With its stunning design, striking good looks, and ease of training, the Long-Haired German Shepherd is growing in popularity. What do you know about the breed?
The first thing to know is that the Long-Haired German Shepherd is just a distinct coat type of ordinary German Shepherd. This is not a distinctly unique breed. It means that most of their traits are the same.
Let’s discuss German Shepherds, which are both traditional and long-haired breeds. You’ll be better at deciding whether or not you’d like to include one of these fluffy dogs in your family.
What Is a Long-Haired German Shepherd?
A Long-Haired German Shepherd is a coat variation of the typical German Shepherd. The long coat variation is caused by a recessive gene.
Labs may have a puppy of all colors, and German Shepherd litters can have standard and long-haired puppies.
In reality, it is possible that the two Short-Haired German Shepherds could be able to have Long-Haired puppy litters if both parents carry the recessive gene. However, when one parent doesn’t have the gene, then no pups in the litter will sport an extended coat. This is why a Long-Haired German Shepherd is rare and highly sought-after.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) believes that a Long-haired German Shepherd’s fur is a defect. This means that recessive genes that cause German shepherds to grow long hair aren’t a common trait. As a result, the dogs can’t be displayed and should not be bred.
Based on some estimates, just 10% of all German Shepherds have long hair. It’s why some breeders are charging a premium for Long-Haired German Shepherds.
Long-Haired German Shepherd Physical Appearance
The Long-Haired German Shepherd stands up to 26″ tall and weighs 90lbs (or even more). The hair of these dogs is at least 2″ long across the entire body. It’s longer on the back, belly, tail, back of legs, and ear area.
Long-haired Shepherds are larger than they are tall and have pointed noses and ears that are straight. They have long straight strong tails. When they are puppies, they have huge ears and feet, however; they get bigger.
The long Haired GSD’s fluffy coat is available in a range of shades, including:
- Black and tan
- Black and red
- Cream and black
- Silver and black
How Big Do Long-Haired German Shepherds Get?
The male Long-Haired German Shepherds are 24 – 26″ tall and weigh between 65 and 90 pounds. The female Long-Haired German Shepherds are from 22 to 24″ high and weigh 50-70 pounds.
Some kennels that don’t adhere to AKC rules mainly breed German Shepherds, which are bigger in size than the above.
Long-Haired German Shepherd vs. Short-Haired German Shepherd
The one and only difference between a long-haired and a short German Shepherd is the length of the fur. Both breeds are covered in a double coat which sheds a bit throughout the year, but more so in the changing seasons.
The main distinction between the two coat types can be seen in the fact that the Long-Haired German Shepherd requires more brushing. Their fur is long and can get messy and result in mats. Severe mats aren’t suitable for brushing out. This means groomers need to remove them by shaving and leaving areas of hairless spots.
The longer fur can also be prone to attract more dirt and particles and then spread throughout your house. If you are a fan of cuteness, consider choosing a short-haired German Shepherd.
German Shepherd History
Long-haired German Shepherds have a long-haul history together with German Shepherd Dog (GSD).
At the end of the 18th century, German Cavalry Officer Captain Max von Stephanitz set out to develop the most efficient breed of herding dogs in Germany. With the advancement of technology taking the place of herding dogs, von Stephanitz marketed his dogs for use in the military. Today German Shepherds are frequently employed in police and military tasks.
After World War I ended, Corporal Lee Duncan brought home a German Shepherd puppy to Los Angeles. The puppy was to become the movie famous Rin Tin Tin. Rin Tin Tin was the first to popularize the German Shepherd breed, and it has been growing in popularity since then.
Following World War II, the breed was changed to the Alsatian in various locations due to the anti-German attitudes. Many Brits continue to call the breed Alsatian instead of German Shepherd.
In 2021, the German Shepherd was the second-most-popular dog in the United States. The Labrador Retriever is a more frequent pet in the home.
Long-Haired German Shepherd Temperament
The Long-Coat German Shepherds can be smart and easy to train. They’re dedicated to their families but are wary of strangers. If they’re properly socialized as puppies, Long-haired German Shepherds can be a good companions for cats.
German Shepherds may be cautious against strangers who are not their own and can be prone to chase anything that isn’t their own. They are, however, friendly with children and are excellent family pets.
Long-Haired German Shepherd Lifespan and Health Issues
Unfortunately, the Long-haired German Shepherd is prone to many health issues. Their lifespan is just 7-10 years. This is a very short time, even for a giant breed dog.
Here are some health issues the Long-Haired GSD may have to address:
- The elbow or hip dysplasia is an injury that occurs when the joint isn’t formed correctly.
- Gastric dilatation and volvulus (bloat) A life-threatening disorder in which the dog’s stomach expands to fill with air and then rotates around its axis, cutting off blood supply to the intestines.
- Myelopathy degenerative is an advancing spinal cord disease that can lead to paralysis.
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency A genetic disorder in which digestive enzymes get destroyed, and the dog is unable to digest food.
- Allergies Environmental and food-related allergies could lead to many skin problems and other issues.
The majority of German Shepherds do not suffer from these health issues. Nevertheless, you must plan for costly surgeries to ensure your dog maintains its overall health.
