Long Haired German Shepherd: Facts, Size, Care & More

German Shepherds are among the most beloved dogs. And it was the star dog Rin Tin Tin who made the breed famous worldwide. They are brave, intelligent, and powerful, often engaged in police and military, but German Shepherds are lovely family dogs too. However, today we will discuss the Long Haired German Shepherd, a rare variation of this breed.

It is not a different breed but a long-haired variation of the standard German Shepherd having similar characteristics. With their elegant appearance and intelligence, the Long Haired German Shepherds are becoming the most cherished dogs.

German Shepherd is a double-coated breed. And the only difference between a regular dog and the long-haired dog is the length of their fur. So owing a long-haired variation means you will have to spend more on grooming your pet. However, if you want to add an intelligent, loving, and easy-to-train dog to your family, a long-haired German Shepherd is the best choice. So be with us and know everything about your beloved Long-Haired German Shepherd.

The History German Shepherd

The History German Shepherd

A Long Haired German Shepherd is only a variation of the standard German Shepherd breed. So both have the same history that originated in Germany.

The person behind this valuable dog breed development is the German cavalry officer Captain Max von Stephanitz. In the later 19th century, he set up a breeding house to create the best herding dog in Germany. However, when modern technology replaced herding dogs, von Stephanitz started selling his dogs for military use. And Today, German Shepherds are the most popular sniffer dogs in military and police work.

Post World War I, Corporal Lee Duncan, an armorer of the U.S Air Force, rescued a German Shepherd puppy. He brought it to his home in Los Angeles. This puppy later grew up to be the star dog Rin Tin Tin. And it popularized the German Shepherd breed worldwide.

During World War II, when there was an anti-German wind, German Shepherd got a new name Alsatian. And gradually, the name Alsatian became more popular. According to 2022 data, the German Shepherd is the second-most-popular dog in the United States after the Labrador Retriever.

Facts About Long Haired German Shepherd

Facts About Long Haired German Shepherd

A Long Haired German Shepherd is a variation of the standard German Shepherd with a long coat. It results from a recessive gene present in the parent dogs. As Labradors can have puppies of any color, German Shepherds can have short-haired and long-haired puppies.

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It means, two Short Haired German Shepherds can have Long Haired puppies provided both parents bear the recessive gene. However, if the gene is absent in any parents, there is no chance to have long-haired puppies. And this condition makes a Long Haired German Shepherd a rare type of dog.

According to statistics, only 10-15% of all German Shepherds have a Long-Haired coat. And for this, breeders often charge a premium price for this variation of German Shepherds. Here are the facts, size, care & more information about the Long Haired German Shepherd.

Physical Appearance

Physical Appearance

This handsome dog attains a height of up to 26 inches and weighs more than 90 pounds. They have a coat of at least 2 inches long hair. And the hair is longer on the butt, tail, belly, backs of the legs, and around the ears.

The length of Long Haired German Shepherd is higher compared to their height. And the dog has a pointed nose with erect ears. Their tail is long and straight with thick hair. The puppies of German Shepherd have large feet and ears. However, they grow into a beautiful and muscular dog breed.

The fluffy coat of this dog breed comes in unicolor, bi-color, and sometimes multiple colors. The color combination in German Shepherd includes Black, brown, white, golden, gray, and red.

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A male Long Haired German Shepherd attains a height of 24-26 inches and weighs 65 to 90 pounds. And the female members of the breed stand 22-24 inches tall and weigh 50 to 70 pounds.

With the particular breeding procedure, some German Shepherds become even more extensive than this measurement.



The long coat variation of the German Shepherd is intelligent and easy to train. They are loyal to their family and love to be with their owners.

German Shepherds are protective of human strangers, and they chase the smaller pets. However, with early age training, this dog can become friendly with other pets in the house. Also, they are gentle with children and make lovely family dogs.

Lifespan and Health issues

lifespan and Health Issues

Unfortunately, the life span of the german shepherd is short which is 7-10 years. It is a sadly short lifespan for a large dog. Also, they are prone to different health problems that can be severe at times.

So it is of utmost importance to adopt the pet from a reliable breeder who focuses on healthy puppies. Also, you should plan the budget for the expensive treatment of your dog. Here are a few health problems that Long Haired German Shepherd often suffers.

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Hip or elbow dysplasia: It is a painful condition where the joint parts of your dog don’t develop properly.

Gastric Dilatation: A life-threatening condition where the dog’s stomach fills with gas that cuts the blood supply to the intestines.

Spinal Cord Disease: It is a severe condition of the spinal cord that may lead to paralysis.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: A genetic problem that destroys the digestive enzymes, and the dog can’t digest food.

Allergies: German Shepherds experience a lot of skin and other problems due to environmental or food allergies.



German Shepherds are prone to Gastric Dilatation and food allergies, So it is difficult to find the right food for the pet. Also, you cannot feed them protein-rich food that may stimulate joint problems.

High protein food is not suitable for German Shepherd, especially when they are puppies. It is because excessive protein can accelerate the growth in puppies that will also develop joint problems. So you can provide your GSD food containing glucosamine and chondroitin. It will help maintain the healthy joints of your dog.

If your Long Haired German Shepherd is prone to food allergies, buy hypoallergenic dog food that contains a unique protein. Some common ingredients causing food allergies in German Shepherd are corn, wheat, soy, dairy, egg, beef, pork, lamb, and fish.

Exercise Requirements

Exercise Requirements

Bred as working dogs, German Shepherds are energetic dogs and like to stay active. And you cannot expect your long-coated German Shepherd to sit on the couch for the whole day. They need to exercise for a minimum of two hours every day to be happy dogs.

The ideal house for a German Shepherd is one with children and ample open space. Here the dog can roam around and play with the children. And it will help the dog to stay fit and develop a lovely bond with the family.

Your Long Haired German Shepherd can do good in an apartment if a dog park is nearby your house.

However, insufficient exercise can cause boredom leading to undesirable behaviors like barking and chewing. So if your German Shepherd is misbehaving, you can try to control the dog by providing challenging activities.



German Shepherd is an intelligent dog breed. And it is easy to train them with the regular use of dog training commands. Also, if you follow positive reinforcement training, they will quickly learn the things you teach them. However, it is a wrong idea to punish them for bad behavior that can lead to aggression.

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The happiest time for Long Haired German Shepherds is when they have a job to do. However, you can also take your dog to participate in a dog sport like agility or dock diving. It will not only delight your dog with extra exercise but also provide an excellent bonding opportunity.

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Ideal Living Conditions

Ideal Living Conditions

A Long Haired German Shepherd loves to be with its family. These dogs share lovely bonding with their human families. And don’t feel good if left alone outside for a long time. However, if you intend to keep your German Shepherd outdoors at night, there must be a warm and dry shelter for the dog.



It will help if you brush the fluffy coat of your Long Haired German Shepherd several times a week. And during the change of season, when the dog tends to shed more, you may need to brush every day.

A slicker brush and a comb work the best for the long coat of the German Shepherd. The ideal way is to use the slicker brush first. And then check for tangles while combing out the loose hair.

The fur of the long coat German Shepherd can become tangled and form mats. And if there are severe mats, it is not safe to brush them out. It means you will need a groomer who will shave the mats out.


A Long Haired German Shepherd is an intelligent, friendly, and easy-to-train dog. It is a long coat variation of the standard breed. So if you can brush your dog a lot, Long Haired German Shepherd is a perfect pet for you. However, before adopting your adorable pet, you can go through all the facts about the German Shepherd here.

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