Long Haired German Shepherd: Breed Guide & Information

The Long-Haired Version Of An All-Familiar And Loved Breed

I don’t know how many of you know this but German Shepherds are the second most popular dogs in the United States, a breed that has a long and rich history providing companionship, protection, and help with household tasks since forever.

These dogs are among the favorites of people who have experience raising dogs on account of how intelligent and noble they tend to be. This can also be said about the Long Haired German Shepherd who enjoys all of the characteristics of regular German Shepherds.

As a matter of fact, the long hair seems to be the only notable difference between the Long Haired German Shepherd and its short-haired brethren. That, and a few minor physical characteristics that we will talk about a bit later on.

What Is A Long Haired German Shepherd?

The Long Haired German Shepherd was first discovered in the early 20th century in a time when more and more German Shepherds were being born with these characteristics. Interestingly enough, the long hair is actually considered ‘faulty’ by many kennel clubs around the world.

This is because the Long Haired German Shepherd carries a rare autosomal recessive gene that’s pretty uncommon among regular German Shepherds. Despite that, the breed is quite popular nonetheless and continues to rise in popularity to this day.

It needs to be said that Long Haired German Shepherds boast the same personality and character of the traditional Shepherd, with a slightly different look. In fact, their beautiful coat seems to be the main reason why people are so drawn to this particular Shepherd as it vastly increases its appeal.


While both German Shepherds grow to the same size, they do differ ever so slightly physically. Just by looks alone, you can tell that the Long Haired German Shepherd is a bit different, mainly due to the fur that’s a bit longer than usual.

Unlike the short-haired shepherd, the Long Haired German Shepherd has a longer, softer, and somewhat silkier coat of fur. The coat makes the dog seem like a different breed in many ways, but alas, it’s still a German Shepherd by all standards.

Interestingly enough, the Long Haired German Shepherd is considered a purebred German Shepherd despite its longer hair and unique appearance. Then again, not many are those who consider this particular pooch to be a different dog, but it does occasionally happen that the dog gets misidentified.


Height & Weight

A regular Long Haired German Shepherd can grow up to be between 22 to 26 inches in height and weigh between 66 and 73 lbs. This varies depending on the gender as males are known to be larger and grow between 22 and 26 inches while females grow around 22 to 24 inches in height.

For the most part, a male Long Haired German Shepherd will weight between 66 and 88 lbs whereas a female will average between 49 and 73 lbs. This, of course, varies depending on the dog’s diet, exercise levels, and lifestyle.

Coat & Colors

It needs to be said that Long Haired German Shepherds have a single coat of hair and that they shed occasionally with no shedding season like other dogs. That said, the long-haired version sheds more than the regular shepherd for obvious reasons.

In regards to color, you can expect Long Haired German Shepherds to come in a wide color variation, ranging from sable, black & tan, black, white, and tan, to blue, bicolor, red, liver, and panda. Regardless of the color, however, their shedding intensity remains mostly the same across sub-breeds.

Long Haired German Shepherd Personality & Temperament

Now, we pointed out earlier just how similar the short-haired and the long-haired shepherds are, so you can expect these dogs to behave roughly the same despite their hair length. Then again, it would perhaps be best if we reminded ourselves what a German Shepherd’s personality and behavior seem like.

You need to understand that German Shepherds are loyal, protective, loving, and hard-working dogs by most accounts, which explains their widespread popularity. They are also highly intelligent, which makes them easy to train provided that the owner knows that they’re doing.

Long Haired German Shepherd Behavior

Due to how intelligent they are, these dogs are perfectly capable of making sense of verbal commands and assuming what the owner wants from them. At the same time, they will definitely get the hint when you’re too tired to engage them in play and simply chill if you want them to.

Most of the time, however, a Long Haired German Shepherd will be playful and energetic, never once backing down from a play session as long as you’re up for it. You see, this dog has a lot of energy to spend and loves to run around any available space it has.

Interestingly enough, they are well-known for how sociable they are among people and so, they will quickly pick up on verbal cues. You will over time observe how quickly the dog’s mood changes according to your own, which speaks volumes about what a good pet such a dog makes.


Long Haired German Shepherd Temperament

Being as protective as they are, German Shepherds can sometimes be confused as being aggressive, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, these dogs aren’t particularly aggressive, but will carefully analyze any potential threat and react accordingly.

Due to how intelligent these dogs are, they are known for their capacity to distinguish between a threatening situation and a non-threatening event. Presuming that the owner isn’t easily spooked, the dog is unlikely to behave aggressively unless the threat is real.

While most dogs can develop bad habits because of their upbringing and environment, the Long Haired German Shepherd is known for being very composed and calculated. That said, even such a remarkable dog can develop bad habits like barking or chewing due to a lack of exercise or because it is bored out of its mind.

Is A Long Haired German Shepherd A Good Family Dog?

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind, the Long Haired German Shepherd is a perfect family dog. This is a dog that stands out not only through its intelligence but also through how protective and intuitive it is, especially around children.

