The German Shepherd has many endearing qualities, one of which is their playful and energetic nature.
Unfortunately, this can often lead them to get themselves into terrible messes. That’s when you need a good dog shampoo to remove all that filth from their thick, matted coats.
With that in mind, let’s look at seven of the best dog shampoos that we could find online. These products are presented in no particular order, and without bias towards any of them.
We will simply examine the pros and cons so that you can determine if this product is the right one for your German Shepherd.
1.Espree “Dirty Dog” Shampoo
This is one of the more heavy-duty options on our list. As you might guess from the name, it is intended for the dirtiest dogs.
We can’t help but notice that it has a German Shepherd on the label, which suggests that they made this shampoo with them in mind.
Most people find this shampoo to be effective in removing dirt and grime without the use of harsh chemicals that dry out the skin and hair.
This one is a little bit on the expensive side, but you are getting an entire gallon. Even with a large dog, this gallon should last you a long time. Still, it’s a little bit expensive even when you consider its bulk.
On a cost per ounce basis, you are paying more per ounce for this shampoo than you would for a smaller bottle. That means you aren’t really saving any money by buying this huge bottle.
This shampoo is completely natural and contains a lot of Aloe Vera. Aloe is a plant that is known to have soothing effects on the skin, and this shampoo also contains lavender, pomegranate, and jojoba essence.
With all these different plants, you avoid the use of harsh chemicals. However, you also increase the chance of an allergic reaction when you mix too many of them.
- Deep cleaning and degreasing power
- Obviously made with German Shepherds in mind
- Should last a long time
- Contains aloe vera
- Contains no harsh chemicals
- A little expensive (no bulk savings)
- Can trigger allergic reactions in some cases
2. Arm And Hammer Super Deodorizing Shampoo
Baking soda is one of the oldest and best-known methods of knocking out a foul odor. Like a sponge, baking soda absorbs bad smells from the air.
This shampoo uses baking soda as a deodorizing agent, and it seems quite effective. It has very few chemical ingredients, consisting mostly of plant extracts. In fact, its main ingredient appears to be a coconut-based surfactant.
In terms of cost per fluid ounce, this is the second-cheapest product on our list, in spite of the fact that this container is only 20 ounces.
Usually, it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, but this seems to be an exception. Of course, as with our previous product, all of those herbal ingredients can present an allergic risk.
We found some negative reviews of this product, saying that it didn’t deodorize as well as expected. However, most of the reviews we found were positive ones. In general, we would say that this is one of the more trustworthy products on our list.
- Very effective deodorizer
- Very few chemical ingredients
- Safe to use with anti-flea products
- Second-cheapest overall product on our list
- Pleasant kiwi scent
- Lots of herbal ingredients = allergic risk
- Some reviews cast doubt on its effectiveness
3. Petpleasant Lavender Oatmeal Pet Shampoo
This product is another heavy-duty cleanser, and should only be used for the filthiest of German Shepherds. We say this because it is the most expensive item on our list when figured on a cost per ounce basis.
Thus, it wouldn’t really be cost-effective to use this stuff for a routine bath. It would be better to use this stuff as a “secret weapon” that you pull out when your dog is truly and horrendously filthy.
This stuff has a very pleasant smell (lavender and oatmeal, as you would expect), and leaves that scent on any dog on which it is used.
We also like the fact that the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee. It is also formulated to avoid tearing, should you happen to get it in the dog’s eyes.
This one is not a gentle cleanser and is made from mostly chemical ingredients. We don’t see anything dangerous here, but this is not made from very many natural substances.
Although this product gets about 80% positive reviews, the other 20% is very consistent. Most of the complaints we saw were focused on skin rashes and allergic reactions.
Thus, we would advise you to test this product on a small patch of your dog’s skin before using it for a full bath.
- Very strong cleanser
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Pleasant smell
- About 80% positive reviews
- Consistent allergy complaints
- Most expensive shampoo on our list
4. FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo
This is a special-purpose shampoo, but there is nothing wrong with that. It is intended to reduce shedding by promoting greater health of the skin and coat.
This product tries to achieve that effect by using a mix of omega fatty acids and plant extracts. Most reviews seem to indicate that it works well for its intended purpose.
Apart from its anti-shedding benefits, this shampoo is the cheapest one on our list in terms of cost per ounce. Thus, it’s a good general option for those who are on a tight budget.
