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Old 08-05-2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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Shedding?

I have a German Shepherd female, we adopted her about a year ago. I have had shepherds in the past but I do not remember them shedding like this! HOLY COW I do not know how this dog has any hair left. I have had to limit her to certain areas of the house and I have to vacuum every single day and each day I fill up the vacuum. I brush her at least every other day sometimes every day but it is a never ending process. Does anyone have any remedies for this??
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:28 PM   #2
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I use a horse shedding blade on our dog when he goes through his shedding period. I also find that adding oil to his diet helps the period of shedding go quicker.

It may be a skin condition though, so make sure there is a new, healthy coat that is coming in too!

Extreme temperatures can lead to shedding issues, even to the point of being bald, so that is something else to consider.

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Old 08-05-2005, 12:31 PM   #3
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O I didnt see that you said you brush her alot.
Stupid on my part.
Sorry! DUH! I can get like that sometimes. I just kinda skip right over stuff.

But nope, sorry. Dont know to much about dog products. We have the same problem. No matter how much we brush my dog . HAIR EVERYWHERE ( but it sounds like you have a bit more to deal with ) and I have 2 long cats one with long hair and one short hair and it is everywhere too. along with the dogs. We could make a new dog out of the hair we brush off ours but it dont do any good.

We just learned to live with it.

Wish I could help
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:00 PM   #4
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I don't know what type of food you feed your dog, but the quality is VERY important. A quality food will reduce shedding dramatically, their breath will smell better, they'll crap less (even that will smell less), etc. So many benefits! The amount of money for the food does not always mean anything. I worked at Pet Valu for awhile, so I got to take quite a bit of expired food home, and while I worked there I pretty much analyzed each bag and their list of ingredients. I wasn't too impressed with the Eukanuba ($50 a bag) ingredients, but I got it for free so I thought I'd try it. My rottie is shedding as much as he did when we got him from a shelter with that stuff. Yuck! When I had him on Technical and also on Performatrin Natural (sometimes mixed since he gets major gas when on lamb only) he did great and barely shed at all. You can only get Performatrin at Pet Valu stores. The ingredients you should look for are: 1st and foremost - chicken or lamb MEAL. When it only says chicken or lamb that's when the meat is weighed and added before the water is cooked off, which makes up a good portion of the meat. Chicken/Lamb meal is added after all the water has been cooked off, therefore is 100% meat. Second, rice is MUCH easier for animals to digest compared to corn, so look for a food with rice after the meat ingredients. Cheaper foods (Pedigree, Puppy Chow, etc.) rarely have much nutritional value for the animal; they basically consist of fillers that just pass right through the animal creating many huge piles of crap and leaving your dog hungry. If you have any questions about dog food, you can PM me if you like. I could go on about this forever, but I don't want to bore you all.
Each dog is different, so keep that in mind. Some dogs are allergic to chicken and will get allergic reactions if fed it. That can usually be solved by feeding a quality food based with lamb.
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:01 PM   #5
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Haha.. Shepdog will probably put a post in too.. but I can tell ya.. her Sheps shed copiously! She vacuums daily. And they shed out in huge clumps.. then they continue to shed form all over their body. It is amazing they arent bald. If they have a rough or dry coat, maybe a little salmon oil. If you can find it in your area, she was using Royal Canin German Shep Food and they had nice coats on that. Good luck.. buy a dyson haha
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:28 PM   #6
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Royal Canin is a very good food, however quite expensive compared to some other brands of equal quality. Check around and compare ingredients, and then compare the prices. Some people that work at petstores are just told to promote certain foods, even if they don't know a thing about, so its best to look into it further yourself. To see real results when trying a new food can take quite awhile; with my rottie it took about 2 mos. before I noticed any dramatic changes, so don't give up on it too soon.
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:41 PM   #7
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Huh, I never knew that the quality of the dogfood would affect shedding. I've always had shepherds, either purebreds or mixed breeds. And they shed. Golden retrievers shed a lot too, from what I hear, and they have the three "tiered hair system" too.

Nerves affect it, weather affects it and now I guess their diet affects shedding. Last summer our rough collie shed out ALL of her undercoat. She looked to be on death's door. This year, hardly at all - huh?! And its been so hot! If diet affects shedding, then maybe its because she is getting better nutrition from her food because I soak her food now since I noticed her teeth are in very bad shape.

