What’s all the beef about FURminators?
You may or may not be aware that for years now there’s been a buzz about a new grooming tool called a FURminator.
These are brushes like no other (for a start they don’t look much like a traditional brush) that claim near miraculous properties when it comes to reducing shed in hairy dogs.
Our aim with this article is to help you understand what these tools can achieve and feel confident to choose the best FURminator for German shepherd.
Quick look: Top 3 Best Furminators for German Shepherds in 2017
What is a FURminator?
OK, you have laminate flooring and own a German shepherd.
Look in any corner of the room and what do you find?
In fact, not just any fluff bunny but ones big enough to play tennis with because they’re made up of shed hair from your German shepherd.
Well, the FURminator claims to reduce the amount your German shepherd sheds by 90%.
Yes, that’s right, which means those dust balls shrinking to an almost unrecognizable 10% of their previous size and a much cleaner home.
But of course the benefits don’t end with floors.
Shed hair gets everywhere – including on your pants, in the closet, on the sofa, stuck to cushions…it fact shed hair seems to have almost magical powers when it comes to sticking to things and turning up in the most unexpected places.
What a FURminator does is cling onto loose hair when you groom the dog, so that it comes out on the brush and not all over your clothing.
Of course this is not a new claim.
Many a manufacturer of grooming tools has made expansive claims such as this in the past.
The difference is that with an actual FURminator brush it happens to be true.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t other highly effective grooming tools out there, because there are.
But if you’re sick and tired of sharing your home with dust bunnies, you have a choice.
Either the dog lives in the yard or you get a FURminator…or a Furminator type tool.
Which is where we come in, because we look at a FURminator brand product and compare it with some pretty similar looking products with similar claims.
So should you save up and invest in the real-deal and get a FURminator branded product.
Or can you cut corners and buy what looks a bargain?
Take a look and find out.
You want to buy the best furminator for German shepherd so of course you need a benchmark, which is the original (and arguably the best) FURminator tool.
This comes in a range of sizes, so chose the one that best matches your needs, from cat through to a large dog.
Apart from the FURminator branding you can recognize these tools from their distinctive black handle and yellow head.
The handle is ergonomically designed to sit solidly in the hand, so that it’s comfortable to use for an extended period of time if necessary.
It is the blade of the FURminator that was revolutionary in its day.
Made from stainless steel it is rust resistant and extremely durable.
The long blade is set with a number of sharp-looking teeth that are closely set together.
However, when used correctly there is no danger of those teeth damaging the dog.
A word of caution here.
The FURminator, and those grooming tools made to a similar design, do have a sharp blade that is recessed away from the teeth.
The correct use involves gently drawing the tool over the coat without applying pressure.
Should you use the tool incorrectly and press down over a bony area such as the tail, there is a risk of the sharp blade contacting the skin.
This could lead to a nasty deep abrasion on the surface of the skin and therefore careful usage is advisable.
For this reason there is an argument that FURminators and furminator type tools are best used by adults only, and not by children.
This model is specifically designed for use in dogs with hair longer than two inches.
In addition, the extra wide blade (at four inches) reduces the amount of time spent grooming.
The knack when using the FURminator is to glide it over the surface of the coat.
Remove as much of the shed hair as you can this way.
The first time user will be amazed at the incredible amounts of hair removed this way.
With regular use you may wish to gently part the fur, and then pass the tool over from root to tip (taking care not to contact the skin) for an even deeper deshedding experience.
This allows for an efficient (not to mention satisfying) removal of shed undercoat, without damaging those longer glossy outer coat hairs on the way.
This and the tools efficiency are one of the reasons the FURminator is a firm favorite of vets and groomers alike.
Another feature that makes the original FURminator stand above the rest, is the ‘eject’ button.
Simply press a handy button that’s mounted on the head, to push the shed hair out of the teeth of the device.
This makes for a super speedy declogging of the head, which is a bonus when brushing a large, hairy…but wriggly…German shepherd dog.
So do pet parents agree with us?
What are there ups and downs when it comes to using a FURminator?
On the plus side, most pet parents were in raptures about the truly amazing amount of fur this baby shifts.
The product comes especially recommended by Husky owners – and you can’t get much hairier than that!
