Long Haired VS Short haired German Shepherd Dog Comparison – We love german Shepherd

Long Haired VS Short haired German Shepherd Dog Comparison

Did you know that the long-haired and short-haired German Shepherd exists? There are a lot of differences and similarities between the two.

They are both German Shepherds; however, they are not the same in many aspects.

Read further to know more about short-haired and long-haired German Shepherd.

What is a short-haired German Shepherd?

Credited: the daily shep

A short-haired German Shepherd is a German Shepherd with short coat length and is typically shorter when compared to the medium and long coat length.

A short-haired German Shepherd has a coat length of 1 inch in length.


The short-haired German Shepherd isn’t as popular as the medium length with dense coat German Shepherds.

These German Shepherds aren’t disqualified from dog shows; however, they aren’t favorable to the AKC.

The AKC favors German Shepherds with a medium coat and a double coat.

While the SV standard ( European GSD standard) favors the long dense outer coat with an undercoat.

Appearance and size

The short-haired German Shepherd is an athletic well-built dog; they are 22 to 26 tall and weigh between 50 to 90 Ibs.

Males are larger than females in size and have masculine features such as having a long muzzle.

They also have a slope in their back which is a bad sign for their health. Normally, they back should be straight.

The short-haired German Shepherd has a double coat, an outer coat and an undercoat.

The outercoat is dense and close to the body with either a slight wave or straight in its nature.

The undercoat is thick and woolly so that it can provide protection against the weather.

Personality and temperament

Regardless of their coat length, a short-haired German Shepherd has the same personality as any other German Shepherd.

They are very intelligent which makes them trainable in any learning setting. Thus, they can be trained in lots of roles such as police dogs, guide dogs, service dogs, watchdogs and so much more.

So, they make excellent working dogs. Being loving and caring, they are very loyal toward their family members and friends.

The short-haired German Shepherd is also very protective of their family and friends that they will jump at the very first sign of danger to protect their loved ones.

They can be wary and careful from strangers, at first, because they don’t know them. Gradually, they open up to strangers and once they become friends, they are friends forever.

The short-haired German Shepherd needs to be socialized from a young age so they can build a well-round personality and easily socialize with other people and dogs.

Like all German Shepherds, a short-haired German Shepherd doesn’t like it when they are left alone for a long period of time.

They can actually engage in destructive behavior when they feel bored and anxious. This behavior can translate into heavy barking, chewing, and doing lots of damage.

How much does a short-haired German Shepherd shed?

The short-haired German Shepherd is known to shed all year long with an exception of really heavy shedding within two times a year.

At these two times a year, they will blow their coat losing a huge amount of hair in a very short period.

Mainly, they will be losing their undercoat in the spring so their temperature won’t rise and they wouldn’t become overheated from the weather.

The other time that they will lose their undercoat is the fall where your short-haired German Shepherd’s undercoat will fall to replace it with a denser undercoat that can withstand the cold weather.

How much does a short-haired German Shepherd cost?

A short-haired German Shepherd will cost between $500 and $1500. The pricing depends on the degree of the pedigree. The better the pedigree, the more expensive the puppy will be.

What’s a long-haired German Shepherd?

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A long-haired German Shepherd is like any other German Shepherd except that they have a longer coat length.

These German Shepherds have a coat length of 2 inches or longer. The longer the hair length, the more frequent grooming that they need.

Because the long-haired German Shepherd doesn’t have an undercoat, their actual hair appears shinier and longer.

They look magnificent; unfortunately, they can’t withstand harsh weather conditions.


The American Kennel Club does not recognize the long-haired German Shepherd as a purebred. They actually consider the long hair as a fault that isn’t like the standard German Shepherd.

Because they aren’t as popular and recognized by the AKC, they aren’t bred as much as the short-haired German Shepherd.

Due to this characteristic, they aren’t allowed to join dog shows.

Appearance and size

Long-haired German Shepherds doesn’t have an undercoat at all but they have a single coat that appears very shiny and long.

Male German Shepherds can grow to a height of 24 to 26 inches and can weigh between 66 to 88 pounds.

While female German Shepherds will have a height of 22 to 24 inches and weigh between 51 to 73 pounds.

A healthy one will become muscular and well-built. This definitely depends on factors such as their diet and exercise.

Personality and temperament

The long-haired German Shepherd has a much balanced and calmer temperament than the standard German Shepherd.

This is by no way means that other German Shepherds don’t have a good temperament, they actually do but they aren’t as good as the long-haired German Shepherd.

