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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I'm new here, this sounds like a great Forum Site that I can discuss some stuff with.

My father is highly allergic to some types of dogs. He is extremely allergic to cats. However, he is not allergic to Australian Shepherds, not one bit. He cuddles with our Aussies every night and definitely does not have any allergies towards them. We have babysat dogs in the past (variety of breeds) and he would get allergic to some, and not to others.

I've been thinking about owning a German Shepherd for a few years now, and think that they are amazing companions and would definitely fit my condition. However, the only thing I'm concerned about is if my father is allergic to this breed, I don't know if he would be.

Let's say he was a bit allergic to this breed, would a long haired GSD be better or short haired GSD be better for allergies?
If I were to bathe this GSD with Essential Oils regularly, while brushing with Furminator very regularly, etc. would this minimize his allergies, if he does have any?


Are there any tips?


Thanks in Regards!
 

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I'd have him be around GSD's before committing to getting one, that way you'll have a general idea of if he may react to one and just how strong the reaction might be.

It's not the hair of the dog that people react to, it's the dander and dried saliva that's the culprit. Keeping the dog groomed and bathing it once a week with a gentle dog shampoo will help. Having him on a good, high quality, diet will also help. Other then that keep the dog out of your dad's bedroom, that area should be a dog free zone. Use air filters in the rooms that the dog is allowed in, vacuum and dust frequently, and wash the dogs bedding every week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Rain.

Yes I am aware that the dogs dandruff and saliva are the main allergy concerns, but fur is as well because it too, has dandruff and saliva attached. :)

We don't know of anyone that has a German Shepherd, but my sister's husband has had a GSD mix in the past, we've had no concerns with my dad being around. If there's any breeders nearby that will let us look at their herd, maybe we will test it out and see how my father reacts.

Thank you so much for your advice, greatly appreciated!

Any other comments are recommended, too!
 

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Unfortunately GSD are one of the worst dog breeds to own for people with allergies. They are called the "german shedders" because of the large amount if hair they lose year round. They also tend to have a lot of skin issues which produces dander. I agree that finding a breeder who would allow your father and you to visit would be a good idea.
 

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It depends on what saliva and dander your dad is allergic to, maybe visit a few breeders to a get a lay of the land. I'm allergic to most bully breeds - their dander, as well as LG breeds like St. Bernards and Bernese Mountain dogs - their saliva. I have also have a theory about dogs and their diet. I've had allergic reactions, like hives, to dogs fed stuff like beneful and Ol'Roy, I asked the owners what they feed, while dogs on higher quality food haven't caused an issue for me. It's only a theory.
 

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Let's say he was a bit allergic to this breed, would a long haired GSD be better or short haired GSD be better for allergies?

Are there any tips?
My observations are, a long/medium coat GSD drops less undercoat shed because the longer outer coat holds the shed better than a stock coat. However, when they blow their coats seasonally or increased shedding with an intact bitch coming into season, all bets are off. A quick daily grooming with a slicker brush on a long coat will collect the majority of any daily undercoat shedding. Also, a raw diet IME makes a significant difference in the amount of normal shed, it's much less.

I'm not so sure about shampooing a dog too often as it might do more damage than any benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let's say he was a bit allergic to this breed, would a long haired GSD be better or short haired GSD be better for allergies?

Are there any tips?
My observations are, a long/medium coat GSD drops less undercoat shed because the longer outer coat holds the shed better than a stock coat. However, when they blow their coats seasonally or increased shedding with an intact bitch coming into season, all bets are off. A quick daily grooming with a slicker brush on a long coat will collect the majority of any daily undercoat shedding. Also, a raw diet IME makes a significant difference in the amount of normal shed, it's much less.

I'm not so sure about shampooing a dog too often as it might do more damage than any benefit.


Alright, thank you. I will take your experience into consideration!

I see how shampoo can hurt a dog's skin, because, I breed a specific animal and they have the same reaction to bathing too often. Would you think Essential Oils instead of shampoo would help with allergies?


Thanks!
 

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I used to have a German Shepherd. Even with frequent brushing and bathing, she was quite the shedder. Balls of fur would collect in our house under furniture, creating a tumbleweed sort of effect. Expect to do thorough vacuuming at least twice a week with a GSD :)

They're really wonderful dogs though. It was worth every strand of fur stuck to my socks. If you find that your dad isn't allergic to them, go for it.
 

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Also should mention, don't go hog wild with the furminator. It strips the oil off the fur which can lead to a thinned coat and dull fur.
 
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I just wanted to also reiterate that FURminator's should be used sparingly (if used at all). Management at the salon I work at likes to push them, but me and my co-workers aren't fans because they are extremely abrasive and easy to nick or rub raw the skin of your pup. However, the FURminator shampoo and, more importantly, the conditioner with a high powered hair dryer on cool is a wonderful and safe combination that I've used on hundreds of GSDs.

But it is a very time consuming and frustrating process and if you are looking at having to bathe your dog even more then once a month for allergy reasons I would suggest a different breed of dog because it takes me around 40 minutes straight of drying to finish the coat of a GSD and that's with a professional high velocity dryer, with an at-home dryer I think I'd go insane.
 

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I have always been leary of Furminators, so on my aussies I just use an undercoat rake, and have had good luck with them.
Undercoat rakes are amazing!
 
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