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7 Best Grooming Tools and Brushes for German Shepherds

Last Updated: February 1, 2024

Owning a German Shepherd means embracing their year-round shedding, a natural consequence of their double coat. This shedding intensifies during spring and fall when they “blow” their soft, dense undercoat to prepare for the changing seasons.

While it’s impossible to stop this shedding completely, the key to managing it is regular grooming with the right tools. But what are the best grooming tools for German Shepherds?

The best grooming tools for German Shepherds are the FURminator range, as they are designed for German Shepherds and effectively reduce shedding. These include a brush for daily use, a de-matting tool for removing matted hair, and an undercoat de-shedding tool.

The FURminator series stands as my go-to choice for grooming my dog. Over the years, I’ve experimented with various brands and an array of grooming tools and dog brushes.

However, none have matched the effectiveness and quality of the FURminator range. Its superior performance in managing shedding and maintaining coat health makes it unparalleled in my experience.

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Before discussing my top recommended grooming tools for German Shepherds, it’s essential to understand the four stages of successful grooming, which can dramatically reduce the amount of hair flying around your home.

Let’s look at the types of grooming tools that your German Shepherd needs.

Types of Tools and Brushes Needed

German Shepherds need various grooming tools to reduce the amount of fur tumbleweed flying through your home and vacuuming! These are:

  1. Double-sided brush. Daily brushing is required to remove loose hair and debris from your dog’s topcoat. Alternatively, you can use a good grooming comb. If you have a long-coated GSD, a firm stickler brush with soft stainless steel bristles is best.
  2. Dematting tool. This removes any mats or tangles, especially in longer-haired German Shepherds, before de-shedding. Ideally, choose an adjustable tool to work on all coat lengths for the safe removal of matted fur.
  3. Undercoat de-shedding tool. Deshedding should be done 1-2 times per week and more frequently during heavy molting periods. The tool should safely reach through your dog’s guard coat (outer coat) and remove fur from his undercoat. This tool is more effective than a regular brush or comb as it removes significantly more loose hair.
  4. Shampoo and conditioner. German Shepherds should only be bathed 3-4 times per year, but you should always bathe him during the period when he is “blowing his coat.” This helps to loosen and get rid of any remaining hairs.

Grooming is not only required to control shedding, but it’s essential to keep your German Shepherd’s fur healthy and hygienic. It also helps you detect any early signs of skin problems and allows you to check for fleas and other nasties!

Best Grooming Tools for German Shepherds

A GSD deshedded with a grooming brush
Willow being de-shedded

So, here’s my pick of the three best grooming tools for German Shepherds. Make sure to check out the latest prices on Amazon:

1. FURminator Dual Grooming Brush:

This is the ideal double-sided dog brush. One side has hard-wearing metal bristles to remove loose hair and debris from your GSDs topcoat, while the other side is made from boars’ bristles to smooth and shine the outer coat.

This grooming brush, if used daily, is also great for reducing tangles. It also keeps the coat healthy by massaging your dog’s skin, which stimulates and distributes the natural oils.

If your German Shepherd is the long-coated variety, go for the FURminator Firm Grooming Slicker Brush.

The soft stainless steel bristles are more suited to long coats. This tool features bent bristles on one side to break up mats and straight bristles on the other side to finish off.

2. FURminator Adjustable Dematting Tool:

This de-matting tool suits the short and long-haired variety of German Shepherds, as you can adjust the stainless steel edges to fit. It’s so easy to use and removes matted hair easily.

It looks a little scary initially, but the cutting edges are nice and curved, making it completely safe. Make sure your dog is dry before using this tool.

3. FURminator Undercoat deShedding Tool:

This is the Rolls Royce of grooming tools! When I first used this on my German Shepherd, I couldn’t believe how much fur I removed! It felt like I was shearing a sheep – not that I’ve ever worked on a farm!

German Shepherd being groomed with a FURminator undercoat deshedding tool
“And that’s just from my tail!”

The edge is made from stainless steel and expertly penetrates the outer coat to remove the undercoat’s soft, loose fur without damaging the guard hairs or cutting your dog’s skin.

It also has a nifty button to eject the hair as you go along. You need the large-sized tool for a GSD and choose either the short hair tool or the long hair tool, depending on your dog.

By far, this clever tool is my No 1. pick of the best grooming tools for German Shepherds. I find weekly grooming quite therapeutic as I watch the clumps of fur fall out!

4. FURminator DeShedding Shampoo and Conditioner

The 4th stage to successfully grooming your German Shepherd is bathing with a de-shedding shampoo and conditioner.

Bathing promotes a healthy coat and skin, but it’s also essential not to over-bathe, as this strips the coat from natural oils and leaves the skin dry.

Generally, German Shepherds only need to be bathed 3-4 times per year but always wash during the heavy molting period when he is changing his coat as this helps to loosen and remove the undercoat.

