The Long-Haired German Shepherd, also known as the Long Coat German Shepherd, is a captivating variation of the classic German Shepherd breed. This majestic canine stands out from its short-coated counterparts with its distinctive long and flowing fur.
The Long Haired German Shepherd (also called the Long Coat) is essentially a German Shepherd with, well, long hair. There are a few differences in personality and temperament in addition to the coat, so we’ll explore these contrasts in more detail for you in this article. Germany bred the German Shepherd (also known as the GSD) in the late 1800s with the purpose of creating the ideal herding dog.
The standard GSD is the second most popular dog out of 196 breeds in the USA, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The Long Haired German Shepherd has the same build, height, and weight and has the same colors and markings as the standard GSD but has a double coat with a longer outer coat (the Short Haired GSD has shorter fur and also a double coat).
|Weight||Male 75-95 Ibs |
Female 60-80 Ibs
|Height||Male 22-26 inches|
Female 20-24 inches
|Coat Type||Double coat; long, fringed hair|
|Colors||Black and brown, black and tan, black and red, sabel|
|Suitable for||Active families or individuals, able to spend lots of time at home|
|Temperament||Calmer, more friendly, Devoted, Athletic, Easygoing, Confident, eager to please|
|Grooming Needs||Above average|
|Good with other animals||Possibly|
Origins And History Of The Long-Haired German Shepherd
The German Shepherd breed owes its development to Captain Max von Stephanitz in late 19th-century Germany. His goal was to create the perfect sheep herding dog, and after 35 years of dedicated breeding, the German Shepherd emerged as an apex herding dog.
Originally intended for herding and farm work, this versatile breed later excelled in various roles, including police work, search and rescue, and service dog tasks. While the breed was designed with a short or medium-length coat for protection, the recessive long-hair gene occasionally appeared. Von Stephanitz tried to breed it out due to its high maintenance, but the trait persisted, making the long-haired German Shepherd rare today.
People now appreciate the unique beauty of the long coat, ensuring its presence in the breed. In the United States, long-haired German Shepherds are not part of the AKC breed standard, but their rarity and allure make them desirable to dog owners.
What Do Long-Haired German Shepherds Look Like?
Long-Haired German Shepherds have a striking resemblance to the classic German Shepherds with a few notable differences. Their coats are long, sleek, and lustrous, adding a touch of elegance to their appearance.
The fluff around their ears and bushier tails are distinguishing features of the long-haired variation. Additionally, they often exhibit longer hair on their chest, resembling a majestic ruff or a lion’s mane, adding to their regal and captivating presence.
What Size And Weight Is a Long-Haired German Shepherd?
The size and weight of a Long-Haired German Shepherd are generally similar to that of a standard German Shepherd. These majestic dogs typically stand around 22 to 26 inches (56 to 66 cm) tall at the shoulder for males and 20 to 24 inches (51 to 61 cm) for females.
In terms of weight, male Long-Haired German Shepherds usually range from 75 to 95 pounds (34 to 43 kg), while females weigh slightly less, ranging from 60 to 80 pounds (27 to 36 kg). Of course, individual variations can occur within these ranges based on genetics, diet, and exercise levels.
What Is a Long-Haired German Shepherd’s Coat Type?
A Long-Haired German Shepherd’s coat type is characterized by long, flowing fur. Unlike the short-coated German Shepherds, the long-haired variation boasts a luxurious double coat. The outer coat is typically longer and sleek, while the undercoat provides insulation and added protection. This beautiful and dense coat gives them a majestic appearance and sets them apart from their short-coated counterparts.
Temperament & Intelligence Of The Long-Haired German Shepherd
The Long-Haired German Shepherd shares similar temperament and intelligence with its Short-Haired counterpart but is known to be a bit more laid back and easygoing.
While they are equally intelligent and protective of their owners, Long-Haired GSDs are generally less aggressive in protection mode and are calmer and less energetic. They are also less wary of strangers, making them friendly and approachable.
Are These Dogs Good for Families?
The Long-Haired German Shepherd is an excellent choice for families! They are gentle, patient, and wonderful with children of all ages. Being a calmer version of the Short-Haired GSD, they are well-suited for families with kids. Proper teaching of respect towards dogs and supervision is essential, especially with younger children. Their strong loyalty and courage make them exceptional guardians, ensuring the safety and well-being of the entire family.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Due to their more easygoing nature, Long-Haired GSDs tend to get along well with other pets, provided they are properly socialized from a young age. With good socialization, they usually have no trouble coexisting with other animals, making them a harmonious addition to multi-pet households.
Grooming Long-Haired German Shepherd
Start Early: Familiarizing Your Puppy with Grooming
Grooming a Long-Haired German Shepherd is essential due to their longer fur, which requires special care. Begin grooming routines early with puppies to ensure they become comfortable and cooperative as they grow. Start by gently manipulating their legs, paws, and body to get them used to being touched and still during grooming sessions.
Regular Brushing: Preventing Matting and Tangles
Regular brushing is vital to prevent matting and tangles, particularly after outdoor play. For puppies, use a gentle brush or wide-toothed comb, gradually transitioning to brushes designed for shedding or long-hair German Shepherds as they mature. Brush along the grain of the fur, from shoulder to haunches, on each side of the dog.
