Do German Shepherds Have a Lot of Dander?

Do German Shepherds Have a Lot of Dander?

Have you seen that flecks of skin when you brush your German Shepherd’s hair? Those are hairs that were falling out. This is common to animals with fur or feathers such as dogs, cats, and birds. Those hair or furs have this skin cells protein called dander. So, do German Shepherds have a lot of Dander?

The Answer is YES
German Shepherd shed a lot and produce a lot of dander because of their double coat with topcoat and undercoat. They shed a year-round but massively, twice a year, when they have to produce another set of tremendous hair that happens during spring and in fall.

Now that we know the answer to your biggest curiosity, we might as well learn more about Dander. Below, we’re going to provide facts about these tiny, microscopic flakes in furry and feathery animals such as the German Shepherd.

Dander and Allergies

Allergies are quite a question before buying a pet dog. It’s because dogs do shed a lot, and it’s normal. What more with the thick, long-haired German Shedders, right? Oh, I mean, German Shepherds.

Your visitors don’t get allergies because of your dog’s hair, and instead, they do so because of the dog’s dander. Dander is the dead skin cells or that tiny protein from the saliva of an animal that is feathery and furry. 

What’s more annoying is that these ‘dander’ can spread through air or wind. So if you’re simply walking outside the street and you came across a big, furry dog, a German Shepherd for instance, then there’s a possibility that it could cling to your clothes and shoes. 

Even without pets at home, a house may contain dander that sticks to the furniture as they are sticky and light.

Transmission of Dander

There are several ways that a Dander can be transmitted. If you own a German Shepherd, they would most likely spread dander through the air or wind, as they shed fur.

Your home is no place excuse from the spread. The dander can come to stick in your household objects such as furniture, cabinets, cloth, and such. If an allergic person breathes them in, it can cause several reactions and few complications.

Another way is when you direct contact with the dog-like touching and hugging. It can also cause itchiness on your part as well as stuffy eyes, runny nose, and inflammation.

So How Does Allergy Come in Place?

Based on the information we got from the ‘Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy’ (ASCIA), Allergic reactions happen when a person has hypersensitive responses from the immune system as it tries to fight off a substance that it thinks is harmful. People who have allergies have a sensitive immune system.

The substance that seems harmless to allergic people is called ‘Allergens’ that could come from seafood, peanuts, insects, medications, and pet’s dander.

An allergy occurs for a short period, only if Allergens are present. However, if the allergic reactions were present longer than usual, a person can develop a chronic disease such as asthma. This could be an issue for some families who owns a pet and has family members who have allergy and asthma.

It is really uncomfortable inviting people who won’t enjoy their visit to your house. If your solution is to clean your pet regularly, there’s no change at all since dander stuck out for months, even if your pet isn’t home.

And if your solution is to just your guest antihistamine every single time, you’re just going to waste your money, and you’re time buying it. But there are steps you can follow to limit and reduce their exposure to dander.

Symptoms of Pet Allergies

A healthy, regular individual can catch allergies even after years of owning a GSD. Based on the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), here are the most common symptoms of Pet allergies for humans:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Facial pain from nasal congestion
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Watery, red or itchy eyes
  • Skin rash

Reduce and Control Dander

There’s no way you can entirely remove the source of Dander, not unless you’re going to donate or give up your German Shepherd. It also stays home for months, even after your dog is gone. The allergy and asthma could take up to weeks and months to improve after that. 

Did You Know?
Dander has similarities in human’s dandruff. Not because they both start with letter D, but they are stuck within hair or skin. Dander comes from an animal; Dandruff comes from humans.

Below are the most realistic steps we will give you on how you can control and reduce your GSD’s Dander:

  • Always Clean your furniture, appliances, and any other household objects in your home. You can also use a reliable steam cleaning from each surface.
  • In washing clothes, use an Allergen Wash to remove the Dander. You can quickly get rid of the furs and feathers with the use of a sticky lint roller. If possible, you can also clean up your dog’s clothes, toys, and food containers.
  • Declutter your space. We don’t encourage a minimalist life, yet the more objects you have in your house, the more possible for Dander to get stuck everywhere.
  • Regularly bath your German Shepherd (or any of your pet) even if it can’t entirely hinder the fall off dead skin cells. Still, it can especially give you fresh home air. After bathing, brush your dog’s coat or fur to lessen the fur from flying.
  • To avoid illnesses causing germs, make sure always to wash your hands. It’s the simplest and easiest thing to do. If there is no water for you to wash, you can still use alcohol, sanitizer, and wet tissue as alternatives. But as soon as you got home, scrub your hands altogether.
  • Vacuum each surface of the house, including your carpets and sofa.
  • Try using an air Purifier and filtration that is designed in catching proteins and particles from Dander. It’s quite expensive but effective! Clean and change the air ducts and filters regularly as it could be a passage for Dander to spread throughout your home.
  • Set a Pet-Free Zone in your house. This could be the kitchen, your bedroom, and bathrooms. No matter where is it, keep them safe from your dog’s dander.

These recommendations above cannot entirely get rid of Dander, yet it can help control its build-up and stop from spreading. Gradually, you’ll get used to the proper home cleaning for pets.


It’s fair to say that before choosing to own a pet, you’ll have to check first how it can affect you. If you own a German Shepherd, you probably already know that they shed a lot. There are regular and seasonal shedding of the coat, which the dander can stick and spread. 

It is recommended to keep away from feathery and furry pets when you have an allergy. If not, your case will worsen. But there are instances that owners got their pet allergies a few years after owning a pet. In this case, you can ask the Veterinarian and your Respiratory Doctor to check the possible treatment. 

No matter how much you diligently clean your house and your pet, these tiny, microscopic flakes of skin can still manage to spread out. But there’s something you can do to lessen their effects.

Related Questions

What other reasons do German Shepherd shed a lot (Other than they are animals with fur and double-coated)? It has something to do with their emotional stress or anxious, poor diet, dehydration, medical problems, or skin irritation from fleas or ticks.

Are German Shepherd hypoallergenic Dogs? No, they aren’t. They have a thick, big fur that sheds a lot. Even season, some of their coats. Thus, they are more prone to getting dander. This could be an issue for some, especially for those who have an allergy.

Can you get rid of the dander completely? No, you can’t. But on the other hand, you can get a fish instead or any pet that is hypoallergenic or those who are less likely to cause allergies.

Can Dander make you sick? Aside from worsening your allergic reaction, there’s no other sickness that dander could bring to you. A human body produced a protein called antibodies, and these protect you from unwanted invaders.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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