The exemplary long haired German shepherd has always been a favorite of dog owners and breeders. Long-haired GSDs are perfect for those who love fluffy German shepherd puppies. Plus, the rarity of the breed makes each long-haired German shepherd puppy more expensive than most, benefiting the breeders.
However, among all the breeds of German shepherds, long-haired German shepherds are one of the most questionable breeds. After all, to avoid potential problems or issues, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the dog beforehand.
Luckily, this blog post answers most of the common questions asked by people looking for long haired German shepherds for sale. Let’s start with the most obvious questions – where did they come from?
How Did the Origins of Long-Haired German Shepherd Breeds Come About?
German shepherds have been recognized since the 1990s. But even then, long-haired GSDs are still frowned upon. This is perhaps the result of the firm belief of the authorities in the kennel clubs that there shouldn’t be any long-haired shepherd breeds.
It wasn’t until 2010 when both the FCI and SV officially recognized the long coat trait in the breed line.
Since then, these fluffy German shepherds have been called many names, the most popular being long coat German shepherd.
How Does Genetics Affect Long-Haired Shepherd Breeds?
While the long coat of the fluffy German shepherds adds an element of elegance, it also brought them some disadvantages.
But, long-haired German shepherds are an exception because it is, in fact, a genetic flaw. The long-hair recessive gene is a rare trait that even selective breeding cannot guarantee.
That’s why the typical long haired German shepherd price is different than most. We’ll go into more details with this later.
Since the long-haired gene is recessive, these fluffy German shepherds are considered as an exotic breed and a genetic fault at the same time. In fact, you’ll only find one long-haired GSD out of ten German shepherds.
Although long-haired German shepherds are purebred, they still aren’t allowed to participate in competitions. This is why many dog owners may not know them well or even know that they exist.
Even the variants of long-haired GSDs such as the sable long-haired German shepherd are not accepted in such events.
What are the Differences Between Short- and Long-Haired GSDs?
The structure of long haired German shepherds is identical to the standard breed. So their measurements are typically the same.
Coat Length – Obviously, long-haired German shepherds have longer hairs. Additionally, their individual hairs are thinner than that of standard GSDs.
While this may result in a more appeal to dog owners, it’s actually unfavorable on their side since it means less protection to extreme climates.
This is the most obvious way to distinguish a long-haired German shepherd puppy from a standard GSD. But there are more differences other than the length.
Coat Color – Long-haired German shepherds follow the same color as the standard GSD: tan and black. However, due to the absence of an undercoat, fluffy German shepherd puppies may have a shinier coat than your normal pooch.
You may also find this very noticeable with sable long-haired German shepherds since their individual hairs consist of many colors.
Lack of Undercoat – The majority of long-haired shepherd breeds do not have an undercoat. This is the main reason why, as previously mentioned, despite being purebred, they aren’t allowed in competitions.
While the American Kennel Club only accepts those with undercoats, there are some fluffy German shepherd puppies that have double coats. However, they still can’t participate in such events.
Regardless, this means short-haired GSDs have more hair than long-haired German shepherd puppies. This takes us to the common misconception about long-haired GSDs.
“Long-haired German shepherds are bigger shedders than the standard breed”
While long-haired shepherd breeds may have long hairs, that doesn’t mean they are more of a shedder than the standard GSD.
In fact, they shed less than their short-haired cousins. That’s not to say long-haired German shepherd grooming techniques will be easier, though.
You’ll have to groom them more, brush them regularly, etc. Plus, skipping the long-haired German shepherd’s haircut can lead to more problems than with a short-haired GSD.
Those are just the physical difference between short- and long-haired shepherd breeds. Remember that there are also differences in their behavior.
Does Long-Haired GSD Have the Same Temperament as the Standard Breed?
Just like other breeds of German shepherds, long-haired German shepherds have the personality to qualify them as family companions. They are loving, protective, intelligent, and trainable.
They are loyal and protective, just like any other German shepherd breed, making them great house dogs.
