Long Haired German Shepherd: Ultimate Guide

by David
Long hair german shepherd ultimate guide

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Long hairs give a rather distinctive look to your long-haired German shepherd. But that means the grooming time for your beloved pet will also increase. You might be wondering how different a long-haired German shepherd would be others or how to handle the long hairs of a German shepherd. Well, this article is going to cater to all the questions you might be asking yourself.

Long Haired German Shepherd Vs. Others

So first, let’s talk about the difference between long-haired and other German shepherds. Well, there are no significant differences except for the longer coat. According to breeding standards, German shepherds should have a double coat of medium length, but they can vary broadly.

Grooming Long-Haired German Shepherd

If you think about adopting a long-haired German shepherd, be mentally prepared for an enhanced grooming time. German shepherds are usually large size dogs and thus require 3 to 4 grooming sessions in a week. The intensity of grooming sessions enhances, especially during the shedding season. So, as your canine is shedding his fur to get a new one, you need to brush more to remove the shed fur. The grooming session removes the more fur; the less the hair will be seen around the house.

But as far the bathing is concerned, German shepherds are not required to bathe daily. You should only bathe your pet if he gets all messed up.

If you need to know more about grooming, we have an extensive article here on 7 Simple Steps for German Shepherd Grooming here.

Haircuts for The Long-Haired German Shepherd

It’s pretty tempting to think about giving your precious pet a routine haircut. But when it comes to a German shepherd, it does not seem to be an excellent idea. As already mentioned German shepherd has double coats that protect your pet from cold and UV rays. So when you give your pet a new haircut, it will remove the coat leaving him unable to regulate the body temperature.

There are specific scenarios where a long-haired German shepherd gets a haircut.

Suppose your dog has created massive knots due to excessive matting, then you have to shave his coat off.

Also, if your dog needs some surgery, then shaving a must. But these are rather extreme cases, and you should leave your pet with all of his hair.

The Temperament of the Long-Haired German Shepherd

As we have mentioned before, long-haired German shepherds are no different from other German shepherds and thus possess the same temperament. They are an extremely intelligent and active breed that is ideal for heroic activities. As they are a trainable dog breed, they can be a perfect choice for a working dog. That’s why you often found them with police teams on any rescue or search operations.

As far as the socialization traits are concerned, you need to train them from a young age to interact with people and be friendly to strangers. A properly trained dog will exhibit calm and friendly behavior towards kids and others.

Also, they are highly energetic and require a fierce exercise routine to consume all the stored energy. You can choose various physical and mental exercises to boost their mental and physical abilities.

The Health of a Long Haired German Shepherd

There is the only difference in the coat; otherwise, all German shepherds are the same and face similar health issues. While adopting a German shepherd, it is prudent to talk to the breeder about their condition and avoid them.

A reputable breeder will talk you through all the issues German shepherds have to face and guide you to maintain a healthy pet. Here are some of the health issues that these dogs commonly face.

German shepherds are known for back and joint issues. Most breeders bred them to have a sloppy back, which triggers back and hip problems, including hip dysplasia, joint issues, and arthritis. To get ahead of this problem and solve it, check out ‘The Experts Guide to Avoiding Joint Problems in German Shepherds’ here.

Other common issues that German shepherds have to face:

  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Bloating
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)
  • Von Willebrand disease

We have created 2 very comprehensive articles on the main German Shepherd health problems you need to know, part 1 is here and part 2 is here.


If you are thinking about adopting a long-haired German shepherd puppy, it is prudent to visit the place quite a few times. Ask the breeder to show the parents before opting for the puppy to inspect their temperament.

In German shepherds long-haired gene is recessive, and thus, long-haired German shepherds are also rare. Although the long-haired gene might be present in a short-haired German shepherd, it cannot be dominant. For some breeders, the long-haired gene is faulty and thus undesirable.

According to American Kernel Association Standards, the German shepherd should have a medium-length coat, but there is no scientific evidence supporting this claim. So, as a breeder, you can go for either short-haired or long-haired German shepherd. But if you are breeding for the show ring, then a long-haired gene might be undesirable.

Some breeders take parents dogs that both have the recessive long-haired gene and thus get a long-haired puppy. So, in the end, it’s all about choice as to which puppy you would like to take home with you.

Long-haired or short, all German shepherds are an extremely attractive, insanely intelligent, and hard-working breed that can be your best partner for a lifetime. You can adopt a German shepherd puppy and train him accordingly as they are highly trainable and love to work with their owner.

But as far as the long-haired German shepherd is concerned, they need just a bit more time for grooming. So if you are thinking about having a long-haired German shepherd, prepares yourself for lengthy and frequent grooming sessions.

If you want to know more about buying a German Shepherd puppy in general. Read our German Shepherd Puppies: Ultimate Buyers guide here.

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