The long-haired German Shepherd is a unique and somewhat rare variant of the standard German Shepherd breed. This beautiful dog is known for its thick, long, silky coat, and while it’s a nuisance to groom, it certainly stands out!
This breed is strangely seen as being a ‘defect’ rather than a purebred because the long coat is the result of a recessive gene (which is why long-haired German Shepherd puppies are so rare).
This dog is far from defective, though, and is known not only for its luscious fur but for its playful, happy, energetic outlook on life. In this article, we take an extensive and detailed look at this breed in detail, explaining the height, weight, and temperament you can expect from this dog.
The long-haired German Shepherd dog is a rare variety of German Shepherd to find. For this dog to be bred, it requires both a mother and a father with the right recessive gene for ‘long hair’ to mate in order to produce a long haired German Shepherd puppy.
It’s very similar to the standard German Shepherd, but there are some key differences that set this rare dog apart from its brothers and sisters. This isn’t a different breed, but there are distinctive physical characteristics and personality traits that are unique to the long-haired variety.
Compared to the standard short-haired German Shepherd, this dog has an exceptionally long coat, but uniquely, they have no undercoat. While it’s the same sort of size and shape as a short-haired German Shepherd, it’s the long, luscious coat that really sets this dog apart!
Let’s take a quick look at the stats for a German Shepherd with long hair:
This is a tall dog, and they can stand between 22 inches and 26 inches in height once fully grown.
This is also a heavy, muscular dog, and can weigh between 60 and 90 pounds.
Large dog, with a long, furry coat and a seriously bushy tail. No undercoat. Can be found in standard German Shepherd colors (black, brown, tan, white, etc.).
9 to 13 years if healthy and no underlying health conditions.
Known health problems:
Prone to hereditary diseases, as well as skin and heart conditions.
Intelligent, loyal, loving, sociable, and affectionate. Can be wary of strangers.
A brief history of the long-haired German Shepherd
The history of this dog is shared with that of the standard German Shepherd because these two types of German Shepherds are the same breed.
The German Shepherd (as the name might suggest!) originated in Germany, where the breed’s intelligence, stamina, work ethic, and muscle ensured that it was prized as a working dog. The German Shepherd was popular on farms and particularly as a herding dog.
In the 19th century, efforts were made to standardize breeds in Europe, and the German Shepherd began to be more selectively bred, with a focus on intelligence, as much as looks. By the end of the 19th century, the German dog breeder Max von Stephanitz had formed a German Shepherd kennel club and had established an ideal version of the breed.