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Short Haired German Shepherd Guide

13 min read

Sometimes I feel like the short haired German Shepherd breed is understated. At the end of the day, they’re still German Shepherds. They’re incredibly smart and hard-working. Guess what, short haired german Shepherd dogs even have perks that long haired German Shepherd dogs don’t!

Today, I have compiled a lot of information about the German Shepherds who have short hair and created this guide for you.

P.S: If you’re thinking of adopting a German Shepherd and you live in a cold climate, then continue reading this post to know what kind of German Shepherd Dog you should adopt.

Short haired German Shepherd dog: Hair types of German Shepherd dogs

There are essentially two types of hair length for the German Shepherd breed. They appear as either short-haired or long haired. There are also German Shepherd dogs who have medium hair length.

  • A German Shepherd dog who has a short coat has a hair length that is about one inch long.
  • A German Shepherd dog who has a medium coat has a hair length that ranges between one to two inches long.
  • A German Shepherd dog who has a long coat has a hair length that is about two inches and longer.

Short haired German Shepherd: Their characteristics

The short-haired German Shepherd has a double coat. They have a woolly and waterproof undercoat and a short haired outer coat. The undercoat helps protect against the cold weather, while the outer coat is a barrier to bugs and dirt. That makes short haired German Shepherds perfect for those who live in colder climates.

The short haired German Shepherd dogs also have more hair than German Shepherds who have longer hair. It might be shorter, but they have more hair.

Did you know that long haired German Shepherd dogs are not allowed to participate in a dog show? They’re not even recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) because their coat is considered to be faulty.

Short haired German Shepherd dog: Common colors of German Shepherd coat

The color of the German Shepherd coat could be black and tan, sable, bicolor, black, or white.

  • Black and tan is the most common color for this breed.
  • Sable can range from light gray, tan, darker red, grey, dark brown, to black.
  • Bicolor is a variation of the color black and tan. This is a phenomenon where the dog’s entire body is black except for a few areas that are brown or tan.
  • Black German Shepherds are completely black with little brown hair on their toes and a white spot on their chest.
  • White German Shepherds have a masking gene that masks the German Shepherd colors making them appear white.

A Short haired German Shepherd can have any of the common colors that are found in the German Shepherd breed.

However, their color mainly depends on factors such as coat length genes, coat color genes, and coat pattern genes. Depending on their parents, they will be predisposed toward certain colors.

Short haired German Shepherd dog: Their temperament

Regardless of the coat length, they tend to have great and similar personalities. German Shepherds are loving and very loyal toward their family and friends.

However, some people hypothesize that the variation of the coat’s length actually affects the dog’s personality.

Because short haired German Shepherd dogs are bred to become working dogs, they seem to be better at focusing and being more intense while performing their jobs.

This makes the short haired German Shepherds have a bit of an unfriendly temper when they meet strangers.

On the other hand, long haired German Shepherd dogs appear to have more friendly attitudes towards strangers because they aren’t bred and trained to be working dogs.

hat’s why they’re even more friendly and are so eager to please their family members.

Although this discrepancy is not actually scientifically proven, the observations mentioned in this theory actually makes sense. But, we need to remind ourselves that correlation isn’t the same thing as causation.

We do not have solid proof and research done to back up these claims, so it is up to you whether you want to take this into consideration while adopting a German Shepherd.

If you plan on following that notion, then get a short haired German Shepherd of you’re going to train them to become a guard dog. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more friendly, less guarded four-legged best friend, then consider adopting a long haired German Shepherd.

Let’s talk in more details about the short haired German Shepherds, though. They are highly intelligent dogs, which means that they can be trained easily. Short haired German Shepherds are more suited to enter many working professions such as police dogs, guide dogs, watchdogs, and much more.

Short haired German Shepherds are also very protective of their loved ones. Being active dogs, they are full of energy and are athletic in nature. Like we previously mentioned, they tend to take caution against strangers. However, once they get to know the strangers, the German Shepherd dog becomes very friendly with them.