So my question is, does your dog shed a lot for a shepherd or alot compared to other breeds?
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:46 PM   #8
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Hm.. ok.. well I am going to try not to take offense... seeing as I DO work in a small pet store.. and I am familiar with a LOT of different foods, of varying qualities and prices. And since Shepdog OWNS the pet store.. you can be sure that she is too. Sure we have reps trying to sell us food, and telling us why their food is the best.. but it is our own judgement that makes us recommend a food. BTW we dont even stock Royal Canin. I only mention that food because she saw a dramatic change in all of her sheps coats on it.. and since she has bred and shown sheps she would be familiar with what she likes to see in her dogs coats. I wont say any more. I will let her speak for herself. I will agree.. there are a LOT of good foods out there. Canidae, Wellness, Evolve, Timberwolf, California Natural, Natural Balance, Back to Basics, Innova, Eagle Pack.. the list goes on and on.. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding what does well for your dog, what your dog likes and what you can find in your region. Good luck.
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:56 PM   #9
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Sorry! Please do not take offense. I was not directing that at anyone in particular. I used to work in a small petstore, too, and I know that the other people that I worked with didn't really care what dog food customers dogs ate. I was in no way trying to offend you or say that you didn't know what you're talking about. Was not saying that all petstore employees are like that; just some that I've encountered. Forgive me?
Also, I do completely agree that the Royal Canin makes a huge difference, my kitten is on that (since I still have free stuff) and she does great on it and barely sheds!
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:59 PM   #10
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Jeepers, I wasn't trying to offend you mellowdane, I was commenting that I didn't know dog food affected shedding. Its true. I didn't but now I do. I was trying to say that you taught me something. Huh, I typically read my notes before I submit them and never in a million years would I try to insult someone, even if I disagreed with them.

Man, I feel terrible!

In fact, you made the offer that if someone wanted to know more about dog food, that they could send you a note. Which I did. I am ever a sponge for collecting important information like that.

Mellowdane, I sure hope you understand me better now
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:00 PM   #11
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Okay, so now I'm not sure if I'm the offending party. Well, I guess I better just ease on outa here...
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:20 PM   #12
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Haha.. ok.. relax everybody.. wasnt trying to make everyone freak out. It is ok .. I have been to petstores where people dont know much at all about their products. But I have also been to vets where they cant name three different dog foods unless they start with Science Diet. So I understand.. its all good. Smaller petstores are likely to have more people who know more detailed information that larger stores. Mainly because we can communicate with a smaller staff better.. and everybody can get the same information from vendors etc. It is a whole lot easier to tell 4 people about the benefits of a food/supplement/etc than it is 40 people. I am always up for talks about food.. A great web site to pour over a ton of dog food and feeding information is doglogic.com .. good luck
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:28 PM   #13
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My dog has the best coat and she is on Fleet Farm food! I would insert a pic, but I can't get it to work! [/img]
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:29 PM   #14
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Version1955: Actually, that was me "tobianoveropaint" saying you could PM me for more information. I don't think mellowdane felt insulted by you, but by me (not intentionally of course)
I also can relate mellowdane, about vets and dog food. Lots are not required to know nutritional information unfortuately.
Oh, and for everyone out there, quality food may cost more in the beginning, but your dog will require nearly half as much dog food as compared to dog food made up mainly of corn and soybeans. So, in the long run the cost is similar, and keeping your dog healthy will save you a bundle on vet bills!
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:36 PM   #15
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This time of year a lot of dogs start shedding out there summer coat for there new winter coat, my border collie has been the same way for the past week, I don't really think there's anything you can do about it but to keep brushing her and she should be finished soon
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:39 PM   #16
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Holy cow I did not mean to start such a controversial topic! I have never even heard of some of the brands that were mentioned - of course I feed her Pedigree so I guess that is mistake number 1 - I have heard of putting the oil in their food and tried that for awhile, maybe I will go back to that along with changing brands. She sheds ALL YEAR long and all over her body. I vacuum the hard wood floor EVERY single night and the next morning it looks like some one came in and scalped her! Clumps of hair lying every where, it gets so bad sometimes that it floats in the air and ends up on the counters. Which since I am a neat freak totally stresses me out! About twice a year she blows her coat and wow .. it is about 10 times worse than normal then, at that point I am usually vacuuming 2 -3 times a day! Funny thing is I notice when I give her a bath for about a week after that she really sheds horrible.
We do not have any Pet Valu's around here - we have Pet Smart and Petco. What about Iams? Is that good?
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:57 PM   #17
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Honestly, I have tried both Iams and Eukanuba and it did nothing good for my dog. It used to be one of the better foods, but with more recent research, MUCH better foods have been created. With the Iams, my dog crapped and shed way more. With the Eukanuba, he crapped a normal amount, but still shed like crazy.
The best suggestion I can give you is to pick up some samples from your petstore, take them home and analyze the ingredients yourself. There are some great websites explaining each ingredient in detail, one of which mellowdane gave us. This way you know WHY one food is better than the other, and you actually know what you are feeding your dog. Remember that it might take a couple months to see the difference.
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Old 08-05-2005, 04:25 PM   #18
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I didn't know food can make a difference with shedding!

