Within the varieties of the German shepherd, the long hair German shepherd dog with the long hair is an incomparable specimen also called by many as alsatian sheepdog referring to the region of Alsace, France. Its main characteristic is its long fur. This being also its most distinctive difference compared to the rest of the German shepherds.
Learn more about other German Shepherd breeds.
Origin of Long Hair German Shepherd
During the First World War, British soldiers encountered a german shepherd peculiarly different, it was a long haired german shepherd which was unknown to them.
Due to the war, despite the fact that it was evident that it was a variation of the standard german shepherd. They decided to call him alsatian shepherd since they did not want to give their name the denomination of their military enemy (Germany), and at that time the British were in Alsace, France; on the border with Germany.
Variation of Long hair German shepherd
The truth is that this variation of long hair German shepherd, It is due to a genetic mutation. And the first issue does not have an official date of appearance like the Sable German Shepherd. Although by 1922 a breeding regulation system was already implemented in Germany as a response mechanism against indiscriminate breeding, which was driven by the great international demand for buy german shepherds (from the “standard” or “original”, emerged in the late 1800s).
The point is that there are records that this indiscriminate breeding was producing mutations such as the lack of teeth, the variation in size or the appearance of longer hair; issues that were considered unacceptable problems or traits by breeders of the time.
So we can deduce that the shepherd long haired german appears approximately in the first decades of the 20th century.
The genetic mutation
Since its inception, the genetic mutation of long hair German shepherd that gave rise to the appearance of the long-haired German shepherd has been considered a genetic fault. Even today this trend exists, although to a much lesser extent, since the long hair of this dog is perceived by more and more breeders and owners as something positive, a kind of virtue that can be described as elegant.
The gene that gives rise to this longer hair can possibly be traced back to the early 20th century and is a recessive gene. So two short-haired parents can, with little probability, generate some long-haired offspring. While two long-haired parents do not produce short-haired offspring.
Characteristics of the long-haired German shepherd
In general terms, like the rest of the variations, the long hair german shepherd dog not much different from standard german shepherd. It could be said that its only distinction, or at least the main one, is its long coat. But there is something that should be clear: although the fur is longer, it turns out that it is also less dense, so its protection against cold climates is not as high as might be expected.
It’s about a Large, stocky dog with a slightly stocky, athletic build. With a body much longer than tall. It generally features the same colors as the standard German Shepherd, with its characteristic shades of gold, brown, and black. The case of totally white or totally black long-haired German shepherds can also occur, although these specimens are extremely rare, even more so if we take into account that longhaired german shepherds are themselves quite rare.
As for his face we can say that his muzzle is strong and like the tip of his tail is black. His ears are firm and triangular. Their eyes tend to be yellow or light brown with an almond shape.
Regarding their weight and measurements, these vary between males and females. The male weighs between 36 to 55kg and reaches between 63 and 71cm in height. While females usually weigh about 34 to 45 kg and are between 61 and 68cm tall.
Although not as much as the husky, the long-haired German shepherd It is considered one of the most similar dogs to the wolf.; both for the similarity of their bodies, and for the great expressiveness that they can present in their features and gestures.
The German Longhaired Sheepdog tends to be only slightly more docile and tame compared to other variations. of which it is a part. Hence It is considered the most domestic sheepdog. Their ability to socialize is somewhat higher, and they can generate much warmer and deeper emotional ties with their masters.
Due to the greater attachment it generates towards its owners, it does not tend to sleep, rest or walk very far from them. All this makes it the most ideal for families with children and/or for families who live in small spaces or houses without patios. Despite its size, it will not cause any problems if it is allowed to sleep indoors.
Longhaired German Shepherd Health and Care
In general terms, their care does not vary as much compared to the regular German shepherd. In fact it is believed that they share the same health problems and the biggest difference in their care lies in keeping their hair longer. If the health problems associated with the species do not appear during its life, its care will be very simple and easy to carry.
Care and Hygiene
As in all German Shepherds and dogs in general, good nutrition, hygiene, exercise and care are essential factors for optimal health.
That in which we must make special emphasis regarding this variation of sheepdog is in the care of its elongated coat. It is essential to brush his fur about 2 times a week and not bathe him so often. Since its elongated hair tends to protect it very well from the dirt.
On the other hand, your emotional health should not be neglected. Remember that this variation tends to be much more emotionally sensitive. About it is recommended not to let him sleep away from home very often.
It is also important to exercise it, although in your case a series of daily walks is enough since Unlike the Standard German Shepherd, the Long hair German Shepherd is not a working dog. And does not require being subjected to great physical efforts to stay in shape.
Major health problems
As in the case of the standard long hair German shepherd dog, hip and elbow dysplasia are usually the main health problems that the shepherd Alsatian may present, in addition to a few recorded cases of arthritis.
Reducing the risk of these diseases will depend entirely on the care they receive from their owners.