Long Haired German Shepherd = Long Hair Problems? Nope

Long Haired German Shepherd = Long Hair Problems? Nope

The Long Haired German Shepherd is a rare sight for many since the gene is recessive and is known to be a genetic fault. Even two short haired German Shepherds can produce longhaired offspring if the gene is present in their DNA.

While these rare long haired dogs might be the result of genetics, they are becoming increasingly popular with dog owners.

Some dog owners prefer a dog with fluffy long hair, and the long haired German Shepherd does not disappoint. Their long hair coat can come in any color within the breed.


Physical Appearance

long haired german shepherd

While their long hair makes them look a bit different and unique when compared to the standard short hair German Shepherd, underneath all of that hair they are actually similar.

They have the same facial features and body type. Male long haired German Shepherds grow to the height of 24 to 26 inches and can weigh 66 to 88 pounds.

Female long haired German Shepherds are smaller in size when compared to the males and grow to the height of 22 to 24 inches and weigh 51 to 73 pounds at a healthy weight.

The visible difference remains the length and texture of the hair. Since the long hair German Shepherd does not have an under coat like the standard short hair does, the actual hair appears to be shinier.

While this may look beautiful, it actually results in less protection from weather conditions. Due to their lack of protection against the elements, the long haired German Shepherd is not a good worker for herding and hunting.

Temperament of the Long Haired German Shepherd

Dog owners will be impressed by the eagerness and obedience of the long haired German Shepherd.

It is well known that the long haired GSD has a better temperament compared to the standard German Shepherd. Although the standard GSD does not have a bad temperament, the long haired has an even better one.

Another noticeable difference is the long haired GSD prefers to be in constant contact with their human family. Therefore these dogs make excellent indoor dogs as long as they are exercised properly.

They are highly playful and enjoy playing with toys and their family members. They are also extremely loyal to their human family and show bravery when confronted with situations that require them to protect against harm.

Their playful and protective nature makes them excellent playmates for children and even better babysitters.

Health Issues

long haired german shepherd on road

The long haired German Shepherd suffers from identical health issues as the standard German Shepherd.

Common diseases include hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, eczema and digestive problems.

Although hip and elbow dysplasia is usually a genetic health issue, the other issues can be caused by careless breeding practices which make the breed prone to suffer from a variety of hereditary diseases.

The life expectancy of the long haired German Shepherd ranges from 9 to 13 years. If you have a long haired GSD, the veterinarian can address any possible health issues and conduct a physical examination that may include blood tests, X-rays, and other tests to reach a proper diagnosis.


It’s not a secret that long haired German Shepherds need daily exercise. Dog owners that already have a long haired German Shepherd or that are thinking of welcoming one into their home will be impressed at the boundless energy he or she possess.

While they make excellent indoor dogs, they have to have balance and an outlet to burn off their energy. This is easily done by playing outdoor games such as fetch or Frisbee, or taking them for a walk, run or jog.

Dog owners will find that the long haired German Shepherd can easily keep up with any pace of exercise and happily remains by the owner’s side.

Living Conditions

long haired german shepherd at home

Since they also require almost constant emotional attachment to their owners, they do not make good outdoor dogs.

This is good news for apartment dwellers because you can enjoy the best of both worlds, having an indoor companion and guard dog as well as an exercise buddy.

Keeping a long haired German Shepherd indoors is best suited for him or her since their long hair does not protect them against weather conditions.

Dog owners will want to create a safe place indoors for their long haired German Shepherd to call his or her own. This will require a bed, toys and possibly a small gate that fits in the door way and will keep the dog in a specific room or space.

Dog owners can also choose to purchase or build a crate that is large enough for an adult sized long haired German Shepherd to stand up in, stretch out comfortable and turn around.

While a long haired German Shepherd does well playing and exercising outdoors, their home base should be indoors.

Grooming a Long Haired German Shepherd

Dog owners may be surprised at the amount of hair the long haired German Shepherd sheds. Their shedding is constant so dog owners should be prepared to vacuum frequently and have lint brushes available in every clothes closet.

Long-haired GSD hair tends to get matted and stuck together if it is not cared for and brushed properly. Brushing twice weekly using a metal brush is required to keep the coat healthy and tangle free.

Bathing is only required when necessary.

If dirt or debris from the outdoors is caught in the hair, it is wise to brush it out little by little before bathing.

Beware that the long haired German Shepherds coat does not contain enough natural oils to be frequently bathed. Their ears require precise cleaning since ear wax can stick to the hair located close to the ear opening.

Nail care is essential and should be done on a regular basis. Nail trimming should be done by the dog owner or a professional groomer.