My dog is a horrible shedder as well, and he's short-haired! I frequently have to take out the handy dandy Dyson and vacumn away along with sweeping. It's annoying, he's worth it [sometimes ], but maybe it's his food! I use Pedigree too, so that could be a problem...

I haven't heard of most of those brands, but I'll look a little more instead of snagging a big bag of Pedigree
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:20 PM   #19
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Hm.. easier to find brands that are pretty good (definately better than grocery store...but I wouldnt consider them super premium).. Well Sensible choice (which is by royal canin, but was a buyout from another company).. or nutro (natural choice formula, not max).. Both have a lamb or chicken formula and are super basic. Lamb or chicken and rice.. and vitamins and minerals. Nutro is found all over the place.. I believe that most Cenex Supply stores carry it, which is nice. My dogs did better on the sensible choice than the nutro though.

Another one that is actually a really good food.. despite being a marketing gimmick.. is Chicken Soup for the Dog lovers soul. Diamond Dog food makes it. I am not sure how easy it is to find.. but with that marketing campaign it cant be too hard. It is a chicken based food, but also has turkey, salmon, duck and all sorts of things in it... my dogs love it and do well on it.. we have had a ton of positive feedback from customers on it too.

Hm.. there used to be this web site where this guy was posting the ingredients list for almost every food on the market.. and I mean hundreds upon hundreds of foods. Made it very easy to compare stuff without having all the leg work. The link is broken right now so I will have to see if he has moved his site. It was such an arduous project I cant imagine after 5 years and 500 foods that he would just shut it down.. but who knows. Good luck
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:00 PM   #20
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*laughs* Yep, poor Mellowdane was right, I just had to poke my big nosy muzzle into this thread. I hear the words German Shepherd and my ears go up and then I come running to hear what it's all about!

My turn for a long post! Oh man, watch me ramble like a blackberry vine.

And aw, no one's growling at anyone here, honest, and nobody has to leave the thread! Gosh, no, discussion is fun and useful; Mellowdane and I both know that there are are all sorts of pet stores and all sorts of food and and all sorts of knowledge... we're just really lucky, in that we're small and both of us read everything we can get our hands on about pet food. Everyone has their nitche that they have fantastic knowledge on, and everyone's life experiences and practical experiences make big difference.

Heck, I'm astounded by how much I *don't* know about horses! I'm learning every day, and this board's been a great help and boosted my confidence a lot.

So, heck, I'm hoping if I can give a little bit back to you guys about something I have more hands on knowledge with, I'm leaping into the fray and fetchin' something that perhaps will help.

I've owned German Shepherds for twenty years; showing, obedience, breeding, and now moving back to my first love Search and Rescue work, and I've brushing, brushing and burning out one poor vacuum after another (my next purchase after I get all my little Arab outfitted will be a Dyson) after all this time - so hopefully you don't mind me putting my two cents in, too!

First of all - Shepherds SHED buckets, all year, all their life, period. The actual amount of said bucket depends on several things: age, sex, the food you feed, how much fat is in their diet, how much exercise they get, do they live inside most of the time or outside, the amount of light they're exposed to, what lines they were bred from, and now add those factors together in a combination! *grin*

Females shed *far* more than males, flat out. An unspayed female will shed even more than a spayed one - that rise and fall of hormones blows coat on a really regular cycle - a spayed female will pretty much shed year around, but in smaller amounts, with a smaller blow twice a year.

My female when she was in her prime, showing and not spayed used to be so bad I could get a garbage bag (one of the black ones) out of her when she'd blow coat in the spring and the fall, a month or so after each heat cycle.

