Home GSD Types & Mixes Short Haired German Shepherd Guide

Short Haired German Shepherd Guide

by David W.
Short Haired German Shepherd

A German Shepherd with short hair is a normal German Shepherd with a double coat. It is sometimes referred to as a regular coat or a short stock coat. This kind’s topcoat often measures less than an inch in length, giving it this nomenclature, which is only used to distinguish it from the long haired GSD variation.

These dogs are amazingly loyal, and they can feel anxious when you are not around. It explains their unfriendliness to strangers. Moreover, they do not easily make new friends, and a lot of socialization techniques are needed to reduce their aggression and rejection.

Short haired GSDs are quite energetic, so they need at least two hours of exercise every day. Your pup will join you in all your activities, be they walking, running, swimming, or riding a bike.

Their coat has a double layer, so they can withstand cold and severe weather conditions. However, such a coat needs constant grooming, at least every 2-3 days, especially in spring and fall, when their shedding can become a true catastrophe for your household.

Let’s have a more thorough look at some of these features.

The origin

Short haired Shepherd Dogs, as well as long haired, are the result of the long and deliberate work of German breeders, whose goal was to breed an ideal herding dog with a stable mentality and good health. Only those with the best physical and mental conditions were allowed for further breeding. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Shepherd Dogs were reclassified from Shepherds to guards and police dogs.

However, the same creator, Max von Stephanitz, advocated strongly for shorter hair on German Shepherds. Von Stephanitz was not as concerned with the dog’s appearance, but he did set out to make the most attractive and efficient dog. Then why did he prioritize eliminating the long hair feature from Shepherd dogs?  Because lengthy hair hinders the capacity of a dog to work.

Long fur is a liability for a large working dog, due to the absence of an undercoat and the ease with which it becomes dirty. Even modern-day working line German Shepherds must be agile and athletic. When long hair became somewhat more troublesome than short hair, breeders producing working dogs began removing the long-haired variety from the stud pool.

We can easily recognize them in movies, such as Strongheart or Rin Tin Tin.

Size and Appearance

Short haired GSD

A short haired German Shepherd dog is usually athletically built. Its height is 22-26 inches at the wither, and it can weigh 50-90 pounds. Males are obviously bigger than females, and they look quite masculine. Their muzzle is long and the ears are erect, facing forward. The back should be straight, and a sloped back that has appeared nowadays can cause severe health problems.

The outer layer of the coat is usually dense and located close to the skin. The fur is straight, but sometimes slight waving occurs. The undercoat is wooly and thick because it is meant to protect the animal from severe weather conditions.

The short haired GSDs look like wolves. Nevertheless, they can be of different colors. Black, black and tan, sable, gray, or red and black colors are acceptable. However, lighter colors are not popular among breeders and owners. A white short haired German Shepherd does not comply with the GSD breed standards.

Behavior and Temperament

Short haired GSDs can complete any task you may set. That is why they are appreciated as working dogs in many jobs, including the police and the army.

These dogs are perfectly protective. They are always alert if they need to guard the family or household. They can even seem too possessive to their owners. However, these animals are very clever and trainable. They always want to please you. So, if you reward them with some treats, training will have much better results.

Separation anxiety is one of the most severe behavioral problems. They feel lonely, frustrated, and anxious if they cannot see you for a long time. They may even start chewing your clothes, footwear, and furniture if you are out. A German Shepherd can start barking and howling, and it may cause some trouble in your relationships with neighbors. Anyway, the dog needs an exciting job to do, even if it is just playing with a toy.

How to Care for a Short Haired GSD

German Shepherd with short hair

German Shepherds are quite undemanding. To keep your dog healthy and comfortable – adhere to the following care recommendations.


A short haired Shepherd has a fairly stiff coat, and during shedding, it covers the entire environment, including the furniture and the carpet. To prevent this from happening, brush your pet twice a week with a special brush.


Two to three baths per year, excluding fall and winter, is the optimal number of water treatments for this breed. Washing more often will cause its coat to lose its natural shine.