If you have a white German Shepherd or your dog likes to roll in fox poop or mud, you will need to wash him more often.

I use the FURminator Ultra Premium Shampoo as it’s engineered to reduce excessive shedding and contains healthy Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, which are perfect for your GSD’s skin, coat, and joints.

You can also get the conditioner to use with the shampoo if you need to bathe your dog more often. Conditioner restores hydration, prevents dry skin, and nourishes and repairs the coat.

A GSD being de-shedded with a grooming tool.
De-shedding Willow

5. SHELANDY Drying Tool

After giving your GSD a complete wash with shampoo and a conditioner, it’s a common habit of pet owners to gently pat with a cloth.

Does that work?

Well, in most cases. But, there’s a downside with this approach. It doesn’t thoroughly dry the fur. As a result, it can result in tangling.

It’s highly critical to choose a drying tool to dry your German Shepherd that completes your dog’s grooming session.

There are several reasons to recommend this product:

  • It maintains an even airflow (without throwing extremely hot or cold air).
  • It isn’t noisy, so your dog won’t get scared when you use it.
  • It’s great for dogs of varied breeds. There’s a flexible hose that makes it even more convenient if you’re grooming and drying multiple dogs simultaneously.

6. Oneisall Hair Trimmer

Did you think grooming is about giving your German Shepherd a quick bath and then combing them later? If so, you’re wrong.

One essential element in the grooming process is trimming their nails and hair.

Sometimes, my German Shepherd has lengthy fur that gets matted and messy. It costs a ton of money to hire a groomer.

After a quick thought about various products to trim dog hair, I found that Oneisall is a wonderful brand offering a beginner-friendly hair trimmer.

Here are a few reasons I like this product over the rest:

  • It’s cordless and rechargeable.
  • It doesn’t leave marks on the dog.
  • It works like a human hair trimmer. Hence, it’s easy to use and troubleshoot when necessary.
  • It isn’t noisy, so my German Shepherd isn’t scared when I bring this hair trimmer/shaver.

7. Casfuy Nail Grinder

Whether you have a short-haired or a long-haired German Shepherd, nails can grow quickly.

Grooming your German Shepherd also typically includes trimming their nails. Otherwise, they can suffer from breakage when exposed to rough surfaces.

After experimenting with different nail clippers, I’ve decided that German Shepherds need extra care concerning their claws, and if you’re a beginner, you’d better stick to nail grinders.

The Casfuy nail grinder is an amazing product I’ve used for several years. It’s rechargeable and painless, unlike other products out there in the market.

There are other reasons to consider this product:

  • There’s a slight vibration when you grind the nail, but it trims the nail faster than usual.
  • This is beginner-friendly, and the customer care of Casfuy also guides you with proper procedures if you’re facing any trouble.
  • Above all, it’s great to smoothen their nails and is perfect for dogs of all sizes and breeds.

Keeping Your Home Fur-Free

If you are a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to try the FURminator Hair Collection Tool. This little tool is designed to collect hairs from furniture and clothing and is better than a sticky lint roller.

I must be honest – I haven’t used this tool as I prefer to do a full vacuum and clean-up every evening to keep on top of my German Shepherd’s molting. It also doesn’t get top reviews on Amazon, but after reading some of them, it looks like some people expected it to replace the vacuum!

It’s not intended for a full clean, but it looks like it could do a decent job removing hair from your clothing so you can go out confidently, not looking like Chewbacca!

Why I Use FURminator Grooming Tools

Here’s why I chose the FURminator brand as having the best grooming tools and brushes:

  • Functionality: These grooming tools actually work! The undercoat de-shedding tool reduces shedding by 90% with regular use. Use this tool to groom your German Shepherd 1-2 times per week and for 10-20 minutes, depending on his coat length and time of year.
  • Variety of tools for the German Shepherd: FURminator has a wide range of tools to fulfill each stage of the grooming process designed for the GSD, namely a double-sided brush, a de-matting, and an undercoat de-shedding tool.
  • Quality. Their products are well made using stainless steel and tough plastic and won’t break the bank! You can use professional grooming tools for reasonable prices in the comfort of your home…or the nearby field if it’s de-shedding time!
  • Safety. FURminator products are safe for you and your dog, as the cutting edges are nicely rounded. The undercoat de-shedding tool has a skin guard that glides over your dog’s skin, preventing cuts. It also has an edge guard that protects the teeth when the tool is unused. The adjustable de-matting tool has a tab that easily slides to lock the edges in place.
  • Comfort. The grooming tools’ handles are ergonomically designed and non-slip to give you more control, making the job easy. The undercoat de-shedding tool’s blade is curved, making it comfortable for your German Shepherd as it glides along with its natural shape.
  • Guarantee: FURminator has a 30-day money-back guarantee if, for any reason, you are not happy with their kit. Looking at the number of positive reviews on Amazon, it isn’t easy to imagine anyone having to return any of these dog brushes or tools.
German Shepherd with a FURminator undercoat de-shedding tool placed on the turf
My German Shepherd Willow posing with her FURminator undercoat de-shedding tool.