In addition to the nail trimming, dog owners can take their dog running or walking on concrete surfaces that will help file down the nails.

Whether dog owners plan to do the grooming at home or at a groomer, they will want to get their pup or dog familiar with having their paws handled by gently touching their paws from a young age.

This will reduce the risk of grooming anxiety for the dog.

Acceptance of the Long Haired German Shepherd

long haired german shepherd exercising

Since the long hair gives the German Shepherd a unique look that varies from the standard German Shepherd fans of the long haired German Shepherd, have had to fight for the breed’s acceptance.

Advocacy groups are becoming increasingly popular to get the accepted so that the long haired German Shepherd can compete in competitions.

The long haired GSD is loyal, intelligent, has a strong working ability and are great search and rescue dogs as well as police dogs. While the fight for acceptance continues the hope is that one day the breed will be accepted.


Now that you know more about the long haired German Shepherd, you may wonder if this dog is suitable for you and your family.

First, you will need to keep in mind that this dog needs plenty of human contact and attention from his or her owner and family.

If you are a busy single person that is hardly ever home, or you have a busy family that is always running off to attend activities on a daily basis, this may not be the best-suited dog for your lifestyle.

However, if you are a single person that needs a loving and friendly companion that will enjoy regular jogging or running sessions than the long haired German Shepherd will a great fit!

In addition to having a great companion to spend time with, you will also be protected while walking, running, hiking or jogging on those isolated outdoor trails.

Also if you are a family that loves spending time at home, outdoors or at the local park you will enjoy welcoming a long haired German Shepherd into your life easily.

The secret is to make the dog part of your family and involve him or her in the family activities.

While those who are not familiar with German Shepherds will usually believe the harsh myths they hear from others, German Shepherds are not usually aggressive.


A well-socialized and trained long-haired German Shepherd is usually a family dog or companion dog that is very good with children.

Although there have been reports of bites worldwide, it is usually due to lack of training by the owner or in related to a GSD protecting loved ones from harm or danger.

Long haired German Shepherds are wonderful companions and family pets that will provide dog owners with many years of protection and happiness.


Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Shepped Team

29 thoughts on “Long Haired German Shepherd = Long Hair Problems? Nope”

    1. The “Bohemian Shepherd” is actually a totally separate breed – they are known in Germany as the “Chodenhund”, and in the Czech Republic (their country of origin,), they are “Chodský pes” – The Bohemian Shepherd is recognized nationally in Czech Republic but is not recognized by the FCI or any other major kennel club. They run 2″ smaller than the German Shepherd dog. Males 22-24 inches, females 20-22. They are always longhaired, and come only in black, with red or tan markings.

  1. We had a long-haired Germany shepherd in the 1970s – my boyfriend’s boss was from Germany, and brought two longhaired GS when he came to the US, and we got one of the pups. He was the best dog I ever had – loyal, friendly, sweet tempered. We had a fairly large house with a huge fenced yard, and we also took him on walks and with us when we went camping (we lived in Colorado) so he was a very happy guy! He liked being inside with us too, especially in the winter.

  2. I have a long-haired Shepherd. I am her 3rd & last owner. Her 2nd owner didn’t make it home from Iraq & as soon as I got the call she needed a home I drove 10hrs to get her asap. She is absolutely the best dog I have ever had. I have also have a yorkie, I have raised St Bernards, owned 5 Bulldogs, & had a previous German Shepherd as a child, but she is special. I fear the day I lose her. Is it smart to get another long-haired Shepherd soon so she can train it? I feel she is such a great teacher to other animals. Our Yorkie is the same age as she & I could not housebreak the little one & she did it in 3 days. After having her 3 days the little one never went potty in the house again. I can not say it too many times, she is amazing, protective, smart, & everything described in a long-haired temperament. The hair is terrible, but she is worth all the shedding in the world. I truly love this angel. Is it smart to get another one soon and where would I even begin to look? I didn’t even know long-haired shepherds existed. I get stopped all the time about her breed & people doubt her being pure-breed. I find myself aggressively defending her honor/beauty. Where would I even begin to find another one. Thank you

  3. One of the best dogs I’ve ever had was a “coated” GSD. She was beautiful. I understand it’s a fault. But that was really her only fault.
    If you choose a coated, plush or white GSD be prepared to do a lot of brushing. Luckily I enjoy doing that so I don’t mind the shedding and blowing coats. But with long haired dogs you must keep up with it otherwise they get matted. And they lose some of what makes them so beautiful.

    1. No longer considered a fault, (3 years now) can be shown &/or bred. Breeders have developed an undercoat with the long top coat.