Shepherds often suffer from tartar, so once a week they should be given a special chew stick. Once every six months, the dog should be examined at the vet, where the specialist can pay attention to the condition of the dog’s mouth. While your Shepherd dog is still small, don’t play tug-of-war with him, and don’t snatch toys from his mouth. This could cause its bite to become deformed.


A German Shepherd needs to get both mental and physical exercise every day. The best way to do it all at once is to train outside. If you keep your dog in an apartment, take at least two hours of daily walks.


The German Shepherd requires mental workouts at least three to four times per week for 20 minutes each. Exercise should be provided in accordance with the dog’s age, abilities, and health.

It is important to remember that the muscles and joints in puppies under 6 months old are still developing.

Training must be demanding but fair and kind. Violence is not permitted. The Shepherd may become hostile or cowardly as a result.

It is best to start training your puppy when they are between two and three months old, starting with simple commands. It is advised to get in touch with a qualified dog trainer if you have no prior experience with dogs of those breeds.

Short haired GSD


For a healthy pet, choosing a balanced diet is crucial. German Shepherds with short hair require a diet high in protein and low in fat. Dry food and natural food are also acceptable.

The dog’s diet should consist of lean-cooked meat and dairy products, cereals, seasonal fruits, and chicken eggs twice a week for natural feeding. Fish is beneficial to these pets. Calcium-enriched goods should only be consumed in moderation.

For the short haired German Shepherd, it is preferable to select premium ready-to-eat food. Make sure there is enough water while using dry food. The dog’s age affects how many meals it gets each day.

The following daily feeding schedule is advised by experts.

When a puppy is born, it is fed 6 times in the first two months, 5 times in the third month, 4 times from the fourth to six months, and 3 times per day from six months to 1 year. When the dog is older and is considered an adult, meals are only given twice daily.

Feed the Shepherd dog at the same time every day. The food should be served at a medium temperature. The bowls ought to be set up on a stand at the dog’s chest level. This is crucial for the development of its proper posture.

Short Haired German Shepherd Lifespan and Health

Normally, short haired German Shepherds can live 10-13 years. They may suffer from such health issues as hip dysplasia, heart and eye conditions, and generative myelopathy. That is why it is important that you request a full history of its parents’ health if you want to take a puppy from a breeder. Be sure that the breeder will also provide you with information about the puppy’s hip scores and clear eye tests. Getting insurance is a good idea, too.

Short Haired German Shepherd Price

Short haired German Shepherd Dog

A short haired German Shepherd puppy can cost you $800-$2,000, or the amount may be much higher – up to $4,000 – if you take it from a reputable breeder who is well-known for their showroom or working bloodlines. If you want to adopt an adult dog from a shelter, it will cost you up to $250-$400.


How rare are short haired Shepherds?

Short haired GSDs are not rare at all. You can see these dogs almost everywhere. According to the AKC, German Shepherds are the third most popular breed, and its short-haired representatives make up most of the population. Short hair is a dominant gene, so the chance to get a long-haired puppy from its short-haired parents is quite minimal.

Do short haired German Shepherds shed less?

Short haired German Shepherds shed continuously throughout the year, however, the fall and spring are the seasons when they shed the fastest. To make sure that loose fur is released, and your dog doesn’t spread the hair across your carpeting and furniture, you should brush them twice a week.
In contrast, long-haired individuals do not shed more in the fall or spring. However, they must also be brushed on a regular basis. From the owner’s perspective, brushing each kind requires the same amount of work.

Do short haired German Shepherds Get Cold?

Short haired GSDs do not become cold because of their thick undercoat, which serves as an insulating layer and keeps their body heat from escaping, keeping them relatively warm in colder weather. If taught and introduced from a young age, the breed is completely capable of sleeping and living outside.

What is a short haired German Shepherd?

A double-coated standard German Shepherd is a short haired German Shepherd. It is also known as a regular coat or a short stock coat. This name is used only in contrast to the long-haired variation since this kind’s topcoat is often less than one inch in length. Short haired German Shepherds are considered “standard” because this characteristic is preferred.

Final Thoughts

A pet, a reliable guardian, or a dignified exhibitor – the short haired German Shepherd easily copes with any of the roles. The breed combines endurance, trainability, and affection for humans.

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