All dog lovers absolutely adore the German Shepherd. It’s no surprise since they are the cutest little creatures when they are young, and as they grow older, they turn to be the most loyal and friendliest dogs. There are two types of German Shepherds:
- Short haired
- Long haired
Short-haired German Shepherds are actually the most common ones, they are the ones you see everywhere. This is because the long haired German Shepherd is a rare breed.
Their long coat is labelled as a genetic fault and so they are rare but have become recently popular with dog lovers.
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Similar traits that exist in both short haired and long haired German Shepherds
- They both have the same length of life. Both are known to live between 10 – 13 years.
- Their nature is almost the same. They are known to be extremely intelligent and loyal.
- They can even be used as guard dogs due to their possessive nature, and both will look after their owners fiercely.
- They can’t stay away from their families for too long so both these dogs can develop separation anxiety.
- Both are energetic and so they need a minimum of two hours of exercise in a day.
- Males in this breed are typically bigger than females.
- Both grow up to be 22 – 26 inches tall.
Long haired german shepherd vs short haired
- The main difference in these dogs is that a short haired German Shepherd has a double coat, whereas a long haired German Shepherd has a single long coat.
- The short haired has an undercoat and an overcoat, and both are an inch long. The long haired German Shepherd only has one coat, but it is at least 2 inches long.
- The short haired is more apt for working outside as the double coat offers more protection from the weather. This is why they are also used by the police.
Appearance of the Long Haired German Shepherd
This breed is tall, and they resemble wolves. Their alertness can be seen by the erect ears they have. Their tail is furry, they have a long coat and their muzzle is long.
They come in various colours, however some colours can develop because of the recessive gene that a long haired German Shepherd has. Various fur colours that they usually have are:
- Brown, usually tan
A guide to grooming your Long Haired German Shepherd
Since a long haired German Shepherd has a single coat, they are susceptible to harsh weather conditions and don’t do too well in the cold. They can easily get sick.
The long haired German Shepherd should not be bathed on a regular basis as it can cause skin problems. Because their coat is long, you will have to make sure that their coat is brushed daily. This will ensure the build up of less dirt on the coat and consistent brushing also means there will less shed around the house!
Dogs should not be obese. It can cause a lot of health problems for them and you should know how to feed a healthy diet to your furry companion. Their diet requires a healthy amount of fat, carbohydrates, protein, minerals and vitamins.
You can either give them a raw, dry diet or even a wet one. Make sure to feed it proper nutrition and not just rely on kibble. Kibble is good to feed as treats while training but should not be used excessively as it has a high calorie count and can cause your German Shepherd to gain a lot of weight.
German Shepherds are athletic dogs; they also have very high levels of energy. A German Shepherd left idle is not a good thing as they can become very hyper active around the house. They need to be given proper exercise to manage their energy levels and keep their hyper-activeness at a normal level.
They should atleast receive two hours of running or walking per day. Apart from that it is good to give them a separate play time as well so they can use up their built up energy.
Training your long-haired German Shepherd
Regardless of the fact that a German Shepherd is long-haired or short-haired, this breed is extremely intelligent. Training them is not that hard as they actively take part in learning.
They love to please their owners and this is seen during training as well. Use classic conditioning or positive reinforcement and training your German Shepherd will actually be a breeze. They can pick up commands easily and learn quickly.
Pro tip: German Shepherds are actually very loving towards their families but can be unresponsive towards strangers. This is why it is good to socialise them properly while they are still puppies. This will help them become better at being responsive towards strangers as well.
Health issues with long-haired German Shepherds
Again, the actual difference in both these dogs is the coat. They both face similar health problems, however some say that short-haired German Shepherds are healthier than long-haired ones. An important thing to note is that most of these issues are caused because of genetics. This is why, before making the decision to get a German Shepherd, make sure you have done your research and that you are getting it from a responsible breeder.
Some health problems that they face are:
German Shepherds are known to have a more sensitive stomach than other breeds. This is why it is important to keep treats to a minimum and provide them with a nutritious diet. Taking good care of their food will ensure that digestion issues are less frequently triggered.
This breed is very prone to developing hip dysplasia; this is mainly because it’s a large breed. It is genetic and can’t be reversed. If your German Shepherd develops it then you will have to ensure it gets extra care.
