Short Haired German Shepherds: Complete Guide

Short Haired German Shepherds
Chowtime Charmers!
Curated Dog Bowls with Your Dog's Name
Shop Now!

Did you know that there are actually two coat varieties in the German Shepherd dog breed? They are Long Haired and Short Haired German Shepherds.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the Short Haired German Shepherd dog – including health issues, coat colors, how often they shed, personality and temperament so you can decide if this is the ideal canine friend for you and your family.

Table of Contents

Short-Haired German Shepherds: Key takeaways

  • Short Haired German Shepherds are the most common type of GSDs. 
  • Short Haired German Shepherds are not a separate breed from Long Haired German Shepherds, but the same canine with a different coat. 
  • Short Haired German Shepherds can inherit numerous genetic issues, which is why it’s crucial to buy from responsible breeders.

Are German Shepherds Short Haired dogs? 

are there Short Haired German Shepherds
Is there a Short Haired German Shepherd?

When people hear the term “Short Haired” to describe a German Shepherd dog, they imagine a very Short Haired German Shepherd. They often mistake them as some rare variant or a separate breed. 

In fact, for a purebred German Shepherd, short hair is nothing unusual. The purebred Short Haired German Shepherd accounts for about 85% of the breed, making them the characteristic German Shepherd dog.

What is a Short-Haired German Shepherd?

The Short Haired German Shepherd dog is the GSD you see most often. They’re the standard German Shepherd, accounting for 85% of all GSDs.

The Short-Haired GSD can simply be called “German Shepherds.” The “Short Hair” prefix distinguishes them from the rarer long-coat variety.

In reality, their hair is more of a medium length. 

The AKC and UKC prefer the Short Coat German Shepherd, and the long single coat is seen as a breed fault.

GSD purists prefer things adhering to breed standards, which is why they prefer the straight back Short Haired German Shepherd over some popular breed varieties that have long coats or sloped backs.

You might also like: Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix – Complete Guide

What’s the difference between a Long and Short Haired German Shepherd? 

The differences aren’t just skin deep when it comes to Short Haired German Shepherd vs. Long Hair German Shepherd.

While it’s true that Short Hair German Shepherds don’t have any temperamental differences, the German Shepherd hair length can affect their weather preference, shedding, rarity, and price.

Let’s compare the two breeds side by side to see how they differ.

Long Haired vs Short Haired German Shepherd 

Short vs long Haired German Shepherd
Long Haired German Shepherd vs Short Haired German Shepherd

Long and Short Haired German Shepherds are equally wonderful pets.

However, they do differ in some aspects. Let’s see what they are:

Long Hair vs. Short Hair German Shepherd

Long hair GSDShort hair GSD
Rarity15% of all GSDs85% of all GSDs
Coat typeSingleDouble
Coat protectionUnfit for coldGood insulation and waterproofing
Coat lengthOver 2 inchesUp to 1 inch
PurposeCompanion dogsWorking dogs
AKC/UKC recognitionNoYes

Short Haired German Shepherds personality and temperament

The temperament of a Short Haired German Shepherd will vary depending on its owner and environment. But in general, they are loyal, protective, and intelligent dogs that make great pets.

Are there personality differences between Long Haired and Short Haired German Shepherds?

No, there are no personality differences between Long Haired and Short Haired German Shepherds. The only difference between Long Haired and Short Haired German Shepherds is the length of their coats.

They are both equally loyal, intelligent, and make great family pets.

Short Haired German Shepherds health issues

German Shepherds have been bred to adhere to the breed standard strictly. This has resulted in a lot of inbreeding over the years, leading to numerous health issues that plague the breed. 

So which German Shepherd dog is healthier? Long-haired or short-haired? Let’s read ahead.

Are there health differences between Long Haired and Short Haired German Shepherds?

Both varieties are susceptible to the same health concerns.

However, there are certain conditions that one breed is more prone to than the other:

Common health issues

Long hair GSDShort hair GSD
HypothermiaHip/elbow dysplasia
Hot spotsEpilepsy
Hair mattingBlood disease

1. Hypothermia

Long-haired GSDs have a single coat which isn’t very effective at blocking out the cold. They can suffer from hypothermia (chilling) in low temperatures.

