What exactly is "blowing coat"?

What exactly is "blowing coat", you may ask? Best described, it is when German shepherds lose their undercoat in one fell swoop - the undercoat simply comes out in large tufts in a manner of days.

Another way to think about it is as a"fur explosion" - it is a very intense shedding period that will require you to brush your GSD quite often.

You will often hear this entire process referred to as "blowing coat". And grooming can be very, very challenging during this time - to say the least.

What is "blowing coat" you ask? Believe me, you'll know it when it happens - but you can always ask your breeder or another Alsatian owner ahead of time to describe exactly what this is to you.

In fact, here's a video illustrating an actual dog during the blown coat process and the owner who is grooming it - I simply couldn't explain the issue any better than what you're about to see.

Dog Blowing Coat

Basically, blowing coat is a seasonal molting of all that dead winter (or summer) under coat - and it all happens within just a few days, or weeks, of time, verses the traditional all year "normal" shedding. When a German Shepherd blows coat, you could easily collect enough fur to fill a good sized trash can - and then some more, in just a few hours or days.

Basically, this means that your German Shepherd Dog's entire undercoat will, over the period of a couple of weeks or so, come out in clumps, generally about twice a year, and lasting about two weeks in length - typically much more severe in females too.

The amount of dog hair shed in a few weeks is truly staggering! It can easily fill several garbage bags, depending on your dog.

One good indication that the coat is about to "blow" is when small clumps of hair will begin to fall out all at once.

What is the best solution to correct this shedding problem? Get the best brush you can and brush, brush your GSD! And then to brush your dog some more. Brushing your German Shepherd during this time is critical. To say that lots of vacuuming and brushing are in order is an understatement. "Blowing coat" can be subject to climactic and hormonal conditions as well. 

Best advice: take your dog outside and brush all that loose hair out of your German Shepherds coat as often as you possibly can during this period. It is very important to do this for your dogs health as well as for basic housekeeping reasons and to help you keep your sanity.

If you allow dead hair to get all caught up in the coat it will get matted and will eventually get twisted and tangled enough to irritate the dogs skin. Did you know that hair mats can be a great hideout for fleas, mites, ticks or other annoying little critters? Another great reason to keep the coat clean, well groomed and in check.

During this time of year you'll find yourself vacuuming a lot! Believe me, even with all the grooming sessions that you'll be doing outside. In addition to the occasional blown coat, many German Shepherds shed somewhat all year long. So get yourself a broom and a good vacuum cleaner.

If you insist on a very clean house and do not like dog hair on your clothes and furniture, you might want to reconsider before bringing a German Shepherd into your home. Remember, you not only own the dog, but all that coat as well. 

Return from Blowing Coat to Grooming the GSD 

"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog." --Douglas Mallock

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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB.
Laura Page Warden

What a fabulous website!!! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the dogs. There is a ton of helpful information on here and defiantly something for every reader to enjoy!!!
Misty Weaver

Recently got a GSD again. Last time had GSD no internet etc. Cant believe how much info for free. Kenneth

I love and appreciate the helpful advice I found on your website!