Let’s face it – German Shepherds can get to be very big dogs. A full grown German Shepherd can weigh upwards of almost ninety pounds, and they tend to get very large – especially the male German Shepherds! So when it comes to grooming, giving one of these large breeds a bath can seem like a pretty daunting task, but you shouldn’t let it dissuade you – in fact, a lot of these dogs find themselves enjoying a bath every now and again, especially with a gentle touch from their owner. Also, German Shepherds are a breed that doesn’t require frequent bathing – most of the time these dogs only need four or five baths per year.
The first thing you should do is prepare the area – get everything you need within reach. Figure out the type of shampoo you would like to use, since there are a lot of them on the market that cater to every skin type. Gather a few towels, and make sure you have either a bathmat or another non-slip surface on the floor of the bathtub. If it’s warmer outside, you can even bathe your dog outside on your deck or backyard.
When you get your dog into the bathroom (or outside, depending), talk to him or her gently and try to ensure that they feel relaxed and calm, otherwise the dog might become frightened and try to run. Once you get your dog in the tub, make sure to use slightly warm water – never use hot water on your dog, because it can irritate their skin and cause itching, dandruff, or other skin issues. Next, make sure to get your dog nice and wet, avoiding the face if possible. Get some shampoo onto your hands and rub it gently over your dog’s coat, making sure not to pull any tangles that might be in their fur. Pay attention to the amount of shampoo you use, as well – you might be tempted to use quite a bit of it, because of the large size of the breed, but a small amount goes a long way, and it tends to take a lot to rinse it out of the dog’s coat. Also, never use shampoo near your dog’s eyes or mouth. Be sure to speak gently to your dog to make sure that everything is calm and relaxing.
Once your dog is lathered up, take care to rinse the shampoo out. Try and make sure to get all the shampoo out of the dog’s coat – a challenging task due to the length of the coat and the undercoat. Be sure to rinse a few times to make sure you remove all the excess, as too much shampoo left over on the skin can cause itching and skin irritation, as well as cause the dog’s coat to lose its gloss.
When you’ve finished rinsing your dog, help him or her out of the tub and then begin drying gently. If it is cold outside or the air inside is dry, it may help to use a hair dryer to help with drying – it will ensure the dog stays warm. Be sure to finish up with a nice brushing when dry, and your German Shepherd is nice and clean – at least for now!