The ingredients don’t seem to be particularly harsh, making this a middle option between chemical shampoos and purely herbal shampoos. This would also be a decent choice for any dog that is suffering from skin issues.
Of course, it should be noted that this shampoo does not remove the need for brushing, and it won’t stop your dog from shedding entirely.
However, it should help to control the problem. We also noticed that this product is a little bit thin, making it easy to waste if you aren’t careful.
- Cheapest in terms of cost per ounce
- Helps to reduce shedding
- Not particularly harsh ingredients
- Promotes good skin/coat health in general
- A little bit too thin
- Doesn’t remove the need for brushing
5. Pro Petworks Oatmeal Pet Wash
This is a product that is very well-suited for those who need something gentle and organic. Although it is the second most expensive item on our list, you do get a lot of benefits for that extra money. There are no harsh ingredients at all, and everything comes from plant sources or other natural sources.
Because of its ingredients, this one is very good for the health of the skin and hair. In fact, some reviews say that they used this shampoo for therapeutic purposes when their dogs developed rashes or other skin problems.
While we certainly cannot recommend this product for the treatment of any disease, this does speak well for the effectiveness of the product and helps to justify its higher cost.
Another good thing about this product is the fact that it laters quite well. We think this is due to the fact that it’s made from de-ionized water, but we’re not totally sure about that.
Either way, you can get away with using a little less of this shampoo. This is great because it helps you to stretch the product a little further.
In fact, it’s probably good to use this stuff sparingly because its smell is quite strong. That cherry smell is pleasant, but you don’t want too much of a good thing.
- Very good for skin health
- Very gentle and natural
- 100% eco-friendly
- Lathers very well
- Promotes a slick and shiny coat
- The smell might be a little too strong
- The second most expensive item on our list
6. Burt’s Bees for Puppies Tearless 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner
This is a very gentle shampoo that is intended for dogs of all ages. It is labeled as puppy shampoo because most shampoos are not safe for puppies under six weeks of age.
This one is an exception, although you still have to be careful that you avoid getting any in their eyes. To be honest, though, it’s better not to shampoo puppies younger than six weeks, but it’s good to have a product that is gentle enough to do so.
This one is advertised as “99.7% natural,” but some of these ingredients are more like “one step from natural.”
In other words, they are chemical substances, but they are derived directly from plants with just one step of processing. Overall, that isn’t a big problem, but it should be noted.
We like the fact that this product cleans and conditions in the same step, and we kind of like the fact that this one has no dyes or perfumes.
However, some people might not like that aspect. If you want your dog to smell a certain way after bathing, this product will not satisfy you.
There are also some complaints about this product causing dry skin. We should mention that most of the reviews were positive, or else we would not have included this item on our list. Still, dogs with dry skin problems might do better to avoid this one.
- Safe for dogs of all ages
- No dyes or perfumes
- Mostly natural ingredients
- Promotes a shiny coat
- Cleans and conditions in one step
- Can cause dry skin in some cases
- No smell improvement
7. Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs
This one comes from a pretty trusted brand, and it seems to get good reviews to back up that reputation. This is the second-cheapest product on our list, and the difference between this one and the least expensive product is very small.
Again, this is reckoned on a cost per ounce basis because that is the only fair way to judge the cost of these things since all of them are sold in different quantities.
This cleaner is a bit more concentrated than most, so you don’t need to use a whole bunch. This allows you to stretch it out a little bit, making its’ value factor even greater.
This one works as a good generalized shampoo, but it is specifically good for dogs with sensitive skin. Its ingredients are made to reduce problems like itching, dandruff, rashes, etc.
That being said, we are a little bit suspicious because this product contains sodium Laureth sulfate. This is the main ingredient in most human shampoos, and most of those are too harsh for dogs.
On the ingredients list, they shrewdly point out that sodium Laureth sulfate is derived from coconut oil, but this is a deceptive statement.
It’s a deceptive statement because every chemical, even the bad ones, can be traced back to a natural source at some point. However, it’s a bit of a stretch to call sodium Laureth sulfate “natural.”
Also, like all shampoos that contain a lot of herbal extracts, you should test it on a small patch of your dog’s skin before using it for a full bath.