      1. I did not know that the long coats aren’t considered a fault anymore.
        I try to avoid AKC/CKC/show dog stuff at all costs. What breeds have morphed into because of these “beauty pageants” is so cruel & unethical. The dogs today are a far cry from their foundation stock. It’s so sad.

    2. Until 2010, it was a disqualifying fault in Germany for the dogs to be longcoated, and almost all of the puppies were quietly sold outside of the Schaeferhunde Verein in Germany. Many of them were sold to members of the Altdeutsche Schaeferhunde Club in Germany, where they were able to be shown, titled, breed surveyed and bred. In 2010, the rules changed, and the dogs with long stock-coats (meaning they still have undercoat) can now be shown, breed-surveyed, titled and bred in Germany, but are to be bred to other long stockcoated dogs. They are rapidly gaining popularity.


      1. Ciara lileencaven@gmail.com

        Been missing a long haired male he’s fixed been gone for a year. Please email me the rescue that your talking about so I can see if it’s my baby boy please. Lileencaven@gmail.com or call or text 8122519157. I will go check to see if it’s my boy please help

    1. Julie here is a breeder that specializes in Long hair GSD puppies.



  6. Grate article! I’m amused, that you put so many information about that dog in one post. I love all German Shepherds, but those, who have long hair had a special place in my heart. My first dog was German Shepherd with long hair. He pass many years ago, but my feelings remains.

  7. Richard Platings

    “Druid” my father’s pedigree long haired GSD died after a ball that was thrown for him jammed in his throat as he went to grab it with his jaws and he choked to death.
    Not a happy story especially since he was the most wonderful animal but perhaps something for other owners to bear in mind when throwing balls.

  8. Hi im now on my 5th GSD (2 staffordshire bull terriers, border collie, and a jack russell) over 25years and all 2nd-3rd hand dogs and we are their last home and Roxie is the 3rd long haired GSD 2yr old, we have now and she is so funny but great obedience loves people kids and other dogs and i love this website and have to say as a big german shepherd fan, TOTALLY ADDICTIVE breed couldn’t be without one

  9. I have two normal coated female GSDs and a 10 month old male long coat, all AKC registered. Case inherited the long coat gene from great-grandmothers on the top and bottom of his pedigree. He does have a double coat. He requires daily grooming and a more thorough grooming once a week. But, man, does he attract positive attention wherever I take him! He is absolutely gorgeous with his lion’s ruff of mane, thick tail and fluffy pantaloons. His coloring is very striking – mostly black coat, with a rich red mane and legs and silver pantaloons. His maternal grandsire is the sire of one of my other dogs. I got him from the same breeder. A great dog. He is big, weighing 87 pounds at 10 months with very large bone. The long coat is a breed “fault” but no longer a disqualification. Some AKC shows have classes just for the long coat GSDs.

  10. Thank you for indicating in this article that long coat German Shepherds do shed. As a long coat German Shepherd breeder, there are many people who contact me that think long coats shed much less than their short coat counterparts and I always explain that they definitely do shed, it is just a bit different as the hair tends to ball up onto the floor versus sticking to your clothing.

    Pioneer German Shepherds

  11. We just lost our wonderful long haired German Shepherd at 11 1/2 years of cancer….we are expecting a pup from a wonderful breeder in Nebraska (where we purchased our first one) Vom Schlossfelsen Kennels, and they do fly the dog to you at the age of 8 weeks……and you do have the option of picking the dog up also.

  12. Hi,
    I want to know that these long haired GSD smell bad? I am planning to spent time mostly at nigtht with him inside the house. They told me that It smell alot and you don’t want to have them inside the house.
    Is it true?

  13. Long haired shepherds aren’t anything new. The rude (rough) coated shepherds come from Germany. I had my first one in the mid 1980’s, and he was the best friendly, loyal dog ever. Two of his litter of nine were long haired.
    He did tolerate cold weather well, but romps in the forests in the fall were a bitch. That coat was a magnet for leaf litter.

  14. We just had to put our 14 year old long coat female GSD down as her hind quarters gave out ( DM)It is heartbreaking as she was a great family dog that we raised since she was 8 weeks old. They make the best family dogs as they are great with kids but as loyal and protective of their “pack” as any dog you will find. They do crave human companionship, so if you are at work or out most of the day, it will not be a good match.

  15. I was a cat person for over 30 years. My wife an I got a long hair shepherd almost by accident, but I can’t even begin to tell you how much we love her and what a part of the family she is. She “talks” to us in noises that I can’t even explain, but she is saying something to us. We love her so much, we are getting a brother and sister from an upcoming litter to add to our house. Buy from a responsible breeder and you will get a member of the family that will change your life.

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