It is an abnormal formation of the hip socket. This can cause the dog to be unstable and if not properly taken care of, then can even have the ability to reduce the lifespan of a dog.
They should be given the right exercise and nutrition to prevent it from amplifying. This will make sure the joint stays strong and causes less instability to the movement of your long haired German Shepherd.
Long haired German Shepherds are more prone to have eczema as their single coat offers less protection to their skin. This can be triggered if your dog develops allergies and their skin will have inflammation and irritation.
To prevent eczema, make sure your German Shepherd receives the right care for treatment of ticks, parasites and fleas. They should also be kept away from any irritants or chemicals as they can trigger eczema. Prevention is key and it is better to take care from before so later it does not cause an extreme problem.
This chronic condition has a tendency to develop in canines. To prevent it or treat it, make sure you visit your vet for proper medication and care. Having a furry companion with epilepsy can be heartbreaking and so before purchasing, make sure you are getting that German Shepherd from a safe breeder.
Prevention is actually the key to many health problems. This is why you should always take proper care of your German Shepherds. Having a pet is a full time responsibility and they also demand proper care and attention. If you fulfil all its requirements your German Shepherd can live a long healthy life.
Temperament of a long haired German Shepherd
Before making the decision what breed of a canine to get, it is important to know how well they will work with you. Will they be playful companions, aggressive companions or will they be a combination of both?
To answer these questions, you need to understand the temperament and nature of a breed. German Shepherds have a lot of traits that make them a very good companion for you to keep. Four traits that exist in all German Shepherds are:
This is the reason they are mostly used by the police, military and as guard dogs; they can even be taken up by a visually impaired person to use as a guide dog for themselves. They are courageous and will fiercely protect their owner. Their sense of smell is much heightened and they are very alert. This is it usually takes the major reason dogs to crime scenes to pick up any scents or drugs.
German Shepherds are great as work dogs. They have a strong build and are extremely athletic. To keep them like this, you will have to make sure they receive their fitness requirement on a daily basis.
German Shepherds are quick-witted and will easily pick up anything that you teach them. You actually need to keep your long-haired German Shepherd both mentally and physically active as they require lots of simulation in both areas.
This can be fulfilled by having daily walking or running sessions for their physical simulation and training sessions for their mental simulation. They are very keen to learn and you can even provide them toys to keep them occupied.
Boredom in a German Shepherd can lead it to developing chaotic behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing or just creating nuisance around the house. You can even give it a chew toy and make sure your canine is engaged in such activities daily.
Possessive and Loyal
They can seem aloof to strangers, but with their own family, German Shepherds have very possessive tendencies. This comes out as being fiercely loyal to their owners. However, anything in extremes is not good and that is why it is important to make sure that you give your German Shepherd the right socialisation environment. This will help them control their possessive behaviour so it does not develop into aggression overtime.
This is not just limited to making them socialise with other humans, but it also essential that you make your German Shepherd socialise with other dog breeds as well. Usually they are playful with other dogs but to make sure they maintain a healthy level of interaction in a day, socialise them with other dogs. You can do this by taking it to the park or even at a dog day care.
This will properly ensure that your dog does not react in an aggressive behaviour towards other humans and animals.
Outdoor vs. Indoor
Now that you have all the proper knowledge on a long haired German Shepherd, you need to know whether you can keep the canine indoors or outdoors. Many people don’t prefer to keep dogs indoors as they can create a ruckus around the house, which can be hard to maintain.
Now, German Shepherds are actually emotionally close to their owners and require constant attention. That is why it is preferred to keep them indoors as they require close proximity to their family.
If you are living in a place where it can get extremely cold during winters then it is wise to keep a long haired German Shepherd indoor as they don’t adapt well in harsh conditions for a single coat of fur.
Outdoor time should ofcourse be given during their exercise routine, and long haired German Shepherds love the outdoors but it is best to keep them inside and have a separate space for them. You can even let them play in your backyard during the day, but make sure they sleep indoors at night.
If you live in an apartment, then a German Shepherd can be a great pick for you as they love close proximity so they can be a very playful companion to you.
This was all things German Shepherd and we hope it cleared out a lot of your questions regarding this breed.