2. Hot spots

Hot spots are another name for acute moist dermatitis. It occurs when a pup’s skin gets irritated and secretes a bloody discharge. 

3. Hair mats

Long-haired German Shepherds are also more prone to developing hair mats. These mats can be painful to get rid of.

4. Hip/elbow dysplasia

Elbow and hip dysplasia occur when the thigh bones and leg bones don’t fit snugly into their hip sockets and elbow joints, respectively. 

5. Epilepsy

While any dog can develop epilepsy, German Shepherds are particularly prone to it. It’s a neurological disease that causes seizures.

6. Blood disease 

Blood diseases are frequent among GSDs. Most prominent are Von Willebrand’s disease and hemophilia A.

Are Short Haired German Shepherds allowed to compete or be registered?

Yes, Short Haired German Shepherds can be registered with the AKC and UKC, and you can have them compete in dog shows as long as they meet all other breed standards. 

Are Short Haired German Shepherds rare?

No, Short Haired German Shepherds are not rare. In fact, Short Haired German Shepherds are far more common than their long-haired counterparts.

You may not be surprised to learn that most of the world’s German Shepherds have short coats. 

Short Haired German Shepherds coat colors

There are 11 different colors the AKC allows for German Shepherds with a short coat. The only color not allowed is albino because it is linked to congenital issues.

Here are some common coat colors you’ll see on Short Haired German Shepherds.

Black Short Haired German Shepherd

One of the most common colors you will find on almost every German Shepherd is black. You can find German Shepherd Short Hair Black with tan, red, silver, and cream.

However, the mystique and beauty of an all-black Short Haired German Shepherd are unparalleled. The Short Hair black German Shepherd is a beautiful deep black with little patches of brown on their paws. Some also have a white patch on their chest.

White Short Haired German Shepherd

If you want a little furball that looks like a stuffed toy, check out white Short Haired German Shepherd puppies. You’ll be glad to know that the White German Shepherd puppies Short Hair variety is AKC compliant. 

Sable Short Haired German Shepherd 

Short hair Sable German Shepherds seem like a blend of several shades of gold and cream with black tips.

Short Haired Sable German Shepherd puppies can also have a brown color mixed in, but there should be no black patches on the fur.

Red Short Haired German Shepherd

Another popular color is red. Red German Shepherd Short Hair can range from a light rusty tan to a deep mahogany red.

Short Hair brindle German Shepherd 

Brindle is a coat pattern with black stripes on a light-colored background. It’s not a coat you’d find on a purebred Short Haired German Shepherd.

Black and tan Short Haired German Shepherd 

Black and tan is the classic color pattern for a German Shepherd. The Short Haired black and tan German Shepherd has a tan base coat with a black muzzle, back, and ears.

RECOMMENDED: Blonde German Shepherd (Complete Guide)

Do all German Shepherd dogs have double coats?

No, not all German Shepherd dogs have double coats.

As mentioned above, only the Short Haired German Shepherds have a double heatproof and waterproof coat. Long-haired German Shepherds, on the other hand, have a single coat.

Since the Short Haired German Shepherds shed heavily twice a year, this may not be your ideal dog if you want a hypoallergenic pet.

Fun Fact: You’ve heard that Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs, but is that true? Check out Blue Poodle to find out!

Are Short Haired German Shepherds hypoallergenic? 

No, Short Haired German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. Short Haired German Shepherds will shed and leave hair around your home. They also release dander with their fur, making them unfit for people with allergies. 

Do Short Haired German Shepherds shed? 

You might think short hair means less shedding. Unfortunately, Short Haired German Shepherd shedding is notoriously high. The Short Haired German Shepherd has a double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. This can be a lot of hair for you to deal with.

Do Long Haired German Shepherds shed more than Short Haired German Shepherds? 

