It’s no wonder that the German Shepherd is one of the most popular dogs in the world. Watch their powerful bodies in action, whether chasing down bad guys as a police dog or assisting owners in need of a service dog, and you’ll understand why.
Or take one look at the gorgeous coats and adorable faces, and you’ll fall in love just as countless of others have before you.
However, the Long-Haired German Shepherd is exceptionally beautiful. The gene for this type of fur is recessive, which means it’s rare to see. In fact, only 10% have it. Especially since it’s considered a genetic fault, they aren’t as popular as the original.
Keep reading below to find out more about the model cousin of the Short-Haired German Shepherd and the argument against the validity as a breed.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- What Is a Long-Haired German Shepherd?
- Long-Haired German Shepherd vs. Short-Haired German Shepherd
- Long-Haired German Shepherd Run Into the Same Health Problems
- Get Ready for Lots of Vacuuming and Fur Balls
- The Loyal Long-Haired German Shepherd Makes Training A Breeze
- Where Can I Get a Long-Haired German Shepherd Puppy?
- Is the Long-Haired German Shepherd Right For Our Family?
What Is a Long-Haired German Shepherd?
Plain and simple, they are German Shepherds with long hair. Typically, this breed has short, coarse fur. So, where does this kind of coat come from?
It’s all in the DNA. If a short-haired parent has the recessive gene, one pup has the chance to turn it dominant. In fact, they’ve been around as long as Short-Haired German Shepherds have been around.
It’s important to know that this type is not accepted by most breeding organization because this look goes against the usual standard regulations.
Many people are working hard to try and change this. The good news is that proud owners can show their Long-Haired German Shepherds in Germany and the UK. America has yet to have allowed this.
There is a type called the Plush-Coated German Shepherd that falls between these two. But the Long-Coated has the most luxurious fur out of them all. For reference, a typical kind is the King Shepherd.
Long-Haired German Shepherd vs. Short-Haired German Shepherd
As you might have guessed, the main difference between the two dogs is coat length. To be specific, the Long-Haired breed has tufts of fur around ears, back of legs, between paws, hindquarters, and around the tail. The areas where it grows more is a process called feathering.
The most interesting of the differences in that most Long-Haired German Shepherds don’t have an undercoat. As a result, they can appear much shinier, like someone’s hair who has just stepped out of the salon.
But it also means these pooches have less protection from severe weather conditions. They won’t make the best workers, especially outside as hunters or herders who spend a majority of their time in fields.
It can get confusing because some do have an undercoat. It’s all a play of genetics.
Like the regular version of this breed, they come in multiple colors. Most common is the famous black and tan combo.
Both are gorgeous dogs with a proud and mighty stature. The heads are large and show off the strength in their jaws.
The pointed ears both stand straight, ready to hear even the smallest of noises. Sometimes the babies are born with floppy ears, but eventually, they will stand up.
Both of their eyes are medium sized and a beautiful brown that looks intelligent when you gaze into them.
How Big Do Long-Haired German Shepherds Get?
Long-Haired German Shepherd adult males grow to the height of 24 to 26 inches (61 to 66 cm) and weigh 66 to 88 pounds (30 to 40 kg).
Adult females are smaller at 22 to 24 inches tall (56 to 66 cm) and weight 51 to 73 pounds (23 to 33 kg).
If you decided to get a puppy, know they stop growing at around 9 months.
Check out the official sizes of the Short-Haired German Shepherd to compare here. In general, they are about the same.
Long-Haired German Shepherd Run Into the Same Health Problems
Unfortunately, these dogs have the same health conditions that the short-haired ones do. Since they aren’t the healthiest, there are lots to be on the lookout for.
Some of the most significant issues are as followed:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: When the hip or elbow pops out of its socket enough to wear down the bone, that’s when this medical condition happens. Unfortunately, this is common in German Shepherds and can lead to lameness. Watch for early signs, such as limping or a reluctance to play.
- Epilepsy: You might have heard of this in humans, but it’s the same in dogs: a tendency to have seizures. While this is a life-long chronic condition, there are things you can do to make your friend is more comfortable. Don’t give up hope!