Indeed, a come story seems to be the pet parent who became aware of just how hairy their house had become when they had guests to stay.
They decided to tackle the problem at root source (the dog) and were subsequently blown away by the performance of the FURminator.
On the minus side, this isn’t a cheap grooming tool.
Some owners may baulk at spending out on a brush, but this then has to be balanced against the engineering that has gone into the product and just how effective it is.
And finally on the minus side…just kidding!
This tool rates consistently well with only four and five star reviews.
Not bad…not bad at all.
Let’s be honest.
The main reason to look at anything other than a FURminator is the price tag.
So is it possible to get a similar product that performs as well as the original product, but will leave some change in your pocket?
In the battle of the best furminator for German shepherd dogs this is very much a look-a-like product, but it also works pretty well.
With a remarkably similar black and yellow livery, this product also has an ergonomic grip handle so that it sits comfortably in the hand for a pleasant experience for both groomer and groomee.
One pint of difference is that instead of having the rapid cleaning button of the FURminator, this tool has a button that allows you to change heads.
Indeed, it comes with two heads of different length (one for long three-inch head for large sweeps of the flanks, and a narrower 1.8 inch head for working in tighter corners or legs.)
This means the bigger head on the Pet Republique tool is an inch shorter than the equivalent for the FURminator.
There’s therefore a possibility that grooming with the FURminator will be swifter, but this is balanced against the convenience of the Pet Republique’s small 1.8-inch head brushing grooming around joints.
Pet Republique are so confident in their product that they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
This allows you to try the tool out at home and make sure your dog is comfortable with it, and the result match up to your expectations.
Again, much like the FURminator itself, the blade is made from high quality stainless steel which is rustproof, and the teeth stay sharp for years of use.
And finally, as we consider the benefits of this tool, another nice touch is hat Pet Rebublique donate 15% of the purchase price to the American Animal Rescue Association, for the benefit of dogs less fortunate than yours.
And a final thought.
Given the interchangeable heads, this is a good option if you have other fur friends in the house, such as a small dog or even long-haired cats!
When you’ve hit a winning formula why change it?
Here is yet another yellow and black deshedding tool (actually it’s also available in pink & black, and blue & black).
But do the comparisons stop at the color or is this a grooming tool that stands on its own merit?
Actually, yes it does.
And another pleasant point is the price tag, which makes it highly affordable.
On your quest for the best furminator brush for German shepherds dogs, do take the time to check out this DakPets product.
It has literally thousands of positive reviews.
Like the FURminator, this tool has a four-inch long blade, making it super useful for a big dog like a German shepherd.
It has a high quality stainless steel blade, which comes with a cover to protect the teeth when in storage and prolong its life.
The handle is tough and extremely difficult to break.
Indeed, such is the confidence DakPets have in their grooming tool that they give it a guarantee.
It can be returned for a refund if you are not completely satisfied or the product fails in any way.
So what about actual users, what of their opinion?
Again, the vast majority are positive, but there are the odd dissenting voice.
One problem which seems to keep popping up is that the deshedding head kept popping off the handle and pinging across the room.
This doesn’t appear a problem for everyone, so there may be a quality control issue from time to time which allows for this failure.
When choosing your ideal deshedding tool don’t forget that invaluable resource that is furminator reviews for German shepherd.
For all of these products the positives dominate, and it’s a matter of how much you want to spend.
When you buy the premium product you are guaranteed of quality and a name that was responsible for a mini-revolution in grooming tools.
On the other hand, if you’ve never used a deshedding tool before, and aren’t sure if either your or the dog is going to get along with it, then not paying a premium price is a benefit.
Be aware that not everyone finds a deshedding tool comfortable to use.
They are effective but some dogs (and owners ) find they tug too much at the coat.
Whilst the manufacturers are clear the blade doesn’t damage the outer coat, not all users agree.
At the end of the day, a deshedding tool is a positive boon when it comes to keeping your dog’s coat in good order.
This has to be good not only for decreasing the levels of shed hair and allergens in the house, but for your dog’s comfort to boot.
So with the affordability of these tools, why not give one a go?
After all, all you have to lose are the fur bunnies!
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.