Short Haired GSDs have a double coat—which means more fur—and they shed twice a year heavily. Long-haired GSDs have a single coat and shed all year round, but their shedding is more consistent.

Short Haired German Shepherd grooming and cleaning 

If you have a Short Haired German Shepherd, this is how often you’d need to groom them.

  • Coat brushing: twice a week or more.
  • Bathing: 3-4 baths a year are enough. Use a damp towel when they get dirty.
  • Ear cleaning: check ears weekly and clean when it seems necessary.
  • Nail clipping: when their nails get too long.
  • Tooth brushing: every day or twice a week.

Do Short Haired German Shepherds make good pets?

Short Haired German Shepherds make great family pets. They are loyal and protective and will follow their owners around whenever possible. They bond very closely with their family and need human companionship.

Short Haired German Shepherds size, height, and weight 

The height of the male Short Haired German Shepherd is slightly more than the female Short Haired German Shepherd. They’re medium to large canines with muscular bodies that give them strength without increasing weight.

Short Haired Male German ShepherdShort Haired Female German Shepherd
Size groupMedium-largeMedium
Height24-26 inches22-24 inches
Weight65-90 pounds50-70 pounds

Short Haired German Shepherds training

Short Haired German Shepherds are very smart and easy to train. They excel in obedience, tracking, and protection training. Their intelligence is the reason why they’re used for so many jobs.

Short Haired German Shepherds exercise requirement

These pups need a lot of physical activity. Two hours of exercise per day should rid their body of excess energy. Unless they get their daily dose of physical exercise, they’ll get bored and destructive.

You may be interested in: Best Indestructible Dog Toys – Reviews and Comparison

Short Haired German Shepherds food and diet

Short Haired German Shepherds should eat a high protein, low carbohydrates diet. They should have two meals per day, so they don’t eat too much at once. Dry kibble is the best type of food for them, and they should always have access to clean water.

Short Haired German Shepherds lifespan

Short-haired German Shepherds are medium to large breeds and typically have a lifespan of 10 years. Due to their poor health, this lifespan is pretty low compared to other canines in their size.

Short Haired German Shepherd rescue 

If you decide to get a Short Haired German Shepherd and age is not an issue for you, make sure you check with your local shelter first. Many abandoned German Shepherds need homes, and by adopting one, you will be giving that dog a second chance at life.

Short Haired German Shepherds adoption

Adopting is a noble deed, and it costs next to nothing. German Shepherds make great pets. By adopting one, you’ll have a loyal friend for life.

However, if you’d prefer a Short-Haired German Shepherd dog free from medical and temperamental issues, you should consider licensed breeders.

Short Haired German Shepherd breeders

If you’re looking to buy a Short Haired German Shepherd, it’s best to go through a reputable breeder. There are many Short Coat German Shepherd breeders, but not all are ethical. Before buying a pooch from the breeder, make sure you research them in detail.

Short Haired German Shepherd for sale 

If you’re looking to buy a Short Haired German Shepherd, there are many places you can go. You can find GSDs for sale online just by looking up “Short Haired German Shepherd for sale near me.”

Short Haired German Shepherd puppy 

A Short Haired GSD puppy would need a lot of exercise and training, so make sure you have enough time and resources to take care of one. They also have a lot of energy, so it’s best if you have a large yard where they can run around.

Short Haired German Shepherd puppies for sale 

If you are looking for German Shepherd Short Hair puppies for sale, be sure to go for reputable breeders who test their dogs for health problems and genetic disorders.

Puppies should come with a health guarantee, as well as documentation of all shots, vaccinations, and medical exams.

Short Haired German Shepherd price 

The Short Haired German Shepherd’s price ranges from $500 to $1,500. 

Is the Short Haired German Shepherd dog right for me?

German Shepherds are loved worldwide for their intelligence, loyalty, versatility, and beauty. Whether you’re looking for a guard dog or just a loyal friend, the Short Haired German Shepherd is a perfect choice.

Related Questions

Can you get a Short Haired German Shepherd?

Yes, Short Haired German Shepherds are very common, and you can get one easily.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.