That’s one of the interesting things about the German Shepherd breed – there’s many different variations of the lines, colors, markings and coat lengths (for more info on the types – check out this guide).
There’s truly something for every dog owner.
Let’s look into the long coat German Shepherd further…
1) What Is A Long Haired German Shepherd? – Long Haired German Shepherd Info
Long Hair or a Long Coat is one of the coat lengths available for German Shepherds.
Long Haired GSDs are born when the long haired recessive genes from their parents DNA are carried through/passed down.
Long coat German Shepherds can be characterised physically by their fluffy appearance, and the tufts of fur around the ears, on the backs of their legs, in between the toes of the paws, on their hindquarters, and around the tail.
Long haired German Shepherds are considered one of the stock coats along with medium length/plush coats – and both have undercoats.
But, for the sake of identifying a GSD by appearance, short coats with an undercoat, and long coats with no undercoat also exist.
Unofficially, the range of coat lengths on a German Shepherd might be:
- Short length coat with an undercoat (around 1 inch in length)
- Medium length coat with undercoat, often referred to as a plush coat. This is the most common coat and is the desired type of coat for dog shows (around 1 to 2 inches in length)
- Long length coat with undercoat (around 2 inches or longer, and thick)
- Long length coat without an undercoat (around 2 inches or longer, and thick – missing an undercoat for insulation/weather protection – not as suitable for working applications or as pets in cold weather)
2) Long Haired vs. Short Haired vs. Plush Coat German Shepherds – Similarities, Differences & Things To Know
We wrote a guide outlining the differences and similarities between long haired and short haired German Shepherds.
You can also read the individual guides for short haired and medium/plush coat GSD’s here:
As a quick summary – all the different German Shepherd coat lengths fit into the German Shepherd breed. However, there may be differences in:
- the appearance of the dogs
- how common each type is
- grooming requirements
- how they conform to dog show standards
- how much they cost
3) Long Haired German Shepherds and US Breed Standard/Conformance
According to the AKC (American Kennel Club) German Shepherd Breed standard, a GSD that meets physical conformance has a double coat of medium length.
Interestingly though, petitioning from advocacy groups has meant the the Long Haired German Shepherd can compete in some shows in Germany and the UK, but not yet in the United States (as of 2016).
4) What is the Temperament of a Long Haired German Shepherd?
There is a belief in the German Shepherd community that Long Haired GSDs have a ‘better’ temperament than the standard medium/short haired GSD.
There is no data or proof we could find to support this though.
Furthermore, if trained and treated correctly, most GSDs are among the most friendly and loyal dogs in the dog kingdom.
The best indicator of what sort of temperament you can expect from your GSD is to look at the line it’s parents and ancestors come from (working or show lines). There are sub-sets of both the working and show lines that were bred for specific purposes.
For example, the East German working lines and Czech Working lines in particular were bred not as family dogs, but partly to work with law enforcement and defence forces, which requires a more aggressive and serious temperament.
This doesn’t mean however that they don’t make great family dogs – it depends on the dog itself – i.e. it’s particular DNA, regulation of breeding, and how the dog is treated/trained/socialised.
5) What Color Are Long Haired GSDs?
Long haired GSDs come in all colors, but among the online community there seems to be alot of chatter about the traditional Black and Tan, as well as the Red and Blue Long Haired GSDs.
You should be aware, as we wrote about in our guide on Black German Shepherds, the coat of a GSD will vary both in color and patterns (markings).
The pattern effects how the color is distributed across the body.
The AKC recognises 11 different colors of GSD coats including bi-color, black, black and cream, black and red, black and silved, black and tan, blue, grey, liver, sable and white.
6) How Much Does A Long Haired German Shepherd Puppy Cost?
On average, you might pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a pet, or family dog type long haired German Shepherd from a breeder.
For Long German Shepherds with pedigrees, papers, working titles, specific lines, and puppies who have a proven regulated breeding history – you can pay thousands of dollars.
Don’t get ripped off or buy from shady or unethical breeders – read this guide carefully.
When adopting a Long coat German Shepherd, you might pay anywhere from $50 to $500 – which covers adoption fees.
7) Where Where Can I Find A Long Haired German Shepherd Puppy For Sale From A Breeder?
You can adopt from a shelter or rescue centre, or buy from a breeder.
Good breeders that care about their dogs can be hard to find, but they are out there.
You’ll want to make sure they care about the health of the dogs, they are knowledgeable in breeding and they care about your fit and competency as an owner i.e. they aren’t JUST doing it for the money, but rather they respect the activity of breeding and respect the dogs + you.
When looking at buying a GSD, have a read of these guides as a starting point:
8) Where Can I Adopt A Long Haired German Shepherd? Shelters and Rescues
It is encouraged to adopt as a first priority because there are so many loving and sociable dogs that are looking for a caring owner and loving home.
We’ve put together a couple of guides that will help you when finding and adopting a long coat German Shepherd:
- Things To Consider When Adopting or Rescuing A German Shepherd
- Where To Find A German Shepherd Rescue or Shelter Near You
9) When and How Much Do Long Haired German Shepherds Shed?
There is a reason why some people call GSDs German Shedders, and long haired GSDs are no different….they shed, alot.
GSDs shed all throughout the year, but in particular for three week periods in the spring and fall when they switch coats.
The thing about the long coat GSDs is that alot of the fur they shed gets caught up in their coat, and doesn’t fall on the floor (which means less vacuuming for you!).
So, it appears they don’t shed as much as their medium and short haired counterparts. The flip side of this of course is that you should brush them on a regular basis to pick up the caught fur.
Some long coated German Shepherds have very long hair, which requires additional grooming to avoid mats and tangles.
10) How To Trim and Groom a Long Haired German Shepherd
Grooming a Long Haired German Shepherd should not be restricted to just the hair. Per grooming advice from The AKC:
“Make sure their nails are trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking.
Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection.
Teeth should be brushed regularly.”
In terms of the hair/fur, more brushing can be expected during shedding season which is in the switch over between the spring and fall seasons. Otherwise, brushing 2-3 times a week during the rest of the year may be required.
An occasional bath will keep them clean, but in order to allow your long haired GSD maintain it’s natural coat oils, a bath no more than every 2-3 months is recommended.
11) What is The Best Brush For a Long Haired German Shepherd?
Read more in Best Brush For German Shepherd Hair & Shedding.
12) My Long Haired German Shepherd Seems To Be Big Boned! Is This Normal?
Male Long Haired German Shepherds on average are 60-65 cms (24-26 in), and 30-40 kg (66-88 lb). Females average 55-60 cms (22-24 in), and 22-32 kg (49-71 lb).
Standard vet checks should be able to tell you if your Long Haired German Shepherd has bigger bones than normal.
It may be possible that your long haired GSD might just have a family history of being large for the breed. You can read more about Giant German Shepherds here.
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