German Shepherd's shed... a lot. With its double coat you've got twice the hair. Twice a year, you can expect your German Shepherd to "blow" their coat. Expect to have to vacuum several times a week during this time. Brushing your dog a few times a week will cut down on finding hair in your carpet, furniture, and clothing, but expect hair to still be found throughout most of your home and in places you may have missed, as dust puppies can wander!
Brush your pets’ teeth once a day to help avoid "doggy breath" and maintain good health. Use a pet toothpaste without fluoride, such as CET or other available at pet stores, vets or on-line pet stores. After you and your GSD get the hang of this (yes, it will take a week or two), it takes about 30 seconds to brush the teeth and rinse the brush out. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes (would you go a lifetime without brushing your teeth??)
Check regularly, wipe tear tracks with a damp soft cloth or paper towel. Eyes should not "run" excessively. If they do, check the contents of your food (for possible allergies) and the stool for worms. If it persists for more than 24 hours, call your vet.
Clip nails as needed. Never allow them to grow out too long. Each dog is different and will depend on how often they are exposed to hard outdoor surfaces. Try not to clip the quick (look for the “V” under the nail), but if you do, keep a styptic pencil (available at all drug stores) on hand. If you don't have any on hand, you can use chap stick (works really well!), flour or baking soda to pack inside the nail until it stops bleeding (and it will bleed!) It should stop bleeding once you have packed it with something.
Your dogs’ ears should stay pretty clean but check regularly for wax and dirt. Clean out with baby wipe (Aloe type works great!) or if the dog is scratching the ears excessively, clean with ear cleaner from the pet store or vet. We recommend OtiRinse Cleaning and Drying Solution. It usually can be purchased from your vet or if you want to save yourself a ton of money, you can order on line at Healthy Petsl.
If your dog is having reoccurring ear infections or develops “yucky” ears (black tar looking debris), please take them to the vet. In many circumstances, ear infections or “yucky” ear are food related (sounds strange but it could be true!) You can try changing his or her food (gradually remember!) to one that has no wheat or corn in its ingredient.
Your GSD will shed! Even if it's a "single coat" GSD! Expect some dog hair on your furniture, in your car and on your clothing! Brush your dog at least every other day to minimize shedding around the house and keep the coat silky and clean. Use vitamins such as Omega 3 & 6 or a HIGH QUAILTY fish oil (cheap stuff smells like fish!) to prevent undue hair loss. Use brushing as a bonding opportunity and reward for your dog, and soon your GSD will beg you to be brushed.
Sam's Club has very good prices on vitamins. A brewer’s yeast tab thrown into nightly food is a great way to keep the coat silky and avoid vitamin B deficiency. A shake of garlic powder in the food is a great health enhancer and "natural" flea preventative. These are not expensive items, and your GSD's health is the most important gift you can give him/her.