German Shepherd’s with long hair are much friendlier and eager to please their dog parents because of their temperament.

These German Shepherds prefer to be in constant contact with their family and friends.

They do enjoy living indoors most of the time; however, they do need to be properly exercised so they don’t get bored and frustrated.

They can get exercise from mental exercises such as chew toys and puzzles and physical exercises like running and swimming.

Their protective and playful nature makes them excellent playmates for children in any household.

They are so protective of the loved ones that they will protect them whenever they find any danger.

How much does a long-haired German Shepherd shed?

Even though at first, you may think that a double-coated German Shepherd is the only one that sheds a lot unlike the long-haired German Shepherd who has a single coat, the truth is that they also shed.

Long-haired German Shepherds have a single coat but do also shed a lot. The reason that their shedding doesn’t appear to fall in the ground is due to their hair length.

Even though they have long hair, they do shed and the hair gets trapped in their long hair. The hair won’t fall down to the ground like that of a double-coated German Shepherd.

However, it will fall out when you brush your German Shepherd’s hair when you groom them.

This creates the illusion that they don’t shed a lot but they actually do. In fact, they need to be groomed regularly because of their shedding and to take care of their long hair.

How much does a long-haired German Shepherd cost?

As these long-haired German Shepherds aren’t registered in the AKC, they cost less than their short-haired German Shepherd.

They cost between $500 and $1000 to get a German Shepherd with long hair.

Dietary requirements for long-haired German Shepherd

Since German Shepherds are prone to joint problems and food allergies, you need to give them the right food for them to eat.

Don’t give your long-haired German Shepherd too much protein because it can cause them to grow too fast if they are puppies and develop joint problems.

If your German Shepherd suffers from food allergies, search for hypoallergenic dog food with a unique type of protein.

There are common food allergies that your long-haired German Shepherd may have such as allergies due to eating corn, wheat, soy, dairy, egg, pork, lamb, and fish.

Major difference between Short-haired and long-haired German Shepherd

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A major difference lies in the length of the coat of a short-haired German Shepherd and a long-haired German Shepherd.

The long-haired German Shepherd has a longer hair length when compared to the other.

Having no undercoat, the long-haired German Shepherd doesn’t have the same protection as the short-haired German Shepherd; however, their hair actually appears shinier than that of a German shepherd with short hair.

Even though they do come in the same combinations of colors, they are still different in other aspects.

Weather adaptation

Short-haired German Shepherds are better suited for cold weather and any weather changes because their undercoat adapts accordingly.

The German Shepherd with short hair has a wooly and waterproof undercoat that can protect them from cold weather easily.

Even though you would think that a German Shepherd with long hair would protect them from cold weather, unfortunately, it doesn’t because they only have a single coat.


Mostly, both have the same personality as any German Shepherd with some subtle differences.

These differences in temperament arise from the difference in coat length where short-haired German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs.

As working dogs, they tend to be more focused and show discipline than long-haired German Shepherds. They also tend to be more reserved and aloof when meeting strangers.

While German Shepherds with long hair tend to have a more balanced and friendlier temperament and personality.

They always have an eagerness to please their dog parents and making them happy.

Different roles

Short-haired German Shepherds can easily become working dogs who excel as police dogs, service dogs, guard dogs, watchdogs, and much more.

They can withstand harsh weather conditions so they can tolerate working anywhere.

While German Shepherds with long hair can’t tolerate different weather conditions so they are suitable for being companions and sitting with you at home.

Even though they are much friendlier, long-haired German Shepherds are in much more need of human contact than short-haired German Shepherd.

They love to live with you indoors provided that they get the proper exercise that they need.


So is there a difference between grooming a long-haired German Shepherd and a short-haired German Shepherd?

yes, a long-haired German Shepherd requires frequent grooming more than a German Shepherd with short hair. This is mainly due to their long hair that is prone to getting tangles and mats if it isn’t groomed routinely.

You can check A Guide to Long Haired German Shepherd to know more about them and the best ways to groom them.

This doesn’t mean that a short German Shepherd doesn’t need grooming; in fact, all dogs need to be regularly groomed.

If your German Shepherd is very active and exercises a lot, you may need to brush them daily from all of the dirt that they may get.

If they aren’t the very active types who exercise a lot then they will need to be groomed twice every week.

Their physical appearance

When compared to short-haired German Shepherd, these German Shepherd’s have longer hair.

Both short-haired and long-haired German Shepherd have are of the same size.

Male German Shepherds are 24 to 26 inches tall and weigh between 66 to 88 pounds while female German Shepherds are 22 to 24 inches and weigh 51 to 73 pounds.

