Long Haired German Shepherd: What To Know Before Buying
Long Haired German Shepherds are the kind cousin of a German Shepherd.
Their personalities are much milder and more outgoing than your usual German Shepherd. They are much less work oriented than a standard German Shepherd and much prefer spending time with their humans than working.
These happy balls of fur are and exceptionally sweet and will be loyal to you for life.
Their long fur is one of the main reasons why people want this breed.
In this article we explain the golden personality of the Long Haired German Shepherd and everything else you need to know about keeping this breed
How Can I Identify A Long Haired German Shepherd Puppy
In the photo below are two litter mates from a recent Nadelhaus litter. The puppy on the left is a long coat and the puppy on the right is a normal coat. The long coat has wispier hair on the chest, back, face, tail, and on the backside of its legs.
Left: long haired German Shepherd puppy, Right: short haired German Shepherd puppy
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Long Haired German Shepherd Overview
The Long Haired German Shepherd is a variation of the classic German Shepherd.
These pups are known for their gorgeous long locks and more affectionate temperament. The AKC may consider these pups a genetic defect but that does not stop them from being some of the sweetest dogs around.
Unlike the standard GSD, the Long Haired variety is not an incredibly hard working breed.
These dogs cannot herd very well or withstand cold weather due to them not having an undercoat.
They do however make perfect companions for anyone with an exceptionally active lifestyle.
Long Haired GSDs are exceptionally beautiful due. Their strong and mighty appearance adds to their beauty and tends to leave onlookers in awe. These bold dogs have a heart of gold underneath their intimidating appearance and will gladly accept any affection they can get.
These dogs require a bit of extra effort in terms of exercise and grooming but they will happily pay you back with their loyalty, protection and love.
Long Haired German Shepherd Vs Short Haired Comparison
The long haired Alsatian is thought to be kinder and gentler as compared to their short-haired littermates. However, there is no hard evidence to support this, aside from the treatment that they get.
Long haired dogs are seldom trained for work as their coats dont offer them the same protection from harsh elements, therefore they are more often kept as companions and receive different training from their short haired counterparts.
They do share the same intelligence and working ethic, which makes both varieties equal to one another.
They should grow up to be around the same size and are as trainable as one another, with the key difference being their coats.
Take a look at our comparison table below for a quick overview between the two coats:
|Hip dysplasia, bloat, skin and eye problems, stomach sensitivities
|Hip dysplasia, bloat, skin and eye problems, stomach sensitivities
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What Does A Long Haired German Shepherd Look Like
According to the AKC, the German Shepherd breed produces dogs that are well-built.
Their body is longer than it is tall, and it should be balanced and curvy instead of angular, aside from their ears, which should be erect and triangular.
The AKC says that the ideal coat is medium-length with a dense double coat. Long coats are considered a genetic fault and while they can be shown, they will be faulted in dog shows.
On the other hand, the FCI allows the long haired variety and goes on to describe how they should look.
With the long-coated Germans, their guard coat is soft instead of harsh like the short hair varieties. It shouldnt be as dense or close-fitting as short coated GSDs.
Long haired Germans will have bushy trousers and a bushy tail. They are even expected to have hair growing out of their ears.
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What Health Problems Do Long Haired German Shepherds Have
These working dogs are considered to be rather hardy dogs, with minimal health issues. As with most large breed dogs, they tend to develop hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.
This can be prevented by getting a puppy from a reputable breeder or adopting a dog thats more than two years old.
Other health conditions that the breed is prone to are epilepsy, heart disease, degenerative myelopathy, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, osteochondrotis dissescans and Von Willebrands disease.
Skin, eyes, and digestive conditions are also quite common in the breed. They often require a diet suited to their sensitive stomachs, as well as gentle shampoos to keep their skin healthy.
They live as long as any other German Shepherds and their lifespan ranges around 10 to 12 years.
German Shepherds have been prized for their sloping backs and some breeders have taken this to the next level.
Excessively sloping backs have caused an outrage in recent years, and this deformity can cause spinal problems and chronic pain.
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What Is Their Temperament Like
There is no discernible difference between the temperament of a long coat German Shepherd and a normal short coat dog.
For a long time theyve been unfairly labelled as being difficult, but sadly this really stems from them not being accepted due to falling outside the normal breeding standard.