By many people’s accounts, these are some of the most kid-friendly dogs out there, the type of dog that make excellent playmates for your children. Although protective and stoic in social situations, the dog is very affectionate and cuddly in private.

Having said that, we should point out that Long Haired German Shepherds are very wary of strangers and may take a while for them to get accustomed to new faces. Aside from that, they seem to be on their best behavior around other dogs and even cats.

Caring For A Long Haired German Shepherd

At this point, we would do well to understand that Long Haired German Shepherds can grow very large and such, require a lot of expensive care. Athletic and muscular, these dogs require a lot of attention as pups in order to tone down their natural high prey drive later on.

It would perhaps be best to make a little revelation about this breed, mainly that it may be a bit too hard to handle by inexperienced dog owners. In principle, these are the types of dogs that experienced dog owners get after they’ve said goodbye to their previous dogs, and it’s easy to see why.

Highly intelligent and equally energetic, these dogs may prove quite a challenge for people living in an urban environment. Needless to say, these dogs aren’t made for living in an apartment and require a lot of space to roam freely. For this reason, it may be a bit difficult to properly care for such a dog unless you have the resources to do it with.



A Long Haired German Shepherd is a working dog by nature and as such, it requires a lot of exercise on a daily basis. It is advised that you exercise a Long Haired German Shepherd for at least two hours every single day, be it in the form of walking, running, or open-space play with other dogs.

Now, because of how big these dogs can get, playtime may be a bit rough or intensive, which is to be expected from any larger dog regardless of breed. Nothing is worse than a bored or depressed German Shepherd, so make sure that you have what it takes to properly care for such a dog before acquiring one.

Grooming & Shedding

As we said, this dog possesses a single coat of hair and rarely sheds on a regular basis. On a related note, the single coat of hair also makes it that they do not do well in particularly cold environments, nor should you keep them outside when the weather takes a turn for the worst.

In regards to grooming, let us point out that a Long Haired German Shepherd requires regular grooming in the form of daily brushing. This way, you will be able to maintain a shiny, glowing, and healthy-looking coat of hair.

One should also brush their dog’s teeth on a regular basis, which may be a bit tricky with such a large dog. Instead, many dog owners employ dental treats for the task at hand, which may not be as effective as brushing but at least it’s better than nothing.

Feeding & Diet

A Long Haired German Shepherd will eat just about anything provided that it contains the required nutrients. In this respect, people have reported success with a dry, raw, or wet diet, which seems to depend largely on what type of food the dog was first introduced to as a pup.

It would, however, be moot to point out that raw food diets tend to contain the largest concentration of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals of all dog foods. The dogs who eat it, though, need to live an active lifestyle, or else they might gain weight in no time.

Known Health Problems

A Long Haired German Shepherd suffers from the same afflictions as a short-haired German Shepherd. As such, the dog can develop hip dysplasia on account of a genetic predisposition for it, along with joint issues that older dogs sometimes suffer from.

At the same time, a Long Haired German Shepherd can suffer from degenerative myelopathy, heart conditions, and eye problems in some cases. Should you acquire the pup from a respectable breeder, you should be presented with a medical summary of the pup at the moment you get it.


How To Train A Long Haired German Shepherd

Being the strong and self-assured dog that it is, a Long Haired German Shepherd will love to please its owners at all times. This means that they will take an active interest in your commands and instructions, more so if they are met with positive reinforcement on your part.

Easy to train, these are some of the most intelligent dogs out there, the type of dog to easily pick up on verbal cues and gestures. Try to refrain from ever getting aggressive or violent with the dog because German Shepherds have been known to hold a grudge and thus, refuse to obey commands later on.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Information
Size 22 to 26 inches
Weight 66 to 73 lbs
Lifespan 9-13 years
Color Sable, black, white, red, tan, blue, bicolor, panda
Coat Single coat
Shedding & Grooming Regular shedding, daily brushing required
Temperament Very protective, intelligent, eager to please
With Other Pets Great with other pets
People Skills Affectionate with their owners, wary of strangers
With Children Amazing with children of all ages
Exercise Needs Two hours every day
Food Dry, wet, or raw food
Known Health Problems Hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, heart conditions

All Things Considered

Intelligent, loyal, protective, and eager to please, a Long Haired German Shepherd makes an excellent companion for almost anyone. Provided that you can properly take care of such a big dog, you will be thoroughly rewarded both mentally and emotionally in the long run.

Great with children and other pets, a Long Haired German Shepherd will fit into any household and strive to please their owners’ every wish as long as they have the ability to do so. Just like their short-haired brethren, these noble dogs incorporate all the best characteristics of a trusty companion and it won’t take long for you to see that for yourself.

Caroline Jones

Caroline has been a dog lover since she was only 6 years old, when her parents got her a rescue Boxer. Since then her love for dogs has lead her to study Dog Behavior & Welfare. She now educates people on how to properly raise and care for dogs, through her online site, Bark Friend. Now, she's a proud owner of a beautiful German Shepherd.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *