Everything You Need To Know About The Long Haired German Shepherd

When most people picture a German Shepherd, they picture a short haired dog that is often used for police or military work. But that’s not the only type of German Shepherd that’s out there!

There is another type of German Shepherd, and they have long hair! It’s true. This isn’t another breed of dog - long haired German Shepherds are just a variety of German Shepherd that has a different type of hair.

Let’s learn 11 interesting facts about the long haired German Shepherd. They’re a fun breed that everyone should know more about!


#1 The Result Of A Recessive Gene

The first thing you should know about long haired German Shepherds is that they are a very rare site. These dogs are the product of what is known as a recessive gene.

This means that their long hair is caused by genetics, but the chances of getting long hair on a German Shepherd is very rare. So, the gene that causes long hair is called a recessive gene!

#2 Other Than Hair, They Are The Same As Regular German Shepherds!

long haired german shepherd

Another important thing to remember about long haired German Shepherds is that they are the same dog as regular German Shepherds, they just have a different hair type. Their body types and facial features are the same.In terms of size, they are the same. Males can weigh between 66 and 88 pounds while females can weigh between 51 and 73 pounds, just like a regular German Shepherd!

The only visible difference between the two varieties of German Shepherd is the type of hair that they have!

There are actually four different kinds of hair that can be found on a German Shepherd depending on their genes:

  • Short Coat: short outer coat + wooly undercoat
  • Medium Coat: plush outer coat + wooly undercoat. This is the American breed standard.
  • Long Coat Without Undercoat: No insulating undercoat; have long hair everywhere.
  • Long Coat With Undercoat: There are some GSD that have an insulated undercoat, but this is very, very rare.

#3 Long Haired German Shepherds Are Weak To The Elements

long haired german shepherd

Long haired German Shepherds do not have an undercoat like short haired German Shepherds do, and this actually leads them to be weaker to the elements.

Because they only have one coat, they’re not as good of working dogs when it comes to herding or working in the elements.

The length of their hair is longer, sure, but this shiny layer doesn’t do as much to protect their bodies as the short haired German Shepherd’s hair does.

Remember, however, that there are some rare long haired German Shepherds that have an undercoat! These rare dogs are not weak to the elements.

#4 The Long Haired German Shepherd Has A Great Personality!

These dogs are very eager and incredibly obedient! German Shepherds, in general, are known to be dogs with a good temperament that are very easy to train.

Long haired German Shepherds are very lovable and will make a great addition to any family. They love to be pet and like to spend their time with their family whenever possible.

They are great indoor dogs, and they are even very loyal. This playful, protective nature makes them a good pet for families with small kids. They’ll keep an eye on your family, and bravely defend them if the time comes that this is necessary!

Check out how these loving, long haired German Shepherds play!

#5 They Are Relatively Healthy

The long haired German Shepherd has a similar bill of health to the standard German Shepherd does!

You can expect them to live about 9 to 13 years, which is normal for dogs of their size. Their health bills are good overall, but there are a few genetic issues you should be aware of.

German Shepherds are commonly affected by the following diseases:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Eczema
  • Digestive problems

While the dysplasia is genetic, the other issues can be caused by poor breeding standards, so make sure that your German Shepherd comes from a responsible breeder if you purchase from a breeder.

Always make sure to work closely with your vet to address any health concerns. Your dog should have a full physical exam every year. If you have any issues, request they do some tests to keep your dog healthy for many years to come!

#6 Long Haired German Shepherds Have Lots Of Energy!

If you’re going to get a long haired German Shepherd, you need to be aware of just how much energy they have! I once got a dog without knowing how much exercise they would need, and it was really a struggle to adjust to this new routine of exercise at first.

Long haired German Shepherds are good indoor dogs, but they still need a chance to run around and get rid of their pent up energy!

All you have to do is take your pup outside to play for some time every day. Let them play fetch, take them on a walk, or just run around together! They’ll be able to keep up with your pace without any issues thanks to their high energy level.

#7 They Need Lots Of Grooming!

As expected, a dog with such long hair does need a lot of grooming!

This dog will shed - a lot! Be prepared to use a lint brush often and to be constantly cleaning up their hair. This long hair can also become very easily matted, so you should brush their coat at least two times per week with a metal brush.

You should not bath a long haired German Shepherd too frequently. Their hair does not have enough natural oils to work well with frequent bathing.

Like most dogs, their nails should also be trimmed.You can take them for walks often to keep their nails trimmed, but you can also trim them yourself or have them trimmed by a professional.

SEE ALSO : How To Choose The Best Food For German Shepherd Breed

#8 Long Haired GSD Cannot Compete In US Competitions

For a German Shepherd to be considered eligible as a show dog in the United States, it has to have a double coat of medium length. Long haired German Shepherds do not qualify.

There are some groups, however, petitioning to let these dogs also compete in the competition even though the lack of an undercoat is considered an appearance flaw. In some countries, such as the UK and Germany, they can already compete.

#9 They Come In All Colors & Patterns

long haired german shepherd come In All Colors & Patterns

Since long hair on a German Shepherd is simply a specific combination of genes, it is possible for these dogs to have long hair in any color or pattern that a German Shepherd can have. Specific combinations may be rare, but it is possible!

The American Kennel Club recognizes the following colors for German Shepherds:

  • Bi-color
  • Black
  • Black and cream
  • Black and red
  • Black and silver
  • Black and tan
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Silver
  • Sable
  • White

All of these colors can appear in their coats in any of the common patterns that German Shepherds have.

#10 Long Haired German Shepherds Are Less-Desired

Sad as it may sound, this breed is generally less desirable to general fans of the German Shepherd breeds.

Because they are weak to the elements and are considered to have a major physical flaw to large dog shows, many show dog owners do not want long haired German Shepherds.

While this is unfortunate, it actually can make it much less expensive to acquire a long haired German Shepherd!

Many breeders will offer a discount on any long haired German Shepherds that they have. You can also find German Shepherds at rescues, the pound, or other locations where pets that need homes can be found!

#11 Their Owners Love Them!

long haired german shepherd

Despite the hate that these dogs sometimes receive for being the “lesser” version of the German Shepherd, they are a great, lovable dog, and their owners love them so much!

If you own a long haired German Shepherd, you will probably have people asking you what breed your dog is all the time. This unique dog is so rarely seen that people often assume that they are a mixed breed dog with something like a collie.

Even if other people don’t know what your long haired German Shepherd is, that won’t make you love them any less!

The Long Haired German Shepherd

Have you learned a lot about the long haired German Shepherd?

This unique dog is a rarity, and there’s a strong chance that you won’t see many of this type of dog throughout your entire life.

Still, they’re the same in temperament as a normal German Shepherd, and they are very smart, trainable dogs that work well in a number of family and work situations.

Have you ever seen a long haired German Shepherd? Share your stories with us in the comments, and then share this unique breed variety with others by sharing the article!


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