German Shepherds in general always require company, and should not be left alone for a long period of time or else they will suffer from symptoms from separation anxiety.

If you want to learn more about separations anxiety, how to deal with it, and how to prevent it from happening, then checkout the following blog posts:

  1. 3 Anxiety Dog Training Podcasts to Follow
  2. Rescue Dog Separation Anxiety Training
  3. How to Crate Train A Dog with Separation Anxiety

Short haired German Shepherd dog: Hair Shedding

There is, of course, a difference between the amount of hair short haired and long haired German Shepherds’ shed, but the difference isn’t as huge as one might think. Most people know that a dog with a double coat, which is the type of coat that short haired German Shepherd, tends to shed a lot of hair throughout the year.

The shedding increases as well during the warmer seasons, when the double coat is no longer needed.

Surprisingly though, the long haired German Shepherd dogs tend to shed more than the expected. Remember how I said short haired German Shepherd dogs tend to have more hair? Well, long haired German Shepherds tend to have longer hair.

Shocking, right? No, but seriously though. That extra length in their hair length is the reason why the hair gets trapped in the dog’s coat. This means that not a lot of hair gets shedded across the house.

But, you’ll be up for an amazing surprise when you brush their hair when you groom them. So although it might seem like they’re not shedding much, they actually are, but you do not see it. Of course, that is not a bad thing because it is going to make the process of cleaning the house so much easier.

There is of course a perfectly good reason why the German Shepherd breed, which includes both long haired GSD and short haired GSD, sheds a lot.

If you’ve read our German Shepherd Puppy Breed Profile blog post, then you must know that the German Shepherd breed was created to become outstanding working dogs who are going to help with herding livestock.

Since this type of job is done all year long, the bred dogs would be able to handle all sorts of varying weather conditions. That is why the German Shepherd dogs shed during the warmer months; in order to perform their jobs properly. Despite the fact that long haired German Shepherds don’t have an under coat, they still shed.

Short haired German Shepherd dog

One might think that the highest shedding seasons for the German Shepherds are the Spring and the Summer; however, it is actually the Spring and the Fall.

You see, before Summer approaches, short haired German Shepherds shed their thick undercoat and replace it with a thinner one to help them survive the heat of the summer. During the fall, the thinner undercoat is shedded, allowing the thicker undercoat to grow back in preparation for the Winter.

Fun fact: Did you know that the person who popularized the German Shepherd dogs in America was an American soldier?

His name was Lee Duncan, and he rescued a German German Shepherd puppy who was only a few days old from a kennel that was bomb riddled in France. He rescued the puppy and took him to Los Angles.

Duncan trained the German Shepherd, making him one of the most recognizable animal and dog stars in Hollywood. He named the GSD Rin Tin Tin.

Short haired German Shepherd: Their grooming needs

Whether you end up adopting a long haired German Shepherd or a short haired German Shepherd, it is crucial that you take the time to brush their hair daily.

It would be better for you if you brush them outside of your house to save your self the pain of removing their hair from your carpets, furniture, and clothes.

Long haired German Shepherd vs Short haired

Although a short haired German shepherd sheds everywhere, brushing them daily could reduce the amount of hair they shed. Also, for both short haired and long haired German Shepherds are prone to getting their hair tangled and matted, which is why the daily brushing regime is recommended.

Not only would that keep your German Shepherds coat looking beautiful and healthy, but you’ll also save your precious four-legged best friend from being in pain. 

Hair matting is very painful as they tend to form near your dog’ skin, making that area very sore. So please brush your dog’s hair regularly to prevent that sort of pain, reduce their hair shedding, and make your German Shepherd look glorious and stunning with their healthy hair.

In case you need more reason to motivate you to brush your dog’s hair daily, remember that you’ll be reducing the amount of hair that should be vacuumed. Doing a ten to fifteen minutes of brushing daily while sitting will save you from experiencing back pain while vacuuming and removing your  German Shepherd’s hair from all around the house.