Regular brushing not only removes dead fur and debris but also helps maintain healthy skin and coat by distributing natural oils. It also provides an excellent bonding opportunity for owners and their Long-Haired German Shepherds. Grooming sessions establish a positive association with grooming and bathing, ensuring a pleasant experience for both the dog and the owner.
Are Long-Haired German Shepherds Good With Other Animals?
With proper socialization, long-haired German Shepherds can coexist with other animals, including dogs, cats, and small mammals like rabbits and guinea pigs. As herding dogs, they were bred to corral and protect animals, not to hunt them.
However, their territorial nature may sometimes lead to issues, viewing other pets as invasive. GSDs may display chasing behavior towards squirrels, which can be problematic. Early socialization is crucial to foster positive interactions and prevent potential conflicts.
Are Long-Haired German Shepherds Aggressive?
Long-Haired German Shepherds, like all dog breeds, can exhibit aggressive behavior under certain circumstances. You are absolutely correct. Aggression in dogs is not determined solely by their coat type but is influenced by various factors such as genetics, upbringing, socialization, and training.
Properly bred, socialized, and trained Long-Haired German Shepherds should not display aggressive behavior toward humans or other animals. The Long-Haired German Shepherds’ loyalty, intelligence, and trainability enable them to excel as excellent companions and working dogs in various roles, including police work, search and rescue, and service dog tasks.
Aggressive behavior in any dog, including Long-Haired German Shepherds, is not a breed trait but a result of poor breeding practices, inadequate training, or environmental influences. Responsible ownership, positive reinforcement training, and early socialization are essential to ensure that Long-Haired German Shepherds grow into well-behaved, stable, and friendly companions.
Exercise and Training
The Long-Haired German Shepherd is a highly energetic and active dog, requiring around 2 hours of daily exercise for both mental and physical well-being. Engaging him in activities like agility, tracking, and herding trials will keep him content and healthy. It’s crucial to prevent boredom, as a bored GSD may engage in destructive behavior.
For training, the Long-Haired German Shepherds respond well to positive, reward-based methods that are consistent, firm, and gentle. Spending quality time indoors with the family is ideal for his well-being. Consistent training and a loving bond with his family will result in a well-adjusted and happy companion.
How Long-Haired German Shepherds Cost?
The cost of a Long-Haired German Shepherd can be quite high due to its rarity, ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 or even more for a puppy. However, the monthly expenses for this breed are similar to other dogs of similar size. While they are high-energy dogs requiring ample exercise, additional costs for a dog walker or doggy daycare may be necessary if you cannot provide enough enrichment on your own due to work or other commitments.
Common Health Issues In Long-Haired German Shepherds
Long-Haired German Shepherds, like all dog breeds, can be prone to certain health issues.
- Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and mobility issues.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia but affecting the elbow joints, causing pain and lameness.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: A progressive spinal cord disease that results in hind leg weakness and paralysis.
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI): A condition where the pancreas fails to produce sufficient digestive enzymes, leading to malnutrition.
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Commonly known as bloat, this is a life-threatening condition where the stomach twists and traps gas, causing a rapid expansion.
- Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD): A progressive condition causing joint pain and mobility issues due to cartilage deterioration.
- Allergies: Long-Haired German Shepherds may be prone to skin allergies, resulting in itching and skin irritation.
The long-haired German Shepherd is a captivating and unique variant of the classic German Shepherd breed. Known for their long, sleek coats and gentle demeanor, these dogs make excellent companions for families and individuals alike.
Their history as herding dogs highlights their intelligence and adaptability, allowing them to excel in various roles, from police work to service dog tasks. Despite their initial rarity, they have gained popularity due to their striking appearance and amiable nature.
Like all breeds, Long-Haired German Shepherds may have certain health considerations, such as hip dysplasia and allergies, but proper care and regular veterinary check-ups can help address these concerns.
1. Are Long-Haired German Shepherds different from Short-Haired ones?
Long-Haired German Shepherds are a variation of the classic German Shepherd breed, distinguished by their longer and sleeker coats. However, their temperament and intelligence remain similar to their Short-Haired counterparts.
2. Do Long-Haired German Shepherds shed a lot?
Yes, Long-Haired German Shepherds do shed regularly, especially during the spring and fall. Regular brushing can help manage shedding and keep their coat healthy.
3. Are Long-Haired German Shepherds good with children?
Yes, Long-Haired German Shepherds are generally good with children. With early socialization and proper training, they can be gentle and patient companions for kids of all ages.
4. Can Long-Haired German Shepherds live in apartments?
While Long-Haired German Shepherds can adapt to apartment living, they require ample daily exercise and mental stimulation. Regular outdoor activities are essential to keep them happy and healthy.
5. How much do Long-Haired German Shepherds cost?
The purchase price of a Long-Haired German Shepherd can range from $1,500 to $4,000 or more due to their rarity. Additional monthly expenses for their care are comparable to other dogs of similar size.