What is German shepherd double coat: Single Coat vs Double Coat

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german shepherd double coat

German Shepherds are undoubtedly the best and most loyal dogs in the world. One of the strong and recognizable features of these dogs is their long shiny thick coat so-called german shepherd double coat dogs.

German Shepherds are famous across the world for their beautiful, thick coats.

These beautiful fur coats are easily recognized and gained wider attention in the dog world. The most common color in german shepherds is black and tan color but there are different coat colors you can find in the German Shepherd breed.

German Shepherds can be solid, sable, saddleback, or bi-colored. Coat colors range from black, white, red, tan, blue, cream, liver, and silver.

You may have heard of some German Shepherds double coats while adopting a dog but you need to know what exactly is double coat and single coat in german shepherd, because it is all associated with maintenance, temperament, shedding, and supplements you need to give for your dog.

So How do you distinguish a single coat versus a double coat?

Also Read: When do german shepherd ears stand up naturally?

Single Coat vs. Double Coat – What’s the Difference?

German shepherd dogs are often seen in 2 types of coats that is a single coat or short coat and a double coat or long coat. Double coated or long-haired breeds will have a second coated fur and that is often referred to as “Guard Coat”, which is mainly helpful for the dog to safeguard from dirt and water.

The coat would shed off after the 1st month and the puppy looks like a normal single coat but the fur will again come back after the 5th month.

4 months old German shepherd
Portrait of a 4 months old German shepherd which is looking like a single coat German shepherd but it is a double coated one

The second coat fur in the guard coat is usually foamy & soft and can avoid contact with the dirt and water off the dog’s skin which prevents itching. This is useful because it prevents mud on their skin or unnecessary bacterial infections.

Double coats with a guard coat can provide dual performance at different seasons of the year. During the winter season, dogs will be able to hold the heat generated naturally close to the skin. In the summer, the foamy coat will be able to reflect sunlight, which will help the dog from getting too hot.

Dogs with double coats also have an undercoat. This undercoat serves as an excellent insulating coat in winter, the undercoat which we call a Guard Coat is thicker and stronger. This, coupled with the second coat, makes the double-coated dog well suited for all types of weather.

Double Coat German Shepherd
Double Coat German Shepherd

Single coated dogs, on the other hand, only have an outer, protective coat. These dogs are generally not suitable for living in cold weather like Antarctica, Canada, Kazakhstan, Mongolia which are considered as the top coldest countries in the world, and in most cases, they are bred in areas that do not require an insulating undercoat.

So it is better to adopt a double coated or long haired German shepherd in coldest places.

Single Coat German shepherd
Single Coat German shepherd

German Shepherds are mandatorily double -Coated Dogs?

German Shepherds are generally considered double-coated. However, they are not all the same. There are different lengths and sizes of their coats. There is no insulating undercoat in all coats.

The top layer (sometimes called the top coat), called the guard coat, is slightly more “Wiry” and abrasive.

The underlying coats are specifically for the official race that can compete. In the United States, if a German Shepherd does not have an undercoat, it is considered a defective dog by the American Kennel Association. They are not allowed to participate in exhibitions. However, not all German Shepherds have these undercoats. There are different types, including:

1. Short-length coat: 1 Inch with an Under Coat

2. A medium-length coat: Covered with an undercoat, commonly known as a Guard coat. The coat you see in the German Shepherd is very frequent and it is essential for the Show lines. This coat is usually between one and two inches long.

3. Long coat with undercoat: These long coats are at least two inches long, usually very thick with an undercoat, and make an excellent breed during winter.

4. Long coat without undercoat; Long coat GSD which looks quite similar but the undercoat will be missing.

Coat types

Coat Types and Shedding

One of the factors that affect the amount of shedding your dog does is their coat type. German shepherd dogs are often called German Shedding dogs. These dogs shed a lot throughout the year, regardless of their coat. However, some types of German Shepherds may have less shedding and so if if you are adopting one, you need to be prepared.

However, you should make sure to brush your German Shepherd double coat on a regular basis. Brushing once in a couple of days is ideal, but if this isn’t possible, make sure you brush at least 3 times a week.

How Often Should You bathe your Dog

Bathing your German Shepherd can remove 20% more fur. If you brush only when your dog is slightly damp, it will help to remove more hair. Do not bathe your dog too often, as this will remove natural oils, making your dog coat easier to mat and less shiny. It is best not to bathe the German Shepherd every 4-5 months.

German shepherds that do not have undercoats require less grooming during the spring-fall and fall months, but that doesn’t make any big difference in terms of looks.

Can You Shave a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds Undercoat is an excellent insulator, and you will probably feel that it keeps them warm during the colder months. But layers of fur keep them cool in the summer and insulate them from the warm air.

It is therefore a very bad practice to shave a double coated German shepherd.

If you have one of these puppies or planning to adopt one, it makes sense that you want to do everything you can to keep its coat healthy and shiny. Proper nutrition and grooming habits are great ways to make sure your dog is happy and looks good!

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