Short haired German Shepherd dog

Speaking of vacuuming, you’re going to need a vacuum that is specifically made for pet owners. Not, it is not just a gimmick to sell more vacuums. These vacuumed actually have a lot of unique features that will make your hair and dust vacuuming easier, faster, and just more efficient in general. 

If you’re not convinced, here are five reasons why you should invest in a pet vacuum:

P.S: These all fall under one major reason, which is to make your life a bit easier.

  1. These vacuums can keep your carpets hair free with minimal effort.
  2. They will keep your furniture hair free with almost zero effort.
  3. A hair free house will help with keeping your clothes clean and with so much less hair stuck on it.
  4. They will also reduce dander and allergens, so these vacuums are great for people who have allergies.
  5. This one is going to be surprising because guess what? There are vacuum brushes that help with reducing your dog’s hair shedding. Some are motorized and produce almost no noise at all. Others are an add-on piece that you attach to the vacuum you already own at home. Isn’t that amazing?

You can read about these in more details in this Why You Need A Dog Hair Vacuum (5 Reasons) blog post. 

If you’re interested in learning more about what are the features that make a pet vacuum really stand out and outshine all of the other, regular vacuums, how they work, and why they’re so important, then make sure you read our What Is The Best Vacuum for Dog hair blog post!

If you need help with getting rid of your dog’s hair from all around the house? Don’t worry, cause I have got your back. Here is a list of blog posts that are going to help you with every aspect of cleaning and removing all of your dog’s hair from your house:

1) How to Get Rid of Dog Hair from Your Home

2) How to Get Dog Hair Out of Clothes Using Common Household

3) How to Remove Dog Hair from Clothes Laundry Routine

Now that we’re done talking about the brushing aspect of their grooming regime, you should know that German Shepherds should only shower when they get dirty. This means that there is a schedule that you have to stick to, so HURRAY!

For their nails, check your German Shepherd’s nails every month and evaluate them. If you exercise them vigorously on the daily ( which you should), then their nails should be worn out. However, if they aren’t already worn out, then you can trim their nails monthly.

Short haired German Shepherd: Their diet

A dog’s diet should vary according to their age, which makes perfect sense. Us humans come to this world and survive our first year or two on milk, but as we grow, our bodies require us to eat a variety of different foods to get the nutrition our bodies need to grow, develop repair, and function.

short haired german shepherd

The same thing happens with dogs. What they eat when their 2 months old is different from what they should eat when they’re one year old. 

However, no matter how old they are, your German Shepherd’s food should be high quality and packed with all the nutrients and vitamins that their bodies need.

 Ask your vet for food recommendations that are going to suit your short haired German Shepherd the best.

One important thing you should beware off in that you shouldn’t feed your German Shepherd table scraps, especially if they’re cooked bones. Doing that once every here now and then is fine, but don’t make that a regular habit. 

If you want some help with figuring out what is the best dog food for your four-legged best friends, then please check out our Top Tips on Best Dog Food for German Shepherd blog post.


Short haired German Shepherd: Chewing and barking issues

he German Shepherd breed is a huge fan of chewing and barking, so try to train them at lounge age to stop chewing or barking when you say “No.” Giving your German Shepherd dog a chewing toy. These toys are a great way to train your dog to understand what is acceptable to be chewed and what isn’t. 

If you want to learn more about how you can train your German Shepherd to stop biting, and other essential things like potty and crate training, then checkout Essential German Shepherd Dog Training FAQs blog post.


That’s it for today’s post. You should now know that there are a few differences when it comes to short haired and long haired German Shepherds, but at the end of the day they share mostly the same traits.

You should also be able to pick which one you’ll be comfortable living with best depending on where you live and what type of training you’re considering to put them through.

If you have any questions about short haired German Shepherds, then please leave them in the comments down below.

If your four-legged best friend is a German Shepherd, let us know if they’re short haired or long haired. What’s their name and what’s their favorite activity.

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