- Eczema: Triggered by allergies (yes, dogs can have allergies too!), this is when spots of the skin become irritated and inflamed. You’ll be able to work together with your vet to treat.
- Digestive problems: This breed has more sensitive stomachs. This can mean even the smallest irregular thing (like too many treats or an adventure in the trash can) can trigger upset stomachs and severe diarrhea. Mullets are an excellent option for food to help with this issue.
The good news is that most of these complications are hereditary, which means they’re passed down from the parents. You’ll need to be diligent in picking a safe and reputable breeder when purchasing your Long-Haired German Shepherd. The best way to do this is by keeping an open line of communication.
Let your breeder know you are aware of these health conditions and ask for proof of healthy parents. This can look like DNA paper and/or parent pedigrees. It’s also always a great idea to visit. You’ll be able to see first hand how the puppies are treated.
If you do follow those steps and keep an eye on your dog’s health, including regular vet visits, you can expect your German Shepherd to have a lifespan of 9 to 13 years.
Get Ready for Lots of Vacuuming and Fur Balls
Long hair means more shedding. Though they are heavy shedders all year, the three weeks before fall or the beginning of spring is particularly notorious for malting.
Aside from all shedding, their coat has the unfortunate tendency to clump up and mat.
First, you’ll need the perfect brush. Go for a metal brush with lengthy teeth that will get all the way down to the roots. This will make sure you pull out all the mats and knots.
Make sure not to brush too hard. Since there is no undercoat, you could end up scratching the skin if you aren’t careful enough.
All this means you will need to be a dedicated groomer for your furry friend. Aside from reserving several minutes a day for grooming, we recommend always having a vacuum and lint roller nearby.
The Loyal Long-Haired German Shepherd Makes Training A Breeze
For a dog to be the choice for the military and the police, they need to be trainable. Since this breed has a kinder and calmer personality than the Short-Haired German Shepherd, you’ll have an obedient pup in no time.
These dogs have the better temperament as they aren’t bred to be workers. Their job has become to please their owners, not just to herd sheep or protect other humans. More free time and fewer duties make them more comfortable around all people and playful.
The key is start training as soon as possible, starting off with basics like sitting, heel, and come.
Not only does this reinforce positive habits early, like forming an even tighter bond with their owner, it also teaches training is a regular thing. Plus, keeping them entertained and stimulated keeps the accidents down in your house.
Aim to use a kind and gentle hand when training. Avoid shouting, frustration, or a lack of patience. Having treats nearby is always a great idea. Consider doing some crate training for the times when you need your large lap dog away from your space. But don’t plan to lock them up all day.
Since they were originally bred as herders, they may try to herd smaller animals in your household. But if you start socializing right away with smaller dogs and cats, this shouldn’t be a big issue.
Check out our tips and tricks on how to train your German Shepherd dog! Training your Long-Haired German Shepherds doesn’t differ.
Where Can I Get a Long-Haired German Shepherd Puppy?
These dogs tend to cost more, as they are rarer. In general, you can expect the price for Long-Haired German Shepherd puppy to be around $300 to $2500.
As we discussed in detail above, your most significant responsibility is to make sure you buy a puppy from an ethical breeder. This means doing tons of research beforehand.
To help, here are a few good ones we’ve discovered where you can find Long-Coated German Shepherd puppies for sale:
As always, we love to promote adoptions as an alternative option. This way, you’ll give a needy pup in need a home. Check out these adoption centers that may have some Long-Haired German Shepherds available to rescue:
And, if you’ve already picked up one, we’ve got lots of great name suggestions for the latest member of your family!
Is the Long-Haired German Shepherd Right For Our Family?
Considering one? That’s a great idea! This dog will make the perfect companion for someone who loves going on outdoor adventures and who doesn’t mind all the talk about the unofficial standards of this breed.
They aren’t for folks who have cats or other smaller animals, who aren’t experts at monitoring for number health issues, and who are couch potatoes.
Let us know what you think about them in the comments down below!