However, there is still a difference in the way they look. It mainly lies in the length of their coat length and so they require different grooming and caring for their coat.

Similarities between long and short-haired German Shepherd

Credited: dog care help


Both are highly trainable; however, they learn quickly due to different reasons.

The long-haired German Shepherd is highly obedient and will learn quickly because they are always eager to please their parents.

So, they can learn all about basic obedience and advanced training, potty training, crate training, as well as new tricks.

Although they are more suitable for fewer jobs and duties and are better at just being around people.

Here are a few tips for training a long-haired German Shepherd:

  • Start as soon as possible so your German Shepherd gets used to the training as soon as possible. It’s also better to start while they are puppies.
  • you can positively reinforce the training concepts early on so your German Shepherd will know them and builds a bonding experience with you.
  • Aim to be gentle while training your dog so that they don’t panic or become aggressive.

Like the long-haired German Shepherd, German Shepherds with short hair can learn all the training that any dog needs.

However, the major difference lies in that short-haired German Shepherds can work as working dogs while the other long-coated ones can’t.

There is proof that short-haired German Shepherds have worked and still can work as police dogs, service dogs, watchdogs, and other roles as well.

Life span

If you manage to take care of your either German Shepherds with long or short hair, they will live up to 10 to 13 years old.

You have to be aware of your German Shepherd health concerns so they don’t develop health conditions such as hip dysplasia, heart conditions, eye problems, and degenerative myelopathy.


Which type sheds heavily, the long-haired or short-haired German Shepherd? To answer this question, you have to consider the nature of both German Shepherds.

You may think that the long-haired German Shepherd doesn’t shed as much because they have only a single coat.

However, that’s far from the truth. They actually shed a lot of hair but because they have longer hair, the hair that falls out gets caught in their coat.

Their trapped hair creates the illusion that they don’t shed as much as the short-haired ones but when you brush a long-haired German Shepherd, you will find all of the trapped hair falling on the ground.

Even though they don’t create a mess in your house carpets and furniture, German Shepherds with long hair must have their hair groomed routinely.

Unlike short-haired German Shepherd, they don’t go through heavy shedding that happens two times a year; they just shed consistently.

While short-haired German Shepherd shed all year long and heavily in two seasons, fall and spring, mainly their undercoat so they can tolerate either hot or cold weather.

Color of their coat

There are three types of genes that determine the color, length, and pattern of a German Shepherd’s coat. They are the color length genes, coat color genes, and coat pattern genes.

There is no difference between the short and long-haired German Shepherd in terms of their coat color.

Both do fall in one of the many different combinations or single color.

Here are the colors of their coats:

  • Black and tan: This is one of the popular and common color combinations. These dogs usually have tan on their bellies, necks, and legs. They also have a black saddle on their backs that stretch down from their neck down to their tails.
  • Black and red: They have the same pattern as black and tan dogs except that the tan part is red instead.
  • Bicolor: In spite of being called bicolor, their coat is actually one color which is black. They sometimes have a brown color on their feet.
  • Blue or Liver color: The blue color of a German Shepherd is close black. Even though they are still considered purebred German Shepherds, they are an indication that they didn’t have the proper colors as a result of their ancestors. The liver-colored German Shepherd has a saddle but instead of it being black, it is brown in color.
  • Sable or Grey: Sable German Shepherds are mostly used as working dogs instead of show dogs. The reason is that their pattern of hair is multicolored and doesn’t have a definite pattern. They come in different colors such as black over cream, liver over cream, and silver over cream. Grey German Shepherds look like wolves in their greyish appearance. Their coat can come in silver over grey or black over silver.
  • White or black: Some German Shepherd can either have a black or white as their entire coat. This is mainly caused by recessive genes that their parents have.

How to know whether your German Shepherd puppy will have long or short hair?

Credited: the happy puppy site

You can know whether your German Shepherd has long or short hair or long hair through two causes:


If you look at the parents of your German Shepherd, you may determine the chance that there will be long-haired or short-haired puppies.

For example, if both dog parents have medium hair, there is the likelihood that they will have a long-haired German Shepherd.

Other times, there depending on the parents’ genes, a short-haired German Shepherd is born.

Spaying and neutering

You can definitely affect your German Shepherd coat length when you spay and neuter them before they reach adulthood.

If you do so, their coat will remain puppyish. Consequently, the coat will be woolier and longer throughout their life.

However, it has to be taken into serious consideration that you research and ask dog professionals about the appropriate age for sterilization.

