Dogs bring us joy, provide companionship, are excellent exercise partners, and, unfortunately, fill our houses with dog hair. Some dog breeds are worse than others, but any dog hair can be unpleasant when it litters furniture or collects in clumps on the floor. Owners of German shorthaired pointers (GSP) often seem to complain about their dogs’ shedding. They want to know all about methods to stop their GSP from shedding.
It is impossible to stop a GSP from shedding. It is a natural occurrence and can only be managed but not eliminated. Bathing and regular grooming help reduce the amount of hair in the house. Improving the skin condition and keeping the GSP parasite-free will also reduce shedding.
German shorthaired pointers do not have long hair. Their coats are short, making some people believe that the hair they shed will be minimal and easy to clean. Shorthaired dogs can shed just as heavily as long-haired dogs.
How Often Do GSPs Shed And Can It Be Stopped?
It is impossible to stop a GSP from shedding its coat, just as you cannot prevent your hair from falling out. Hair has a natural growth cycle where damaged and old hairs are replaced by new ones.
GSPs have a double coat. The undercoat is finer, softer, and provides some insulation. The outer coat consists of short guard hairs that help keep dirt, debris, and water away from the undercoat and the dog’s skin.
German shorthaired pointers in warm climates may shed throughout the year as the new hairs grow. In climates that have distinct seasons, GSPs usually shed twice a year. The local temperatures govern the exact time of the year.
Late summer or fall is one shedding period as the GSP grows in a thicker coat in preparation for winter. The second shedding period occurs at the end of winter or early spring. This shed allows the dog to lose excess hair, so it is cooler in summer.
Are GSPs Heavy Shedders?
GSPs are not heavy shedders. They are usually classed as moderate shedders. The problem is that the short hairs can be difficult to clean as they stick into the fabric of furniture and carpets.
Regular Bathing can Reduce Shedding In The Home
Most pet owners only think of bathing as a means of keeping their dog clean and pleasant smelling. Bathing a GSP is one of the best ways to loosen old hairs in the process of becoming detached.
The water and rubbing action allow these hairs to fall out during the bath. When the dog is dried, loose hairs are removed from the coat. Many groomers advise using a blow dryer to remove the loose hair completely.
Some dogs are afraid of the noise a hair dryer makes and may get snappy or anxious. In this case, it is better to towel dry the GSP.
It is critical to note that dogs must not be bathed too often. Oils and good bacteria that protect the skin can be removed by bathing too often. The American Kennel Club advises that GSPs should be bathed every eight to ten weeks.
Some GSP owners prefer to bathe their dogs when the dog is shedding its coat and only when necessary in the intervening times. This is an acceptable practice.
Shampoos designed for dogs are essential to avoid causing damage to the skin and coat. Over-bathing can lead to dry skin, allergies and eczema.
Grooming Reduces Shedding In GSPs
German shorthaired pointers are not usually dogs that have high grooming needs. This changes when they are shedding. Brushing helps to loosen old, damaged hairs that are being replaced by new growth.
Pulling the hair from the grooming brush is much easier than removing it from your furniture and carpets. During shedding periods, aim to groom your GSP once a day to avoid hair being spread all over your home.
There are many dog grooming brushes, rakes, and combs on the market, with each claiming to have superior performance. Approach grooming by considering your GSPs coat and thinking about what brush or tool would be comfortable for your dog.
Rakes are not usually appropriate as the GSP has a short coat. The rakes have long tines that penetrate the coat and hurt the skin.
Slicker brushes have short fine wires or pins arranged close together. Ball pins are kinder to the skin as they prevent the skin from micro-damage. Ball pin slicker brushes are good brushes for GSPs.
Horse curry combs or similar grooming tools are excellent for loosening the hair. Once the hair is loosened, the slicker brush can be used to brush and collect the hair from the coat.
Skin Condition Is Important In Controlling GSP Shedding
A GSP with poor skin health can be prone to increased shedding. Hair follicles are situated in the skin, and if the skin condition is poor, the hairs will become loosened in the follicle.
A good diet with the necessary vitamins and minerals is essential in maintaining skin health. Omega oil supplements are one of the best methods of improving the skin and coat condition of a GSP.
Many people will only buy veterinary omega supplements. These can be extremely pricey and unaffordable for some pet owners. Human omega supplements can be used as they use the same basic ingredients as veterinary products. Ask your veterinarian to help you find the appropriate dose for your dog.
Parasites Can Increase Shedding
Parasites such as ticks, fleas, lice, and mites cause itching and compromise the skin condition. They can increase hair loss and cause other health problems. Parasite control for your GSP is critical for their health and to control shedding.
It is impossible to stop your GSP from shedding. Keeping your dog healthy is a key element in maintaining the skin and coat in good condition, which limits shedding. Appropriate bathing and grooming help reduce the amount of hair deposited in the home. GSPs should be on a parasite control program to keep them free from pests and protect their health and coats.