Since they are herding dogs, you shouldn’t leave them alone in enclosed spaces. They need enough room to be comfortable, so taking them for walks is crucial.
But, long-haired German shepherds differ in some aspects. The most popular difference between the personality of these fluffy German shepherds with the standard GSD is they are calmer.
This, however, doesn’t change the fact that they are herding dogs. They will still struggle with getting along with strangers.
The Health of a Long-Haired German Shepherd
The long-haired German shepherd is prone to the same health issues faced by the standard breed. Hip dysplasia, digestive problems, back pain, and more. Let’s divide these into two categories:
Genetic Health Issues – Most of the health issues, especially those concerned with the skeletal system, can be inherited from their parents. So it may be helpful to check the pedigree of the long-haired German shepherd puppies.
However, some health issues are the result of reckless breeding methods. This takes us to the developed health issues.
Developed Health Issues – Non-hereditary health issues are those that don’t have anything to do with genes. This may include eye problems, digestive problems, and skin conditions. That’s why it’s important that you find a respectable breeder. These may also be the result of poor grooming practices and inadequate diet.
Since there is no surefire way to determine the state of your dog’s health without the help of a professional, seeing the vet regularly is crucial.
Lastly, remember that although the long hair gene is considered a genetic flaw, it doesn’t affect the health of a long-haired shepherd breed. They can still live anywhere from 9 to 13 years, the same as other German shepherd breeds.
Do Long-Haired GSDs Need The Same Care as Normal Ones?
Just as usual with dogs, long-haired German shepherds can show promising results when properly taken care of.
They also require the same care from their owners that is normally done to the standard German shepherds, with some differences.
Long-Haired GSD: Exercise
Like any other dog, a long-haired German shepherd needs to exercise once in a while to stay healthy. Since they are energetic dogs, there’s no point worrying about their stamina.
That’s why I previously mentioned that the best partners for them are those that regularly exercise, especially fitness enthusiasts. They’re also intelligent enough to play games such as Frisbee, fetch, and more.
Living Conditions of Long-Haired GSDs
A long-haired German shepherd is more of a family dog than a watchdog.
They can be emotionally unstable when left alone because they need constant contact with their owners. That’s why they aren’t suited for those who often leave their houses for meetings, trips, etc.
The best partners for these fluffy German shepherds are those that regularly go outside to exercise since you can take your dog with you.
Long-Haired German Shepherd: Grooming
Since they have longer hair than usual, you’ll be having more trouble with grooming. So it’s important to make sure they aren’t left alone for a long period of time.
I’d suggest doing the long-haired German shepherd’s haircut regularly. Maybe four to six times a week.
As I’ve said, these fluffy German shepherds are not big shedders like short-haired GSDs. However, you’ll still need to use vacuums if you’re planning on getting long-haired German shepherd puppies.
Where Can You Find Long-Haired German Shepherd Puppies?
It would be no surprise if you’ve decided to adopt a long-haired German now. But, there are some things you need to know first right before buying.
Long-haired German shepherd price: Since the beginning of this blog post, we’ve talked about how rare they are compared to the standard breed. That’s why they’re bound to cost more.
We’re talking about a price of anywhere from $300 to $2500. So doing a lot of research to look for a proper breeder will surely pay off.
Safer breeding methods: The difference between long-haired German shepherd puppies and standard GSDs is that careless breeding methods aren’t widespread.
This is due to the fact that breeders can’t be 100% sure they’ll get a long-haired GSD even through selective breeding as we’ve previously tackled.
The Bottom Line
True, these fluffy German shepherds are lovable creatures. They’re great for your family, especially for the kids. But sometimes, they may prove to be hard to handle if you don’t know anything about them.;
That’s why you should have your questions answered as soon as possible. This includes their origins, description, temperament, health, and more importantly, how to take care of one.
To avoid any regrets later on, I suggest looking for long-haired German shepherd puppies for sale only if you’re not a couch potato.