Long haired German Shepherds weve raised here at Regis Regal have gone on to be used as search dogs, rescue dogs, police dogs and therapy dogs. Theres no reason long coats cant perform as well or better than short coats and they do look quite incredible at the same time!
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A Day In The Life Of The Long Haired German Shepherd
Your morning with a Long Haired German Shepherd is going to start early.
How can these pups sleep when there is so much to do each day? They will wake you up ready to play with a toy in their mouth and a pep in their step.
As you yawn and make your way downstairs they will demand their large morning meal because these pups have an enormous appetite.
After breakfast it is time to start another active day.
Hopefully you have lots of activities planned for the day to keep you pup busy.
A long morning walk will keep your dog happy.
As you go about your business in the house your pup will stay close by but will want to dutifully watch out the window to make sure no intruders, or mail men, get too close to your house. They are the protector of the home and take this job very seriously.
Later in the day they would love a trip to the dog park where they can see all their dog buddies. They will run and run after their friends until somehow, all of that pent-up energy seems to finally disappear.
That will not stop them from wanting to play a bit of fetch in the backyard once you get home though.
After loads of exercise they will happily lay by your side and drift to sleep with you petting them while you watch TV before bed.
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How To Care For A Long Haired German Shepherd
German Shepherds with long hair are undemanding. It is better to keep them in a good aviary on the territory of a private house. But if the dog lives in an apartment, it is necessary to keep it active and provide long daily walks.
Although this breeds thick fur is highly attractive, it also requires a lot of attention.
This long haired breed sheds continuously. The beginning of the fall and spring is when this shedding is most intense. If youre interested in bringing one of these fluffy friends into your home, youll need a good vacuum cleaner.
These adorable dogs are susceptible to matting as a result of the length of their fur as well. To prevent matting, you will be required to brush them frequently.
You can choose to brush them every day, but at the very least, you should do so two to three times every week. To remove any tough mats or tangles, thoroughly comb through their coat with a long-toothed brush. Shepherds should be brushed with a special brush twice a week and every day during shedding. The undercoat on the belly should also be brushed.
But be careful not to scratch their skin. Since these puppies often lack an undercoat, it is simple to irritate them while combing and cause them to itch. Brush softly but thoroughly.
You should pay particular attention to their skin while you groom them.
Avoid over-washing long haired German Shepherds because they are prone to dry skin and dermatitis. You only need to take a bath once a month, and you can use mild shampoo.
Long Haired German Shepherd Breeders
Any time youre looking to buy a dog, shop around for as long as you need. Instead of focusing on finding the perfect dog, think about finding your perfect breeder.
They should have the necessary records and papers to assure you that their dogs are of good quality.
Get to know potential sellers by visiting their kennels and talking to them. If they are reluctant to show you where their dogs live or show you their dogs at all, take it as a warning sign.
Respectable breeders will want to get to know you better and would be more than happy to show you around.
Long haired German Shepherds arent terribly common and not all reputable breeders are keen on producing them. However, they do sometimes crop up in a litter or two.
Here are a few breeders that sometimes do have long haired Alsatians in their litters:
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Different Types Of German Shepherd Puppies Near Me
A German shepherd can illustrate several goals of different groups for the breed. After its beginning in 1899, thanks to Max Stephanitz of Germany, the German shepherd developed into seven major lines. Stephanitz placed heavy emphasis on the GSD as the ideal working dog while the breed that shipped to America developed into a proficient show champion where looks and conformation were top priorities.
- American pet Ancestors are American show lines
- West German show
- East German working DDS line
Experts agree that show dogs make better pets than working pedigrees. Working dogs are more intense than show animals and need considerably more exercise. However, when considering the breed, all German Shepherds need a considerable time commitment to exercise and mental stimulation. Pets usually get along better with children and other dogs than working dogs.
