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Long Haired German Shepherd VS Short Haired 5 Must-Know Differences

Difference between Long Haired VS Short Haired German Shepherd

When you are in the United States of America, the one thing that you can’t miss seeing every day is a German Shepherd Dog (GSD). According to data published by the American Kennel Club, GSD ranks second as one of the most preferred dogs in the Americas.

The only breed that is more popular than GSD here is the Retriever (Labrador). However, the lengths of coats of all the German Shepherd Dogs are not uniform. Most of the GSDs are short-haired.

They are the classic ones of this breed. Only 10% of the GSDs are long-haired. The American Kennel Club views the coat of the long-haired GSDs as a result of a genetic fault.

Hence, they don’t acknowledge them as the pure GSD breed and don’t allow them to participate in registered dog competitions. But the UK and German Kennel Clubs accept the long-haired variety.

However, even these kennel clubs don’t permit this variety to compete with short-haired GSDs in competitions. Despite this drawback, long-haired GSDs are popular among dog lovers.

Let us initially tell you the similarities of the types of GSDs. The height of both of them is about 22 to 26 inches. They weigh between 50 to 90 pounds. In each of these varieties, the male dogs are superior to the bitches.

Both are available in the following colors: black, black and silver, black and red, black and tan, sable, and grey. All white-coated GSDs are also available. However, this variety is the rarest of the rare. Both of their intelligence levels are high.

They both are energetic and love to jump, bark, and chew. Both of them need around 2 hours of daily exercise to lead a healthy life. Their lifespan is 9 to 13 years.

The couple of diseases that are common among both of these varieties are heart disease and hip dysplasia. Now, let us highlight the differences between short-haired GSDs and long-haired GSDs in different categories.


Difference between Long Haired German Shepherd vs. Short Haired

#1 Coats

Short Haired GSD Coat

They have two coats: an outer coat and a denser-looking thick woolly undercoat. The length of the outer coat is short or medium. The undercoat covers the outer coat.

The double coat makes this breed hot and ‘waterproof.’ Working outside in harsh conditions and working, in general, becomes easy for them. Thanks to the double coat.

Long Haired GSD Coat

Most of them miss an undercoat. Instead, they have a single-layered coat that has long silky hair. However, there are a few long-haired GSDs that have undercoats with a length of only 2 inches.

This is because the recessive gene results in the long hair of this variety. It means that a GSD to be born as a long-haired GSD needs both parents with long hair or as carriers of this gene.

#2 Personality

Short-Haired GSD Personality

They are courageous, mighty, and intimidating. However, they also have a protective nature. They are a bit cautious around strangers. It may happen because they originally were bred for sheep herding in Germany.

In the modern days, they serve in the police and military.

Long Haired GSD Personality

They are bred mainly for human companions. So, besides being mighty and courageous, they are friendly with human beings. However, if they sense that the stranger has an evil purpose, they can prove fatal to that stranger.

The loyalty to the owners and their family members is a trademark of this breed.

#3 Weather preference

Short-Haired GSD

The presence of an undercoat saves them from harsh weather. However, the double coat makes them suited to be out in the cold, wet weather. On the other hand, hot weather can be uncomfortable.

Long Haired GSD 

The absence of an undercoat (in most long-haired GSDs) makes them stay in a bit of hot weathered conditions. However, since they have long hair in their outercoat, their preference is cold or wet weather.

#4 Grooming

Short-Haired GSD 

They shed their double coats throughout the year. Brush them at least thrice a week to remove their loose hair. However, the prime shedding seasons are spring and fall. During these sheds, they lose lots of furs.

At this time, you have to brush them daily. Proper grooming of this breed includes nail clipping once a month, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing once a week.

Long Haired GSD 

Since they don’t own an undercoat, it may seem that they don’t shed much. However, due to the long hair in the outer coats, the hair they shred gets trapped in the fur.

So, the truth is that more fur comes out of a long-haired GSD than a short-haired GSD. The long-haired ones, however, don’t have separate shedding seasons.

They shed at a consistent pace all through the year. They need brushings at least three times a week. One of the painful things about the shedding of long-haired GSD puppies is that their fur can become greasy.

Another pain this breed endures is that they are susceptible to skin diseases such as eczema and dry skin. So, you must be careful that you don’t over bathe them.

The vets suggest that you give a bath to this breed a maximum of 1 time a month using a gentle shampoo. Similarly, like the short-haired GSD, this breed also needs you to clip their nails monthly, clean their ears weekly, and brush their teeth weekly.

#5 Litter Size

Short-Haired GSD Litter Size

Per litter, they usually have 4 to 9 puppies.

Long Haired GSD Litter Size

Their litter size is small. In a litter, they usually produce 1 to 3 puppies.

#6 Price

Short-Haired GSD Price

The price depends on the breed’s pedigree. On average, short-haired GSD costs between $500 to $1,500.

Long Haired GSD Price

Their price varies depending on the breeders. Since this breed is rare compared with the short-haired GSDs, a few breeders ask an exorbitant rate.

However, since this breed doesn’t meet the exhibition standards set by many kennel clubs, a few breeders sell them at a throw-away price. The recognized good breeders generally sell the puppies and adults of this breed in between $500 to $1500 and $300 to $500 respectively.

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