepherd has a super fluffy coat, and you can expect a lot of hairballs floating around the house whatever the season. This guy will need both an undercoat rake and a slicker brush. Some owners like to use a general day-to-day pin brush too, however, you could just use the slicker brush for everyday use with this guy.
While many canine owners talk about shedding season, this season actually occurs twice a year. He will shed his thinner summer coat ready for his thicker winter coat, and then he will shed his winter coat in the springtime as the months begin to warm up, and it is this that many people refer to blowing his coat.
Hair will get everywhere and will especially stand out if your German Shepherd has a white coat. Black coated pups will have their hair disguised slightly more than the regular black and tan coloring or blue coated GSD’s. This is something that you’ll need to consider when selecting the type of brush for your pup. If you have a white-coated GSD, you’ll likely want to combine two different brushes (de-shedder with a pin brush) to keep hair away.
There are many things that you can do to reduce his shedding. A regular and thorough grooming schedule will always be the best way to manage his bothersome fur. Anti-shedding shampoo is also known to reduce the amount that he sheds. Ultimately, however, the German Shepherd has a thick double coat and shedding is part of owning this breed. But as most dog lovers would say, what’s a little dog hair between friends?
Firstly, you need to make sure that your German Shepherd enjoys his grooming routine. Get him used to you brushing him, cleaning his ears and touching his paws, and be sure to make the experience as positive as possible with plenty of praise and small treats. This will make it easier for you to manage his coat and to ensure that no tangles or pesky matting forms.
Once he is used to the new brushes and tools, establish a grooming routine to follow. So, just to recap, the short-haired German Shepherd needs a pin brush and an undercoat rake, the medium-haired pooch needs an undercoat rake and either a pin or a slicker dependent on the length, and a long-haired pooch needs an undercoat rake and a slicker brush.
When you bathe your German Shepherd, once every 6 to 8 weeks, be sure to use a natural shampoo that will not irritate his skin, so head over to our guide with the very best natural shampoos available, and ensure that you rinse and dry him thoroughly. Use an anti-shed formula if you really want to cut down on the mess.
The German Shepherd has a gorgeous coat that needs a fair bit of attention, and because you are going to be spending some time grooming him, it would be wise to invest in the very best brushes available. You want to make sure that your pup gets all the care and attention you would give to just about any member of the family.
It is important to establish his coat length, and from there you can select the brushes that he needs to manage his shedding as best as you possibly can. By sticking with our favorite recommended brushes you are sure to have one of the best looking German Shepherds on the block, and not only will he look his best, but he will feel his best too. So, all in all, everyone’s a winner!