Long-haired German shepherds are not only known for their attractive and shiny coats but also their devotion to protecting the family.
Long-haired German shepherds are rare; this is because the AKC and UKC do not recognize GSDs without an undercoat as a standard breed. Their exceptional feature can make them cheap or expensive, depending on the breeder. Some argue that they are a rare breed, making them expensive, while others argue that they do not meet the GSD breed standard, hence making them cheap.
In this guide, we discuss the origin, temperament, health, grooming, exercise, cost, physical appearance, diet, and lifespan of long-haired German Shepherds.
German shepherds were bred in the 19th century. They were meant to assist in herding and military work. It is still uncertain where the long hair breed originated but it is said to be from the Wuttermburg region of Germany. The region is very cold and the German shepherds evolved long coats to protect them from cold.
The long-haired gene is recessive and is not acceptable in competitions. The founding father of German shepherds rejected them too. He argued that he was not interested in their beauty but their working capacity. Long-haired GSDs have high grooming needs because their hair gets matted during winter and gets dirt fast hence they are not good working dogs.
German shepherds are loving, loyal, and bold. Long-haired German shepherds have those qualities but differ in their readiness to accept strangers. This is because they are mostly bred to be family dogs and not working dogs. They are very affectionate and they like spending most of their time cuddling with people. They are clingy and hate being alone. The standard GSDs are unfriendly to strangers.
Long Haired German Shepherd Traits
- Coat– Some long haired GSDs lack an undercoat. This makes it hard for them to survive in cold regions and are prone to eczema. They have shiny and attractive coats.
- Color-they have the common GSDs colors of bi-color, black and tan, blue, black, gray, black and red, sable, black and cream, white, black and silver, and liver.
Size- They grow to about 24-26” length for males and 22-24” length for females. They weigh around 50-70 pounds.
They are big dogs so they require a lot of food, should be highly rich in proteins. You can balance their diets by feeding them fruits and vegetables. Give them the right amount of food as per their stage to avoid obesity and other health problems. Always give them high-quality food.
They require daily exercise for about an hour or more. It can be in form of walking, playing both physical and mental games. Play and chew toys also assist in exercise and keeping them entertained. If they do not receive enough exercise, they can develop health or behavioral issues.
Their long hairs require extra maintenance. They should be brushed daily or after a day with a good brush to remove all the loose hairs and prevent matting. Their coats should be trimmed but not shaved. They also require regular brushing of teeth with canine toothpaste, trimming of nails, and a bath after three to four months.
The price of long-haired German shepherds varies from one breeder to the other. It is advisable to buy from a certified breeder to avoid health complications in the future.
The price range is as follows;
They are prone to many health complications like hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, allergies, cancer, and Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. Unlike normal German shepherds, they are prone to eczema. It is triggered by the absence of an undercoat.
German shepherds are intelligent dogs and they are easy to train. Their loyalty makes them follow orders easily so they can please their master. Do not punish them for not following commands, this will make them hostile or stressed. Be consistent and patient while training them.
German shepherds are big, this makes their lifespan shorter compared to small breeds. They are also vulnerable to diseases which also lowers their lifespan. They live for about 10-13 years.
Remember that long-haired German shepherds require more affection and are much affected if they do not receive the attention they need.
They require a lot of time in grooming and exercise. They shed a lot so you need to invest in a quality vacuum cleaner and they are not hypoallergenic.
Despite all, they make the best family dogs ever.