I'd always had males before her, and they blow coat too, but not as much, nor as long. That's why most of the top winning dogs are males - they stay in coat longer and your female will lose pigment and coat conditon with her shed out. I used to know someone who's dog when in full coat was a red and black, and when blown out was tan and a washed out grey. It was so bad that the owner could show her with amazing results for four months out of the year - and she had to go through a *dye* test when one of the people accused her of dyeing the dog - the coat was SO different.

Food wise - I did like the Royal Canin German Shepherd 24. My female had a gorgeous, soft, and deep colored coat on it and shed a bit less - she's coming up on ten, my male - who is a Czech dog and has er... a flat, tight coat that would get him laughed out of a show ring looked great on it too. However, I never go by the food guide on the back of the bag. My male weighs 120 right now, and if he ate seven cups a day, he'd weigh double that. He eats about two and a half cups with a half can of Merrick canned dog food.

Mellowdane's right - I don't stock or sell Royal Canin at the shop (it is expensive, no doubt, but do I have to say, I personally like their 'breed-specific' formulas for both cat and dog. I breed Korats too) and I'm getting no kickbacks *grin* from RC, so, I'm just offering up how it made my particular crew look here. Actually, er... most of my SAR group feeds it, as does the Police department here, and many of the working breeders, and the handlers really like it so far. I haven't seen any of the ones who eat it not doing well on it, which is very encouraging.

Now, every dog is different on how they react to a food. There are some dogs (of all breeds) out there who look their absolute best and thrive on 'Bow-A-Wow-Wow-Chow', that oh so lovely ten dollar a bag generic grocery store food (ugh) and some that require foods from a vet that have absolutely nothing in them but laboratory broken down proteins.

To be honest, I've fed just about everything to my dogs, and still do. (We even go through Dairy Queen for vanilla ice cream for a job well done.) I switch premium dog foods about every four to six months. Right now, they're on Timberwolf (Ocean Fish) since Gabe went through one of his fickle phases... I don't think the two dogs have as good of a coat, but hey, he's eating happily again, and they have different proteins like buffalo and elk, so I have a lot of choices from bag to bag.

I do add fish oil into their diets, fish oil seems to work the best to add a bit more luster to their fur, and help with the loose hair.

In my opinion to help cut down at least a *bit* on your shedding what you need to stay away from on your Shepherd is wheat and corn (Which Pedigree has in spades) - I would bet that about 65 percent of Shepherds out there have grain/grass allergies (owie) and they tend to have rather poor coats on anything that has those ingredients.

Does she chew or lick her feet at all? Or rub her muzzle? Are the insides of her ears pink, or her eye whites really pink? That's some symptoms that the lovely allergy bit is sneaking up on you, if so...

I would find a food without those two ingredients in it for sure, and I'd personally stay away from lamb - most Shepherds I've met have had trouble digesting it. I love my dogs, but since they sleep in the bedroom, I don't love to be gassed out, either. I'm guessing you wouldn't either!

Unfortunately... I can't say it will solve all your problems. I'll just say that what you've described, right down to the tumbleweeds of fur rolling across your floor...

To me, after all these years (with what you've described so far) your dog is shedding a normal amount for a inside housed, female German Shepherd! I'm a neat freak too, so I totally understand; there's something about a dog hair puff tumbleweed rolling across the kitchen floor that makes me twitch; I must sweep and run the vacuum twice a day, to be honest. It's worse, because I have two Corgis and six cats too, and the cats are completely indoor animals! We have a shed-aplenty house, and lots of things I can wash.

I think switching foods though, is the right way to go on this dog. Pedigree isn't that much cheaper than some of the other, higher quality foods out there ... you're paying for all their television advertising. Some of the smallest companies make the best pet food, and all of their sales end up being word of mouth. If you find a few foods that you can get where you're at and are interested in, post the names or PM me with them and I'll be totally happy to tell you if I've fed them and how I feel about them. I will agree with the other posters-- I wasn't too keen on Iams, myself, nor Euk, for the dogs.

But by golly, as soon as I stop buying tack, I'm SO getting a Dyson...

Hey, though - do you have a picture of your dog you could post here? I'd love to see her!!

And if you made it through this post, feel free to hop in my car, here, and I'll drive you to Dairy Queen. You deserve a puppy cone for that!
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