Differences between Long Coat and Short Coat German Shepherds in Egypt

Sunrise German Shepherd Kennel, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.  German Shepherd Breeder

We do not have any puppies planned for 2017, in either case we do not focus on “long coat German Shepherds” All our dogs would be considered “short coat”; the reason being it is our personal preference and we feel more true to type and breed standard, please do not ask us where to buy “long haired / long coat German Shepherds” or if we have any for sale because we don’t

History
When Max von Stephanitz created his working breed in the 1890s, he envisioned a brave and independent dog. According to Stephanitz, looks didn’t matter! Some of the dogs Stephanitz chose to create his fledgling breed had long coats. Their genes linger even today, more than a century later.

The German Shepherd Dog Coat
American dog registries require the German shepherd dog to have a double coat with straight hair that is short on the face, legs and feet and is medium length over the rest of the body. Wiry hair and slightly wavy hair are both allowed, but soft, silky or long hair is discouraged. The short, dense undercoat provides protection against adverse weather conditions, a trait that is essential to its original role as a “flock guardian” style of herding dog.

Long-Coated German Shepherd Dogs
The long-coated version lacks the undercoat Stephanitz believed that the German Shepherd required to do its job. This type of long coat is soft to the touch and may part along the dog’s spine. Since soft coats are often absorbent, you can imagine that being soft reduces or even eliminates its weatherproof quality. Both European and American registries have declared this coat variety to be a disqualification from the show ring.

Long-Coated Smooth German Shepherd Dogs
This coat variety is distinctly longer than the medium-length German Shepherd coat, but does not achieve the extreme lengths of the long-coated German Shepherd. Long-coated smooth German Shepherd often have their faces framed with long hair both inside and behind the ears, a frill of hair extending from behind their elbows along their underline to the front of their hind legs. They also have full, bushy tails. Unlike long-coated German Shepherd, long-coated smooth German Shepherd do have an undercoat to protect them from the weather, but it is not as substantial as in the normal smooth- or “stock”-coated GSD.

In 2010, the German organization that oversees the breed, the Schaferhund-Verein, added the “Long stock hair … with undercoat” variety of GSD to the conformation show competition standard.

Genetics: The obvious question is how do you draw the line between a long and short coats? The answer is found in the genetics. In genetics, what you can observe about a dog is called the phenotype. The phenotype of a dog is either long coated or short coated. However, the underlying genetic structure, called the genotype, tells us more about the dog. A dog that appears short coated carries the L allele causing a normal coat (phenotype). However, his genotype can be either LL or Ll. An Ll carries the gene for the longer coat but does not express it, much like a colored GSD can carry the gene for white but not express it. Like the white coat color, the long coat gene is a simple recessive. A dog expressing the long coat will be ll.

Since we understand the basics of what causes the long coat, people can predict what will occur when they breed German Shepherds. A long coat bred to a long coat will produce all long coated puppies (since the offspring receive the l allele from each parent). A long coat bred to a short coat that is Ll, will produce on average 50% short coats and 50% long coats. Two short coats carrying Ll will produce on average 75% short coats and 25% long coats. Finally, of course, two LLs cannot produce a long coat. If you have a dog that you are not sure is a long coat or not, the answer is to breed him to an obvious long coat. If all the puppies are long coats, he is a long coat. If some of the puppies are short coats, he is a short coat. Regardless of the differences observed, the truth can always be seen in the genetics.

“King Shepherds” “Egyptian Long Hair German Shepherds” – DO NOT be fooled by copies! In Egypt there is a demand for what people call “long hair German Shepherd” and “King Shepherds” Unfortunately to meet demand breeders in the past have crossed long haired Belgian Shepherd with show line German Shepherd. People over time have accepted this look as it resembles the German shepherd dog.

These dogs are sometimes mistaken for a large German Shepherds or even called “King Shepherds”, they from the GSD by its height and its coat and long facial features, silky coat and random white patch. While this local breed is related in many ways to the German Shepherd and they are very beautiful they are not the same dog and simply an example of random breeding.

There are some excellent examples of long haired German Shepherds in Egypt that look fantastic as puppies however “buyer beware” as in time a trained eye will tell you they are not pure.

 

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