Don’t only consult your vet but consult other professionals as well so you avoid future complications that may happen to your German Shepherd puppy.

A way to identify a long-haired from a short-haired German Shepherd puppy

You can identify a long-haired German Shepherd at the age of six weeks where you will find long hair on the back of their ears.

The hair throughout their coat will have a more defined curl.

This is one of the very signs to look for when looking at your German Shepherd’s coat type.

How to take care of either a long or short-haired German Shepherd?

Credited: dogtime

1.) Give your dog proper nutrition

Since German Shepherds are active dogs, they do require healthy eating and nutrition.

They can either eat dry or wet food. Dry food has been more popular and given to many dogs.

Also, you have to feed your dog age-appropriate food. This means when they are a puppy, they have to take puppy food and when they are adults, they have to take adult food.

When feeding your German Shepherd, you have to give them food based on the size and age of your dog.

Divide the meals into two meals for adult German Shepherds and three to four meals for puppies. By giving your German Shepherd small meals throughout the day, you minimize bloating.

Never exercise your dog right away after eating as this could also increase their chance of bloating.

You have to pay attention to your dog behavior after eating; they may want to eliminate.

In between meals, you could give your German Shepherd healthy snacks such as vegetables and dog treats.

Treats have to make up only 5 to 10 % of your dog’s calorie intact. Treats are great for keeping your dog full when they become hungry in between meals.

Finally, you have to provide for your dog water at all times so you could prevent dehydration so it’s best to always fill your dog’s bowl with water every day and leave it where your dog has access.

Your German Shepherd has to have access to water throughout the day so they can drink small amounts throughout the day preventing them from becoming bloated.

Things to take care in long and short-haired German Shepherd diet

Since German Shepherds are prone to joint problems and food allergies, you need to give them the right food for them to eat.

Don’t give your long-haired German Shepherd too much protein because it can cause them to grow too fast if they are puppies and develop joint problems.

If your German Shepherd suffers from food allergies, search for hypoallergenic dog food with a unique type of protein.

There are common food allergies that your long-haired German Shepherd may have such as allergies due to eating corn, wheat, soy, dairy, egg, pork, lamb, and fish.

2.) Take care of their health

Take your German Shepherd for a check-up each year.

When you take your German Shepherd to a check-up each year, many health problems can be avoided and if there is any health problem, it can be treated without getting into complications.

Here is a list of what your vet will check in a general assessment:

  • A general assessment where your vet will check the general condition of your dog such as ear infections.
  • Your vet will also check if your dog has long nails that can cause them severe pain. If they do have long nails, your vet will clip the nails.
  • A deworming test where your dog is tested if they have worms or not. All dogs should take a medication, even if they don’t have worms, monthly to prevent any worms. If they do have worms, your vet will prescribe another medication for them to take.
  • Vaccination is important to consult your vet about and give your dog the necessary vaccinations.

Watch out for signs if your German Shepherd dog has a medical condition. For example, if you see your dog having trouble walking for some time, take them to the vet.

This breed is known to get joint problems such as hip dysplasia where they will need to be treated immediately so the condition doesn’t worsen.

3.) Keep your dog physically active

Provide enough space for your German Shepherd to move freely. Thus, it is better to have a spacious house and a yard for your dog to exercise freely without feeling that they can’t move.

Give your German Shepherd daily exercise so they get to move their bodies and release the pent-up energy. Generally, a German Shepherd needs about 2 hours of exercise daily.

If your German Shepherd doesn’t get enough exercise, they may develop joint problems such a hip and elbow dysplasia and become destructive in their behavior.

4.) Training and socializing your dog

You can socialize your dog so they can learn how to interact with people and other dogs. It is better to start early while they are young so they can get used to it.

You can also train your dog on basic commands and advanced commands so they can do them easily. Training takes time and practice so they can learn effectively.

Consider training them for a job to do. They must always have something to do so they don’t get bored whether a role such as a therapy dog or exercise.

5.) Ideal living conditions

Both long and short-haired German Shepherd ideally should live with their family indoors.

They do well when they live with people because they get very attached to their loved ones and need the company.

If you do choose to live your German Shepherd outdoors at night, you have to be sure that they have a warm and dry shelter to go to when they are cold.


In conclusion, there are many differences between a long-haired and short-haired German Shepherd.

The main difference lies in their hair length and the type of coat that they have.

There are also many similarities between the two that lie that they have.

To know more about long-haired German Shepherd, check A Guide to Long Haired German Shepherd .

Share your opinion. Do you think that there are differences between long-haired and short-haired German Shepherd?


Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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