Description Of The German Shepherd
Regardless of whether it comes from show or working lines, the GSD is 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs between 50 and 95 pounds. There should be noticeable masculinity of males and femininity of females. German shepherd puppies for sale should be outgoing, friendly, and inquisitive. As he becomes older, you will notice your German shepherd will be polite but aloof with strangers and openly hostile against intruders and threats. Show lines, including pet dogs, are generally less intense and do not require as much exercise as working GSDs. The breed standard is similar between the lines, the major difference being on the interpretation of joint angles. American show dogs, for example, have an extreme angulation of the hind legs leading to an exaggerated slope of the topline. A German shepherd is a medium-large powerful dog with tremendous stamina. She has a distinctive head with a slight dome shape to the top skull and large open upright ears. Eyes are medium, almond-shaped, and steady in their gaze. The breed is significantly longer than tall, a build that supports trotting effortlessly over long distances with short explosions of speed. A German shepherds athleticism has ensured its longstanding excellence and versatility in police and military operations, search and rescue, bomb detection, drug-sniffing, criminal apprehension, agility competitions, Schutzhund, herding trials, physical assistance, and guide dog for the blind.
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Long Haired German Shepherd Dog Appearance
These dogs are known for their bold and confident appearance.
Their intelligent brown eyes and muscular stance give them an aura of authority that nobody can deny. Their large head, strong jaw, and alert pointy ears further add to the strength of their appearance.
Overall you can expect this dog to look just like a regular German Shepherd just with a longer coat.
Long Haired German Shepherd Lifespan And Health
The lifespan of long haired German Shepherds is almost the same as that of their short haired counterparts approximately 9-13 years. They can also suffer from the same diseases. The issues may include digestive problems, epilepsy, hip and elbow dysplasia, and eczema. Dysplasia is a genetic issue, while others mentioned can be a result of improper breeding techniques. In the case of careless breeding, a number and variety of hereditary problems increase.
Veterinary care should become a norm for you and your dog. Physical examination has to include X-rays, blood tests, and other methods to detect different health conditions.
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Should I Trim My Long Haired German Shepherds Coat
The decision to trim a long haired German Shepherd comes down to personal preference, but it is not a necessity. Trimming can help make for more manageable living around the house. If you choose to trim, you can trim around the backs of the ears, on the back of the legs and then thin the bushy tail.
Shaving a German Shepherd on the other hand is never recommended. Their double coats help keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
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How Big Do Long Haired German Shepherds Get
Long haired German Shepherds are structurally the same as short haired German Shepherds, therefore they can both grow to similar sizes.
- Males: 24-26 inches tall, 65-90 pounds
- Females: 22-24 inches tall, 50-70 pounds
Since both German Shepherds are physiologically the same, they also have the same temperaments: loyal, intelligent, energetic, courageous and protective. German Shepherds are ranked #2 on the AKC Breed Popularity list and make for wonderful family companions and working dogs.
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About German Shepherd Rescue New South Wales
German Shepherd Rescue New South Wales is a volunteer rescue organisation based in New South Wales and provides homes for abandoned, surrendered and rescue dogs from animal shelters throughout NSW.
Due to the current state border lockdowns we are unable to send our dogs interstate. So there are no interstate adoptions available.
Our rescue dogs are provided with all required veterinary work and are placed into foster homes to ensure they are rehabilitated and trained to be re-homed into appropriate and loving homes.
All dogs listed are ready to go to their new home now. We are unable to hold a dog for you while you fix fences or go on holiday, etc.
If you would like to make a contribution towards our rescue dogs you can do a direct bank deposit to German Shepherd Rescue New South Wales NAB BSB 082 691 Account Number 135357074.
Our email address is:
We have an Adoptions Manager who screens all prospective candidates as to their suitability to adopt a German Shepherd Dog.
We try to contact every one by phone but if that isnt successful we will email our application form to you, which needs to be completed and returned, or you can call us back and we can chat and complete for you. We will also ask you to provide photos of your yard and fencing to enable us to see where the dog will be kept and that they have areas of shade and shelter.
Long Haired German Shepherd Price
Since the AKC does not fully approve long haired German Shepherd dogs, their cost is lower than that of short haired dogs. You can pay $500-$1,500 for such a puppy. The cost can reach $2,000-$2,500 if you buy a dog from a well-known and reputable breeder.
However, many breeders are not interested in raising long haired Shepherds, so, if they detect a long haired gene in their stud, they try to get rid of such a dog. Many of them are put in shelters. So, you can adopt such an adult doggie at $200-$450, or just get it for free.
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