Long-Haired German Shepherd Diet
German Shepherds are susceptible to joint pain or food sensitivities, and finding the right food can be difficult.
You’ll want to choose a diet that’s not too rich in protein, particularly when your dog is still a puppy. This is because excessive protein intake could cause pups to develop too quickly and have joint problems.
Additionally, for keeping joints that are healthy, look for a joint healthy dog food that is formulated with glucosamine as well as chondroitin.
If your Long-Haired German Shepherd seems to be having food allergies, you should consider hypoallergenic dog foods that contain an exclusive protein. Diets with fewer ingredients contain fewer ingredients that can cause allergic reactions.
Common food allergies include:
For more information on pet food options for your Long Haired German Shepherd, check out our 7 Top Foods for the German Shepherd Puppy or Best Dog Food for German Shepherds, reviews, and ratings.
German Shepherds were bred to be active all day long, which means they are a vivacious breed with plenty of spare. The dogs require at least two hours of physical activity every day. They are a Long Coat German Shepherd and are not the ideal dog for a couch-bound.
The ideal place to raise a Long-Haired German Shepherd is one with children and a large yard. Dog and kids are able to chase each other around as they play fetch and even wear one another out.
However, an outdoor space isn’t required for the Long Coat German Shepherd. They can live in an apartment if seeking a friend to run with or live close to the dog park.
If your long-haired German Shepherd is misbehaving, consider giving the dog some exercise. It might be beneficial. There is one thing for sure: inadequate exercise could trigger undesirable behavior like chewing and barking.
RELATED: Are German Shepherds Good With Kids?
Training a Long Haired German Shepherd
German Shepherds are smart and simple to train using the continuous usage of dog training commands. When you train them with positive reinforcement, they can quickly master what you teach them.
Do not punish them for their bad behavior because it can result in aggression.
Training is a must, and the Long-Coat German Shepherds are happy when they have work to perform. Think about training them to be a dog therapy or engage in dog sports like dock diving or agility. Your dog will not only be grateful for the fitness, but it’s also a great bonding experience.
Ideal Living Conditions
Long-haired German Shepherds are best staying in their homes with their families. They become close to their family members and do not like being in the elements for a long time. If you choose to let your German Shepherd out in the evening, make sure they have a warm and dry shelter.
Long-Haired German Shepherd Grooming
A fluffy coat like a long-haired German Shepherd requires brushing several times per week. The rate of shedding increases with the change of seasons, and it is possible to brush daily for a time.
A slicker brush and a comb are the most effective brushes for a Long-Haired German Shepherd. After that, you can use the comb to search for tangles and then pull out the undercoat.
Long-haired German Shepherds also require periodic baths. Brush them before the bath as water may make mats tighter and the undercoat more pliable.
One thing that you should not do with a Long Coat German Shepherd is shave their coats. There is the possibility that their coat won’t grow back the fur; the coat keeps them cool in summer and warm in winter. Instead, consider deshedding services and the short trim of furs.
Fault or Friend?
The AKC believes that long coats are a problem for German Shepherds and doesn’t allow them to be displayed. But, there’s nothing wrong with the character of a Long Coat German Shepherd. So long as they come from a reliable breeder, they make great family pets like the short-haired varieties.
However, there is a caveat. Certain breeders focus solely on creating Long-haired German Shepherds because there’s a market. If a breeder breeds dogs to get appearances, behavioral and health issues could be more frequent.
Avoid any breeder that claims they have a specialization with Long-Haired German Shepherds. Instead, look for a kennel that breeds Short-Haired German Shepherds and sometimes has Long-Haired puppies in the litter. It is also possible to search for shelters and breed rescues looking for Long-Coat German Shepherds.
How Much Do Long-Haired German Shepherd Puppies Cost?
The price of German Shepherds with long hair varies widely. It is possible to find one at shelters or rescues at the cost of $250 or less. You could also find the best breeder and pay up to $2000.
When looking for a Long-Haired German Shepherd puppy, the most important thing to consider is to stay clear of an animal store or puppy mill. A majority of pet stores acquire their dogs from puppy mills.
What’s the problem with having a dog from the puppy mill?
The conditions the animals are kept in puppy mills are horrendous. The dogs are housed in small cages, which rarely are cleaned. They might be kept in large barns that don’t get to see the sun or even touch the grass. They are unable to feel human affection. They’re also more likely to suffer from bacteria or genetic diseases.
You might think that you’re helping a puppy mill dog from a gruesome life. However, you’re contributing money to the pockets of criminals and sending the puppy’s mother into the wrath of the law.
If you do not purchase a puppy from a trusted rescue group for puppies, avoid purchasing animals from pet stores or buying from websites like Craigslist.
Is a Long-Haired German Shepherd Right for You?
If you’re in search of an energetic dog that’s charming, intelligent, and easy to train, the Long-Haired German Shepherd may be the dog for you.
Be sure to groom your dog often and store lint rollers. Remember that the fur coat is likely to attract a lot of dirt and dust to your home.
You can consider a Long Coat German Shepherd if you’ve got the energy and time; it might be ideal for your family.