How to Groom a German Shepherd

So, now you’re armed with the best grooming tools for your German Shepherd, here are my 10 top tips I thought I’d share:

  • Start grooming your German Shepherd from a young age. Ideally, as soon as you bring him home, at around 8 weeks. This will allow your young puppy to get used to the daily brush and his other grooming tools.
  • Teach your dog to be comfortable with being handled in general. Get to know the areas he likes to be touched and the ones he doesn’t by petting him in different areas. This will put him at ease when it comes to grooming time. Most German Shepherds are affectionate and will tolerate being petted; however, all dogs are different.
  • Make the grooming session enjoyable. If your dog is the nervous type, reassure him, speak calmly, and offer treats as rewards. He will learn to associate grooming with pleasant things.
  • If your dog isn’t keen on grooming, exercise him first. If you take him on a long walk or play a fun game of fetch, he will be too tired to care when he sees you coming towards him with the brush, making your job a lot easier! I find this works for me, and I tend to get a quick brush when my girl is tired.
  • When your GSD is “blowing his coat,” de-shed him outside. I usually FURminate my girl in a nearby field during the heavy shedding periods. There’s no way all that fur is getting in my home!
  • If your dog’s hair is heavily matted and tangled, take your time going through it. Use the adjustable de-matting tool and groom one section at a time. Don’t pull, as this may hurt your German Shepherd and make him anxious.
  • Never discipline your GSD during a grooming session. This will make him dislike it even more and will be counter-productive. Instead, distract his poor behavior and reward good behavior using positive reinforcement, such as giving treats.
  • Never shave your German Shepherd. His undercoat is designed to keep him cool in the summer and provides insulation against the heat. Shaving can also cause skin irritation and infection and expose your dog to harmful sunlight.
  • Never let your dog play with your grooming kit to avoid any accidents. They are not toys! Keep them in a safe place and out of reach.
  • Use the grooming session as an opportunity to examine your dog’s skin. Check for any hot spots or infections. You can also check the health of his ears, nails, and teeth.


What type of brush is best for German Shepherds?

The best type of brush for a German Shepherd is a slicker brush. This brush has fine, short wires close together that can effectively remove loose fur, dirt, and tangles from the dog’s thick coat. It is also gentle on the skin and does not cause any discomfort to the dog during grooming.

Slicker brushes are handy for German Shepherds when they lose a lot of fur during shedding season. Regular brushing with a slicker brush can help keep the dog’s coat healthy, shiny, and free of mats and tangles.

What are the most common grooming problems that German Shepherds have?

One of the most common grooming problems that German Shepherds have is their long, thick coats. They also have a double coat, which means they have a thick, dense undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. This combination can be difficult to maintain, as the long outer coat can become matted and tangled if not brushed regularly.

How often should you brush a German Shepherd?

To keep your German Shepherd’s coat healthy and free of mats and tangles, brush them at least once a week and more frequently during shedding season. During shedding season, which usually happens in the spring and fall, daily brushing is recommended to remove loose fur and prevent it from accumulating in the house.

Regular brushing also helps distribute the dog’s natural oils throughout the coat, keeping it shiny and healthy. Also, brushing is a great way to bond with your German Shepherd and promote their well-being.

Do German Shepherds like being brushed?

Most German Shepherds enjoy being brushed, especially when they are used to it from a young age. Brushing can be a relaxing and bonding experience for both you and your dog. However, some dogs may not like being brushed if they have sensitive skin or mats or tangles that cause discomfort.

In these cases, it is essential to be gentle and patient while brushing and to use a detangler spray if necessary. You should also ensure the dog is comfortable and relaxed during the grooming process by offering treats and praise.

Do German Shepherds require a special nail trimmer?

When it comes to grooming tools for German Shepherds, one item that is worth considering is a specialized nail trimmer designed specifically for their strong nails. These trimmers are typically more durable and have a sharper cutting blade, making it easier and safer to keep your dog’s nails at a proper length. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best grooming tools for your German Shepherd may seem a quick and easy task, but there are so many different brands it can be challenging to know where to start!

I hope you have found this article helpful as not only do you now know the type of grooming kit your dog needs (whether you have the short-haired or long-haired variety of German Shepherd), but you can see the tools I use.

You won’t find many negative reviews of these products online. Some people may say they are too expensive. However, I disagree as you are paying for top-quality tools that do what they are supposed to and will last an age.

However, when choosing stuff for your dog, doing your own research is essential.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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