This is because any plant could theoretically cause an allergic reaction. Your chances are pretty random, so it’s better to make sure beforehand.
- Second-cheapest product on our list
- Formulated to moisturize a dog’s skin
- Good for dogs with dandruff
- A little goes a long way
- Nice coconut smell
- Contains sodium Laureth sulfate
- Requires an allergic test
Best Shampoo For German Shepherd Buyer’s Guide
After reading the above section, you should be in a better position to judge whether a given shampoo is right or wrong for your dog.
In the case of a German Shepherd, any of these shampoos might be the right choice. However, there are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration, and we are going to cover the most important of them.
Natural Vs. Chemical Ingredients
As you may have noticed, one of the themes of this article is the difference between chemical and natural shampoos.
The first thing to understand is that chemical shampoos are not necessarily always bad. Technically, any prepared substance is a chemical.
This would include things like soap, which is made from a chemical reaction of lye(sodium hydroxide) and animal fat. Of course, we all know that soap is not dangerous.
In contrast, you have the shampoos that are made from various herbal extracts. As you might guess, these are actually chemicals that are extracted from various plants.
It’s just that they are very simple chemicals, and are little changed from their source. For instance, one way to make a plant extract is to steep it in a jar of alcohol for two weeks to a month, shaking it every day to keep it from growing mold.
This kind of extract is called a tincture, and it will have all the medicinal properties of the plant from which it is made.
Extraction is done for two reasons: to concentrate the active ingredients (thus increasing the potency) and to prolong the shelf life.
When you go with all-natural ingredients, it is usually a safer option. The closer you can get to 100% natural ingredients, the better.
At the same time, dogs can have allergies to a wide variety of things. Like humans, they might be allergic to any particular plant, including those used to make these shampoos. As such, they would be even more allergic to the concentrated extracts of those plants.
That is why we recommend that you do a simple test before using any new dog shampoo. Unless you have used the product before, you should test it on a small patch of your dog’s skin.
Dab a small amount on with your finger. We would recommend that you go for the exposed skin of the underbelly, as it will be easier to see the effects.
Leave the shampoo blob in place for at least ten minutes before washing it away. Now, wait a full 24 hours to see if any kind of allergic reaction has developed.
We recommend waiting a long time because some of these reactions can take a while to become visible. This test should be done for all new shampoos, whether natural, chemical, or otherwise.
Skin And Hair Additives
A lot of shampoos have additives that are designed to improve the health of the skin and.or hair of your dog.
These additives include omega fatty acids, all kinds of vitamins, certain plant oils, and all sorts of other things.
In most cases, these are essentially moisturizers that keep the skin and hair healthy by hydrating them and providing them with appropriate nutrients. Skin and hair require certain nutrients, just like the rest of the body.
In most cases, people do not bathe their dogs on a daily basis. In fact, most will only bathe their dogs when they perceive a need to do so.
In other words, most people don’t bathe their dogs until they get really dirty. That’s why it is better to have a shampoo with deodorizing properties.
There are a number of substances that can be used to absorb unpleasant odors. Baking soda is one of the most well-known, but vinegar is another good one.
In general, you are looking for substances that are mildly acidic or mildly basic. You should watch out for substances that claim to be deodorizers, but which are really just glorified perfumes.
For instance, some manufacturers will include spearmint extract in their formula, claiming it to be a deodorizer. However, this stuff does not remove the smell.
Instead, it covers up the smell with a minty-fresh kind of scent. While that is preferable to the smell of filth, it isn’t a true deodorizer.
In most cases, people won’t bother to return a bottle of dog shampoo. This item simply isn’t expensive enough to be worth the trouble, so most people will not bother. At most, they might write a negative review online, but most would rather just move on and try a different product.
That being said, it is good when a dog shampoo offers a money-back guarantee. Even if you have no intention of seeking a refund, it is good to see that the company stands behind its product.
It gives you at least some sort of leverage in the event that something goes wrong. Hopefully, you will never need to take advantage of these things, but they are still encouraging to see.
Although the hair of a German Shepherd is particularly thick, they do not require any sort of special shampoo for proper cleaning.
However, it is true that long-haired dogs require a little bit more in terms of cleaning power. That’s why you need to choose your dog shampoo carefully, taking their size, hair length, and habits into account.
We hope that we have given you all the information you need to choose and that you will come back to read more of our work.