The Long Haired German Shepherd Dog

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"Chevy" is owned by Pauline.
Graphic Created By Babycass.

Long Haired GSDs

Should long haired or coated GSDs be allowed to be shown in conformation shows in their own separate class as in some breeds (i.e. Dachshund)?

Yes
No
I'm still deciding.


Current Results

Note From The Webmaster:
Lately, many people are writing to me and inquiring about where to get a long haired German Shepherd.  However, I do not feel comfortable recommending many breeders other than some local ones that I know of.  Helping people across the country (USA) find a long haired German Shepherd is not always easy for me to do.

Please see the Choosing A Breeder page on this site.  I personally recommend going to a breeder that completes all health screenings, and has working titles on their dogs as well as conformation titles.  Breeders such as this are *usually* breeding to better the breed and not to make a quick $$$ on selling "rare" varieties etc.   Often, these breeders are not breeding for the long coated German Shepherd but they may have occasional coats in litters. 

If you are in Europe, there is a German organization that does breed for coats AND has to follow the strict regulations much like the SV.  They must prove that their dogs have proper conformation and working ability.  Their website is here for more information.

  This is not to say that all breeders that do not show or work their dogs are "bad" or that all breeders who DO are good.  One must be responsible in making their own judgement on a breeder and doing their individual homework.  Lastly, do not forget RESCUE, RESCUE, RESCUE.

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Though not "correct" by the German Shepherd Standard(s), the long coated German Shepherd is a beautiful dog to behold.  Because they cannot be shown in conformation at SV regulated shows (as well as AKC etc.), many make wonderful working dogs in SAR, assistance work, and police work. 

Some owners say that the Long Haired German Shepherd's personality is also different than the normal coated dog: sweeter or more comical!  (Sometimes, I wonder if that is due to all of the hugging the irresistable fluff balls must receive during puppyhood!)

Owners of this variety of German Shepherd Dog are usually staunch supporters of their long hair German Shepherds and are very proud of these beautiful companions.

A Long Haired German Shepherd is sometimes called a "coat".

There are only the three coat types: normal stock hair, long stock hair, long hair. There is a range of coat lengths and fullnesses in the normal stock hair category.

*  The normal stock hair German Shepherd Dog

has an outer coat that should be as thick as possible. The individual hairs are straight, coarse and lying flat against the body. The coat is short on the head inclusive of the ears, the front of the legs, the feet and the toes but longer and thicker on the neck. The hair grows longer on the back of the fore and hind legs as far down as the pastern and the hock joint, forming moderate breeching on the thighs. The length of the hair varies, and due to these differences in length, there are many intermediate forms. However, a too short or molelike coat is faulty.

*  The long stock hair coated German Shepherd Dog's
individual hairs are longer, not always straight and above all not lying close to the body. The coat is considerably longer inside and behind the ears, on the back of the forearm and usually in the loin area. now and then there will be tufts in the ears and feathering from elbow to pastern. The breeching along the thigh is long and thick. The tail is bushy with slight feathering underneath. This coat type is not as weatherproof as the normal stock hair and is therefore undesirable.  However, provided there is sufficient undercoat, it may be passed for breeding, as long as the breed regulations of the country allow it.

* The long haired German Shepherd Dog's coat is considerably longer than that of the long stock hair.  It is generally very soft and forms a parting along the back. The undercoat will be found in the region of the loins or will not be present at all. A long coat is greatly diminished in weatherproofing and utility and therefore is undesirable (per the breed standard).

The important distinction between the correct and incorrect coats (per the German Shepherd standard) is not just hair length, but the pattern of hair growth. The incorrect coats (long hair, long stock hair) have the bushy tufts behind the ears, the big fluffy pantaloons and big bushy round tail, and long fringes along the backs of the legs, and longer hair between the toes.  A puppy can often be identified as a Longhaired German Shepherd Dog if it possesses ear fringe or tufts.

Often, owners wonder why the coated German Shepherd is considered a fault.  It has been thought that this was due to the fact that long hair German Shepherds sometimes lack the undercoat of a normal coated GSD.  The undercoat was beneficial in helping the GSD withstand the elements during sheep herding in Germany's climate.  A dog that is a long stock hair DOES have an undercoat.  However, a true long coat (soft and silky like a Flat Coated Retriever) does not have an undercoat and has always been a disqualification.   Whereas, the long stock coat was not a disqualification until recent years.   They would be graded with a Koerklasse 2 but were still showable and breedable.   Now, they are also disqualified by the SV from being breed surveyed.

Also, it is a fable that Long Haired GSDs "smell" more than normal coated GSDs, or even shed more.  A normal, healthy long haired German Shepherd will smell just as wonderful as a standard coated GSD.   Usually, a dog that smells has skin problems or is unhealthy.  It has nothing to do with the length of coat.  Of course, both types can smell if they are allowed to roll in "certain" things or to become too dirty!  Also, many owners of both long haired German Shepherds and normal coated German Shepherds (including me) say that their shorter coated dog sheds MORE.  However, there is one note to consider.  If you plan to use your coated GSD for work (or play) in fields, forests etc., be aware that they will take longer to groom afterwards.  Burrs, dirt, and foxtails are picked up more easily by the longer coat than the normal stock hair.

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Bear and Zeke are owned by our friend,
Chris, in New Zealand.

Long Haired GSD Links:

If you have a Long Haired German Shepherd page and would like to link to my site, please e-mail me.


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Visit Haus Barrett to read about the Long Haired German Shepherd in Germany and view some beautiful dogs.

 

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"Qai vom Grunenfeld" my Long Haired German Shepherd
Click on his link to visit his photo album.

 

Visit Page Two
and See More Photos of Beautiful
Long Haired German Shepherds. 

Click on Qai below and he will escort you.

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Some More German Shepherd Types:
The German High Lines or Show Lines
Various Working Lines
The DDR/Czech Lines
The North American Show Lines
The Long Haired German Shepherd
The White German Shepherd
German Shepherds Of The United Kingdom

 

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